Firebase Vs MongoDB: Battle of the Best Databases for 2021

November 26, 2021

Firebase Vs MongoDB

The most difficult task in a business startup is choosing the best technology to suit the business needs. The technology space is growing wider day by day. The right choice of a database can be chosen after analyzing its technical usage and the one that fits the product.

We are going to compare the two most popular databases on the market today: Firebase and MongoDB.

What is Firebase? 

Firebase is one of the popular mobile and web application development platforms

Firebase Database is a real-time engine that provides background connectivity. It acts as an ecosystem for web and mobile app development purposes. It meets all cross-platform application needs and also offers back-end mobile app development services. Cloud Firestore enables you to store, sync, and query app data on a global scale.

Features of Firebase:

Firebase has several features that make this platform essential.

  • Fast & Safe Hosting
  • High Scalability
  • Cloud functions and Cloud storage.
  • It provides dynamic links and ML-kits.
  • In-app messaging and performance monitoring are also offered by Firebase.
  • Reliable & Extensive Databases
  • Techniques of Firebase Auth allow authentication inclusive of e-mail login as well as Google or Facebook.
  • It has advanced tools for the task of web hosting.
  • It syncs with real-time modifications and thus, is an efficient database.

Pros of Firebase:

Serve content over a secure connection

The modern web is secure. Zero-configuration SSL is built into Firebase Hosting, so content is always delivered securely.

Host static and dynamic content plus microservices

Firebase Hosting supports all kinds of content for hosting, from your CSS and HTML files to your Express.js microservices or APIs.

Deliver content fast

Each file that you upload is cached on SSDs at CDN edges around the world and served as gzip or Brotli. We auto-select the best compression method for your content. No matter where your users are, the content is delivered fast.

Best for beginners

If you are a new programmer finding your feet in the app development realm, the Firebase database is best for you.

Faster Development 

Firebase offers a set of pre-requisites of backend development, making the entire development cycle shorter and simpler. A frontend developer can obtain specific backend data and integrate it with the Firebase suite. Thus, you reduce the overhead costs and eliminate or at least minimize dependency-based challenges. 

Community 

Firebase has a huge user base in the IT industry and provides excellent technical documentation. Even if you are new to this platform, you will easily find answers to your inquiries, both in the official documentation or online communities like GitHub. Firebase has been used to generate over 1.5 million applications, giving it access to a big community of specialists.

 

Cons of Firebase:

Like everything, Firebase also has its downsides. 

Data storage is inconvenient 

Usually, you will use the Realtime Database as your main storage, which isn’t always good. 

The main issue is that querying capabilities are limited.  You can’t query for more than one key at a time and the service doesn’t provide a way to filter your data. It’s because the whole DB is a JSON file and it’s nothing near the storage format of SQL. The format also excludes the option to model the data. 

Limited data migration 

You don’t host the data, all data is hosted on Firebase and it’s a major problem of using BaaS platforms as your app backend. Unless Firebase provides a migration tool to enable easy transfer of user’s data, it strongly limits data migration. It makes users dependent on the platform and in case of changing the concept of backend base, there is no way to transfer the app to another source. It makes consumers reliant on the platform, and there is no option to move the app to another source if the backend concept changes.

Android centered 

Firebase doesn’t provide the same capabilities for Android and iOS apps. It’s still more Android-centered and it’s the one system that gets most of the dedicated services and facilities. For instance, Test Lab can be easily integrated with the Android studio and supports a wide range of Android devices for testing. When it comes to iOS, it was provided with closed beta support for iOS devices but includes a very basic range of testing. 

Top Companies Using  Firebase 

  • New York Times
  • Alibaba
  • Shazam
  • Lyft
  • Venmo

What is MongoDB?

MongoDB is a document-oriented NoSQL database used for high-volume data storage. MongoDB is developed by MongoDB Inc. and licensed under the Server Side Public License. The prime importance of MongoDB is on the data storage factor and thus, it lacks a complete ecosystem as offered by Firebase. It offers so efficient features that capture the developer’s mind to make their excellent use.

Features of MongoDB:

  • Each database contains collections which in turn contains documents. Each document is unique, with a distinct amount of fields. Each document’s size and content may differ from one another.
  • The document structure is more in line with how developers construct their classes and objects in their respective programming languages. Developers will often say that their classes are not rows and columns but have a clear structure with key-value pairs.
  • The rows (or documents as called in MongoDB) don’t need to have a schema defined beforehand. Fields can be built on the fly instead.
  • MongoDB’s data schema makes it easier to represent hierarchical relationships, store arrays, and store other more complicated structures.
  • The MongoDB environments are highly scalable. Companies all across the world have defined clusters, with some running 100 or more nodes and millions of documents in the database.

Now that we have seen MongoDB features, let’s see the advantages and disadvantages of MongoDB.

Pros of MongoDB:

  • Many databases have multiple tables with various entities and entity relationships between them, but as MongoDB is schema-less- it is able to hold a variety of documents in one collection.
  • MongoDB has a strong scaling capacity.
  • MongoDB configuration is free on your server.
  • MongoDB has better documentation.
  • Changes made in the database have no impact on the application. Hence, it is flexible.
  • It uses JavaScript but procedures.
  • It easily stores files of any size and offers great applauding performance.
  • Data security is assured here because of no possibility of SQL injection.

Cons of Firebase:

Joins not Supported

MongoDB doesn’t support joins like a relational database. However, one can use joins functionality by manually coding it. But it may slow execution and affect performance.

High memory usage

MongoDB stores key names for each value pair. Also, due to no functionality of joins, there is data redundancy. This results in increasing unnecessary usage of memory.

Limited data size and nesting

The developers cannot have a document size of more than 16 MB in MongoDB. While they cannot perform the nesting of documents for more than 100 levels.

Top Companies to Using MongoDB

  • Adobe
  • eBay
  • Coinbase
  • SEGA
  • Verizon

Conclusion

No matter what database you choose for app development, you will need an experienced app development firm. Both technologies have their own areas of competence and integration space. For instance, Firebase is designed for real-time updates and data management. On the other hand, MongoDB is the best bet for quick data handling for large enterprises.

 

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