Should Professionals Use Firebase? Pros and Cons

Hermione at Pangea.ai
Sakshi Sureka
Published: 23.10.2022

One of the most popular technologies currently on the market is Firebase. You understand that technology is continuously evolving and changing with time. Staying updated with the latest trends is quite challenging, but has become a necessity to stay competitive.

Firebase is a cloud-based platform that offers a variety of features, including real-time data syncing, user authentication, and static hosting. What's more, Firebase is backed by Google, so you can rest assured that it is a reliable and scalable platform. If you are looking for a way to take your business to the next level, Firebase should be at the top of your list.

Therefore, you are probably familiar with the famous saying, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." While this may be true in most cases, when it comes to Firebase, there is a free lunch - or negligibly a very affordable one. Firebase is a powerful and feature-rich platform that can help developers save time and money.

However, as with any tool, there are both pros and cons to using it. In this article, we'll look at some of Firebase's key pros and cons and in which cases you should or shouldn’t use it. Thus, you can decide if it's the right platform for your needs.

Pros of Firebase

We have listed the advantages that lead to why you should choose Firebase as your app backend.

A woman is helping a man with the Firebase platform on a system in their office.

Large Community

Firebase has a large pool of well-prepared technical documentation that facilitates the work with services and makes it more convenient for users. Any information related to integrations, availability, and supported technologies is discoverable. Moreover, there are about 1.5M apps worldwide based on Firebase, meaning the community and resources will ultimately benefit the developers looking for any query.

Database Capabilities

Firebase database provides robust capabilities for app and web development. Some popular Firebases, including the Realtime and Firestore databases, are cloud-hosted and NoSQL databases that are reliable, extensive, and flexible.

Ease of Integration

Within a few finger taps, the pre-made APIs that the platform provides allow you to add new functionalities. Firebase requires basic level knowledge to commence working on your product. Therefore, you can implement functionalities like app authentication without significant issues with a simple UI. So, you don’t need a high level of knowledge to set up the app, as it doesn’t require complex configurations.

Satisfactory Testing Service

Firebase provides various testing services that developers can use rather than just one. This makes it a preferred software development platform for many. By using Firebase, developers can test their products more effectively and efficiently.

Firebase Authentication

The essence of user identity can’t be exaggerated in application security. In the current complex online security environment, its best feature is Google-backed Firebase Authentication. Firebase offers UI frameworks, simple-to-integrate SDKs, and service-side services for confirming users before using a typical Firebase application. In addition, Firebase Authentication accepts emails, phone numbers, and passwords for verification and backs sources of federated identity.

Swift and Secure Hosting

Another advantage of Firebase is its safe and quick hosting services. Firebase hosting supports all content categories, including web apps and dynamic and static material. It is always available when it comes to hosting your Express.js microservices, APIs, CSS, or HTML. Hence, Firebase hosts an expansive range of content.

Cons of Firebase

While Firebase is a great tool that can help simplify development workflows, it also has some downsides that developers should be aware of.

Inconvenient Data Storage

Generally, the Realtime database is used as a primary store where the actual issue is less querying capabilities. It does not help you to filter your data, and you can query for only one key at a time. The whole database is a JSON file which diminishes the chances of modeling the data.

Limited Data Migration

As the popularity of Firebase is growing, developers must be aware of their data transfers between platforms. Unless Firebase provides data migration tools to transfer data quickly, it strongly restricts data migration. Hence, it creates users dependent on the platform.

A woman is sitting at the table with her multi-screen system and working on the Firebase platform.

When to Use Firebase

  • Since Firebase offers a great storage solution, it eases the allocation to users. So, Firebase is an excellent choice if you’re planning to share data with customers worldwide.
  • For apps that need to manage below 1 million connections, Cloud Firestore is a superb option. It can process about 1 million simultaneous connections, making it ideal for apps with fewer filtering and sorting queries.
  • Building simple apps with Firebase is easy and convenient. Firebase offers a wide range of integrations with third-party tools and services, making it an ideal platform for developing apps that don't require high processing power or complicated authentication requirements.
  • If you're looking to deliver faster, Firebase is a great option. It reduces the development cycle so you can get your prototypes and MVPs out quicker.
  • Firebase provides its own set of tools and services to build and deploy your app, making the entire process very straightforward. Integrating Firebase with other tools, such as BigQuery, Play Store, Admob, Data Studio, and Google Ads, can increase your efficiency and help firebase users make better marketing decisions.
  • Firebase is an excellent platform for implementing real-time features like notifications, chat, or a real-time feed. For example, the streaming platform Twitch uses Firebase. Firebase makes it easy to add these features without having to alter any other parts of the code. This makes Firebase an excellent choice for developers who want to add real-time features to their applications without worrying about the code.

When Not to Use Firebase

  • It doesn’t ensure data integrity as Firebase has dynamic data structures like JSON. Hence, you cannot restrain your data and uphold the business logic on the code level. The Bugs are inevitable; hence, they would become challenging to handle and can make data unorganized.
  • Firebase is not well equipped to handle complex queries. This is because it uses a flat data hierarchy, which means that items are stored on a single level. This can make it challenging to execute complicated queries, such as reversing the order of certain things.
  • It caches data in memory, which can slow down processes over time. Therefore, if you plan to integrate microservices, it may be better to look for another solution.
  • Firebase is an excellent platform for powering cross-platform apps and sharing data between users. However, if you're looking for a backend that offers more robust security features, Firebase may not be the right choice. One of the primary downsides of Firebase is that it provides limited security standards and rules. As a result, if you're storing sensitive data on it, there's a greater risk that third-party tools could gain access to your data.
  • Firebase is not a good choice for business intelligence solutions. The platform does not support the necessary calculations and visualizations. As a result, you will not be able to perform BI functions on Firebase effectively.

Final Thoughts

So, is Firebase right for you? It depends on your needs and what you’re trying to accomplish. If you need a robust backend solution that will take care of authentication, storage, and other features for you, then it’s worth considering.

However, if your requirements are more modest or have specific needs that Firebase doesn’t cover, another platform might be a better fit. In any case, get in touch with us – we can help you figure out which technology is best for your project.

FAQs:

Q1. What are the limitations of the Firebase database?

Firebase stores data in JSON format, which can be inconvenient for some users. Additionally, Firebase has limited data migration capabilities; this means that if you decide to switch to another database, it can be difficult to move your data over.

Q2. What are the advantages of Firebase?

The platform offers a large community of developers, ample database capabilities, ease of integration, Firebase authentication, and swift and secure hosting. All of these factors make Firebase an attractive choice for developers looking to build high-quality applications quickly and efficiently.

Q3. Do professionals use Firebase?

Yes, Firebase is used by many professionals. In fact, it's become one of the most popular tools for back-end development. Firebase provides developers with a comprehensive set of tools for managing data, authenticating users, and handling file storage. It's also highly scalable, so it can easily handle large amounts of data. According to a study, around 2867 use the Firebase platform in their tech stack. If you're looking for a platform that will help you build apps quickly and efficiently, Firebase is definitely worth considering.

Need help selecting the right company?

We will do the work for you, all for free.


Tell us what you need