If you are a mobile developer you are likely to face a common problem about writing backend services. Obviously it requires a good architecture capable to scale up without causing any significant correctly downtime. To address the problem with a proper solution there are various Mobile backend as a Service (MBaaS) solutions which work as lifesavers for the mobile developers. Thanks to MBaaS, developers can utilise a few lines of code and tune them for the purpose to ensure output for various services such as realtime database, storage, and authentication. Now to make things even simpler we have Firebase, a whole new serverless solution for mobile developers.
- What is Firebase?
Firebase is originally a realtime database with an API to sync Data across multiple platforms and it is now being used as a popular platform for mobile and web application development. From 2016 it is providing support for mobile app development as a unified platform for Android, iOS, and mobile web.
- How Firebase can be configured for app development?
Here are the steps explained for configuration.
- Configuring Project For Real Time Database
You need to add the Firebase database and for this you need inserting the Android App project into the Gradle file.
- Writing Data
Now, with the API of the SDK, the database can further be written.
- Reading Data
The database of Firebase is different from the common database of SQL. Naturally, we need to listen to the keys and they must be clearly notified of the changes. This real-time communication of data is the core element. This real time data reading is crucial for a variety of apps including chat apps.
- Configuring Project For Authentication
It allows storing user credentials and identities with robust authentication tools. For the sake of adding the Firebase Auth, you have to include the respective component into the Gradle file of the app project.
- Adding Code
You need to add a few lines of code just to add a user registration form with email of the user.
- Viewing The Registered Users
Now, you can see all the registered users of the app in your Firebase console. With an email template you can also notify users when registration is done.
- Configuring Project For Storage
Firebase also provides easy ways to upload and download files required for chat communication. To configure you need to add the option Firebase storage option into the Gradle file of the app development project.
- Uploading A New File
One can upload a file easily into the Firebase storage. By implementing this API you can also initiate the pause/resume function useful for building mobile applications.
- Firebase Cloud Messaging
With Firebase Cloud Messaging you can make use of a multi-platform push notification system allowing sending and receiving messages by integrating with another web based service. You can leverage the Cloud Function advantage with other systems as well such as GitHub or Slack. These third party services allow easily integrating cloud service into your project. The only down point is this service is not provided with the free plan of Firebase.
Firebase as a robust solution for real time web based apps is supposed to grow exponentially over time allowing unlimited advantages for developers of feature rich, easy to collaborate and sophisticated communication apps.