What is Parse?
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3h 18m

In this course, we're going to build a Foursquare Clone using Parse. Parse provides you with a great tool to work in cloud servers and you will learn the advantages and disadvantages that come with it.

Intended Audience

This course is designed for anyone who wants to:

  • Learn about iOS development and coding
  • Move into a career as an iOS developer
  • Master Swift skills


To get the most out of this course, you should have some basic knowledge of iOS.


Hi, within this lecture, we're going to understand what is Parse and why do we need it and why do we want to use it when we have Firebase, okay? So, we're going to see what is Parse and what are the main differences between Parse and Firebase. So, in order to do that, before we create a project, I'm going to go over my Safari or another browser. Obviously, I'm going to search for Parse. So, the first result that we're going to get is So, this is the official website of the Parse. So, Parse provides us a great tool to work in cloud servers and connect our server with our project with its backend services. So, it's kind of Firebase but this is completely open source. So, Firebase is run by Google at this time. And Firebase is actually maintained in the Firebase-Google servers. But in Parse, we don't get any ready server so we can get the Parse and deploy it in any server that we want. So, this is the main difference between Firebase and Parse. In fact, Parse was owned by Facebook in previous years and Parse had its own servers like we get to go to and create an account and just create a server and just start to work within the server. But now this is all open source and we get to get the Parse codes in the server side and we get to deploy it anywhere we want. And in here if you come below a little bit you will see that this works on other platforms like we have seen in the Firebase as well. So, it works on iOS, Android, JavaScript, Unity, PHP and the other platforms as well. Of course, we're going to focus on iOS but if you're thinking about releasing a multiplatform app as well, then this will do the job for you, as we did in the Firebase. So, some of these students, some of the users actually find Firebase a little bit more complicated when it comes to simplicity. So, they can choose Parse over Firebase in order to have more easy to use system, more easy to use SDKs. But this has also some disadvantages as well. So, in Firebase we do real life queries much better than in Parse. So, my suggestion is that you just watch the Firebase section and you just watch the Parse section and then you can decide what to use on your own. But if you need something like real-time data, if you're building something like a chat app, if you need a data from the server in less than one second my suggestion is to go with Firebase. And if you don't need that, you can always try Firebase and Parse and decide on your own, okay? And you're going to see this is actually very easy to use and this is actually very easy to operate and we're going to build a Foursquare Clone, for example, in this section, so that we won't need anything in less than one second. So, we can safely use Parse in that case. So, if you click over the iOS then you will get to see the GitHub of the Parse SDK for iOS and you will see the documentation to install this Parse, Parse SDKs into your XCode project. But as I said before, this is not enough, we have to find a server to run our Parse server on. So, there are a couple of ways to do that. Before, previously, we have actually told how to use this in Amazon servers, in AWS. But now I suggest you go to this and use that Parse server over here because it's much more better than when we compare this to the AWS. Two years ago, we didn't have this. Okay, we had to work with AWS or any other server, but now we have this and it's much better. But in any case, I'm going to show you the AWS website as well. If you want to go and deploy your own server, you may do that in Amazon. But right now in this section, I'm going to build my Parse server using  Back4App, and you will see this is very user friendly, very easy to use, and very easy to actually create an account with free trials of course. If you can just start for free and this has its own limitations. You can come over here and look pricing as well, like in Firebase, when you actually exceed a certain quota or certain amount of users, you may have to create a premium account as well. So, I cannot seem to open AWS for some reason. So, let me Google it from here. Maybe then we will see it. It's actually, yes, this one. So, this is Amazon Web Services and they provide cloud computing services in which you can find ready to deploy Parse servers as well. But as I said before, we're not going to do that in this section because it's not practical and it's not as good as  Back4App, because  Back4App actually improved the Parse server by their own improvements, by their own development. So, we get to see some cool features like admin app and push notifications and other stuff as well. So, we're going to use this documentation to bring Parse SDKs into our XCode project, and we're going to use  Back4App documentations in order to connect our server with our XCode project, okay? So, we have a lot to do in this section, I believe now we are ready to stop here. And within the next lecture, we're going to create our XCode project and bring the Parse SDKs in.


About the Author
Learning Paths

Atil is an instructor at Bogazici University, where he graduated back in 2010. He is also co-founder of Academy Club, which provides training, and Pera Games, which operates in the mobile gaming industry.

Covered Topics