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Last active January 19, 2018 01:37
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Firebase pros and cons

So here's what I have for Firebase pros and cons so far:


  • Autoscaling built-in
  • Can start for free (only need to start paying once we hit 50 connections)
  • Robust APIs for Javascript (including several frameworks like Angular), iOS, and Android
  • Built-in support for authentication services like Facebook, Google, and Twitter
  • Declarative Security Rules model allows us to enforce read/write privileges and data validation throughout the tree


  • Need to build indexes manually
  • May need to build "event log" manually as well (in separate sub-tree?)
  • Implementation of REST API could be difficult on embedded platforms
  • Data validation rules do not support complex objects directly (you'd need to validate individual child nodes separately)

Other Concerns/Questions:

  • Vendor lock-in - if we need to get all our data into a different platform, how difficult? (just getting an export may not be good enough)
  • Cost-comparison to self-hosting in AWS
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Nice list. As well as vendor lock in (in terms of data) your client apps would have to be re-written if moving platform.

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Are many large enterprises using it?

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A serious problem is once you use Firebase, you basically gave up the China market as everything from Google is blocked in China. You cannot overcome this unless you rewrite everything from ground up.

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how about using AWS instead ?

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annjawn commented Jan 19, 2018

AWS is great, but it will really need someone who knows it very well to just manage and configure things for you. It's extremely easy to get lost in the AWS console and a simple mistake can be catastrophic in the future. To me, it is increasingly sounding like for many apps, the initial release needs to use MBaaS service like Firebase, Backendless, Kinvey etc. Once your app starts to grow, you better be prepared with a revenue generating model since your backend (and most likely the entire app) will need to be re-written again.

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