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Backendless vs Firebase: What are the differences?

Developers describe Backendless as "A mobile Backend as a Service (mBaaS) platform". It is a development and runtime platform which simplifies and shortens mobile application development process. The platform removes the need to develop backend functionality by providing reusable server-side services via APIs. The APIs are packaged into native libraries available for all major client-side environments - Andoid, iOS, JavaScript, .NET, ActionScript and REST. The default backend logic can be modified with custom server-side code. The platform is available as an online service and a downloadable Enterprise product which can be deployed in any environment. 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.

Backendless and Firebase can be categorized as "Realtime Backend / API" tools.

Some of the features offered by Backendless are:

  • Provides intuitive APIs for handling user registration, login and session management
  • Supports object persistence with complex hierarchies
  • Delivers push notifications to iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices

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.
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What is Backendless?

It is a development and runtime platform which simplifies and shortens mobile application development process. The platform removes the need to develop backend functionality by providing reusable server-side services via APIs. The APIs are packaged into native libraries available for all major client-side environments - Andoid, iOS, JavaScript, .NET, ActionScript and REST. The default backend logic can be modified with custom server-side code. The platform is available as an online service and a downloadable Enterprise product which can be deployed in any environment.

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.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

Why do developers choose Backendless?
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    What are the cons of using Backendless?
    What are the cons of using Firebase?
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      What companies use Backendless?
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        What tools integrate with Backendless?
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          What are some alternatives to Backendless and Firebase?
          Kinvey
          Kinvey makes it ridiculously easy for developers to setup, use and operate a cloud backend for their mobile apps. They don't have to worry about connecting to various cloud services, setting up servers for their backend, or maintaining and scaling them.
          Socket.IO
          Socket.IO enables real-time bidirectional event-based communication. It works on every platform, browser or device, focusing equally on reliability and speed.
          Pusher
          Pusher is the category leader in delightful APIs for app developers building communication and collaboration features.
          Google Cloud Pub/Sub
          Cloud Pub/Sub is a fully-managed real-time messaging service that allows you to send and receive messages between independent applications. You can leverage Cloud Pub/Sub’s flexibility to decouple systems and components hosted on Google Cloud Platform or elsewhere on the Internet.
          SignalR
          SignalR allows bi-directional communication between server and client. Servers can now push content to connected clients instantly as it becomes available. SignalR supports Web Sockets, and falls back to other compatible techniques for older browsers. SignalR includes APIs for connection management (for instance, connect and disconnect events), grouping connections, and authorization.
          See all alternatives
          Decisions about Backendless and Firebase
          No stack decisions found
          Interest over time
          Reviews of Backendless 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 Backendless 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.

          How much does Backendless cost?
          How much does Firebase cost?