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I tried 5 Firebase alternatives

Comparing App Development Platforms: Firebase vs. AWS Amplify vs. Super Bass

  • Firebase is a popular platform for app developers
  • It provides user authentication, database, and server-side functions hosted by Google Cloud Platform
  • It has a generous free tier but can be expensive at scale
  • However, it is locked in to Firestore and migrating data is difficult
  • AWS Amplify is Amazon’s alternative with more mature user authentication, but requires code generation and vendor lock-in
  • Super Bass has an open source postgres relational database which is flexible and easily hosted elsewhere, but lacks website hosting and limited mobile SDKs
  • It also has a free tier with great pricing at higher usage.

Comparing Database Solutions for Mobile App Development

  • Firebase requires manual opting in for real-time data access
  • Superbase is a Firebase alternative with similar pricing and full-text search, but lacks real-time access
  • Nhost supports both Postgres and GraphQL, has UI intuitiveness, first class React support and hooks for authentication, but does not allow everything from the dashboard
  • Apprite is a Firebase alternative built on Mariadb, open source, has impressive authentication methods and database management capabilities, but no GraphQL support
  • MongoDB Realm provides easy database sync with web/mobile platforms, graphql API generation and real-time subscription management, but may be more advanced than other options.

The Financial Implications of Marrying Without Consideration

  • Marrying without considering the consequences can have long-term financial implications
  • Consider subscribing to Beyondfireship for more advanced tutorials on related platforms
  • Pay attention to alimony and child support payments if divorce is a possibility.

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if you follow my channel you know I'mall about that bass about that bassabout that Firebase no sequel becausehonestly I'm just too lazy to build aback end that won't get hacked to Piecesas soon as it goes live I find it mucheasier to sell my soul to Google inexchange for a real-time app with oneline of JavaScript I'm no Apex AlphaGiga Chad building my own back end andrust just to serve five monthly activeusers a back end as a service is anextremely complicated product for acompany to offer you need to take abunch of disparate Cloud infrastructurepieces like databases and servers thenwrite sdks for multiple Platforms inmultiple languages then secure anddocument everything for the lowestcommon developer it's not easy and formany years the only game in town wasFirebase but that's not the case in 2023I tried out five different Firebasealternatives to find out which bass isbest including amplify mongodb realmSuper Bass and host and apprite willcompare popularity pricing features andpotential drawbacks of each one of theseplatforms but first I want to take alook at Firebase to give you a baselinefor comparison its web SDK gets over amillion downloads per week but is evenmore popular on mobile and is used bymany popular game studios Firebase has aton of features like analyticscrashlytics performance monitoring andso on but the three most critical forapp developers are user authenticationdatabase and server-side functions theseinfrastructure pieces are hosted byGoogle Cloud platform and what Firebasedoes is provide sdks for front-endapplications like JavaScript iOS Androidflutter Unity Etc so developers canaccess them without having to architectdeploy and maintain their ownserver-side code which either requires aton of manual labor or trillions ofdollars to hire Engineers to do it foryou when it comes to pricing Firebasehas a generous free tier thenauthentication is always free with theexception of phone and multi-factorothbut the firestore database and Cloudfunction scale up based on usage in somecases it can be expensive at scale butit really depends on the application andyou should carefully calculate pricingbased on your anticipated growth most ofmy projects grow by a factor of zerowhich makes Firebase very affordable nowone of the biggest drawbacks when usingFirebase is that you're locked in mostnotably firestore is a proprietarydatabase which means if you ever want touse a different database you'd have thebig undertaking of migrating that datasomewhere else Firebase is Just LikeCocaine it feels great to get thingsdone quickly but trying to come off ofit is not very fun cocaine is a hell ofa drug on Firebase we can flip a switchfor Google authentication then Implementbasic oauth with a single line of codewe can then listen to the auth state inreal time then take the user ID to makequeries to the database not only is thecode incredibly simple but when data onthe server changes it magically updatesthe UI basically you get real-time appsfor free and that brings us to AWSamplify which is Amazon's answer toFirebase it has a very impressive listof features that include things likeanalytics predictions and notificationsthat aren't found on many of the otheroptions on this list its primarydatabase is dynamodb which I found to bepretty painful to work with in the pasthowever amplify automatically creates agraphql API for your data it even has ano code tool to Define relationships foryour data and it is possible to alsoconnect a relational database to yourAPI in addition you can make your datasearchable with elasticsearch which is abig missing feature in Firebase userauthentication is handled by AWS Cognitowhich feels a bit more mature than whatFirebase offers most importantly you cancreate user groups then control whatthose user groups have access to in yourproject like Firebase pricing as pay asyou go so you'll need to carefullycalculate usage to figure out howquickly your money will evaporate andyou can also expect vendor lock-in hereif you use proprietary AWS products ithas sdks for all the major web andmobile platforms and is really the onlyone on this list that challenges thepopularity of Firebase with about 400000 weekly downloads now if we jump intosome code you'll notice a much differentdeveloper experience amplify reliesheavily on code generation to create theback end API for your data this dumps abunch of code into your project thatyou'll have to constantly sync with AWSbut it creates a great developerexperience for data fetching because youhave a graphql schema that providesintellisense but at the same time youdon't need to manually write graphqlqueries you get nice simple one-linersjust like the Firebase SDK and thatbrings us to our next platform Superbassit's been around since Y combinatorseason 20 and has the core features youwould expect like auth file storage andserverless functions but its maindistinguishing feature is the databaseit uses the open source postgres arelational database this providesseveral advantages for one it provides amore flexible and Industry standard wayto model data and two you don't have toworry as much about vendor lock-inbecause you can host a postgres databaseanywhere one drawback though is thatthere are some missing features likewebsite hosting which means you'lllikely also need something like verseland netlify and its sdks are really onlyfocused on the web with the exception oftools like react native flutter andionic they don't seem to be too focusedon the iOS Android side of things it hasgotten pretty popular on the web withover 40 000 weekly downloads currentlywhen it comes to pricing there is a freetier but you're limited to only twoprojects and they'll sleep afterinactivity for a serious project pricingstarts at 25 dollars per month but itcontains enough usage to take you up toa hundred thousand monthly active usersthen turns into pay as you go after thatoverall it's a great deal when youcompare it to pricing for relationaldatabases elsewhere the real magic ofSuper Bass though is that it makesrelational databases easy to work withit gives us a browser-based tool tomanage our data and integrates nicelywith user authentication where we canImplement row level security policies tocontrol who has access to our data and Ifound its JavaScript SDK very enjoyableto work with it's a lot like theoriginal Firebase SDK where you use dotnotation to grab the data you want andthen perform operations on it what'scool though is that it also supportsgraphql so you have that option as analternative postgres also supportsthings like full text search and canreturn the count of a table whichannoyingly is not possible in Firebasewhen it comes to real-time access todata you'll have to opt in manually itdoesn't just work out of the box butonce you do that you can easilysubscribe to it from your front end codewith the SDK next on the list we have inhost the open source Firebasealternative with graphql this project isbuilt on top of hasura a very coolplatform I've broken down in the pastthat can take a relational database andturn it into a graphql API pricing isvery similar to Superbass free to playaround with and 25 bucks a month to getserious if we look look at npm downloadsit doesn't have a ton of traffic buthasura is extremely popular so thatmetric doesn't really paint the fullpicture in this case the UI is nice andintuitive and allows you to visualizeall your database records here in thebrowser what's special about n-hostthough is that your postgres database isalso a graphql API that means you canplay around with queries and mutationsright here in the browser as well it'simportant to point out though that youcan't do everything from the N hostdashboard in some cases you'll need toaccess hasura to do things like updateyour database permissions and securityrules that might feel somewhat awkwardbut they do a good job of documentingeverything now let's take a look at somecode and host has first class supportfor react and provides hooks to performauthentication with a single line ofcode when it comes to database queriesthings will get a little morecomplicated because at that point you'llbe working with graphql and Apolloclient these are awesome Technologiesbut there is a learning curve and thecode tends to be a bit more verbose thanwhat you would expect with Firebase forexample to fetch items from a databasewe first need to go to hasura and addthe table and columns to the schema thento find permissions to allow access tothat data and we probably also want togo to the graphql Explorer to test outthe query before we add it to our codewe can then run it with the use Queryhook provided by Apollo client on onehand this code feels a bit more robustthan Firebase but there's also morefriction if you're just prototypingsomething quickly ultimately n hostfeels like a very close competitor tosupabass but if you're into graphqlyou'll likely have a preference for theway nose does things next up we haveapprite which is another open sourcebackend for web and mobile developers ithas the same infrastructure pieces as nhost and Superbass but has sdks for boththe web and mobile as of today it's nota commercial product yet which means youneed to self-host it which can be donewith a one-click install on digitaloceanbut they are coming out with a fullymanaged service called apprite cloud inthe near future it's free and opensource so you don't have to worry aboutvendor lock-in but paradoxically freeand open source can actually be moreexpensive because you don't have a cashburning startup willing to lose money onYouTube had its growth numbers to raisemore money in the future in terms ofpopularity the JavaScript SDK doesn'thave a ton of downloads but but thedocker image has over 5 million pools goahead and pull it to spin up the appritedashboard in your browser it has animpressive list of authenticationmethods but the most interesting thingto me is the database it's a no SQLdocument database kind of like mongodbor firestore and I found it very easy touse but it also felt kind of mysteriousto me I did some research and found thatit's based on mariadb which is actuallya relational database and a fork ofMySQL basically what they're doing isgiving you a no SQL API to work with atraditional SQL database this is notunheard of and was inspired by previouswork from Wix if we jump into the codewe'll find a lot of easy one-liners forauthentication and database managementlike you'd expect from a platform likethis one thing it doesn't support thoughat this point is graphql in any caseapprite does feel like a tool with a lotof potential and that brings us to thefinal product on this list mongodb realmas you may know mongodb is the mostpopular document oriented database outthere and realm was a startup that wasacquired a few years ago that focused onproviding tools for mobile developerstoday it can sync data from mongodbAtlas to any web or mobile platform theJavaScript SDK doesn't have a ton ofdownloads but it's highly focused onmobile platforms so that doesn't paintthe whole picture pricing will primarilydepend on how you use mongodb throughAtlas which can either be serverless ordedicated then you have additionalpay-as-you-go pricing for compute timeon things like serverless functions ifwe go to the dashboard we'll findfeatures like authentication although itdoes feel a bit limited compared toother options the real power is in thedatabase and the ability to sync it withfront-end applications it's also capableof generating a graphql API from yourdatabase when it comes to accessing datathings feel a little more complex thanFirebase because you'll also need tothink about a schema to Define realmobjects which translate mongodb datainto something you can actually use inyour application once you have it set upit does make real-time subscriptionsvery easy to manage and you can also usegraphql in Apollo if you prefer overallI think realm is a great option but mayfeel a little more advanced compared tosome of the other options we've lookedat and it's a no-brainer if you'realready using mongodb before we wrap upthere's one other platform that I wantwant to mention called parse it's beenaround since 2013 and was acquired byFacebook and subsequently shut down afew years later it's now open source andstill actively maintained today but Ijust haven't tried it myself ultimatelynothing is perfect and it all comes downto trade-offs the only thing thatmatters is that you get your app shippedjust to marry the best looking one andhope it all works out in the end butdon't ever get divorced because thenyou'll be paying alimony and childsupport to your legacy apps and finallyif you want to see more advancedtutorials about these platformssubscribe to my brand new channel Beyondfireship thanks for watching and I willsee you in the next one