Suddenly all this backend stuff is hot. Who would have ever thought that data pipes and the spigots would get so much attention? Salesforce is getting into the game and now so is Rackspace with the launch of its mobile push. Rackspace does not call its new offering backend as a service (BaaS). Instead they call it a "mobile-ready" stack that pre-packages the backend for developer so they do not have to reinvent the wheel every time they start a mobile project. Rackspace CTO John Engates wrote in an email that the company is packaging its expertise and experience to cut deployment time from days to minutes. The goal is to let developers focus on building the frontend of the apps, like user experience, while Rackspace deploys and runs the backend for them. Engates said Rackspace has also built in its own reference architectures that developers can use to optimize the development process. Engates said the first stack is for a LAMP PHP based deployment with MySQL, Varnish acceleration service, memcache and other components that optimize for a mobile backend deployment. All of this brings me back to a conversation online about the meaning of BaaS and the connections to platform as a service (PaaS). Whatever you want to call it, the whole backend is getting abstracted and the big players want in. And that's just fine for the likes of Kinvey, a BaaS provider that has specialized in providing its own service, which serves as a mobile SDK so developers can connect to systems of record and pull that data into their apps. CEO Sravish Sridar seized the moment this morning and added Salesforce to its "map," so to speak. Make no mistake, despite the conspicuous absence of arguably the hottest buzzword in cloud service, BaaS is exactly the category Salesforce just entered – and for that reason, we’ve added them to our category-defining “Subway Map” graphic. The map has 29 vendors. Sridar writes that one analyst says there are as many as 47 vendors in the space. And here's why. Sridar accurately and insightfully draws the correlation that the CIO sees mobile as the way to transition workloads to the cloud. That really sums it up. Mobile is the path to the cloud and companies like Rackspace and Salesforce want to automate as much as they can for developers, the ones who are building out the app-centric enterprise.