Looking to Rapidly Build Angular Apps with a Robust Backend?Posted by Itay Herskovits on Oct 09, 2014
So far, in our series on Backend as a Service (BaaS) providers, we’ve spent a lot of time looking at data-side solutions. From Parse’s platform independence to Firebase’s focus on availability and resiliency, we’ve covered a healthy segment of the data-based service provider market. With this article we take more of a look at the full stack as we examine the Django Project. Developed based upon the needs of a rapid-response newsroom, this technology stack – written in Python – provides some unique opportunities to businesses looking to build a new data-driven application for the web.
The Django Project
The Django Project describes itself as a “high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.” In essence, the Django code sits atop your data layer and handles the presentation and modification of your data, from the business logic driving the database calls to the templates driving the display of your project. Many large websites are built with Django driving their functionality, meaning that the stack is scalable on multiple fronts – something that is a stated goal of the Django project.
Django provides utilities at several layers throughout a web application’s stack. There is an Object Relational Mapping (ORM) system that allows you to define and manipulate your application’s data in a number of ways, from using the built-in data access functionality to writing your own SQL in a bare-metal approach. Django also provides a template system, making coherent and cohesive display of your data as simple as modifying a few core templates. Finally, Django provides an “automatic” admin interface – a simple interface for managing the tables and data in your application, with massive configurability available. You simply register your data models, and Django handles the rest!
Backand & BaaS
While Django provides a full stack – with the associated configurability options – that can let you get a fully-custom application up and running quickly, it is largely most effective for greenfield development. Backand, on the other hand, integrates directly with your existing data. When you integrate with Backand you get the ability to focus entirely on your app while your backend is fully covered by their BaaS. Backand allows you to either integrate your existing database into their stack, or port the entire data store into Amazon RDS. They take over the back end of your app completely, removing all of the hardware hassles that arise, and handle the security and hosting issues for you. They also provide you a fully customizable front end small stack consisting of Bootstrap and Angular, letting you start very quickly with a dashboard app that can then grow in any direction you like, with a REST-ful API driving your application’s data access.
Comparing the Two
While Django provides facilities for easy data management and a quick and easy admin interface tied directly to your underlying data, there is still a lot that you have to do on your own. You need to provide a data solution (either a local database or one of the other providers that we have covered), a web server (Django ships with their own Python-based web server, but it is likely not tenable for a production deployment), and a fully-defined set of ORM instances that map to your underlying data. While this gives you true flexibility in your end result and requires less effort than using a full MVC framework, there is still a lot of work necessary to get a data driven app running off of an existing data store.
Backand, on the other hand, is optimized for precisely that – removing the hassles of the backend from your development. From the moment you create your application with Backand you’re given a simple-yet-customizable interface to access and modify your data. You can either stick with this simple template, or make use of the power of Bootstrap and Angular through choosing a number of predefined themes – or even developing your own! Your data scales with you through Amazon RDS, or connects to your existing database infrastructure, and Backand provides comprehensive security and authentication management. With Backand, you truly hit the ground running with your data driven application.
Backand provides a scalable solution for data-driven applications with a quick-and-easy interface that gets your base website running with just a few clicks. Django provides many of the elements to accomplish this as well, but leaves a lot more choice – and many of the support and scalability concerns – to your web development organization. Ultimately the choice between Django and Backand comes down to a question of your application’s goal. If you’re looking for a full web application framework that you wish to maintain entirely on your own, then Django has a lot to offer in terms of flexibility. However, if you are looking to manage an appliction with existing data as quickly – and as securely – as possible while not having to worry about hardware or software concerns, then Backand may be the right choice for you.
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