Firebase Database vs MySQL

Firebase Database vs MySQL
Firebase vs MySQL

Firebase vs MySQL is all about using NoSQL and SQL databases. Businesses usually prefer using fast and trusted DBs to deal with their data needs.

Although the use of SQL and NoSQL databases is equally beneficial but, it is necessary to know the differences. 

So, this article will compare all aspects of MySQL and Firebase Database in detail. Let’s start with the key differences.

Firebase Vs MySQL | The Core Differences

  • Architecture – Firebase is a NoSQL document database that jibes and backlogs data spontaneously. MySQL is basically a relational open-source and cross-platform database that depends upon structured query language.
  • Realtime Updates – Default real-time updates and offline support are the key features of the Firebase database. Using WebSocket, Firebase guarantees real-time synchronization, query and upgradation of data. Contrarily, MySQL doesn’t have pre-installed real-time compatibility. You would have to carry out polling approaches to get this feature.
  • Best For – Firebase is suitable for large data applications. However, you can prefer MySQL to handle complicated datasets.
  • Scalability – NoSQL databases have the ability to deal with large datasets and high-traffic applications. Hereof, they share the data on distinct servers and follow horizontal scaling. Oppositely, SQL databases are good for multi-row transactions but demand extra optimization to handle big datasets. 
  • Vendor Lock-in – Vendor lock-in is one of the core drawbacks of Firebase. Fortunately, MySQL is an open-source technology that doesn’t have vendor lock-in. 
  • Language Support – MySQL has an edge over Firebase when it comes to backing for programming languages. Firebase only supports limited server-side scripting technologies such as Node.js, Java and C++. But MySQL backs Python, Ruby, Java, Perl, Go, Haskel, R, PHP, C++ and much more.  
  • Price – Though it is free to begin using Firebase DB but, you would have to pay for used resources under the Blaze plan. Yes, if your needed instances are more than the freemium ones, the pay-as-you-go model will apply. MySQL is an entirely free DBMS that you can utilize for nothing. 

What is Firebase Database?

Firebase Realtime Database is a cloud-oriented NoSQL database that backlogs data in JSON format.

This DB gathers and syncs the data spontaneously, making it accessible when your app is out of the internet.

It enables you to develop cross-platform applications for multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and the web.

If we discuss the history, the Realtime Database was one of the initial products of Firebase that Andrew Lee and James Tamplin introduced in the form of an API.

Cloud Firestore is the advanced successor of Firebase Realtime DB, which also follows the NoSQL data model.

Firebase Database Advantages 

Here are the core benefits of using Firebase Database:

  • Realtime – This database updates your app data in real time. Yes, rather than following conventional HTTP requests, it utilizes data synchronization. So, linked devices pick up refreshed data within milliseconds. This feature also enables you to improve user and team experience without scripting codes.
  • Offline Support – Offline support is another appealing advantage of the Firebase database. This platform keeps the applications responsive even when the app user becomes offline. It shares all modifications with the app users when they access the internet again.
  • Serverless – Firebase is a fully managed BaaS solution that provides a serverless environment to developers. Therefore, you can build, deploy, run and host applications without handling the infrastructure. 
  • Robust Development – The pre-built SDKs, server-side functionalities, and APIs allow developers to reduce the development duration. In this way, dev teams can create and release the apps in less time. 
  • Approachable from Client Devices – It is not essential to have an application server on your devices to access the Firebase database. Indeed, Firebase permits the dev teams and businesses to approach and modify databases using any web browser or mobile device. However, security protocols still apply for such activities. 

Firebase Database Pricing Structure

It is free to start using the Realtime Database under the Spark plan. This no-cost program provides you with 1GB of storage, 100 simultaneous connections, and 10GB of monthly downloads for nothing. 

However, if the instances you need exceed the offered limits, you can employ the Blaze plan.

It follows a pay-as-you-go pricing structure and bills you $5/GB and $1/GB for storage and downloads, respectively. You can also benefit from the Blaze Calculator to estimate the project cost. 

What is MySQL?

MySQL is a widely used open-source database that was made public in 1995. This is basically a relational DBMS that depends on SQL or Structured Query Language.

The cross-platform compatibility makes it an ideal choice for distinct operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, Oracle Solaris, OpenBSD, etc. 

This DBMS backlogs datasets in the form of tables. These tables are comprised of rows and columns.

Correspondingly, it permits developers to query, modify, elaborate and control data on the fly.

On the other hand, if we discuss its popularity, Statista ranked MySQL as the second most used DBMS with a ranking score of 1111.49 after Oracle. 

By the way, MySQL is also considered a highly appreciated database because it is a component of LAMP. Indeed, LAMP utilizes MySQL as a database management system, Linux as OS, PHP or Python as a language and Apache as a web server. 

MySQL Advantages

MySQL offers several benefits to dev teams. Let’s delve into them:

  • Open-Source – MySQL is an open-source database management system that programmers can use if they have a GNU General Public License. You don’t have to pay anything, and several resources are available on the Internet to support your project. 
  • Easy to Use – It takes only a few clicks to begin using MySQL for your project. You can probably install and commence the editing process in 30 minutes. It provides you complete freedom to modify the code and upgrade the DB version. Furthermore, its user-friendly interface permits seasoned and new developers to perform dev tasks seamlessly.
  • On-Demand Scalability – On-demand scalability is another prominent benefit of using MySQL. You can expand your data-intensive apps anytime without any trouble while using this DBMS. Yes, it can handle all sizes of app traffic swiftly. That is why big social networking apps like Facebook utilize MySQL to manage data.
  • Data Security – MySQL complies with standard security protocols. So, you can leverage this DB to build data-sensitive applications. Hereof, it operates in compliance with GDPR, The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), HIPAA and STIGs. Correspondingly, password encryption, SSL support, and app user and host verifications are also possible with MySQL.
  • Transactional Support – Incredible transactional support is another advantage of programming with MySQL. In this regard, it mainly comes with ready-to-use queries. Likewise, you can ‘START TRANSACTION / BEGIN’ to start the transaction and ‘COMMIT’ to modify the DB permanently. Further helpful queries are ‘SET’ and ‘ROLLBACK’. 

MySQL Pricing Structure

MySQL is a free-to-download database management system. You can also approach this data service on various managed platforms like Azure, DigitalOcean, Aiven, and AWS RDS. These cloud platforms let you personalize the packages based on your needs.

Firebase Database vs MySQL Comparison Table

This table presents a detailed overview of MySQL vs. Firebase:

 Firebase DBMySQL
DescriptionNoSQL Document DatabaseSQL Relational Database
Founded In20111995
Parent CompanyGoogle LLC Oracle Corporation
Vendor Lock-in YesNo
PricingFree TierPay-as-you-goFree to Download
Managed Services YesManaged hosting available on Oracle, AWS, Azure, Digital Ocean, etc.
Data Handling Firebase adequately administers the big datasets. It employs key values, graphs, document stores, or wide columns. It owns dynamic schemas to simplify unstructured data. MySQL is a table-centric DBMS. It owns predefined schemas, so you can adapt this database to manage convoluted data.
Architecture Firebase is a NoSQL document database that jibes and backlogs data in real time. MySQL is a relational open-source and cross-platform database that depends upon structured query language.
ScalabilityFirebase or NoSQL databases are considered more scalable. MySQL or SQL database systems are considered less scalable than NoSQL DBMS.
Language support Firebase supports limited server-side languages.MySQL supports a wide range of programming languages.


Although Firebase and MySQL follow different data paths but, they are two important databases in the programming world.

The main purpose of this article is to share the difference between these data solutions to help startups, dev teams and businesses. 

After reading this article, it will be easy for everyone to adopt a solution between MySQL and Firebase DB according to the demand of their app. 

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