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ClearDB vs Firebase: What are the differences?

What is ClearDB? Fault tolerant database-as-a-service in the cloud for your MySQL powered applications. ClearDB uses a combination of advanced replication techniques, advanced cluster technology, and layered web services to provide you with a MySQL database that is "smarter" than usual.

What is 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.

ClearDB and Firebase are primarily classified as "SQL Database as a Service" and "Realtime Backend / API" tools respectively.

Some of the features offered by ClearDB are:

  • Global Multi-Master Design- ClearDB uses geo-distributed MySQL database configurations for the ultimate in database availability, survivability, and performance. Even if whole cloud regions go offline, your database will stay online.
  • Completely Fault Tolerant- ClearDB is the only cloud database in the market today that offers true multi-regional read/write mirroring with 100% uptime, even if networks or disks fail.
  • Native MySQL- Our clusters use native MySQL so that you don't have to worry about re-tuning your applications to work with ClearDB.

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.

"Cloud SQL" is the top reason why over 6 developers like ClearDB, while over 320 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 ClearDB is used by Salesforce, Movielala, and Skype. Firebase has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1215 company stacks & 4651 developers stacks; compared to ClearDB, which is listed in 7 company stacks and 13 developer stacks.

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What is ClearDB?

ClearDB uses a combination of advanced replication techniques, advanced cluster technology, and layered web services to provide you with a MySQL database that is "smarter" than usual.

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.
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    What are some alternatives to ClearDB and Firebase?
    MySQL
    The MySQL software delivers a very fast, multi-threaded, multi-user, and robust SQL (Structured Query Language) database server. MySQL Server is intended for mission-critical, heavy-load production systems as well as for embedding into mass-deployed software.
    Heroku Postgres
    Heroku Postgres provides a SQL database-as-a-service that lets you focus on building your application instead of messing around with database management.
    JAWS
    The Javascript + AWS Stack – A server-free, webapp boilerplate using bleeding-edge AWS services that redefine how to build massively scalable web applications
    Amazon RDS
    Amazon RDS gives you access to the capabilities of a familiar MySQL, Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server database engine. This means that the code, applications, and tools you already use today with your existing databases can be used with Amazon RDS. Amazon RDS automatically patches the database software and backs up your database, storing the backups for a user-defined retention period and enabling point-in-time recovery. You benefit from the flexibility of being able to scale the compute resources or storage capacity associated with your Database Instance (DB Instance) via a single API call.
    Amazon RDS for Aurora
    Amazon Aurora is a MySQL-compatible, relational database engine that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases. Amazon Aurora provides up to five times better performance than MySQL at a price point one tenth that of a commercial database while delivering similar performance and availability.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about ClearDB and Firebase
    Tomáš Pustelník
    Tomáš Pustelník
    Firebase
    Firebase

    We use Firebase at work (and I use it for my personal projects) for several reasons:

    1) it is not just real-time DB with subscriptions but a lot more (storage for files, push notifications for mobile, cloud functions etc.) so it allows to build quite a robust solutions, but still possible to use just a minimal set of what you need

    2) In most cases it's pretty cheap (unless you messed up you DB structure, reads/writes etc. - could be problem for a lot of traffic - so in such a case ready pricing and related guides properly), for side projects basically free.

    3) offers free hosting with SSL certificates for static files

    4) you can bootstrap functional prototype really quick and for the production, you do not need to worry about scaling.

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    Jared Wuliger
    Jared Wuliger
    Contractor at Insight Global · | 9 upvotes · 57.8K views
    Firebase
    Firebase

    I started using Firebase over 5 years ago because of the 'real-time' nature. I originally used to use Real Time Database, but now I use Cloud Firestore. I recommend using the Google Firebase PaaS to quickly develop or prototype small to enterprise level web/mobile applications. Since Google purchased Firebase, it has exploded and it growing rapidly. I also find some level of comfort that it is Backed by Google.

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    Interest over time
    Reviews of ClearDB 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 ClearDB 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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