In this post, we will talk about why you should use Firebase as your backend.
Let me start off by describing what Firebase is? Firebase is a Free* backend as a service by Google. What does that mean? Let’s say that you have an app, be it a web app or a mobile app. Your app has a front end that the user interacts with and a backend which handles how your app works.
What Exactly is a backend?
Typically, a backend has a server, some application running on that server and a database. If you are creating an app and want to have a backend with it, then you will need to configure all of the backend components yourself. This can be a lot difficult if you are a freelancer or a small team of developers. The backend not only has to work with your app, but needs to scale as you app grows. And not to mention all the crashes and bugs that you will have to figure out. Also, if you are storing any data on your backend, you usually would, become a target for hackers, now you have to figure out the security for your app.
Where does Firebase come in?
All of the backend maintenance and setup can distract you from your main goal which is to create and run your app and generating revenue from it. You already have your plate full with the frontend needs of your app. This is where Firebase comes in, Firebase takes care of all your backend needs without you having to set up a single thing on the backend. You just have to use Firebase as a service, hence the term backend as a service.
I have been using Firebase for a few years now and have seen it grow and develop into the only backend that I need. Previously, I was using PHP with MySql (I am old fashioned that way), I needed to tweak that code every now and then. After a year of running all apps of mine and my clients on Firebase, I can safely say that Firebase is my go-to tool for all of my backend needs.
Firebase is free up to a limit the there some pricing options that you can read about here. The thing I love about the pricing is that the free apps are not free based on time but based on traffic. Which is great for apps that are starting out, you can create an app on firebase for free and only pay when your app gets past certain traffic threshold.
So what exactly firebase offers?
Firebase has a plethora of services, which you can read in detail about here. Firebase was created with modern app developers and users in mind, so you have things like Social Authentication, Real-time database, Push notifications (called FCM in Firebase), A/B testing and Analytics built in. Try creating and maintaining that on your own servers.
With Firebase, all you need to do is add Firebase to your app and start using it. You can read my previous posts on how you can add firebase to your web app and also how to Add Firebase AngularFire2 To Ionic Apps Using Angular.
Another thing that I like about Firebase is that it has API for all platforms, such as Android, iOS and the Web. That is just awesome.
Should You Use Firebase?
If your app has any kind of backends needs, then Firebase probably has it ready for you to use. So yes, you should use it. Firebase comes from a trusted company such as Google and Firebase is used by some big names such as Shazam, The NewYork Times, Trivago, Alibaba and more.
Let me know in the comments why and for what you are using Firebase or if you are not using it do tell why not.