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Firebase vs fastlane: What are the differences?


Firebase and fastlane are both popular tools used in mobile app development, but they serve different purposes and have distinct features. Understanding their key differences helps developers decide which tool is appropriate for their specific needs. Below are six key differences between Firebase and fastlane.

  1. Backend-as-a-Service vs. Continuous integration tool: Firebase is a Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform provided by Google that offers a suite of cloud-based services to handle various app development tasks. It provides functionalities like real-time database, authentication, hosting, push notifications, and more. On the other hand, fastlane is a continuous integration (CI) tool primarily used for automating app deployment, release management, and app store publishing processes. It streamlines the build, test, and delivery phases of app development.

  2. Scalable Infrastructure vs. App Automation Tools: Firebase provides a scalable cloud infrastructure where app developers can store and retrieve data, perform serverless functions, and handle user authentication seamlessly. It abstracts much of the infrastructure management overhead and allows developers to focus on app development. In contrast, fastlane focuses on automating the repetitive tasks involved in app development, such as creating screenshots, distributing beta builds, managing code signing certificates, and publishing apps to app stores.

  3. Real-time Database vs. Mobile DevOps: Firebase offers a real-time database feature that allows developers to synchronize and update data in real-time across multiple clients. It is a NoSQL database with real-time synchronization capabilities. In contrast, fastlane empowers developers with an efficient DevOps workflow for mobile app development. It facilitates tasks such as automated testing, continuous deployment, and other CI/CD operations. Fastlane integrates with popular CI systems like Jenkins, Travis CI, and Bitrise.

  4. Authentication and Identity Management vs. Streamlined Release Management: Firebase provides built-in authentication services that allow developers to easily manage user sign-ups, sign-ins, and user identity verification. It offers various authentication methods like email/password, social media logins, and customizable multi-factor authentication. Fastlane, on the other hand, focuses on streamlining the release management process. It provides tools to handle code signing certificates, automate beta testing, generate release notes, and manage app metadata.

  5. Rich Analytics vs. Code Signing and Distribution: Firebase includes a powerful analytics feature that provides valuable insights into app usage and user behavior. It enables app developers to track user engagement, measure app performance, and optimize user experiences. Fastlane, in comparison, specializes in code signing and distribution. It simplifies app code signing workflows, generates and manages provisioning profiles, and automates beta distribution to internal and external stakeholders.

  6. AdMob Integration vs. App Store Metadata Management: Firebase integrates seamlessly with AdMob, Google's mobile advertising network, allowing developers to monetize their apps through targeted ads. Firebase provides tools to integrate ads into Android and iOS apps, track ad performance, and maximize ad revenue. On the other hand, fastlane assists in managing app store metadata effectively. It automates the generation and management of screenshots, app descriptions, release notes, and other app store assets.

In summary, Firebase is a Backend-as-a-Service platform providing a scalable infrastructure, real-time database, authentication, analytics, and AdMob integration, while fastlane is a continuous integration tool focused on automating app deployment, release management, code signing, app store publishing, and efficient mobile DevOps workflows.

Advice on fastlane and Firebase
Needs advice

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 路 472.3K views

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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Hello Noam 馃憢,

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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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 fastlane
Pros of Firebase
  • 20
    Easy to use
  • 13
    Open Source
  • 13
    Itunes connect deployment
  • 11
    Incredible flexability
  • 9
    Third party integrations
  • 3
    Provisioning profile management
  • 3
    Certificate management
  • 1
    All in one iOS DevOps
  • 1
    Can be used for Android as well
  • 0
    Integrate anything with fastlane
  • 371
    Realtime backend made easy
  • 270
    Fast and responsive
  • 242
    Easy setup
  • 215
  • 191
  • 134
  • 128
    Backed by google
  • 83
    Angular adaptor
  • 68
  • 36
    Great customer support
  • 32
    Great documentation
  • 25
    Real-time synchronization
  • 21
    Mobile friendly
  • 18
    Rapid prototyping
  • 14
    Great security
  • 12
    Automatic scaling
  • 11
    Freakingly awesome
  • 8
  • 8
    Angularfire is an amazing addition!
  • 8
    Super fast development
  • 6
    Built in user auth/oauth
  • 6
    Firebase hosting
  • 6
    Ios adaptor
  • 6
    Awesome next-gen backend
  • 4
    Speed of light
  • 4
    Very easy to use
  • 3
  • 3
    It's made development super fast
  • 3
    Brilliant for startups
  • 2
    Free hosting
  • 2
    Cloud functions
  • 2
    JS Offline and Sync suport
  • 2
    Low battery consumption
  • 2
  • 2
    The concurrent updates create a great experience
  • 2
    Push notification
  • 2
    I can quickly create static web apps with no backend
  • 2
    Great all-round functionality
  • 2
    Free authentication solution
  • 1
    Easy Reactjs integration
  • 1
    Google's support
  • 1
    Free SSL
  • 1
    CDN &聽cache out of the box
  • 1
    Easy to use
  • 1
  • 1
    Faster workflow
  • 1
  • 1
    Good Free Limits
  • 1
    Simple and easy

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Cons of fastlane
Cons of Firebase
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 31
      Can become expensive
    • 16
      No open source, you depend on external company
    • 15
      Scalability is not infinite
    • 9
      Not Flexible Enough
    • 7
      Cant filter queries
    • 3
      Very unstable server
    • 3
      No Relational Data
    • 2
      Too many errors
    • 2
      No offline sync

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is fastlane?

    fastlane lets you define and run your deployment pipelines for different environments. It helps you unify your app鈥檚 release process and automate the whole process. fastlane connects all fastlane tools and third party tools, like CocoaPods.

    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 companies use fastlane?
    What companies use Firebase?
    See which teams inside your own company are using fastlane or Firebase.
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    What tools integrate with fastlane?
    What tools integrate with Firebase?

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