What is Firebase?Firebase is a “backend as a Service (BaaS)”, meaning there is no server infrastructure needed. This shortens development time and removes a layer of complexity for developers. The best thing about BaaS, though, is that it frees developers from the tedium of building out a backend. Instead, they can direct all of their focus to creating dynamic, user-oriented apps.
Firebase has a Huge Feature SetOne of the Firebase’s biggest draws is its robust, well-tested feature set. It has tools for nearly everything a developer could need. Some, like Google analytics, are built in free. Other can be incorporated as needed, such as:
- Push notifications
- Real-time messaging
- Cloud storage
- Performance monitoring
NoSQLSQL databases are geared towards highly structured data. For less organized data like comments, photos, and reviews the flexibility of a NoSQL database is better. Firebase handles large datasets and bi-directional references easily. That makes it a good choice for Big Data operations for which the object-oriented approach doesn’t work as well.
Firebase is EconomicalPrice is one of the most pressing priorities during development. Firebase lowers the initial investment by using a subscription service model. The beginning tiers of Firebase are cheap or even free initially. Companies can publish their app and start working towards OIR much faster than when the backend has to be built from scratch. There’s also the fact mentioned earlier, that developers can buy only what is needed at the time. That goes for both features and cloud storage. By the time more storage is necessary, the app should be on its way to earning back its development costs
Firebase is Enterprise-OrientedAll of these qualities contribute to Firebase’s most compelling benefit: its focus on enterprise. The platform is optimized for the kind of real-time and streaming apps that help a company stand out among its competitors. It’s startup friendly, enabling growing companies to build cross-platform apps fast and economically. Apps start small, with just a little cloud storage, and scale as their usage grows. Plus, Firebase offers easy social authentication integration. Allowing customers to log in with their social media solves several pressing business problems. Visitors stay on the site longer, share posts more often, and are shown targeted ads that improve their user experience.
Firebase LimitationsSome developers are understandably wary of platform dependency. While it’s true that Firebase has more tools for migrating than it did at launch, it’s still reliant on Google. The Parse shutdown is still fresh in the industry’s memory, so this is a risk some prefer to avoid altogether. Configuring the database and security settings are on the complex side. It takes a Firebase expert to set it up without accidentally making sensitive sections public. There are the querying limitations common to NoSQL to think about, too. Long-term cost is another consideration. At lower levels it’s inexpensive, but at scale it can get pricey.
Final ThoughtsFirebase is a dynamic platform with a lot of potential. No tool is perfect for every situation, but where Firebase fits it serves as a welcome shortcut for companies trying to work through their development priorities.
Could Firebase be the platform you’re looking for? Schedule a free consultation with one of Concepta’s developers to discuss your new project and whether Firebase is the right fit.