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Firebase vs React Native Firebase: What are the differences?

Introduction

Firebase and React Native Firebase are both popular platforms for building mobile and web applications. While they share some similarities, there are key differences between the two.

  1. Features: Firebase provides a comprehensive set of features, including authentication, real-time database, storage, hosting, and analytics. React Native Firebase, on the other hand, is a set of libraries specifically designed for working with Firebase in a React Native environment. It provides a simplified interface and focuses on the key Firebase features commonly used in React Native projects.

  2. Integration: Firebase requires integration with various platforms and frameworks, such as Android, iOS, and web. It provides specific SDKs for each platform, making it versatile but also requiring additional setup. React Native Firebase, as the name suggests, is primarily designed for integration with React Native applications. It offers a more streamlined integration process, providing a unified API across platforms.

  3. Performance: Firebase has been around for a longer time and has a proven track record in terms of performance and scalability. It has been widely adopted by developers globally, and its infrastructure is designed to handle high loads and ensure real-time updates. React Native Firebase benefits from Firebase's performance capabilities, but it also leverages React Native's performance optimizations, such as native module integration and asynchronous rendering.

  4. Development Experience: Firebase offers a web-based console that allows developers to manage their projects, set up authentication rules, and perform various tasks without writing code. It provides a visual interface for testing and debugging. React Native Firebase, on the other hand, focuses on providing a developer-friendly experience through its React Native libraries. It leverages the familiar React Native development workflow, allowing developers to use JavaScript to interact with Firebase services.

  5. Community Support: Firebase has a large and active community of developers due to its popularity and extensive documentation. It has been extensively used in a wide range of applications and has comprehensive documentation, tutorials, and sample projects available. React Native Firebase, although relatively newer, also has a growing community. However, the breadth and depth of community support may not be on par with the larger Firebase community.

  6. Extensibility: Firebase offers the ability to extend its functionality through Cloud Functions and Cloud Firestore triggers. It allows developers to add server-side logic and respond to events within the Firebase ecosystem. React Native Firebase, being a set of React Native libraries, also allows extensibility. However, the options may be more limited compared to using Firebase directly.

In summary, Firebase is a comprehensive platform with a wide range of features and extensive community support. React Native Firebase, on the other hand, provides a focused set of libraries specifically designed for working with Firebase in a React Native environment, offering simplified integration and a more streamlined development experience.

Advice on Firebase and React Native Firebase
Needs advice
on
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 · 473.7K views
Recommends
on
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
on
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
on
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 React Native Firebase
  • 371
    Realtime backend made easy
  • 270
    Fast and responsive
  • 242
    Easy setup
  • 215
    Real-time
  • 191
    JSON
  • 134
    Free
  • 128
    Backed by google
  • 83
    Angular adaptor
  • 68
    Reliable
  • 36
    Great customer support
  • 32
    Great documentation
  • 25
    Real-time synchronization
  • 21
    Mobile friendly
  • 19
    Rapid prototyping
  • 14
    Great security
  • 12
    Automatic scaling
  • 11
    Freakingly awesome
  • 8
    Super fast development
  • 8
    Angularfire is an amazing addition!
  • 8
    Chat
  • 6
    Firebase hosting
  • 6
    Built in user auth/oauth
  • 6
    Awesome next-gen backend
  • 6
    Ios adaptor
  • 4
    Speed of light
  • 4
    Very easy to use
  • 3
    Great
  • 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
    .net
  • 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 & cache out of the box
  • 1
    Easy to use
  • 1
    Large
  • 1
    Faster workflow
  • 1
    Serverless
  • 1
    Good Free Limits
  • 1
    Simple and easy
  • 2
    Feature-rich
  • 2
    Well supported

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Cons of Firebase
Cons of React Native Firebase
  • 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
    Be the first to leave a con

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    - No public GitHub repository available -

    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 React Native Firebase?

    RNFirebase is a light-weight layer sitting on-top of the native Firebase libraries for both iOS and Android which mirrors the Firebase Web SDK as closely as possible.

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    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.
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