AWS AppSync
AWS AppSync

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AWS AppSync vs Firebase: What are the differences?

Developers describe AWS AppSync as "A managed GraphQL service with real-time data and offline programming". AWS AppSync automatically updates the data in web and mobile applications in real time, and updates data for offline users as soon as they reconnect. AppSync makes it easy to build collaborative mobile and web applications that deliver responsive, collaborative user experiences. 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.

AWS AppSync and Firebase are primarily classified as "GraphQL as a Service" and "Realtime Backend / API" tools respectively.

Some of the features offered by AWS AppSync are:

  • Uses GraphQL
  • Real-time data access and updates
  • Offline data synchronization

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.

"Offline" is the top reason why over 2 developers like AWS AppSync, while over 318 developers mention "Realtime backend made easy" as the leading cause for choosing Firebase.

Instacart, 9GAG, and Twitch are some of the popular companies that use Firebase, whereas AWS AppSync is used by Livement, HyperTrack, and Quriobot. Firebase has a broader approval, being mentioned in 859 company stacks & 997 developers stacks; compared to AWS AppSync, which is listed in 12 company stacks and 12 developer stacks.

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What is AWS AppSync?

AWS AppSync automatically updates the data in web and mobile applications in real time, and updates data for offline users as soon as they reconnect. AppSync makes it easy to build collaborative mobile and web applications that deliver responsive, collaborative user experiences.

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 AWS AppSync?
Why do developers choose Firebase?

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    What are some alternatives to AWS AppSync and Firebase?
    Prisma
    Prisma is an open-source database toolkit. It replaces traditional ORMs and makes database access easy with an auto-generated query builder for TypeScript & Node.js.
    AWS Mobile Hub
    AWS Mobile Hub is the fastest way to build mobile apps powered by AWS. It lets you easily add and configure features for your apps, including user authentication, data storage, backend logic, push notifications, content delivery, and analytics. After you build your app, AWS Mobile Hub gives you easy access to testing on real devices, as well as analytics dashboards to track usage of your app – all from a single, integrated console.
    AWS Amplify
    A JavaScript library for frontend and mobile developers building cloud-enabled applications. The library is a declarative interface across different categories of operations in order to make common tasks easier to add into your application. The default implementation works with Amazon Web Services (AWS) resources but is designed to be open and pluggable for usage with other cloud services that wish to provide an implementation or custom backends.
    Realm
    The Realm Mobile Platform is a next-generation data layer for applications. Realm is reactive, concurrent, and lightweight, allowing you to work with live, native objects.
    Firebase Realtime Database
    It is a cloud-hosted NoSQL database that lets you store and sync data between your users in realtime. Data is synced across all clients in realtime, and remains available when your app goes offline.
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    Interest over time
    Reviews of AWS AppSync 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 AWS AppSync 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.

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