industries

Saas &
Micro-Saas

Marketplaces &
Network-Centric Applications

Get Started
industries

Saas &
Micro-Saas

Marketplaces &
Network-Centric Applications

Get Started

What is GraphQL?

GraphQL is a strategic tool of choice for businesses and a frontend developer’s best friend.

GraphQL

API-BASED DATA QUERY AND MANIPULATION LANGUAGE OPEN SOURCED BY FACEBOOK IN 2015

GraphQL is a new architectural element that eliminates the need for frontend teams to repeatedly ask backend teams for new endpoints or changes to exisitng endpoints.

Benefits of GraphQL

A powerful, API-based query language

  • Created by Facebook, implemented in their mobile app in 2012 and open-sourced in 2015. It is rapidly becoming the standard for API-based data access.

  • Typical REST APIs require loading from multiple URLs, GraphQL APIs get all the data your app needs in a single request. Apps using GraphQL can be quick even on slow cellular connections.

 What is GraphQL API

It puts the power of data access into the hands of front-end developers

  • GraphQL allows front-end developers to query and mutate the data without having to make requests for custom endpoints to back-end developers.

Programmer meditating with laptop
Triangles backdrop
Triangles backdrop
GraphQL code window

GraphQL is fully typed (self-described)

  • GraphQL APIs are organized in terms of the data they provision, not endpoints. Developers can access the full capabilities of their data from a single endpoint. GraphQL uses types to ensure apps only ask for what’s possible and provide clear and helpful errors.

REST is history
Triangles backdrop

REST no longer gets it done for modern applications

  • GraphQL’s dynamic query capabilities virtually eliminates an entire class of software development dedicated to parsing RESTful APIs to meet custom application development needs.

  • REST forces incessant coordination of efforts between front-end (client) & back-end (services) teams, which dramatically slows development & increases the stress level of all involved. GraphQL changes the game for both front-end & back-end teams.

Leading organizations are using GraphQL

The GraphQL Engine

Leverage our powerful GraphQL engine to allow your developers to
move faster without dependencies on backend teams.

LEarn more
graphql logo with code

Frequently Asked Questions

In a nutshell, what is 8base?

8base is a managed Backend-as-a-Service "platform" for building professional-grade web and mobile applications.

And, a team of highly talented designers, product architects, and developers to help customers develop amazing digital products on the 8base Platform.

What is 8base Labs?

8base Labs is what we call our Design and Development Team that helps our clients execute on their custom software development projects using the 8base Platform.

How is 8base different from typical outsourced custom software development shops?

We help businesses build their digital products quickly, meticulously and architecturally sound from the first line of code. For startups or scale-ups, this means a product that is loved by customers, backable by professional investors and capable of web-scaling when the time comes. For established companies, we help bring agile design-thinking and lots of action in order to assist mid-sized to large-companies innovate and iterate at startup speed.

Our team of highly experienced designers, architects and engineers possess deep experience not only in building great digital products, but in operating them. We operate the 8base Platform and operate our customers' applications, not to mention all of the work we did in SaaS businesses prior to 8base. In short, we know what it's like to operate a software-driven business and that shines through in every deliverable and each touch point we have with you.

You might ask, well isn't 8base an agency, of sorts, also? The answer is no. We help customers develop using our product, the 8base Platform. If we help you build things that don't work or don't scale, then there is very little in it for us. The way we win is when your company and product work and you consume a lot of our platform because you are growing like crazy! This alignment of incentives creates a mutual win-win.

What are the different types of software?

There are many different types of software and they generally fall into the following 4 categories:

  • Application Software - End-user software for performing a multitude of functions.
  • System Software - Operating systems and other core elements of how a computer works.
  • Programming Software - Things like development tools and compilers for programming languages.
  • Driver Software - Used to power different devices that may be connected to a computer.

Using 8base, you can build many different types of application software. Examples include:

  • Multi-tenant Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications. These generally power subscription services for businesses.
  • Marketplaces that connect buyers and sellers of physical or digital assets.
  • Social networks that connect users and groups around certain interests.
  • Portals that are used to provide stakeholders self-service access to a company's business processes and/or data.
  • Customer experience applications intended to immerse a user in a specialized and typically highly customized experience.
  • Field service applications.
  • Educational applications.
  • Internal applications that enable business processes. These include ERP, HCM, CRM, MRP and others. Also include departmental applications.
  • Office tools such as Microsoft Excel, Word and Powerpoint.
  • Consumer applications such as Whatsapp, WeChat, Instagram, Uber, Airbnb or other.
  • The administrative aspects of virtual, augmented and mixed reality applications.
  • The backend of digital games.
  • API-only applications.
  • Jamstack applications such as static-site generators.
  • Developer tools (for instance, many of 8base's capabilities are actually built using the 8base Platform).
  • Many more.

What do people make with 8base?

8base was made to support the needs of professional-grade applications. To us, this means applications that are for business or are the business, as is the case with a startup or scale-up's digital product. Professional-grade applications typically support multiple personas (roles). These applications are also typically data-intensive and workflow-intensive while supporting web and mobile clients.

Common types of applications include:

  • Multi-tenant Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications.
  • Marketplaces, social networks and other network-centric applications.
  • Portals and customer experience applications.
  • Internal applications where off-the-shelf SaaS products either do not address the need well or are too expensive to be used.
  • Administrative parts of virtual / augmented reality applications.
  • Games.
  • API-only applications.
  • Jamstack applications such as static-site generators.

What kind of people get the most out of 8base?

From individual developers right up to large teams in enterprise environments. But the majority of our users meet some, if not all, of the following criteria:

- Want to use a modern front-end framework (web or mobile).

- Don’t want to maintain backend infrastructure.

- Prefer to iterate and release projects quickly.

- Prefer to build things correctly and for scale from inception.

And, let's not forget entrepreneurs, business executives, and product managers who may be the biggest beneficiaries of 8base projects because they are done quickly, with compact teams, and built to scale the first time around.

What considerations should I have for tackling my Minimum Viable Product (MVP) effort?

A minimum viable product (MVP) is a concept from Lean Startup, by Eric Ries, that stresses the impact of learning in new product development. In the book, he defined an MVP as that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least amount of effort. Depending upon the type of product you are bringing to market, the scope of your MVP will vary. For instance, the minimum capabilities of a consumer-facing digital food recipe marketplace might differ greatly from those of an electronic prescribing system for physicians. In the latter case, be fully the system needs to fully functional, integrated with the pharmacy network, and even certified before it is useful to the first customer.

It is our belief that creators of products should formulate a hypothesis of the capabilities required in their products to experiment with early users while searching to find product-market fit; and, that market feedback be the mechanism for prioritizing new features.

It is our strong recommendation that creators make every attempt to minimize features while not minimizing the foundational and architectural capabilities of their products. In this manner, feature development is incremental and avoids risky rewrite phases, that often kill ventures. Unfortunately, it is more common than not for ventures to slow down, disappoint customers and investors, stop onboarding customers and even fail as flimsy products begin to fail under load or complex requirements, and then require total rewrites.

The 8base Platform was born so that creators could build incrementally from inception to MVP and then to hypergrowth without ever requiring a rewrite of their application.

How does 8base charge For design and development projects?

Our interests are aligned with yours — we want you up and running quickly on the 8base Platform and successfully executing on and growing your business.

To this end, 8base typically works on projects on a fixed time / fixed price basis. We go the extra mile up-front to ensure there is a very good understanding of needs to be built before committing; however, we also understand that clients don't always know everything they need/want when they start. Our unique approach allows you to change your mind along the way, within reason, and still operate under a predefined budget. 

We sometimes carve out certain aspects of the project, such as integrations with legacy systems, on a time-and-materials basis, due to the uncertainty of time and effort required.

After the initial project is over the 8base Design and Development Team can either transition the project to you or remain involved on either a fixed-price, per-sprint or per-hour basis.


Once my initial project is completed, how do I handle ongoing development?

The 8base Team engages each new client engagement as if we are going to turn the project over to a full-time team employed by our client.

When a client chooses to assume responsibility for the ongoing development and maintenance of the application(s), the 8base Team transfers responsibility for all code repositories, test scripts, software-development-lifecycle systems and others to the client and remains available for support on a time-and-materials basis.

If the client chooses to have 8base continue to take the lead, then we have options for remaining engaged that range from additional fixed-price phases of work to hourly rates.

Does 8base offer financing options for design and development services?

8base enjoys incredibly close relationships with clients because we not only help with design and development, but become their ongoing platform solution. Because of this, we sometimes help clients financially by spreading the costs of our services over a longer period of time and without charging any interest. The decision to finance a project is made on a case-by-case basis and approved by 8base's CFO.

What happens if I need to migrate my software off of the 8base Platform

Our philosophy has always been one of employing standards in our platform, wherever possible. Here are some specific topics to consider:

  • 8base runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world's market share leader in cloud computing.
  • Your data is stored in a MySQL database, a widely-used open source database technology which can be ported to a different cloud provider outside of 8base and AWS.
  • Your backend code is written in JavaScript and/or TypeScript, which is a language that 70% of professional developers understand and can run on any cloud.
  • We use GraphQL as out API language, which is an open source standard maintained by the GraphQL Foundation as part of the Linux Foundation.
  • Your web front-end and/or mobile app is typically written using an open source framework such as React, Vue.js, Angular, Swift, Android, Gatsby, Gridsome or other. Your front-end app is completely portable.

There are some elements of your software that might require modifications to run outside of 8base such as switching to another GraphQL API provider, writing your own role-based-security and other things.

When using the 8base Platform and Custom Software Development Services, do I retain ownership of my intellectual property?

8base Platform accelerates software development and maintainability by providing a significant set of capabilities that make up important parts of a client's applications. All code developed for customers during our engagements with them or client-code that runs on the 8base Platform, and any data that is stored on 8base, remains the property of the client.

What are software development services?

There's no denying that the process of building software is complex and difficult for any organization to master. This is why companies turn to specialized service providers that know the ins and outs of the process to assist them.

At 8base, we challenge the status quo of build-from-scratch software development which is why we invested millions into the development of the 8base Platform. Our unique approach leverages a platform-first approach whereby we work to utilize as much of the 8base Platform as possible to satisfy the client's needs and then code to deliver the entirety of the client's vision for their digital product.

To augment the capabilities of our platform and assist our clients in the development of amazing digital products, we also provide a number of custom software development services including:

  • UI/UX Design - We assist with the design and development of your user interfaces. To this end, we can become involved in user research in addition to facilitating visioning workshops.
  • Architecture - We can take the lead on incorporating modern architectural principals into your application design.
  • Web application development - We provide coding services for applications that operate in a web environment.
  • Mobile application development - We provide coding services for development of mobile applications for iOS and Android.
  • Testing and Quality Assurance - We provide services to test and Q/A the software we build on your behalf. This includes development of test scripts for element that we code.
  • Deployment and Maintenance - We provide services to assist with the deployment of your web and mobile applications and their ongoing maintenance.
  • Project Management - We assume responsibility for the software development lifecycle.
  • Integrations - 8base can assist you with development of interfaces between your systems.

These services can be provided for purposes of:

  • New product development
  • Modernization of legacy systems.
  • Application re-platforming.

What are the steps in the software development process?

There are a number of major steps involved in software development. These generally include:

  • Analysis and Requirement Gathering.
  • Product Architecture and Design.
  • Coding and Test Development.
  • Testing.
  • Deployment.
  • Maintenance and Operations.

Ready to try 8base?

We're excited about helping you achieve amazing results.