Firebase pros/cons and alternatives?

Digigear

Member
Disciple
Hi, I'm planning to develop an app with a serverless backend. Right now my top option seems to be Firebase. But I've heard from some devs that it can get you stuck into its ecosystem and it also tends to be quite expensive once it scales up and you end up being stuck in a situation where you HAVE to muster up the expensive costs because migration out is going to be not worth the effort. Is there a better alternative that I can opt for from the get go? Thoughts on this?
 

avesh

Member
Disciple
Hi, I'm planning to develop an app with a serverless backend. Right now my top option seems to be Firebase. But I've heard from some devs that it can get you stuck into its ecosystem and it also tends to be quite expensive once it scales up and you end up being stuck in a situation where you HAVE to muster up the expensive costs because migration out is going to be not worth the effort. Is there a better alternative that I can opt for from the get go? Thoughts on this?
If its just a MVP then its fine if you go with firebase, but if you plan to scale it and customize it further then go for a well known and familiar ecosystem like nodejs, spring or similar.

firebase alternatives
 

mrwonderful

Member
Disciple
Firebase is not good if you want to scale. Have worked with firebase for an year, the ecosystem is nice as it shows all the data and visualize it for you.
Even integration is pretty easy with an application but as soon as you want to customize those functions it will become a headache and half of the time you will fail.
It is better to work on AWS in my opinion. It is slightly complicated as it may require you learn more about multiple language and if you can visualize the data on your own that will be of great help and it is also cheaper than firebase.
Above mentioned link is also good and gives many other alternatives.
 

Arya

Well-Known Member
Adept
Realtime database gets very expensive very quickly once you have significant number of users. AWS Appsync works better in longer run.
 

Digigear

Member
Disciple
Realtime database gets very expensive very quickly once you have significant number of users. AWS Appsync works better in longer run.
Haven't heard of AWS Appsync before. Just to clarify, is it AWS's alternative to Firebase that also happens to be cheaper or something that isn't a realtime database?

I'll have to look into this later. But one more question, I was for a while thinking about just having a Jhipster based API backend hosted somewhere. Do you think the AWS Appsync would be a better alternative than that? Better in terms of scalability and cost-effectiveness?
 

Arya

Well-Known Member
Adept
Haven't heard of AWS Appsync before. Just to clarify, is it AWS's alternative to Firebase that also happens to be cheaper or something that isn't a realtime database?
It is a little more than that. But it does handle the realtime-db scenarios that firebase provides. For other backend related stuff you can use aws amplify. Longer term these work better. Security wise too. You can find a ton of open firebase databases. Not the fault of firebase but with aws you have to go out of your way to make something that vulnerable.
 

Digigear

Member
Disciple
It is a little more than that. But it does handle the realtime-db scenarios that firebase provides. For other backend related stuff you can use aws amplify. Longer term these work better. Security wise too. You can find a ton of open firebase databases. Not the fault of firebase but with aws you have to go out of your way to make something that vulnerable.
You didn't comment on the cost comparison between something like having a jhipster REST API backend hosted on aws vs going with aws appsync. Let's say we're trying to do it the frugal way, does AWS Appsync still make it to our list?

I'm just trying to figure out how substantial of a difference there is between the cost of hosting jhipster on aws vs going with appsync setup. It would be great if you could point to some resources. I did look it up on my own and it seems like there is a better value for money with Appsync depending on the use cases and setup time and ease of operation, but it would be nice to have your thought on this.
 

Arya

Well-Known Member
Adept
Its difficult to estimate costs without knowing the schema, number of users, data volume etc. Depends on the use case entirely. Firebase is Volume of Data x Number of devices x Number of updates to DB. You have to manage it so that a little db is available to all users and then user specific data so that it doesn't get distributed to all devices. On aws it is more granular. Take advantage of the free tier and test it out.
 

Digigear

Member
Disciple
Its difficult to estimate costs without knowing the schema, number of users, data volume etc. Depends on the use case entirely. Firebase is Volume of Data x Number of devices x Number of updates to DB. You have to manage it so that a little db is available to all users and then user specific data so that it doesn't get distributed to all devices. On aws it is more granular. Take advantage of the free tier and test it out.
Thanks man. Your suggestion of the AWS Appsync might just be the exact thing I've been looking for. Your suggestion came at the right time too. We're having discussions deciding our tech stack. And the more I look into Appsync, I feel like it might be exactly what we need. So thanks for your inputs!
 
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