MBaaS reviews

Review: Kinvey boosts enterprise mobile apps

Kinvey pairs rich mobile client and tools support with flexible back-end services, but external integrations are limited

At a Glance
  • Kinvey

MBaaS reviews

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An MBaaS (mobile back end as a service) such as FeedHenry, Kinvey, or Parse is a kind of PaaS (platform as a service) for server-backed mobile applications. Kinvey bills itself as a complete mobile and Web app platform. It has extensive client support, integrates with the major enterprise databases, and offers a back-end data store, a file store, push notifications, mobile analytics, iBeacon support, and the ability to run custom code on the back end.

According to the company, Kinvey sells to IT as its primary customer because it provides an enterprise platform, not for one or two apps but for tens and hundreds of apps for an enterprise. However, it also engages and supports the developer community app by app. Thus pricing is available for individuals and independents, as well as for smaller businesses and large enterprises.

[ Also reviewed on InfoWorld: FeedHenry uses Node.js to fortify mobile apps | PaaS shoot-out: Cloud Foundry vs. OpenShift | Download InfoWorld's Developers' Survival Guide for tips and trends programmers need to know. | Keep up with the latest developer news with InfoWorld's Developer World newsletter. ]

Client support
Kinvey supports native, hybrid, and HTML5 apps. It has native toolkit support for iOS and Android. In addition, it supports HTML5, AngularJS, Backbone.js, Node.js, Apache Cordova/PhoneGap, and Appcelerator Titanium, and it provides a REST API. (PhoneGap is compatible with AngularJS 1.2.3 and later, and with all versions of Backbone.js.)

To set up a native iOS 6 or iOS 7 project to use the Kinvey back end, you need to download the KinveyKit framework, install it into your Xcode project, and set your project to link with the eight required libraries. You should also copy the KinveyKit documentation into Xcode's documentation directory. Then you'll need to import KinveyKit in your code and call [KCSClient sharedClient] initializeKinveyServiceForAppKey to connect your app with the Kinvey service, using the correct app key, app secret, and options. You can also use the Kinvey REST API in iOS projects.

To set up a native Android 2.3 or higher Kinvey project, download the latest Kinvey library and copy the JAR files into your project libs folder. To initialize the Kinvey service, instantiate a new Client.Builder(), with a file present in your projects assets folder that holds the correct app key, app secret, and options.

InfoWorld Scorecard
Back-end services (20%)
Client support (20%)
Ease of use (20%)
Integrations (20%)
Monitoring (10%)
Value (10%)
Overall Score
Kinvey 9 9 8 7 8 9 8.3
At a Glance
  • Kinvey is a worthy competitor to FeedHenry for enterprises, but with favorable pricing for smaller businesses as well.


    • Supports native, hybrid, and HTML5 apps
    • Native support for iOS and Android
    • Supports HTML5, AngularJS, Backbone.js, Node.js, PhoneGap, Titanium, and a REST API
    • Uses Promises to manage asynchronous JavaScript flows, simplifying the client code
    • Flexible hook-based, back-end business logic and simple JSON key-value data store
    • Provides data links for Oracle, SQL Server,, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM
    • Provides authorization links for LDAP and Active Directory (in business and enterprise plans)
    • Straightforward pricing for independents and smaller businesses
    • Supports iBeacon on iOS


    • Limited external data integration APIs, only for location and social
    • Push support requires external configuration in Google Cloud Messaging or Urban Airship
    • Synchronization of offline data requires care in conflict resolution
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