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Firebase
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Firebase vs OneSignal: What are the differences?

Developers describe Firebase 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. On the other hand, OneSignal is detailed as "Free Mobile and Web Push Notifications". Free mobile and web push notification service.

Firebase and OneSignal are primarily classified as "Realtime Backend / API" and "Mobile Push Messaging" tools respectively.

Some of the features offered by Firebase are:

  • 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.

On the other hand, OneSignal provides the following key features:

  • Multiplatform notifications
  • Web Push Support
  • Safari Push Notifications

"Realtime backend made easy" is the top reason why over 318 developers like Firebase, while over 18 developers mention "More parametrable" as the leading cause for choosing OneSignal.

According to the StackShare community, Firebase has a broader approval, being mentioned in 859 company stacks & 997 developers stacks; compared to OneSignal, which is listed in 55 company stacks and 15 developer stacks.

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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.

What is OneSignal?

OneSignal is a high volume push notification service for websites and mobile applications. OneSignal supports all major native and mobile platforms by providing dedicated SDKs for each platform, a RESTful server API, and a dashboard.
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    What are some alternatives to Firebase and OneSignal?
    MongoDB
    MongoDB stores data in JSON-like documents that can vary in structure, offering a dynamic, flexible schema. MongoDB was also designed for high availability and scalability, with built-in replication and auto-sharding.
    Parse
    With Parse, you can add a scalable and powerful backend in minutes and launch a full-featured app in record time without ever worrying about server management. We offer push notifications, social integration, data storage, and the ability to add rich custom logic to your app’s backend with Cloud Code.
    Heroku
    Heroku is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Heroku lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.
    Auth0
    A set of unified APIs and tools that instantly enables Single Sign On and user management to all your applications.
    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.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Firebase and OneSignal
    Lukas Bergamo
    Lukas Bergamo
    CEO & Founder at ¹OnePlace · | 6 upvotes · 172.7K views
    atOnePlaceOnePlace
    OneSignal
    OneSignal
    Firebase
    Firebase

    At the beginning of the ÂąOnePlace project, our team needed to decide which service to use to send bulk notifications to all users quickly and consistently. We tested some services without success and as we already used firebase we decided to implement in the beginning using Notifications by Firebase. We're having trouble updating the user's token to see if it has removed the app or not. This brought a working overhead and we were not sure if the notification had arrived at the destination. Today we use OneSignal, which did not bring reliability to the submitted notifications, nor do we need to bother with manual token updates. We ship approximately 500 thousand notifications with 100% delivery!

    OneSignal Firebase

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    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.

    See more
    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.

    See more
    Interest over time
    Reviews of Firebase and OneSignal
    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.

    Review ofOneSignalOneSignal

    I have migrated from Parse to OneSignal platform really its Simple and Easy To Use. Well Documented :)

    How developers use Firebase and OneSignal
    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 Firebase cost?
    How much does OneSignal cost?
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