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Auth0 vs Firebase: What are the differences?

Auth0: Token-based Single Sign On for your Apps and APIs with social, databases and enterprise identities. A set of unified APIs and tools that instantly enables Single Sign On and user management to all your applications; 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.

Auth0 can be classified as a tool in the "User Management and Authentication" category, while Firebase is grouped under "Realtime Backend / API".

Some of the features offered by Auth0 are:

  • User and Password support with verification and forgot password email workflow
  • Painless SAML Auth with Enterprises
  • Integration with 20+ Social Providers

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.

"JSON web token" is the primary reason why developers consider Auth0 over the competitors, whereas "Realtime backend made easy" was stated as the key factor in picking Firebase.

Instacart, 9GAG, and Twitch are some of the popular companies that use Firebase, whereas Auth0 is used by Binary.com, Chattermill, and White Rabbit Express. Firebase has a broader approval, being mentioned in 859 company stacks & 997 developers stacks; compared to Auth0, which is listed in 121 company stacks and 55 developer stacks.

Decisions about Auth0 and Firebase
Brent Maxwell
Brent Maxwell
CTO at Style Arcade · | 2 upvotes · 1.3K views
Migrated
from
Amazon CognitoAmazon Cognito
to
Auth0Auth0

I started our team on Amazon Cognito because I was a Solutions Architect at AWS and found it really easy to follow the tutorials and get a basic app up and running with it.

When our team started working with it, they very quickly became frustrated because of the poor documentation. After 4 days of trying to get all the basic passwordless auth working, our lead engineer made the decision to abandon it and try Auth0... and managed to get everything implemented in 4 hours.

The consensus was that Cognito just isn't mature enough or well-documented, and that the implementation does not cater for real world use cases the way that it should. I believe Amplify has made some of this simpler, but I would still recommend Auth0 as it's been bulletproof for us, and is a sensible price.

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What is Auth0?

A set of unified APIs and tools that instantly enables Single Sign On and user management to all your applications.

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.
Why do developers choose Auth0?
Why do developers choose Firebase?

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What companies use Auth0?
What companies use Firebase?

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What tools integrate with Auth0?
What tools integrate with Firebase?

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What are some alternatives to Auth0 and Firebase?
Stormpath
Stormpath is an authentication and user management service that helps development teams quickly and securely build web and mobile applications and services.
Amazon Cognito
You can create unique identities for your users through a number of public login providers (Amazon, Facebook, and Google) and also support unauthenticated guests. You can save app data locally on users’ devices allowing your applications to work even when the devices are offline.
Okta
Connect all your apps in days, not months, with instant access to thousands of pre-built integrations - even add apps to the network yourself. Integrations are easy to set up, constantly monitored, proactively repaired and handle authentication and provisioning.
Keycloak
It is an Open Source Identity and Access Management For Modern Applications and Services. It adds authentication to applications and secure services with minimum fuss. No need to deal with storing users or authenticating users. It's all available out of the box.
OAuth.io
OAuth is a protocol that aimed to provide a single secure recipe to manage authorizations. It is now used by almost every web application. However, 30+ different implementations coexist. OAuth.io fixes this massive problem by acting as a universal adapter, thanks to a robust API. With OAuth.io integrating OAuth takes minutes instead of hours or days.
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Interest over time
Reviews of Auth0 and Firebase
Review ofFirebaseFirebase

Firebase is great, cheap and very flexible. Their docs are very helpful and so is the customer support, but the one thing that is so awesome about firebase is that everything is done in realtime!

Review ofFirebaseFirebase

We were looking for a solution to find out about all the errors our customers experienced but never informed us about.

How developers use Auth0 and Firebase
Avatar of Instacart
Instacart uses FirebaseFirebase

We use it for a few things. We use it internally for a few dashboards because it’s actually really nice to have real-time dashboard data with Firebase. We also use it extensively for live order updating. For example, when a shopper is picking your items, you'll be able to go on your order screen. There will be live showing like found or not found or whatever. You'll have live position updating of your shopper on the map. You will have live information of the status of the order like “Nicole is now picking up your order,” and all these kind of things, so you don’t have to reload the page or pull or anything. Just live updates happen natively through Firebase API, which is nice.

Avatar of Instacart
Instacart uses FirebaseFirebase

We use it for a few things. We use it internally for a few dashboards because it’s actually really nice to have real-time dashboard data with Firebase. We also use it extensively for live order updating. For example, when a shopper is picking your items, you'll be able to go on your order screen. There will be live showing like found or not found or whatever. You'll have live position updating of your shopper on the map. You will have live information of the status of the order like “Nicole is now picking up your order,” and all these kind of things, so you don’t have to reload the page or pull or anything. Just live updates happen natively through Firebase API, which is nice.

Avatar of ttandon
ttandon uses FirebaseFirebase

Used for storing results of users (malaria predictions) and displaying to user in the app. Although the realtime aspect wasn't huge in this project, it was much quicker to push data elements for each user as firebase elements since they were purely numerical and very small. And again, the idea of familiarity - I've worked with Firebase at previous hackathons, so no need to spend time going through docs, just straight to the coding.

Avatar of NewCraft
NewCraft uses FirebaseFirebase

Firebase let's us iterate quickly. We've used the Realtime Database to build rich UX features– like push notifications– fast. Likewise, Firebase Authentication and Cloud Functions save us from having to rebuild redundant server infrastructure. Even though Firebase can get pricey, we've saved money in developer time.

Avatar of Addo
Addo uses FirebaseFirebase

Still in development, but we will soon (January 2016) be releasing a version that uses Firebase to keep the front end up to date in real time. Certain data are synchronised across RDS and Firebase to optimize the user experience.

Avatar of Kurzor, s.r.o.
Kurzor, s.r.o. uses Auth0Auth0

Auth0 seems like the most viable way to have full-fledged user management in AWS without too much hassle. Aside of being paid, it offers many advantages, such as social network logins or handy administration interface.

Avatar of Flux Work
Flux Work uses Auth0Auth0

Authentication as a service. Instead of rolling our own user authentication flow for yet another time, it's better to leave the security concern to a service specialized in this field.

Avatar of Tinkhaven
Tinkhaven uses Auth0Auth0

External user authentication and authorization (roles & groups)

Avatar of Josh Dyck
Josh Dyck uses Auth0Auth0

I use this occasionally if I need a quick auth setup.

Avatar of Ralic Lo
Ralic Lo uses Auth0Auth0

For user authentication and signal-sing-on service.

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