Xano Backend: Your Key to Rapid App Development

Christopher Pinski
March 8, 2024
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Xano Backend: Your Key to Rapid App Development

For a robust no-code backend solution, Xano is an impressive option. So let's learn more about backend development and how Xano fits in. We'll explore the benefits and pitfalls of Xano backend compared to other popular services, and learn how it can integrate with other tools using native integration, API, or other means.

What Is Backend Development?

Apps require the support of 3 components:

Frontend: The user interface. You want to keep this light for the best user experience, so leave the heavy lifting and processing power to other layers.

Database & File Storage: Data and file storage and management. Typically, your files will be stored separately from your raw app data. The database allows users and APIs to retrieve and utilize data, including user information.

Backend: What happens on the server — the processing power and data manipulation hub. Construct APIs, build your database, and create logic here to input and retrieve data. This improves front-end agility.

Top Benefits and Drawbacks of Xano Backend

What are the pros and cons of Xano?

Benefit: Faster Time to Market Thanks to No-Code API Builder

Traditional code relies on large teams of developers and other dedicated resources, extensive development time, and enormous servers.

That's why code-free platforms are often the fastest way to launch. Xano's no-code API builder is no exception.

It offers the support of a fully managed service so you won't wrestle with these issues. And when you need to scale, just upgrade your plan.

Black athlete crouches at starting line on a red track, holding a relay baton
Rapid app development is a race to the finish — get a head-start with Xano’s no-code backend.

Benefit: Ability to Scale and Meet High Demands

Xano pricing is easy to understand and offers extremely scalable backend solutions.

Building your app is free. When it's ready, you can choose their basic plan, a more scalable offer, or the most customizable Enterprise solution.

With Enterprise, you can install Xano in any cloud with flexible hosting options, ample customization, and other powerful features. And while Xano isn't technically a NoSQL solution, it's built for managing big data needs. It runs on PostgreSQL, a powerful open-source database.

Benefit: Extensive Integrations and Plugins

The beauty of using Xano is that it's front-end agnostic.

This complete back-end solution allows users to create REST APIs (the common language between backend and frontend, also known as RESTful API) and connect API endpoints for nearly any tool.

And compared to other no-code tools, Xano Connect has great documentation to integrate with other systems. Whether there's a built-in integration or not, you can easily connect Xano with other tools.

  • Bubble
  • WeWeb
  • FlutterFlow
  • Toddle
  • Wized
  • Webflow
Rendered screenshot of Webflow homepage in a browser window in front of a blue and red gradient background
Webflow is one of many popular platforms that integrate smoothly with Xano.

Benefit: Industry-Leading Security & Compliance Certifications

Xano takes compliance seriously. Along with PCI Compliance, Penetration Testing, and ISO 9001 compliance, Xano is proven compliant with these protocols:

  • HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
  • GDPR (Europe's General Data Protection Regulation)
  • SOC 2 (Service Organization Control Type 2, developed by The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants [AICPA])
  • ISO 27001 (An international standard for information security management systems)

Benefit: Consistently Improving Platform

Xano is at the forefront of the software development industry. They release updates weekly, keep a transparent roadmap of upcoming features, and rely on customer input to enhance quality and create new features. Check out their robust, user-friendly Feature Requests board.

Benefit: Cutting-Edge No-Code Features Open Up Citizen Developer Possibilities

Since Xano is a no-code backend builder, it's designed for citizen developers (non-developers who create apps with no- and low-code technology) to take control of designing and refining apps for their business, with or without API.

Xano's no-code API builder
No-code technology simplifies the app-building experience, letting citizen developers shine.

Drawback: Potential Limitations

As with any no-code solution, your customization options are limited. What you see is what you get.

Drawback: Platform Lock-In

Once you commit to Xano, you can't easily migrate to another platform. Thanks to API options, you can use your data model as your documentation layer, but migration won't be simple or clean.

Drawback: Another Learning Curve Required

As with most tools, Xano has its own learning curve with logic and quirks. You'll need to play around to learn how best to use it effectively.

Traditional Development Features Without Code

You won't sacrifice traditional features when using Xano — it's a complete backend solution.

Branching and Merging Similar to Git

If your app's code is a tree trunk, each update you make is a branch.

When implementing changes, you must connect (merge) that branch to the core trunk.

Git is the industry standard for branching and merging — and Xano does this well. But while Git is built for a seasoned developer writing code, Xano allows advanced branching and merging with no-code capabilities.

Xano branching and merging interface
Xano has excellent branching and merging technology.

Extensive and Flexible Database Indexing to Supercharge Performance

Indexing is the database management technology for speeding up inquiries across records.

However, indexes require additional storage space, which requires additional resources — so you may need to scale up.

For example, when searching for sales on a given date, the date field is your index. But to filter for a particular employee's sales on that date, you also need an index on the employee’s ID. 

With Xano, you can create indexes on individual or multiple fields at once. This streamlines your database resources to transform, filter, and integrate data easily.

Multiple Data Environments Making Testing a Breeze

Customers rely on your app for data access and security. It's risky for developers to test new project updates on your live environment.

Thankfully, Xano offers multiple data environments to thoroughly test updates before launching.

Auto-Documentation Simplifying Internal and External Integrations

Swagger pages let you view your app's data and API endpoints while automatically documenting your custom API. Track data sources, flow, required fields, etc.

This free feature lets developers view your API documentation and easily integrate with your app.

Xano vs Competitors

How does Xano stack up against the competition?

Xano vs Airtable

Airtable is a relational database that's more user-friendly than Xano. However, each Airtable tier has limited records, so data-heavy services will quickly age out.

Xano database includes backend without restrictive record limits.

Xano vs Supabase

Supabase is an open-source backend and database option. The biggest difference is that Supa is built for programming languages and low-code backend developers.

Supa also doesn't offer branching and merging or an API builder and lacks strong compliance.

Xano vs Backendless

Backendless has a front-end builder, so it's like Bubble: a catch-all tool.

Plus, they aren’t ISO-27001 compliant, and none of their plans directly include HIPAA — it’s only available as an add-on. (HIPAA is included with Xano Enterprise, or available as an upgrade on their Scale plan).

Xano vs Firebase

While Firebase is popular for mobile apps, it stops there. Xano's intuitive offering lets you create a web app, mobile app, no-code database, API, and more.

Xano Backend Use Cases

For powerful backend solutions that scale, this is your platform.

Popular E-Commerce Stores Needing a Scalable Server to Handle Seasonal Demand Spikes

Without a managed service, seasonal scaling is time-consuming and costly. Xano lets you scale up and down as needed — and they support the heavy lifting.

SaaS Platforms Servicing an Ever-Increasing User Base

Record limits will quickly hold you back in this scenario, but Xano's scalable database storage is built for this challenge.

Healthcare Applications Handling Large Amounts of Sensitive Data

Other platforms aren't HIPAA-compliant, or cost thousands of dollars annually for this feature. With Xano, HIPAA is included at the Enterprise level or available as an upgrade with smaller packages — and scaling is easy.

Light-skinned female doctor in white lab coat with stethoscope around her neck holds a mobile phone
Customer data privacy is particularly important in healthcare settings, so HIPAA compliance is non-negotiable.

Xano Backend FAQs

Is Xano a database?

Xano includes a database as well as a server component. Developers and citizen developers can create API and background processes. It's a true backend development tool to transform, filter, and integrate your data from anywhere.

What is the difference between Airtable and Xano?

Airtable is a relational database with an intuitive, attractive UI. It's easy to use and lets you view, interact with, and modify data within your database.

Xano has backend, database, and server functions, but it's not as flashy — there's no emphasis on UI.

Why use Xano with Bubble?

Bubble is also a front-end platform. That's a sign that it isn't fully focused on the details of a solid backend.

If you run into a performance or scaling issue in Bubble that requires more control, but you want to stay codeless, Xano is a great partner.

What is the difference between Supabase and Xano?

Simply put, Supabase is coded while Xano isn't, adding complexity.

That said, Supabase is an open-source platform, so you won't have the same issues with platform lock-in on Supabase compared to Xano.

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