Firebase-Overview, Merits & Demerits

firebase overview merits demerits

Nowadays, it seems like we need an app for everything. Almost everything, that is. There isn’t an app that I’ve found to help me clean my car. I experience that occasionally, and it is really annoying. However, someone from a website design company in Bangalore could create it!

If you’re the enterprising sort who creates a mobile application to meet the urgent requirements of humanity, you should be aware of Firebase. Google’s platform for developing mobile applications, called Firebase, may help you create, enhance, and expand your app.

What is Firebase?

Developers may create iOS, Android, and Web apps using Firebase, an app development platform sponsored by Google. Firebase offers tools for tracking metrics, documenting and fixing app issues, as well as creating marketing and product trials.

The services provided by Firebase are:

  • Google Analytics for Firebase provides free, limitless reporting on up to 500 different events. Analytics provides user activity data for iOS and Android apps, enabling better performance and app marketing decisions.
  • The sign-in and onboarding experiences for users are improved by Firebase Authentication, which makes it simple for developers to create secure authentication systems. With support for email and password accounts, phone auth, Google, Facebook, GitHub, Twitter login, and more, this feature provides a comprehensive identity solution.
  • Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) is a free, cross-platform messaging application that enables businesses to transmit and receive messages on iOS, Android, and the web with reliability.
  • Data may be stored and synced in real-time across users thanks to the Firebase Realtime Database, a NoSQL database hosted in the cloud. When an app is offline, the data is still accessible because it is continuously synced across all clients.
  • Firebase Crashlytics is a real-time crash reporter that aids programmers in identifying, prioritising, and resolving stability problems that degrade the performance of their apps. With crashlytics, developers can focus more on creating features for their apps rather than managing and troubleshooting crashes.
  • The Firebase Performance Monitoring tool offers developers insight into the iOS and Android performance characteristics of their apps, enabling them to pinpoint where and when their apps’ performance may be enhanced.
  • A cloud-based app testing infrastructure is called Test Lab. Developers may test their iOS or Android apps on a multitude of hardware combinations with a single process. In the Firebase console, they may view the outcomes, including videos, screenshots, and logs.
How it differs from Traditional App Development?

Unlike traditional app development, which often includes building both frontend and backend software, this is different. The backend code performs the job; the frontend code merely calls the backend’s API endpoints. With Firebase products, the conventional backend is omitted, leaving the onus of labour squarely on the client. The Firebase console offers access to each of these products on an administrative level.

You might be hearing this and believing that your position as a “backend engineer” is being eliminated if you identify as one! OMG, I have to learn frontend development now that backends are over! This isn’t exactly the case, as there are some tasks that, for a number of reasons, should always be handled on the backend. When it makes sense for the app you work on, Firebase gives a method to undertake some backend development. Therefore, you need not worry; your employment is secure.

Some people may refer to Firebase as a “platform as a service” or a “backend as a service” because of the way its products operate. I’ve never really felt at ease squeezing Firebase into one of these boxes completely. It’s Firebase, friends.

What kind of apps does Firebase work well with?

The range of apps that can benefit from Firebase’s offerings is virtually endless. The platforms it can be used on are only constrained. The Firebase SDKs are primarily focused on iOS and Android, with growing support for web, Flutter, Unity, and C++. Additionally, you should be aware that any backend components you may need can be used using the Admin SDK, which is available in a number of languages.

A library called FirebaseUI (Android, iOS, and web) is available in addition to those SDKs and offers a number of beneficial utilities to make developing with Firebase even simpler. Additionally, there are projects that cover the web SDKs for use with Angular, such AngularFire. These are free to use. Open source is favoured by Firebase.

Merits of Firebase

In some circumstances, sticking with large corporations is a good idea because they are less likely to declare financial ruin and abandon you with nothing. True in part, but even giants fail. Facebook’s BaaS platform, Parse, was shut down in 2017, forcing users to look for a successor. While this isn’t the case with Firebase (at least not yet), let’s ignore Google’s brand and focus on the platform’s technical merits.

Database Capabilities

Google proposes some rather robust databases to utilise with your apps, though ultimately it will depend on your budget. Realtime and Firestore can both be grown in terms of size, offering an entirely managed solution that still gives you simple access to your data via the Firebase UI while being completely safe. Databases can be used for real-time applications and for maintaining synchronisation between several DBs thanks to data updates and offline access.

Wide number of services

Many items are recommended by Firebase to help your application function. Realtime Database and Firestore are the two databases you may select from. Website Development Company in Bangalore can also store media in the cloud and create serverless applications with the help of integrated Cloud Functions.

Free start

For the majority of its services when you first start using Firebase, there will be no fees associated with them. This will enable you to comprehend all the intricacies and determine whether it fits your application. You can always pick between the plans if your database memory reaches a certain level or if you require a particular service. As is customary for cloud services, the pricing page includes a price calculator that may be adjusted based on a variety of factors.

Concise documentation

The entire platform is meticulously documented. Good technical documentation, API documentation, SDK references, and all of those things together make any product more user-friendly and accessible. When you explore the Firebase product website, you’ll see that it has all the necessary details about integrations, platforms that are available, guidelines, and lists of supported technologies. Additionally, you may look at the Firebase YouTube channel, which appears to be rather active in terms of posting fresh videos and news.

Accessible UI and ease of integration

Most of the time, Firebase only requires a basic understanding of programming languages and offers integration suggestions through its user interface. Although some could argue that this limits versatility, on the other hand, it does away with the need for intricate settings, making it possible for almost anyone to set up the application.

Static hosting capabilities

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is included with Firebase hosting as part of the Google Cloud platform. A CDN is essentially a network of dispersed servers that ensures quick content delivery worldwide. Using Firebase’s static hosting makes it simple to create web applications or one-pagers.

Firebase, of course, has its flaws, just like any technology (or group of technologies).

Demerits of Firebase
Firebase Realtime Database limitations

Realtime Database will be your primary storage for the most part, although this has drawbacks. Its constrained querying abilities are one of its key issues. Since the entire DB is a big JSON file, real-time databases don’t offer any filtering features, which makes it challenging to create complicated queries.

Concerning Firebase Realtime DB and its data modelling, there is another more thing to take into account. Because of the “database as a single file” structure, relations between data items cannot be implemented.

To be fair, though, neither argument holds water when discussing Firestore DB because of its emphasis on more intricate data structures and more sophisticated querying. Thus, you might prefer to make the transfer.

Vendor lock-in

There is no connection between the vendor lock-in issue and Firebase as a platform. Generally speaking, that is the issue with adopting BaaS systems. But since Firebase doesn’t offer any methods for transferring your data to another platform, that can be seen as a drawback.

Less assistance for iOS apps

Despite all the buzz about how cross-platform it is, Firebase still seems to focus more on the Android mobile platform (of course). Test Lab provides a variety of Android devices for testing and is simple to integrate with Android studio. Regarding iOS, the Test Lab team only recently announced the launch of closed beta support for iOS devices; this included a minimal UI and several test devices accessible.

You can decide if Firebase is a suitable fit for your application by looking at its features. The decision to choose a vendor is always made with technology at 50% of the equation and reputation and trust at 50%. So, if Firebase seems to have nothing to offer for your specific project, you might check out the other suppliers.

In the end, there are many elements that may be investigated and altered thanks to all the merchants’ customization possibilities. The major benefit of Firebase is that its integration capabilities may be a deciding factor if you primarily rely on Google services and use its Cloud Platform.


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