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Amazon SNS vs Firebase: What are the differences?

Developers describe Amazon SNS as "Fully managed push messaging service". Amazon Simple Notification Service makes it simple and cost-effective to push to mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, and internet connected smart devices, as well as pushing to other distributed services. Besides pushing cloud notifications directly to mobile devices, SNS can also deliver notifications by SMS text message or email, to Simple Queue Service (SQS) queues, or to any HTTP endpoint. On the other hand, Firebase is detailed as "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.

Amazon SNS can be classified as a tool in the "Mobile Push Messaging" category, while Firebase is grouped under "Realtime Backend / API".

Some of the features offered by Amazon SNS are:

  • In most cases, developers can get started with Amazon SNS by using just three APIs: CreateTopic, Subscribe, and Publish. Additional APIs are available, which provide more advanced functionality.
  • With SNS you can publish a message once, and deliver it one or more times. So you can choose to direct unique messages to individual Apple, Google or Amazon devices, or broadcast deliveries to many mobile devices with a single publish request.
  • SNS allows you to group multiple recipients using topics. A topic is an “access point” for allowing recipients to dynamically subscribe for identical copies of the same notification. One topic can support deliveries to multiple endpoint types -- for example, you can group together iOS, Android and SMS recipients. When you publish once to a topic, SNS delivers appropriately formatted copies of your message to each subscriber.

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

  • 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.

According to the StackShare community, Firebase has a broader approval, being mentioned in 859 company stacks & 997 developers stacks; compared to Amazon SNS, which is listed in 230 company stacks and 78 developer stacks.

Advice on Amazon SNS and Firebase
Needs advice
on
Socket.IO
Firebase
and
Apollo

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 · 234.7K views
Recommends
Firebase

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
Ably

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
8base

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 Amazon SNS
Pros of Firebase
  • 9
    Low cost
  • 5
    Supports multi subscribers
  • 361
    Realtime backend made easy
  • 264
    Fast and responsive
  • 234
    Easy setup
  • 207
    Real-time
  • 186
    JSON
  • 127
    Free
  • 121
    Backed by google
  • 81
    Angular adaptor
  • 63
    Reliable
  • 36
    Great customer support
  • 26
    Great documentation
  • 23
    Real-time synchronization
  • 20
    Mobile friendly
  • 17
    Rapid prototyping
  • 12
    Great security
  • 11
    Automatic scaling
  • 10
    Freakingly awesome
  • 8
    Chat
  • 8
    Angularfire is an amazing addition!
  • 8
    Super fast development
  • 6
    Awesome next-gen backend
  • 6
    Ios adaptor
  • 5
    Built in user auth/oauth
  • 5
    Firebase hosting
  • 4
    Speed of light
  • 4
    Very easy to use
  • 3
    It's made development super fast
  • 3
    Great
  • 3
    Brilliant for startups
  • 2
    Great all-round functionality
  • 2
    Low battery consumption
  • 2
    I can quickly create static web apps with no backend
  • 2
    The concurrent updates create a great experience
  • 2
    JS Offline and Sync suport
  • 1
    Faster workflow
  • 1
    Large
  • 1
    Serverless
  • 1
    .net
  • 1
    Free SSL
  • 1
    Good Free Limits
  • 1
    Push notification
  • 1
    Easy to use
  • 1
    Easy Reactjs integration

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Cons of Amazon SNS
Cons of Firebase
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 28
      Can become expensive
    • 15
      Scalability is not infinite
    • 14
      No open source, you depend on external company
    • 9
      Not Flexible Enough
    • 5
      Cant filter queries
    • 3
      Very unstable server
    • 2
      Too many errors
    • 2
      No Relational Data

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    What is Amazon SNS?

    Amazon Simple Notification Service makes it simple and cost-effective to push to mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, and internet connected smart devices, as well as pushing to other distributed services. Besides pushing cloud notifications directly to mobile devices, SNS can also deliver notifications by SMS text message or email, to Simple Queue Service (SQS) queues, or to any HTTP endpoint.

    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 Amazon SNS?
    What companies use Firebase?
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    What tools integrate with Amazon SNS?
    What tools integrate with Firebase?

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    What are some alternatives to Amazon SNS and Firebase?
    Amazon Pinpoint
    Amazon Pinpoint makes it easy to run targeted campaigns to drive user engagement in mobile apps. Amazon Pinpoint helps you understand user behavior, define which users to target, determine which messages to send, schedule the best time to deliver the messages, and then track the results of your campaign.
    Twilio
    Twilio offers developers a powerful API for phone services to make and receive phone calls, and send and receive text messages. Their product allows programmers to more easily integrate various communication methods into their software and programs.
    Amazon MQ
    Amazon MQ is a managed message broker service for Apache ActiveMQ that makes it easy to set up and operate message brokers in the cloud.
    Google Cloud Messaging
    Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) is a free service that enables developers to send messages between servers and client apps. This includes downstream messages from servers to client apps, and upstream messages from client apps to servers.
    Amazon SES
    Amazon SES eliminates the complexity and expense of building an in-house email solution or licensing, installing, and operating a third-party email service. The service integrates with other AWS services, making it easy to send emails from applications being hosted on services such as Amazon EC2.
    See all alternatives