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What is Firebase?

Google Firebase (https://firebase.google.com/) is a platform - hosted by Google - where you can further develop and market applications, whether Android, iOS and normally on the web. Firebase offers certain tools that developers can use to create high quality applications, e.g. to expand their userbase and earn more money. Firebase provides many features so that developers can earn money with their company and concentrate on their users.

 

 

You don't need to manage servers. You don't have to develop APIs. Firebase does it all: Firebase is your server, your API and your datastore. Of course you can change everything so that it fits your application. Firebase can't do everything, of course, but it can do a lot!

This system is a Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS), which was developed in the startup YC11 and is then hosted on the Google Cloud platform. In detail, it is also a front-end data store that is hosted in real time on the cloud. Your users do not have to access your server, but can load the data directly from Firebase and then save it. An advantage or a disadvantage can be that you cannot host the platform yourself - it is hosted by Google itself.

This platform includes 2 major services:

  • Develop & test your app
  • Grow & engage your audience

The individual features are listed and briefly described below.

Develop & test your app

  • Realtime database
    • You can save and synchronize data in milliseconds.
    • This is one of the greatest features of Firebase.
    • It is a noSQL database.
    • Only JSON objects are stored in the database - no tables!
  • Authentication
    • You can create users easily and securely.
  • Cloud Functions
    • You can run mobile backend code without having to manage your own servers.
  • Cloud storage
    • Easy storage and execution of files.
  • Hosting
    • Create web application assests with high speed and security.
  • Crash reporting
    • Scroll up and find bugs so you can fix them faster.
  • Test Lab for Android
    • Test your application on devices hosted by Google.
  • Performance monitoring
    • Get an insight into the performance of your application.

Grow & engage your audience

  • Cloud messaging
    • You can send targeted messages and notifications.
  • Google Analytics
    • Get free and unlimited app analytics.
  • Dynamic links
    • Increase growth by using links with attributions.
  • Remote Config
    • Change your application without having to deploy a new version.
  • Invites
    • It's easy to share your application and content.
  • App indexing
    • Perform searches on your mobile app.
  • AdMob
    • Maximize sales with in-app ads.
  • AdWords
    • Run targeted advertising campaigns.

Another interesting feature are the Firebase Predictions. This feature uses the “power” of Google's machine learning to create dynamic user groups based on predicted user behavior. With this feature it is possible to make well-founded product decisions without having to set up an internal data science team.

In principle, Firebase is cheap. If you have a certain number of users, you can use Firebase for free. Then you pay, for example, $ 5 per gigabyte of what is stored and $ 1 per gigabyte of what is sent. User data is actually only a few kilobytes in size - so it's pretty cheap. But if you send a lot of data back and forth, it can become expensive and the company / application could perish. Therefore you should be careful and save what data you really need.

Google hardly makes any revenue with Firebase. You put a lot of money into it and, as mentioned above, a lot of cool features are created.

  • Works in real time
    • For example, you don't need Socket.IO systems. It all works automatically.
  • Don't have to write a REST API (but still have to write a few lines for the server.)
  • It is not expensive.
  • You can't host Firebase yourself.
  • For large applications like Facebook or Snapchat, it is not a good idea to use Firebase: TOO MUCH DATA. It is not intended for any applications.
  • You can't run Firebase locally - only through the cloud.