Parse Server - Fresh Start

With Parse’s epic announcement that they are shutting down their server in a year and that they open sourced the server portion that works with the exisiting iOS SDK’s - I need to figure out how to move an app I’m developing from Parse to Parse Server on Heroku. Here’s the steps I did to get a basic app up and running.


  • Install/Update/Upgrade Homebrew brew update brew upgrade
  • Install Node (if you don’t have it) brew install node
  • Install MongoDB brew install mongodb

Node Server

  • Make a new folder for your server cd MyAwesomeServer
  • Make a new git repo git init
  • Create your main file touch app.js
  • Go through npm’s setup npm init
  • Install Parse Server npm install parse-server --save
  • Open app.js and add this:
var express = require('express');
var ParseServer = require('parse-server').ParseServer;

var app = express();

var api = new ParseServer({
	databaseURI: 'mongodb://localhost:27017/dev',
  	appId: 'myAppId',
  	masterKey: 'mySecretMasterKey',
  	clientKey: 'someKeyForClients',

// Any calls to server address/parse will use Parse Server
app.use('/parse', api)

// Basic response
app.get('/', function(request, response) {
	response.status(200).send('Express Server is running');

var port = process.env.PORT || 9001;
app.listen(port, function() {
	console.log('myawesomeserver running on port: ' + port);
  • Run your new server node app.js
  • Check your server is running by going to localhost:9001
  • Modify package.json and add "start": "node app.js", to the scripts dictionary


  • Create an account on MongoLab
  • Create a new instance: Single-node Sandbox (free)
  • Click on the server and create a database user
  • Modify the databaseURI in app.js with the connection URI listed on the site

iOS App

  • Add/Update Parse Pod currently: pod 'Parse', '~> 1.12.0'
  • In your AppDelegate initial Parse with your server settings:
Parse.initializeWithConfiguration(ParseClientConfiguration(block: { (configuration: ParseMutableClientConfiguration) -> Void in
            configuration.applicationId = "myAppId"
            configuration.clientKey = "someKeyForClients"
            configuration.server = "http://localhost:9001/parse"
  • To test in some viewcontroller’s viewDidAppear add:
let myCar = PFObject(className: "Car")
myCar["color"] = "green"
  • You might get some errors about App Transport Security - its easy to fix Stackoverflow

  • Verify on MongoLab that the data was saved correctly


  • Make a Heroku Account
  • Get Familiar with Heroku: Getting Started or :
  • Install Heroku Toolbelt brew install heroku-toolbelt
  • Login heroku login
  • Commit everything to git if you haven’t yet git add . git commit -m "Some Message"
  • Create your heroku app heroku create myawesomeapp
  • Push your app to heroku git push heroku master
  • Verify its running at the deploy URL returned by Heroku
  • Update server URL in your iOS App - you can remove the App Transport Security stuff since Heroku runs apps on HTTPS
  • Verify on MongoLabs that your test was created


  • Have a drink and relax now that you aren’t reliant on


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