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Firebase vs Parse: What are the differences?

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; Parse: The complete mobile app platform. 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.

Firebase can be classified as a tool in the "Realtime Backend / API" category, while Parse is grouped under "Mobile Backend".

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, Parse provides the following key features:

  • Store basic data types, locations, photos
  • Update over the air
  • Data browser lets you manage, search, and update content without writing a single line of code

"Realtime backend made easy", "Fast and responsive" and "Easy setup" are the key factors why developers consider Firebase; whereas "Easy setup", "Free hosting" and "Well-documented" are the primary reasons why Parse is favored.

Instacart, 9GAG, and Twitch are some of the popular companies that use Firebase, whereas Parse is used by 500px, Movielala, and Weebly. Firebase has a broader approval, being mentioned in 859 company stacks & 992 developers stacks; compared to Parse, which is listed in 92 company stacks and 44 developer stacks.

Advice on Firebase and Parse
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ApolloApolloFirebaseFirebase
and
Socket.IOSocket.IO

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 · 348.4K views
Recommends
FirebaseFirebase

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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Recommends
AblyAbly

Hello Noam 👋,

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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Recommends
8base8base

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 Firebase
Pros of Parse
  • 367
    Realtime backend made easy
  • 268
    Fast and responsive
  • 240
    Easy setup
  • 212
    Real-time
  • 188
    JSON
  • 132
    Free
  • 126
    Backed by google
  • 82
    Angular adaptor
  • 67
    Reliable
  • 35
    Great customer support
  • 30
    Great documentation
  • 25
    Real-time synchronization
  • 21
    Mobile friendly
  • 18
    Rapid prototyping
  • 14
    Great security
  • 12
    Automatic scaling
  • 11
    Freakingly awesome
  • 8
    Chat
  • 8
    Angularfire is an amazing addition!
  • 8
    Super fast development
  • 6
    Firebase hosting
  • 6
    Awesome next-gen backend
  • 6
    Ios adaptor
  • 6
    Built in user auth/oauth
  • 4
    Speed of light
  • 4
    Very easy to use
  • 3
    Great
  • 3
    Brilliant for startups
  • 3
    It's made development super fast
  • 2
    Push notification
  • 2
    Free hosting
  • 2
    Free authentication solution
  • 2
    Cloud functions
  • 2
    JS Offline and Sync suport
  • 2
    Low battery consumption
  • 2
    The concurrent updates create a great experience
  • 2
    I can quickly create static web apps with no backend
  • 2
    Great all-round functionality
  • 1
    Easy to use
  • 1
    Easy Reactjs integration
  • 1
    Free SSL
  • 1
    Faster workflow
  • 1
    Google's support
  • 1
    Simple and easy
  • 1
    CDN & cache out of the box
  • 1
    Large
  • 1
    .net
  • 1
    Serverless
  • 1
    Good Free Limits
  • 118
    Easy setup
  • 77
    Free hosting
  • 62
    Well-documented
  • 51
    Cheap
  • 47
    Use push notifications in 3 lines of code
  • 41
    Fast
  • 39
    Cloud code
  • 32
    Good for prototypes
  • 31
    Cloud modules
  • 27
    Backed by facebook
  • 7
    Cross Platform
  • 7
    Parse Push
  • 6
    Multiplatform
  • 6
    Parse Core
  • 6
    Parse Analytics
  • 5
    Quick chat and profile capabilities
  • 5
    Cloud Based
  • 5
    Free Tier
  • 4
    Nice security concept
  • 3
    Local Datastore
  • 3
    Backbone Models
  • 3
    Free
  • 3
    Geopoints
  • 3
    Backend as a service
  • 2
    Easy to use
  • 2
    About to Die
  • 2
    Anonymous Users

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Cons of Firebase
Cons of Parse
  • 31
    Can become expensive
  • 15
    No open source, you depend on external company
  • 15
    Scalability is not infinite
  • 9
    Not Flexible Enough
  • 6
    Cant filter queries
  • 3
    No Relational Data
  • 3
    Very unstable server
  • 2
    Too many errors
  • 2
    No offline sync
    Be the first to leave a con

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    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 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.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    Jobs that mention Firebase and Parse as a desired skillset
    CBRE
    United States of America Texas Richardson
    CBRE
    Malaysia Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur
    What companies use Firebase?
    What companies use Parse?
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    What tools integrate with Firebase?
    What tools integrate with Parse?

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    Blog Posts

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    What are some alternatives to Firebase and Parse?
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