In this technology-driven world, the IT industry is moving rapidly and at an ultra-fast pace. If we go back in the past, desktops were the significant devices in the technology world. But soon, desktop devices were replaced by mobile devices. With the emergence of the mobile era, the technology world has changed its paradigm. The growing number of smartphone users demonstrates how essential it is for businesses to have a mobile app.
In addition, we have seen rapid growth in mobile internet users, surpassing the number of desktop internet users. This was the turning point in the global growth of mobile internet users. This has opened a new door of opportunities for businesses. Thus, a new era of serverless architecture was born.
Nowadays, modern applications have more robust features, making storing them on a hosting service a significant challenge. As a result, serverless architectures enable you to build your infrastructure from various cloud components and deliver it to managed servers.
Since you have opted for the serverless route, which option should you choose? Many giant companies, such as Google and Amazon, offer all you might want in this industry. However, with the availability of serverless architectures, many developers and organizations prefer to choose a serverless route.
So, you must have a question, what is serverless architecture? But before proceeding further, you should know two technologies – Google Firebase and Amazon AWS. These are the buzzwords to use for the backend in mobile app development.
Here, we emphasize on term “Serverless Architecture”. We will guide you, which serverless architecture you should choose for your project. Precisely, how does Google’s younger Firebase compete with Amazon’s AWS in terms of features, functionalities, and usability in application codes?
Now, let’s remind ourselves what serverless architecture means.
What is Serverless Architecture?
If we speak about the traditional method, a single server handles and manages multiple code-based responsibilities. As a user, when you send a request, the server analyzes that request using particular processes and sends a response as an output. Well, this is the communication process that occurs between the user and the computer.
Here, one single server can be responsible for several different coding functions, such as user watching, file writing and transferring, authentication, and many more. Therefore, there could be higher chances that a single server might be overloaded when every function works at the same time. As a result, you may face data loss and computer errors. Hence, it could be a heavy model for running a server.
Besides, serverless architecture is essentially a microservice architecture. It focuses on the application rather than the infrastructure of a single traditional server. It means you can build your infrastructure using various cloud components and transmit them to managed servers, either to Google Firebase or Amazon AWS. These servers will execute your code whenever an event occurs. This is also referred to as Backend as a Service (BaaS). This allows your application to scale up or down as needed, and you only pay for the runtime.
If your application executes on custom code, then it’s known as Function as a Service (FaaS). However, these two concepts – FaaS and BaaS are the same.
Serverless architecture has its own significance. As we said earlier, it consists of microservices that divide monolithic applications into smaller services. Here, the code only “wakes” up when a code or function is executed. Therefore, it will not run throughout the day or week, resulting in fewer server overload and computation errors.
Google Firebase and Amazon AWS for Mobile Backend
Well, Firebase and AWS Lambda are two preferred services for your mobile app backend. But before you make any decision, you should know what they have to offer:
Firebase has evolved from a Mobile-Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS) to a fantastic back-end solution for mobile and web app development. Firebase consists of various tools and SDKs, allowing you to create, manage, improve, and scale your application across various platforms – web, iOS, and Android.
Google Firebase offers file storage, analytics, user authentication, real-time database, crashlytics, cloud store, and push messaging services. Well, these services are generally hosted in the cloud.
Another feature of Firebase – Remote Config allows developers to make needed changes to an app’s visual appearance or behavior without downloading the new version.
In a nutshell, you can consider Firebase as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Backend as a Service (BaaS).
Advantages of Firebase
Well, following are the significant advantages of Firebase, which organizations and developers can leverage to make their processes faster, smoother and simpler.
- Managed Service
- Easy to Track Users
- Real-time Database
- Fast and Secure
- Crash Reports
Since Firebase is a managed service, it handles the infrastructure. Moreover, you will not have to worry about scaling up or down instances as Firebase will handle it. Also, it will analyze and monitor your app every time to ensure that apps run seamlessly.
Firebase allows a very convenient way to track the user’s journey even on different gadgets. You can also know from which device (desktop, web, mobile, or tablet) your app is used by users. Data export from Google Analytics to BigQuery has also become easy to manage for the particular phase. This can be beneficial for developers in engaging more users effectively.
Firebase is a real-time NoSQL database hosted in the cloud that allows you to store and synchronize data. This advantage will help developers to access application data from any device and create amazing collaboration features. It can also help developers with back-end code execution, which can respond to database events.
Firebase provides valuable tools and services to speed up the application development process. However, world-class security protocols ensure your application and data are secured in the best way.
Nowadays, many applications face crash or bug issues. They actually reduce the navigation speed, resulting in losing the user traffic. Consequently, the application may lose traffic and rating over time.
Firebase comes up with the crash reporting feature, which allows you to fix bugs and errors immediately on their occurrence. So, users can use the app seamlessly with high-speed performance.
Experience high efficiency and fast data synchronization using Firebase
Disadvantages of Firebase
Like everything, Google Firebase also comes up with drawbacks. And here are some of them:
- Real-time Data Storage Limitations
- Limited Data Migration
- Vendor Lock-in
- Less iOS Support
Generally, we use the real-time database as our main storage. However, that’s not a good option to use. Its major drawback is limited querying capabilities. It will not allow you to send a query for more than one key at a time. Since the whole database is made up of JSON files, the service doesn’t offer a way to filter your data. It’s not similar to the SQL format.
All data is stored on Firebase, which is a big drawback of using BaaS platforms as a backend for your project. Firebase strongly restricts data movement unless it provides a migration solution that allows for easy data transfer. It makes users dependent on the platform. In case if you want to change the backend of the application, you will find no other way to transfer the app to another source.
However, it’s essential to understand the architecture of an application before considering an enterprise cloud migration.
The actual issue of vendor lock-in has nothing to do with Firebase as a platform. In many cases, this issue arises while using BaaS solutions. However, Firebase’s lack of migration capabilities for transferring data to another platform can be considered a disadvantage.
Firebase discriminates between iOS and Android applications. It doesn’t support iOS applications as much as it does Android apps. It provides great support, dedicated services and facilities to Android devices.
For example, you can easily integrate Test Lab with Android studio. It supports many Android devices for testing. On the other hand, it provides closed beta support for iOS devices, including basic UI and test devices.
If you own a small team, then Firebase can be a better option than a complex AWS configuration. It also offers a lower learning curve than Amazon Web Services.
Firebase, on the other hand, makes it harder to query larger databases. Their database also lacks relational data, which could be problematic for some newer businesses.
AWS (Amazon Web Services)
AWS – Amazon Web Services is the most comprehensive cloud platform in the world, adopted by many large organizations. It offers more than 180 feature-rich services from data centers in the world.
AWS offers comprehensive, scalable, flexible, and customizable cloud-based products, such as development tools, analytics, database, networking, AWS storage for business purposes. And most interestingly, all of these services and products are offered on a pay-per-use basis. It means, you only have to pay for the specific service you are using. The platform is designed with a great combination of packaged software as a service, platform as a service, and infrastructure as a service offering. Therefore, while choosing the right cloud model, it’s important to know who manages what.
Amazon Web Services offers AWS Lambda, which is an event-controlled and serverless computing platform. This service responds to events by executing code and managing the computational resources required by that code.
Thus, AWS is a preferred choice for cloud computing platforms as compared to Microsoft Azure. Cloud computing in organizations will streamline your business operations and eventually expand your bottom line.
Advantages of AWS
Let’s read it aloud how AWS can be on your side by choosing a back-end platform for mobile app development.
- Self Hosting Option
- Reliable APIs
- Highly Secure
- Pay-as-you-go Pricing Model
Since AWS is not a managed service, it will be less expensive than Firebase in many cases. In addition, AWS offers long-term contracts with discounts of up to 75% off standard rates.
AWS comes up with a more flexible option as compared to Firebase. In addition, it also allows you to install open-source products and migrate to different services without any issue.
AWS provides reliable APIs in many programming languages, helping your infrastructure most efficiently. Everything is possible using AWS APIs, whether it’s taking backups or building a new component.
AWS is designed in such a way that it offers the most robust, secure, reliable, and flexible cloud computing environment. AWS’ fundamental infrastructure was built to meet the security needs of even the most vulnerable businesses throughout the world. AWS offers comprehensive and reliable security tools that align with all the security standards and protocols.
AWS provides highly scalable and versatile cloud computing services at an affordable price. Here, you only have to pay for the services that you require or use. Most interestingly, you can easily scale these services as needed. Now you can have sufficient space for your archive and backup needs. Also, you can launch new servers, downscale or upscale them, and many other things, depending on your requirements.
Boost your bottom-line with AWS’s top-class cloud services
Disadvantages of AWS
As with other technologies, AWS also has its dark side. Now, let’s go through its disadvantages here.
- Lack of Professionals
- Amazon’s EC2 Limits
- Use of Data
- Glitches in Cloud Computing
Since the existence of AWS as a cloud computing platform, many organizations have implemented it into their business process. However, you will only find a few skilled AWS experts in the market. Therefore, many organizations face difficulty in finding the right candidates for AWS implementation. Well, this can be considered as a con of AWS.
Resource limitation by geographic location is the second limitation of AWS. As a result, your location or region can determine how many resources are accessible to you. You can’t use too many resources with AWS. This is a security feature that prevents those people with malicious intent from using the company’s resources to launch hacking attacks. However, if you require extra resources, you can always request that. So, if your objectives are clear and pure, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Not all data-related laws are created equal. Amazon Web Services could give foreign companies and government authorities access to and utilize your data without your concern.
Cloud-bases services still have many glitches. And AWS is no exception here. While the service is reliable and well-designed, it is not the perfect one.
AWS is a pay-per-use service model. It means you only have to pay for the type of traffic you receive. Their entire environment is designed to be all-inclusive. AWS is an amazing service if you don’t want to juggle many services.
AWS has a shallow learning curve, especially considering they have various products available in the market. Their infrastructure is also oriented towards larger teams, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility that smaller companies without a dedicated DevOps expert may make it work. However, regardless of the size of your team, AWS could end up costing you more than you intended.
Firebase vs. AWS: The Final Comparison
If we talk about Firebase from Google, it’s a Backend as a Service (BaaS). It offers a scalable hosting, managed service, and an end-to-end app development platform.
On the other hand, AWS is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider. It’s the renowned cloud service provider in the world. It offers server-level access, storage, and virtual machines at an affordable rate as compared to Firebase.
Want to know which one’s perfectly fitted for your business?
Google Firebase vs. AWS: What to Choose?
In a nutshell, Firebase and AWS are great options for serverless-driven architecture applications. However, every platform has its own specific needs, and it ultimately depends on the business project requirements. Firebase is an ideal option to reduce the deployment time, enhance app development, and have seamless hosting. At the same time, AWS is a preferred choice for a more sophisticated project that requires server-level access and extensive customized coding.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know what do you think about these two backend options for mobile app development. Google Firebase or AWS? Still no idea, you can surely get in touch with the top-notch cloud application development company, Radixweb. We will guide you through the right path.