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Firebase vs Google Cloud Run: What are the differences?


Firebase and Google Cloud Run are two popular services provided by Google that offer different functionalities for application development and deployment. While Firebase is a comprehensive mobile and web development platform, Google Cloud Run is a serverless execution environment to run stateless containers. In this article, we will explore the key differences between Firebase and Google Cloud Run.

  1. Scalability and Deployment Flexibility: Firebase provides a fully managed serverless environment, allowing developers to focus on building their applications without worrying about infrastructure management. It offers automatic scaling and deployment with minimal effort required from the developers' side. On the other hand, Google Cloud Run allows developers to run stateless containers and provides the flexibility to bring their own container images. This allows for more granular control and customization in the deployment process.

  2. Supported Programming Languages: Firebase primarily supports JavaScript and Node.js, making it an ideal choice for web and mobile application development using these languages. In contrast, Google Cloud Run supports a wide range of programming languages, including but not limited to Java, Python, Go, and Ruby. This broader language support makes Google Cloud Run more versatile for developers with different language preferences.

  3. Integration with Other Google Cloud Services: Firebase is tightly integrated with other Google Cloud services like Cloud Firestore, Cloud Functions, and Cloud Storage. This integration enables seamless data storage, real-time data synchronization, and serverless function execution within the Firebase environment. On the other hand, while Google Cloud Run also utilizes other Google Cloud services when required, it offers more flexibility in terms of integrating with various services and APIs available on the Google Cloud Platform.

  4. Pricing Model: Firebase offers a flexible pricing model based on usage, including a free tier for basic usage. It charges based on factors like storage, bandwidth, and the number of function invocations. Google Cloud Run, on the other hand, follows a pay-as-you-go pricing model based on the usage of compute resources, including CPU and memory. This model allows for more precise cost estimation and control based on the specific needs of the application.

  5. User Authentication and Authorization: Firebase offers built-in user authentication and authorization features, making it easier for developers to handle user management and security aspects of their applications. It provides authentication methods like email/password, social logins, and OAuth integrations. Google Cloud Run, on the other hand, does not provide a built-in user authentication mechanism. Developers need to handle user authentication and authorization separately, potentially utilizing other Google Cloud services or third-party solutions.

  6. Real-time Database and Caching: Firebase includes a real-time database feature, also known as Firebase Realtime Database, that allows applications to synchronize and store data in real-time. This feature is particularly useful for building collaborative and real-time applications like chat systems or live dashboards. Google Cloud Run, on the other hand, does not provide a built-in real-time database feature. Developers can still utilize other Google Cloud services or external databases for similar functionality, but it requires additional setup and integration.

In Summary, Firebase is a comprehensive mobile and web development platform that offers a fully managed serverless environment with tight integration with other Google Cloud services, while Google Cloud Run allows developers to run stateless containers with more flexibility in terms of programming languages, integrations, and deployment options.

Advice on Firebase and Google Cloud Run
Needs advice

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 · 470.3K views

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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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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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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Decisions about Firebase and Google Cloud Run
Clifford Crerar
Software Engineer at Bidvest Advisory Services · | 9 upvotes · 67.3K views

Run cloud service containers instead of cloud-native services

  • Running containers means that your microservices are not "cooked" into a cloud provider's architecture.
  • Moving from one cloud to the next means that you simply spin up new instances of your containers in the new cloud using that cloud's container service.
  • Start redirecting your traffic to the new resources.
  • Turn off the containers in the cloud you migrated from.
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Pros of Firebase
Pros of Google Cloud Run
  • 371
    Realtime backend made easy
  • 270
    Fast and responsive
  • 242
    Easy setup
  • 215
  • 191
  • 134
  • 128
    Backed by google
  • 83
    Angular adaptor
  • 68
  • 36
    Great customer support
  • 32
    Great documentation
  • 25
    Real-time synchronization
  • 21
    Mobile friendly
  • 18
    Rapid prototyping
  • 14
    Great security
  • 12
    Automatic scaling
  • 11
    Freakingly awesome
  • 8
  • 8
    Angularfire is an amazing addition!
  • 8
    Super fast development
  • 6
    Built in user auth/oauth
  • 6
    Firebase hosting
  • 6
    Ios adaptor
  • 6
    Awesome next-gen backend
  • 4
    Speed of light
  • 4
    Very easy to use
  • 3
  • 3
    It's made development super fast
  • 3
    Brilliant for startups
  • 2
    Free hosting
  • 2
    Cloud functions
  • 2
    JS Offline and Sync suport
  • 2
    Low battery consumption
  • 2
  • 2
    The concurrent updates create a great experience
  • 2
    Push notification
  • 2
    I can quickly create static web apps with no backend
  • 2
    Great all-round functionality
  • 2
    Free authentication solution
  • 1
    Easy Reactjs integration
  • 1
    Google's support
  • 1
    Free SSL
  • 1
    CDN & cache out of the box
  • 1
    Easy to use
  • 1
  • 1
    Faster workflow
  • 1
  • 1
    Good Free Limits
  • 1
    Simple and easy
  • 11
    HTTPS endpoints
  • 10
    Fully managed
  • 10
    Pay per use
  • 7
    Concurrency: multiple requests sent to each container
  • 7
    Deploy containers
  • 7
  • 6
    Custom domains with auto SSL
  • 4
    "Invoke IAM permission" to manage authentication
  • 0

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Cons of Firebase
Cons of Google Cloud Run
  • 31
    Can become expensive
  • 16
    No open source, you depend on external company
  • 15
    Scalability is not infinite
  • 9
    Not Flexible Enough
  • 7
    Cant filter queries
  • 3
    Very unstable server
  • 3
    No Relational Data
  • 2
    Too many errors
  • 2
    No offline sync
    Be the first to leave a con

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    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.

    What is Google Cloud Run?

    A managed compute platform that enables you to run stateless containers that are invocable via HTTP requests. It's serverless by abstracting away all infrastructure management.

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    What companies use Firebase?
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