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Firebase vs Pusher: What are the differences?

Introduction

Firebase and Pusher are both popular real-time communication platforms.

  1. Pricing structure: Firebase offers a flexible pricing structure based on usage, while Pusher has a more straightforward pricing model with predefined plans. Firebase allows you to pay only for what you use, making it more cost-effective for small-scale applications. In contrast, Pusher's pricing plans have fixed monthly costs, which may be more suitable for larger applications with predictable usage patterns.

  2. Ease of setup: Firebase provides a seamless setup process that requires minimal configuration, making it easy for developers to get started quickly. Pusher, on the other hand, requires a bit more setup as it involves integrating server-side code and configuring webhooks. Firebase wins in terms of simplicity and ease of setup.

  3. Data synchronization: Firebase has a powerful real-time database that synchronizes data across clients in milliseconds, enabling seamless collaboration and updates in real-time. Pusher also offers real-time data synchronization but primarily focuses on facilitating real-time messaging and notifications between clients. Firebase's data synchronization capabilities make it a preferred choice for applications that heavily rely on real-time collaboration and synchronization.

  4. Scalability: Firebase is built on Google Cloud Platform, which provides a robust infrastructure for scalability and performance. It automatically scales to handle high user loads without any additional configuration. Pusher, on the other hand, uses its own infrastructure and may require fine-tuning to handle large-scale applications. Firebase's scalability and integration with Google Cloud Platform give it an advantage in terms of handling high traffic and scaling effortlessly.

  5. Authentication and user management: Firebase offers built-in authentication and user management features, allowing developers to easily handle user sign-ups, logins, and permissions. Pusher, on the other hand, does not provide native user management functionality and requires integration with other services or building custom user management systems. Firebase's comprehensive authentication and user management capabilities provide a streamlined experience for developers.

  6. Data storage: Firebase offers cloud-based storage for files and media, making it convenient for applications that require storing and retrieving user-generated content like images, videos, and documents. Pusher, on the other hand, does not provide native file storage capabilities and requires integration with other third-party services for file storage. Firebase's integrated data storage feature simplifies the development process and reduces dependencies on external services.

In summary, Firebase offers a flexible pricing structure, easy setup, powerful data synchronization, scalability, built-in authentication and user management, and cloud-based data storage, making it a comprehensive real-time communication platform. Pusher, on the other hand, has a straightforward pricing model, requires more setup, focuses more on real-time messaging, and lacks built-in user management and data storage capabilities.

Advice on Firebase and Pusher
Moghammad Sabre Khan
Needs advice
on
FirebaseFirebase
and
Socket.IOSocket.IO

We (my team) are building an App where we want to have Bi-directional texting, Single Directional Picture, and audio transfer.

We are building all this using Flutter.

There will essentially be 3 apps, 2 Mobile-based (Android and iOS) and 1 Microsoft Based. We've built up most of the code already, and made a few major mistakes but fixed it(namely had no proper state management).

How things will work:

Person A has a Mobile app 1, Person A presses a button that sends a "communication request" into a Pool of requests. Person B on Desktop App chooses a "communication request" from the pool, and engages in Bi-directional texting with Person A. Person B also opens communication with Person C who is on Mobile app 2, and they engage in Bi-directional texting. Person C will be notified of communication requests through Push Notifications.

So far we've been using Socket.IO, however, I'm starting to think that's not the best.

A problem we've encountered so far is that Person A(Mobile App 1 User), is the person who sends a "communication request" into the "Communication Pool". The Mobile App 1 User, can "cancel" the communication at any point in time. When they do that, I would like for a notification to be sent to Person B, the Desktop User, For them to pick up another communication request.

I am not sure how this should be done however, should it be done in the Back-end, then how does the Front-end get notified of the change?

Any advice on which to choose?

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Replies (1)
Jomai Omar
web developer at tunisofts · | 3 upvotes · 17.1K views
Recommends
on
FirebaseFirebaseSocket.IOSocket.IO

It's so simple when you use Firebase to manage the requests just make new field to the request for example callstate with values like "requesting" "incall" "cancelled" and both A and B can update this field.

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Needs advice
on
AblyAblyPubNubPubNub
and
PusherPusher

I am building an IoT application that will utilize connected air quality sensors to provide real-time indoor air quality in offices. I want to be able to share this data with a few different databases, etc.

Wondering if anyone has any advice on which real-time streaming API would be best for this sort of application, or even how I should think about it?

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Replies (2)
Ben Gamble
Recommends
on
AblyAbly

For IoT, we support MQTT along with websockets and SSE. The pattern you're suggesting that involves harvesting data from devices and soaking into a database is easy to achieve with one of the Ably integrations (Serverless functions/webhook) . Here are some tutorials to do things like this: https://ably.com/tutorials/reactor-event-zapier#step2-mqtt-ably

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Philip Rossen
Recommends
on
PusherPusher
at

We use Pusher at www.justlearn.com. It works fine. When you reach more users, Pusher gets expensive. We use Pusher for live chat between users. Their software is easy to use. We have had issues with auth on Pusher.

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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 · 475.2K views
Recommends
on
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
on
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
on
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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Decisions about Firebase and Pusher
Jack Heaton
Full Stack Developer at Life Story Maps · | 4 upvotes · 36.6K views

The start-up guides, tutorials and documentation in general for Firebase are pretty outstanding.

There is 1GB database storage for the free tier as compared to Supabase's 500MB. Not that I think there is anything wrong with Supabase, I intend to try it out someday.

Also if you are doing any sort of personal front-end project, even using a free cluster from MongoDB can be a lot of work and setup, with Firebase (specifically Fire store and Google Authenticator) the implementation of BaaS is quite easy to get up and running.

It's pretty easy to understand the Fires store security rules as well, and if you ever have a hard time trying to figure something out, there is good community support and YouTube tutorials for most topics.

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