After twenty years of working in the IT sector, Nicolas Gullstrand came to the realization that enormous amounts of time and money were routinely wasted when developing software. Developers were always far removed from customers, with a costly communication ladder going through salespeople, on-site technicians, and project and product managers. Ultimately, Nicolas realized, the cost of all of this was pushed onto the customer – so he decided to do something drastic about it.
“The idea was to reduce the amount of programming required to get started”
“I wanted to make a platform where you can create systems in collaboration with the customer so that the customer can give immediate feedback on your work,” he explains, now the CEO of Oopsie.io, a Backend-as-a-Service offering that recently launched a well-received beta of his vision. “The idea was to reduce the amount of programming required to get started so that customers and developers could work together in real-time when prototyping out a backend.” Together with CTO Andreas Törnström Andersson, formerly with Softhouse, Ericsson and the IST Group, they started building a first prototype of the ambitious project two years ago. The goal was to allow for the simple creation of a distributed backend, complete with users, API keys, and security, with just some quick modeling and the push of a button.
“We wanted to allow our customers to focus on developing the business logic of their applications, and not have an initial skill set in distributed systems,” continues Nicolas.
If your application will handle thousands of API requests per second, you will need more than a single server to handle the workload. Distributed systems are costly to set up, tricky to maintain, and can be difficult to scale up and down based on usage. Oopsie gives you an out-of-the-box but customizable distributed backend, complete with auto-scaling, so that building your first prototype becomes a question of building out the relevant business logic rather than the supporting big data infrastructure. Within minutes of starting, as demonstrated in this demo video, you can have clients connecting and sending data to the backend, to have the data stored in a robust Cassandra implementation and ready for querying.
The initial beta was released in November, and the live version is slated for release later this year. Signing up for the beta is free, so you can try the modeling tools and see for yourself. Should you decide to build your application on Oopsie, the Backend-as-a-Service will simply charge you monthly based on the amount of traffic, computation, and storage that you use. To make it even easier to connect clients to the backend, a suite of SDKs will be released with the live version later this year.
”We believe our most powerful ally will always be developer ambassadors”
Oopsie was almost entirely bootstrapped, having only taken in 6000 dollars from Swedish investment institute Almi Företagspartner, which was spent on a target Facebook marketing campaign for the beta launch. “We wanted to reach out to developers, rather than executives and entrepreneurs because we believe our most powerful ally will always be developer ambassadors that push to use our technology,” says Nicolas, explaining that both companies and individuals signed up for the beta. But building something like Oopsie is not easy. Knowing that the backend would have to handle tens of thousands of API calls per second, have a distributed database handling data on the order of terabytes, and support automatic scaling of the hardware to ensure performance and cost efficiency, Oopsie enlisted Softhouse to help build the beta.
“Softhouse’s Google Cloud competency was instrumental to us, and helped ensure that our backend would be performant and scalable,” explains Nicolas. “I knew that they had previous experience with IOT projects, a market that I think Oopsie is well suited to target, and their expertise on Google Cloud made them a good partner from the get-go. ”The beta version already supports collecting and storing the data, together with some basic APIs for applications to access the data, but the live version will feature more robust streaming and batch analytics, with customizable performance.
Empower businesses to try new ideas faster, at lower cost.
“The reality is that no two customers have the same needs when it comes to analytics. What one application may need analyzed in real-time might be fine as an overnight job for another application, so it is important to us that our customers never have to pay for more hardware than their application actually requires. Ideally, the customer should just allocate a budget or define a desired performance, and the technical work of allocating and scaling hardware will be handled by Oopsie. Making it easier to launch and manage new big data applications, without needing to understand distributed computing and databases, promises to help democratize entrepreneurship and empower businesses to try new ideas faster, at a lower cost. By radically lowering the barrier to entry for other startups, maybe Oopsie has a found a way to solve a real need in a way that helps society move faster.
“We are very passionate about projects like Oopsie,” says Softhouse CEO Bengt Gustavsson, “because they align so well with our company philosophy. We get to work on a challenging project that makes us grow, help our client bring their ideas to life, and have a positive impact on the community. It’s all about applying talent with a purpose.”