Firebase vs. Parse Server
Are you looking for an effective Backend as a Service solution to power the backend of your applications? A strong backend of an application ensures success of application as well as enhances its credibility. No matter how attractive your application looks, absence of robust backend can fail your application to deliver the best.
However, when it comes to pick the best backend solution, then multiple factors play a vital role to make a successful selection. Considering effective features of your preferred services are highly important. However, Parse and Firebase are two well-known backend options available. Let’s get deep into these solutions to know which of these can work the best for you.
Google has recently released a new version of Firebase. It provides a unified platform to build Android, iOS, and Web Apps. Admob, Analytics, Authentication, Indexing, Test Lab, ML and Notifications are some of the new features introduced in the latest version of Firebase.
Parse Server is a better choice to build new apps or API’s. Read on to get a sense of comparison between the two and to understand why Parse Server is still better.
There are still many Android and iOS apps that have Parse as their backend. But since Facebook has given a deadline to migrate these apps, developers are on a constant lookout for alternatives. Firebase from Google is one such alternative that can host web apps.
Firebase development platform runs on Google Cloud, and below are some of the striking features of Firebase that seem to be advantageous to the developers.
Firebase stores the data in JSON format. JSON data is readily available through REST API’s or by using client libraries. The data is stored in the cloud and thus can be accessed from anywhere.
Real-time data sync
Firebase is designed with a model-observer scheme which is most useful for interactive apps. Any change in data done on the server is updated to the registered clients in real-time. The data syncs almost instantly on the client devices.
Cloud messaging and remote customization of apps enable us to update the app variables instantly.
Authentication and data security
The users need not have to worry about hosting data as Firebase will take care of it. With a central database, Firebase can update all the users with real-time data.
Firebase machine learning kit is offering users machine learning features including language translator, face recognition and much more. In a nutshell, machine learning feature of firebase can provide SDK which can be integrated with iOS and android applications with ease. It can bring machine learning expertise of google to your applications in an easier yet powerful way.
This is one of the most recent Firebase releases in 2020. The KTX libraries are now under beta and available for developers using Kotlin in their Android apps.
Other Firebase features: App testing, cloud firestore, firebase test lab, remote config, firebase console, crash reporting, Firebase base runs on Google Cloud.
Pricing model for Firebase
When it comes to pricing structure of firebase then fortunately, it is offering highly flexible plans. You can start with its free account and can scale your applications resources as and when required. However, the pricing structure of Firebase is based on pay as you go. So you only have to pay for the services you are utilizing in your application.
|Spark Plan||Free||Limits Apply|
|Blaze Plan||Pay as you go||Free usage from Spark plan included|
Parse Server is the open source version of Parse that has been supported by a strong community of open source developers. In fact, Parse Server has worked on the shortcomings that were present in Parse and retained the good things that were present in Parse. With the Parse Server self-hosted by the users, it can be the best platform to develop new Android or iOS apps or API’s.
Easy to deploy
Parse Server needs infrastructure that runs on Node.js and it supports the Express web app framework. Once you have the data ready in the database, you don’t need any significant changes to the client code to run your applications.
Spreadsheet like database
Parse server is offering a feature of integrating spreadsheet like database solution for its users. This database feature is meant to store your app and users’ data. Developers can deploy this database with GraphQL and REST APIs within no time. Even more, creating, managing and deploying this database is pretty easier.
One of the most recent releases of Parse happened in 2019 and refers to GraphQL APIs. Nowadays a developer can retrieve data either with REST or GraphQL APIs. To know more, please read here.
Parse used MongoDB to store data and Amazon S3 bucket to store the file system. Parse Server has enhanced database functionalities such as performance refactoring, data backup and restore, and indexing.
With Parse Server, users can choose a file system of their choice. There is also an option of storing files in JSON format as a backup. These JSON files can be imported whenever needed.
Parse had a cap on the number of queries, cloud functions, and database triggers but Parse Server has no such limitations.
Parse Server has managed to ensure data security without changing client code. Pointer permission is one of the most recent updates for the Parse Server and is available in the latest version of Parse Server.
Parse was well-known for its dashboard and Parse Server has all the amazing dashboard features of Parse. The dashboard enables users to manage and configure their apps and send push notifications.
Users need not make the same queries every time they need data. Users can construct a query and Parse Server will fetch real-time data as and when the resulting data changes.
Pricing model for Parse
Parse is offering two types of hosting solutions given below:
Download and self-host
Users can download parse solution and host it on their own server. Although this hosting solution is effective to work with. But scaling application with self-hosted parse can become harder.
Parse hosting services
Users can also utilize parse server hosting solutions to run this on their local machines. It can let you develop and test your applications locally or in cloud with ease. Most amazingly, scaling your applications when using parse hosting services is super easier.
|Self-Hosting||Free||Download and run on local servers or any cloud provider.|
|Managed Hosting||$5/mo||Plans start at $5/mo with Back4app|
The advantage of the open-source development environment is that the developers have full control over the source code. They have the power of migrating the data to different platforms when they require.
When Facebook announced the shutdown of Parse, developers had to migrate data and application to another BaaS or MBaaS. With such an experience, trusting any other BaaS may seem unacceptable to them anymore.
Parse Server has long-term stability compared to any such vendor-based platform. With a strong community background and feature-rich open-source platform, Parse Server is undoubtedly better than Firebase to develop Android, iOS, or web application API’s.
Firebase can host Android, iOS and web applications and so does Parse Server. But as far as Parse Server is concerned, it has all the features of Firebase and many more advantages that it can offer to the users.
- Firebase has a Free tier and a Pay as you Go plan
- Parse has the option to download and hosting plans start at $5/mo
- Firebase runs on Google Cloud
- Parse runs on any cloud
- Firebase is a proprietary technology from Google
- Parse is a open-source framework
- Users of Firebase will not have full access to their source code and IP ownership of app components is denied.
- With embedded platforms, REST API’s of Firebase cannot be implemented quickly.
- Reporting tools are not strong enough in Firebase.
- Data migration is not as easy as Parse Server.
- Firebase does not support simple Geo queries.
- Parse Cloud Code is much superior compared to even the latest version of Firebase.
- Above all, Firebase users are vendor-locked.
Services like Firebase and Parse can help developers to get rid of infrastructure and other basic services management headache. Both of these services come up with their own kind of features and benefits. However, when it is about preferring one of these solutions then make sure to see the requirements of your application.
It is because knowing your application’s requirements will let you have a better idea about what will work for you in a more effective way. Ultimately, you will be able to make a better pick without playing any guess game anymore. So, read all the details mentioned above and choose smartly.
What is Firebase?
Firebase is Google’s platform to accelerate app development. It provides a unified platform to build Android, iOS, and Web Apps. Admob, Analytics, Authentication, Indexing, Test Lab, and Notifications are some of the features of Firebase.
What is Parse?
Parse is an open-source framework used to speed up app creation without reinventing the wheel. You can self host it or use specialized services to run it.
Firebase vs Parse: What are the differences?
– Firebase is a proprietary framework from Google.
– Parse is an Open-Source framework.
– Firebase runs on Google Cloud.
– Parse runs in any cloud or specialized vendor.
– Firebase works with REST APIs.
– Parse works with REST and GraphQL APIs.