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Firebase

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Firebase vs RethinkDB: What are the differences?

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.

What is RethinkDB? JSON. Scales to multiple machines with very little effort. Open source. RethinkDB is built to store JSON documents, and scale to multiple machines with very little effort. It has a pleasant query language that supports really useful queries like table joins and group by, and is easy to setup and learn.

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

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, RethinkDB provides the following key features:

  • JSON data model and immediate consistency.
  • Distributed joins, subqueries, aggregation, atomic updates.
  • Secondary, compound, and arbitrarily computed indexes.

"Realtime backend made easy" is the top reason why over 318 developers like Firebase, while over 46 developers mention "Powerful query language" as the leading cause for choosing RethinkDB.

RethinkDB is an open source tool with 22.4K GitHub stars and 1.74K GitHub forks. Here's a link to RethinkDB's open source repository on GitHub.

According to the StackShare community, Firebase has a broader approval, being mentioned in 859 company stacks & 997 developers stacks; compared to RethinkDB, which is listed in 37 company stacks and 25 developer stacks.

Advice on Firebase and RethinkDB
Needs advice
on
Socket.IOSocket.IOFirebaseFirebase
and
ApolloApollo

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 · 269.8K 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 RethinkDB
  • 363
    Realtime backend made easy
  • 267
    Fast and responsive
  • 236
    Easy setup
  • 211
    Real-time
  • 188
    JSON
  • 132
    Free
  • 124
    Backed by google
  • 83
    Angular adaptor
  • 66
    Reliable
  • 36
    Great customer support
  • 29
    Great documentation
  • 24
    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
    Ios adaptor
  • 6
    Awesome next-gen backend
  • 5
    Firebase hosting
  • 5
    Built in user auth/oauth
  • 4
    Very easy to use
  • 4
    Speed of light
  • 3
    Brilliant for startups
  • 3
    Great
  • 3
    It's made development super fast
  • 2
    Push notification
  • 2
    Free authentication solution
  • 2
    The concurrent updates create a great experience
  • 2
    I can quickly create static web apps with no backend
  • 2
    Great all-round functionality
  • 2
    JS Offline and Sync suport
  • 2
    Low battery consumption
  • 1
    CDN & cache out of the box
  • 1
    Faster workflow
  • 1
    Free SSL
  • 1
    Easy to use
  • 1
    Large
  • 1
    Serverless
  • 1
    .net
  • 1
    Good Free Limits
  • 1
    Easy Reactjs integration
  • 1
    Free hosting
  • 1
    Cloud functions
  • 48
    Powerful query language
  • 46
    Excellent dashboard
  • 42
    JSON
  • 41
    Distributed database
  • 38
    Open source
  • 25
    Reactive
  • 16
    Atomic updates
  • 15
    Joins
  • 9
    MVCC concurrency
  • 9
    Hadoop-style map/reduce
  • 4
    Geospatial support
  • 4
    Real-time, open-source, scalable
  • 2
    Great Admin UI
  • 2
    A NoSQL DB with joins
  • 2
    YC Company
  • 2
    Fast, easily scalable, great customer support
  • 2
    Changefeeds: no polling needed to get updates

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Cons of Firebase
Cons of RethinkDB
  • 29
    Can become expensive
  • 15
    No open source, you depend on external company
  • 15
    Scalability is not infinite
  • 9
    Not Flexible Enough
  • 5
    Cant filter queries
  • 3
    Very unstable server
  • 2
    No Relational Data
  • 2
    Too many errors
  • 2
    No offline sync
    Be the first to leave a con

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    What are some alternatives to Firebase and RethinkDB?
    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