Apps and data for free
Some nice offerings in the list today. Definitely a boon for anyone who wants to tinker, but also some options to scale into something more. I hope everyone is well, and it would be great to hear back from people if they have any success using any of these tools.
The cloud for makers and dreamers. Build & deploy your ideas on the universe’s most developer friendly cloud platform for free. So this is kind of a big item for this newsletter because Deta doesn’t have a free tier, they are just free. Best described as a Platform-as-a-Service, Deta provides free app hosting, free NoSQL database and free file storage. All accessed through a very simple API. Honestly, I’m still a bit uncertain about their plans to make money. It looks like they may offer a service to allow you to accept payments from your app users and take a cut of that. In any case, definitely take a look at this, even if you just need a free database.
Announcing free Postgres storage on Fly.io. This link is to a blog article with the announcement of free Postgres databases on another PaaS. I did a roundup of free relational databases last year, and there aren’t a lot of compelling options. So seeing another player in this space was compelling. Fly.io’s offering is a bit more low level, in that they provide compute and networking resources, but they allow you do manage things at an app level, so it walks the line between platform and infrastructure.
Croquet uses edge-network technology to deliver the fastest and most seamless multiuser experience on the web. So this one is interesting to me as I’ve built things with my own version of this concept in the past. Essentially, they have WebSocket endpoints that you connect to and they just generically distribute your messages to all of the connected clients. No app-specific server side logic. You handle that on each client. Well, they handle it, with a library that they use to synchronize and probably deal with connection management, leader election and other distributed concerns. However it works, with 5,000 sessions and 1 billion messages (yes, billion with a ‘B’) per month, their free tier is worth checking out.