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Developers fume as Facebook shuts mobile dev platform Parse

Facebook is closing down Parse, its mobile development platform, just three years after acquiring it for $85 million. The shutdown comes as something of a surprise as it is not long since Facebook was talking about using Parse to make giant steps into the Internet of Things.

But it seems that Facebook's IoT future is going to be one that is Parse-free. The shutdown will take place over the course of the next year, but starts with immediate effect. As of right now Parse is in wind-down mode, and will be fully shuttered by 28 January, 2017. Believed to power tens of thousands of mobile apps, the killing of Parse will see Facebook diverting funds to other ventures.

While developers will not be happy with the sudden announcement, they are not being left completely high and dry. The Parse API will continue to function for the time being, and the company is making available its database migration tool to help devs move Parse app data to a MongoDB database. There's also a full migration guide available that details how to use the open source Parse Server to run most of the Parse API from a custom Node.js server.

Announcing the gradual shutdown in a blog post, Parse co-founder Kevin Lacker says:

"We have a difficult announcement to make. Beginning today we're winding down the Parse service, and Parse will be fully retired after a year-long period ending on January 28, 2017. We're proud that we’ve been able to help so many of you build great mobile apps, but we need to focus our resources elsewhere.

While it's fair to say that there are alternatives to Parse out there, developers have voiced their anger at the closure. With Amazon, Google and Microsoft all offering their own mobile app development services, it remains to be seen whether Facebook has shot itself in the foot with this closure.

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