Google Firebase Review

Drastically reduces processing time, good record keeping, and regularly updated

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the platform to manage our apps. For example, in one instance, we get data from the Australian government regarding the cost of fuel via an API. Then we store the data in Firestore and then we use it in our app, according to the state and according to the cities to show the price of fuel within them.

How has it helped my organization?

The processing time has been drastically reduced. We have it down to a few minutes from 45 minutes. It's made everything so much faster.

What is most valuable?

Using the batch, it takes mere minutes to update the server. Normally, if we have a task, such as 12,000 records to be updated, it used to take 45 minutes to update. Now, after changing the code to a batch query it takes around one minute or less than one minute to update the records to Firestore.

If there's data added to the solution, there's a good record of it so it's easy to track everything.

Everything is updated automatically, which is very helpful.

The solution has a lot of features related to notifications and analytics. You can see information about how many users are on the app and from which country they are using the app.

What needs improvement?

Earlier I was using Firebase, however, now I am using Firestore. Firestore is much better than Firebase as it is the advanced version of Firebase and also it reduces the developer's time even more. It provides for queries. In Firebase you don't have that many queries to implement, get, or sort data. Firestore provides a lot of queries including MySQL. We find it much better. Firebase should offer some more of the features that exist in Firestore.

The solution needs to offer capabilities to work offline. Like Firestore, we should be able to do insertion, updating, and deletion offline. 

When we connect to the internet, it should automatically update data to the server.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for the last two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable and very reliable. There aren't bugs or glitches. They have a Crashlytic feature as well, where you can see on which line of code the app has crashed if you need to. It's very transparent.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable and easy to use. As a developer, when I'm working on it, I know what I want out of my database. We can add the APIs and WAP services that we use with ease. We can build both a front end and back end with it. It's also fast. It can be used for both apps and web development as well. It's flexible.

We have five people at our organization that use it. There are two developers on iOS and two on Android and then we have a developer for the backend tool.

How are customer service and technical support?

The solution offers very good documentation of everything. They also provide demos regarding the Firestore or Firebase or any feature you want to implement. It's not very tough to use anything due to the proper documentation. Therefore, we don't really need to reach out to technical support to do any troubleshooting.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We currently use Firestore and we like it much better due to the fact that you can work offline and there are many excellent features that just aren't available in Firebase.

We previously used Back4App. It has similar functionality to Firebase. We switched, however, due to the fact that Firebase is easy to handle and they have great documentation available. 

I'm also still actually using Back4App, however, I don't find that great. I found Firebase easier in comparison to Back4App. There just isn't the same level of documentation. I really have to search for information. 

Also, unlike Firebase, you have to buy a plan for it, no matter the number of users whereas Firebase is free for the first few users.

How was the initial setup?

The solution is not complex. It's very straightforward. It is very easy to import or add. It is a very easy process.

During the first week, we arranged pre-requisites on the Firebase console. We added a package name, and an app name and updated the server file. After that, we downloaded it and add it to our project then ran the project. Everything is automatic. There are also files that we added and are updated. 

The deployment is very fast. It is about five minutes in total. It depends upon the internet speed, of course. Initially, we had to run the app on our device.

We have one or two people that handle maintenance.

A developer has to maintain the upgrades of the libraries and Cadency versions. Whenever we add any feature or something, or if then we have to upgrade the version for different dependencies, we'll have to do some maintenance. The maintenance part involves looking for cracks in the apps. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Right now, we're using the free version. The solution allows for a specific number of users that can use it for free. Then, then the plan can be upgraded according to the number of users, or according to the storage that we need on Firebase. Pricing, therefore, depends upon the client or the number of users coming to the app.

Typically, we start with the free option, and if we need to, we'll ask the client to upgrade the plan.

Under the free plan, they offer authentication, and have a Firestore Cloud Function, hosting, and a real-time database as well as storage, therefore you do get a lot of things included and you don't have to pay for any of it until you add too many users or need more storage.

What other advice do I have?

I'd advise users actually go to Firestore instead of Firebase, as there are just a lot more features that you have access to.

Overall, I would rate the solution eight out of ten. If it offered the same features as Firestore, I'd rate it higher.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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