Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!
Firebase vs Socket.IO: 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, Socket.IO is detailed as "Realtime application framework (Node.JS server)". Socket.IO enables real-time bidirectional event-based communication. It works on every platform, browser or device, focusing equally on reliability and speed.
Firebase and Socket.IO belong to "Realtime Backend / API" category of the tech stack.
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, Socket.IO provides the following key features:
- Real-time analytics - Push data to clients that gets represented as real-time counters, charts or logs.
- Binary streaming - Starting in 1.0, it's possible to send any blob back and forth: image, audio, video.
- Instant messaging and chat - Socket.IO's "Hello world" is a chat app in just a few lines of code.
"Realtime backend made easy", "Fast and responsive" and "Easy setup" are the key factors why developers consider Firebase; whereas "Real-time", "Event-based communication" and "Node.js" are the primary reasons why Socket.IO is favored.
Socket.IO is an open source tool with 46.9K GitHub stars and 8.54K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Socket.IO's open source repository on GitHub.
According to the StackShare community, Firebase has a broader approval, being mentioned in 859 company stacks & 992 developers stacks; compared to Socket.IO, which is listed in 560 company stacks and 395 developer stacks.
We (my team) are building an App where we want to have Bi-directional texting, Single Directional Picture, and audio transfer.
We are building all this using Flutter.
There will essentially be 3 apps, 2 Mobile-based (Android and iOS) and 1 Microsoft Based. We've built up most of the code already, and made a few major mistakes but fixed it(namely had no proper state management).
How things will work:
Person A has a Mobile app 1, Person A presses a button that sends a "communication request" into a Pool of requests. Person B on Desktop App chooses a "communication request" from the pool, and engages in Bi-directional texting with Person A. Person B also opens communication with Person C who is on Mobile app 2, and they engage in Bi-directional texting. Person C will be notified of communication requests through Push Notifications.
So far we've been using Socket.IO, however, I'm starting to think that's not the best.
A problem we've encountered so far is that Person A(Mobile App 1 User), is the person who sends a "communication request" into the "Communication Pool". The Mobile App 1 User, can "cancel" the communication at any point in time. When they do that, I would like for a notification to be sent to Person B, the Desktop User, For them to pick up another communication request.
I am not sure how this should be done however, should it be done in the Back-end, then how does the Front-end get notified of the change?
Any advice on which to choose?
It's so simple when you use Firebase to manage the requests just make new field to the request for example callstate with values like "requesting" "incall" "cancelled" and both A and B can update this field.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
The start-up guides, tutorials and documentation in general for Firebase are pretty outstanding.
There is 1GB database storage for the free tier as compared to Supabase's 500MB. Not that I think there is anything wrong with Supabase, I intend to try it out someday.
Also if you are doing any sort of personal front-end project, even using a free cluster from MongoDB can be a lot of work and setup, with Firebase (specifically Fire store and Google Authenticator) the implementation of BaaS is quite easy to get up and running.
It's pretty easy to understand the Fires store security rules as well, and if you ever have a hard time trying to figure something out, there is good community support and YouTube tutorials for most topics.
Pros of Firebase
- Realtime backend made easy369
- Fast and responsive268
- Easy setup240
- Backed by google126
- Angular adaptor82
- Great customer support35
- Great documentation31
- Real-time synchronization25
- Mobile friendly21
- Rapid prototyping18
- Great security14
- Automatic scaling12
- Freakingly awesome11
- Angularfire is an amazing addition!8
- Super fast development8
- Firebase hosting6
- Built in user auth/oauth6
- Awesome next-gen backend6
- Ios adaptor6
- Very easy to use4
- Speed of light4
- It's made development super fast3
- Brilliant for startups3
- JS Offline and Sync suport2
- Low battery consumption2
- Push notification2
- Free hosting2
- Cloud functions2
- The concurrent updates create a great experience2
- I can quickly create static web apps with no backend2
- Great all-round functionality2
- Free authentication solution2
- CDN & cache out of the box1
- Google's support1
- Simple and easy1
- Faster workflow1
- Free SSL1
- Easy Reactjs integration1
- Easy to use1
- Good Free Limits1
Pros of Socket.IO
- Event-based communication141
- Open source101
- Binary streaming26
- No internet dependency21
- Large community10
- Fallback to polling if WebSockets not supported9
- Push notification6
- Ease of access and setup5
Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions
Cons of Firebase
- Can become expensive31
- No open source, you depend on external company16
- Scalability is not infinite15
- Not Flexible Enough9
- Cant filter queries7
- Very unstable server3
- No Relational Data3
- Too many errors2
- No offline sync2
Cons of Socket.IO
- Bad documentation11
- Githubs that complement it are mostly deprecated4
- Doesn't work on React Native3
- Small community2
- Websocket Errors2
Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions
What is Firebase?
What is Socket.IO?
Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!
Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions
Sign up to get full access to all the tool integrationsMake informed product decisions