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Back4App

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Firebase vs Back4App: What are the differences?

What is Firebase? The Realtime App Platform. Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.

What is Back4App? An easy-to-use, flexible and scalable backend based on Parse Platform. It allows developers to create apps faster building the backend with no code, host with no infrastructure hassles and scale with no technical locks.

Firebase and Back4App can be categorized as "Realtime Backend / API" tools.

Some of the features offered by Firebase are:

  • Add the Firebase library to your app and get access to a shared data structure. Any changes made to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.
  • Firebase apps can be written entirely with client-side code, update in real-time out-of-the-box, interoperate well with existing services, scale automatically, and provide strong data security.
  • Data Accessibility- Data is stored as JSON in Firebase. Every piece of data has its own URL which can be used in Firebase's client libraries and as a REST endpoint. These URLs can also be entered into a browser to view the data and watch it update in real-time.

On the other hand, Back4App provides the following key features:

  • Cloud functions
  • Push notifications
  • User management
Advice on Back4App and Firebase
Needs advice
on
ApolloApolloFirebaseFirebase
and
Socket.IOSocket.IO

We are starting to work on a web-based platform aiming to connect artists (clients) and professional freelancers (service providers). In-app, timeline-based, real-time communication between users (& storing it), file transfers, and push notifications are essential core features. We are considering using Node.js, ExpressJS, React, MongoDB stack with Socket.IO & Apollo, or maybe using Real-Time Database and functionalities of Firebase.

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Replies (3)
Timothy Malstead
Junior Full Stack Developer at Freelance · | 7 upvotes · 356.7K views
Recommends
FirebaseFirebase

I would recommend looking hard into Firebase for this project, especially if you do not have dedicated full-stack or backend members on your team.

The real time database, as you mentioned, is a great option, but I would also look into Firestore. Similar to RTDB, it adds more functions and some cool methods as well. Also, another great thing about Firebase is you have easy access to storage and dead simple auth as well.

Node.js Express MongoDB Socket.IO and Apollo are great technologies as well, and may be the better option if you do not wish to cede as much control to third parties in your application.

Overall, I say if you wish to focus more time developing your React application instead of other parts of your stack, Firebase is a great way to do that.

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Recommends
AblyAbly

Hello Noam 👋,

I suggest taking a look at Ably, it has all the realtime features you need and the platform is designed to guarantee critical functionality at scale.

Here is an in depth comparison between Ably and Firebase

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Recommends
8base8base

Hey Noam,

I would recommend you to take a look into 8base. It has features you've requested, also relation database and GraphQL API which will help you to develop rapidly.

Thanks, Ilya

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Pros of Back4App
Pros of Firebase
  • 3
    Graphql support
  • 2
    Great documentation
  • 2
    Fastest and most complete backend as a service
  • 2
    Open source backend as a service
  • 2
    Easily clone an app
  • 1
    CLI tool
  • 1
    Support via chat
  • 1
    Partner program
  • 1
    Free database backup
  • 1
    Run cloud code
  • 1
    Push notification made easy
  • 1
    Data export and import
  • 369
    Realtime backend made easy
  • 268
    Fast and responsive
  • 240
    Easy setup
  • 212
    Real-time
  • 188
    JSON
  • 132
    Free
  • 126
    Backed by google
  • 82
    Angular adaptor
  • 67
    Reliable
  • 35
    Great customer support
  • 30
    Great documentation
  • 25
    Real-time synchronization
  • 21
    Mobile friendly
  • 18
    Rapid prototyping
  • 14
    Great security
  • 12
    Automatic scaling
  • 11
    Freakingly awesome
  • 8
    Chat
  • 8
    Angularfire is an amazing addition!
  • 8
    Super fast development
  • 6
    Firebase hosting
  • 6
    Awesome next-gen backend
  • 6
    Ios adaptor
  • 6
    Built in user auth/oauth
  • 4
    Speed of light
  • 4
    Very easy to use
  • 3
    Great
  • 3
    Brilliant for startups
  • 3
    It's made development super fast
  • 2
    Push notification
  • 2
    Free hosting
  • 2
    Free authentication solution
  • 2
    Cloud functions
  • 2
    JS Offline and Sync suport
  • 2
    Low battery consumption
  • 2
    The concurrent updates create a great experience
  • 2
    I can quickly create static web apps with no backend
  • 2
    Great all-round functionality
  • 1
    Easy to use
  • 1
    Easy Reactjs integration
  • 1
    Free SSL
  • 1
    Faster workflow
  • 1
    Google's support
  • 1
    Simple and easy
  • 1
    CDN & cache out of the box
  • 1
    Large
  • 1
    .net
  • 1
    Serverless
  • 1
    Good Free Limits

Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

Cons of Back4App
Cons of Firebase
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 31
      Can become expensive
    • 15
      Scalability is not infinite
    • 15
      No open source, you depend on external company
    • 9
      Not Flexible Enough
    • 7
      Cant filter queries
    • 3
      Very unstable server
    • 3
      No Relational Data
    • 2
      Too many errors
    • 2
      No offline sync

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    What is Back4App?

    Back4app accelerates backend development, improves development productivity, reduces time to market, and let you scale applications without managing infrastructure.

    What is Firebase?

    Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    What companies use Back4App?
    What companies use Firebase?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Back4App or Firebase.
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    What tools integrate with Back4App?
    What tools integrate with Firebase?

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    Blog Posts

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    What are some alternatives to Back4App and Firebase?
    Heroku
    Heroku is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Heroku lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.
    Parse
    With Parse, you can add a scalable and powerful backend in minutes and launch a full-featured app in record time without ever worrying about server management. We offer push notifications, social integration, data storage, and the ability to add rich custom logic to your app’s backend with Cloud Code.
    Backendless
    It is a development and runtime platform which simplifies and shortens mobile application development process. The platform removes the need to develop backend functionality by providing reusable server-side services via APIs. The APIs are packaged into native libraries available for all major client-side environments - Andoid, iOS, JavaScript, .NET, ActionScript and REST. The default backend logic can be modified with custom server-side code. The platform is available as an online service and a downloadable Enterprise product which can be deployed in any environment.
    Kinvey
    Kinvey makes it ridiculously easy for developers to setup, use and operate a cloud backend for their mobile apps. They don't have to worry about connecting to various cloud services, setting up servers for their backend, or maintaining and scaling them.
    Parse-Server
    A Parse.com API compatible router package for Express. Read the announcement blog post here: http://blog.parse.com/announcements/introducing-parse-server-and-the-database-migration-tool/. Read the migration guide here: https://parse.com/docs/server/guide#migrating
    See all alternatives