All you need to know about Firebase

Web and application development is divided into two main sections as we all know Front-end and includes works related to the interfaces and design and other what is visible to the user and Back-end, which includes everything related to programming and server communication functions and other to accomplish different services and this is what makes the application dynamic (Dynamic application has a base Data and its users can interact with it and benefit from its services).

So to build an integrated application we need to work on both sides to provide the best user experience, and the front-end developer can not do without programming and databases and must deal with them, even limited to be able to accomplish its tasks. But it takes time and effort to learn, understand and go into this never-ending sea. As a Front-end developer, you want to start your mastered work simply and quickly, and you don’t have time to learn. So what is the end?

Don’t worry my reader, the solution is at your fingertips. It’s Firebase, an application and web development platform founded in 2011 that has not yet abated its development and has gained wide popularity in the developer community.

Accompany us to take a comprehensive look at this platform, its advantages, and disadvantages and why you should learn as a front-end developer.

What is Firebase

Firebase is a Backend as a Service (BaaS) service, a model of cloud computing services that serves as an intermediary to connect developers’ applications and websites with different services on the cloud through APIs and software development tools SDKs used to achieve system compatibility. Different.

It aims to provide a comprehensive approach to building, improving and developing websites and mobile applications, through the many tools needed by any developer to complete services that will take time and effort to build manually, especially for those who do not have enough experience.

History

James Tamplin and Andrew Lee launched the service in 2011 under the Envolve name and is considered as the interface software applications API allows developers to insert chat feature online chat functionality in their sites, but the developers of users Envolve took advantage of them to reach full application data and not only data messages from In order to achieve synchronization in their applications such as real-time applications.

This prompted the founders to separate the chat system from real-time architecture and develop Envolve until the independent company Firebase was launched in April 2012 as a BaaS background service with the real-time feature.

In 2014 Google acquired it and developed a very large to be reached on what is today as a platform Web multi-function on Mobile.

The difference between the development of traditional applications and Firebase applications

You may be wondering what this platform can offer and what it differs from traditional application development. Firebase offers many services such as Authentication, Database and more, all of which are hosted on the cloud.

The benefit of cloud hosting is that the backend components are continuously maintained and run by Google, and the client-specific SDKs provided by Firebase interact with the backend services on the cloud directly, without the need for any intermediaries between your application and the service.

Thus, the difference between traditional and Firebase applications has become evident. Traditional applications need both back-end and front-end programs so that the front-end code through the API makes use of the back-end code on the server, which does all the important work all under supervision. Developer.

Firebase makes the whole business on the client-side and dispenses the middleware as much as possible and does business from the server-side instead of the developer. Thus, the developer can focus fully on the UX user experience and finish as quickly and effortlessly as possible with the best results and of course, Firebase is well suited for new learners.

This makes it clear that every developer should use Firebase and take advantage of all the features that we will mention in succession.

Firebase services and features

Firebase services are divided into two main groups: Develop & test your app and Grow & Engage your audience.

Develop & test features

Realtime Database

Data is stored and synchronized with all users in real-time on the NoSQL cloud, and data is still available if the application is offline, as changes are made to a local cache using the database SDK and when the Internet connection is back up, local data is automatically synchronized.

Data is stored as a large JSON object that developers can manage in real-time so that data updates reach all users via cross-platform apps automatically, as all users share one copy of the database.

In addition to the important synchronization utility that is hosted on the cloud, the Firebase database is compatible with mobile SDKs and the web, allowing applications to be built without the need for servers.

Costs depend on the amount of data stored.

Auth

The database can be combined with Auth Firebase authentication to provide a simple and intuitive authentication process.

This authentication is one of the backend services and its SDKs are easy to use and contain UI libraries ready to authenticate users to the application.

The importance of authentication is due to the need to know the identity of the user in various applications, which allows the storage of user data in the cloud securely and correctly, as well as to facilitate the user’s access to data stored across various devices, whether mobile or laptop.

Firebase supports several forms of authentication, including the use of password or phone numbers, as well as through providers of unified identities such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitter.

This authentication integrates closely with Firebase services and increases industry standards such as OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect so that they can be easily integrated with a dedicated backend.

Test Lab

Test your app on devices hosted on Google’s data center.

Test Lab is an infrastructure on the cloud to test the application with ease you can test the application of Android Android or iOS across a wide range of different devices and see the result, which includes everything you need to know more, including records, logins, and screenshots on the control panel Firebase console.

To carry out the testing, Test Lab offers tools for Instrumentation tests :

  • Robo test

Even if you haven’t written any tests in your app, you can still use Robo test to simulate and test different user activities.

These tests use test frameworks such as Espresso and UI Automator 2.0.

  • Game Loop test

Test the games in demo mode so that the game is run while simulating user activities and several loops of different scenarios can be included in the test.

Note: Test Lab is not intended and should not be used for load-testing on any back-end servers used by applications.

Crashlytics

Previously, in older versions, it was called Crash Reporting, which provides valuable reports in case of any application crash, whether Android, iOS or Unity, is light and reports in real-time as soon as the problem occurs.

Crashlytics works by exploring problems and grouping them into different groups according to their type and illuminates the circumstances and causes that led to the occurrence of each problem individually, which saves the developer time and effort so that he focuses fully on solving these problems.

The information in the reports are crashes that affect a large group of users, sending alerts in case something happens that increases the functionality of the application, and the code lines that caused the crash.

Of course, these reports are useful to the developer in tracking and prioritizing problems, as the focus should be on problems that affect the stability and quality of the application.

Cloud Functions

This feature is one of the most important and prominent features. It allows the implementation of parts of the code in the cloud in response to events triggered by Firebase features or HTTPS requests. Codes are stored on the Google cloud so that it is managed in an organized environment without having to bother the developer to manage it manually or take care of the server.

Codes can be written in either JavaScript or TypeScript.

Firestore

The Firebase platform and Google Cloud provide the Firestore database for mobile, web and server application development and is flexible and highly scalable.

Similar to the real-time database in sync and offline, it enables the developer to build dynamic websites and mobile applications regardless of network status, delayed access or Internet connection quality, and provides seamless integration with other products of Firebase and Google Cloud including Cloud Functions.

But it is distinguished from the Realtime database by many things, the most important of which is that the storage of files in the form of objects called documents Documents consists of key-value pairs, can be in the form of any kind of data, whether strings or binary data or even objects form JSON trees are here called maps and these documents are formed in Collections.

These collections consist of documents that may refer to other collections that contain documents that refer to other collections. Therefore, a hierarchical structure can be formed to store the linked data and facilitate retrieval, and queries can be configured according to the size of the result set you are looking for and thus the application is ready for development from its first day.

Firestore queries are shallow, meaning that the query prepares the requested document without having to fetch all the relevant data in any of the subgroups.

It also outperforms the Realtime database with scalability because it is stored in the Google Cloud, which makes it easily scalable no matter how much data and application popularity increases. The size of the stored data.

The most important features of Firestore are multi-region database, which means that the storage is on more than one server automatically to ensure the preservation of data and the continuation of the application correctly in the event of the first server any incident, and of course these copies of data automatically update any update occurs on One is copied to the others.

Cloud Storage

This storage is intended for application developers to serve and store user-generated content such as images, videos, audio files, etc. This service is simple, powerful and cost-effective built according to Google standards and standards.

The SDKs for this service provide Google’s security features to upload and download files via your application regardless of network quality, and of course, since cloud storage, you can access your files from anywhere.

Performance Monitoring

A service to monitor the performance of web, Android or iOS applications based on several features and utilize this information according to your need.

You need a special SDK to monitor performance characteristics and after collecting all the data, the developer can start reviewing and analyzing via the Firebase console.

Hosting

Firebase offers web-level hosting content for developers and is safe and fast. One thing is to deploy a web application quickly and deliver dynamic or static content on the World Wide Web Content Delivery Network (CDN).

The developer can also integrate Firebase hosting with Cloud functions to build and host microservices on Firebase.

Advantages of development and attraction Grow & Engage

Firebase Analytics

Firebase Analytics is a free measurement tool provided by G, which is useful for highlighting app usage and user subscriptions. This service integrates with all Firebase features and provides unlimited reports of more than 500 separate events that can be identified through a special SDK.

The benefit of analysis reports is that it helps the developer to understand more deeply the user’s behavior, which is useful in shaping and making decisions, as well as developing a marketing approach, identifying user preferences and thus improving application performance.

Cloud Messaging

It is a messaging system that allows reliable delivery of messages from the server to the user at no cost, whether on Android, iOS or the web. While 4KB data message.

This system provides ready-to-create message templates or creates your messages, and messages can be sent to a range of customer devices involved in specific topics or detail messages sent to a single device.

The most important feature of the FCM system is that it does not require any form of encryption and code writing, but is fully integrated with Firebase Analytics.

Predictions

Application of Machine Learning technologies in Firebase used to create dynamic user groups based on expected user behavior.

These forecasts are automatically used with Firebase Remote config, Notifications composer, FCM messaging system and A / B testing, and can be linked with BigQuery for daily exports that are useful for analysis or sent to third-party tools.

When using predictions with Remote config, conversions can be increased by providing a personalized experience based on the user’s expected needs. With Notifications composer, predictions can be used to deliver a one-time or duplicate campaign, for example, automatically sending a notification to users who are aware that they will stop using the app.

Here comes the prediction with A / B testing to compare the effectiveness between different Notifications composer campaigns and use Remote config and test the result of different ways to customize the user experience.

AdMob

A mobile advertising platform provided by Google to profit from the application, and its use with Firebase Analytics provides additional information on the use of the application and the expansion of analysis capabilities.

Firebase also integrates with AdMob without having to make changes to the existing AdMod settings.

Dynamic Links

Dynamic links, which means that they respond and direct the user to related content according to the device used, for example when you click on one of your dynamic links on your Android or iOS device the link will take you to the relevant content in the app while clicking on the same link on a computer will take you to the section Equivalent on the website.

These links work whether the application is installed on the mobile or not. If it is not installed, the user is directed and advised to install the application and once installed, the link moves the user to the content associated with it.

So the link has three ways to direct the user either to the mobile application or to the website or to the interface to download and install the application and hence the name of dynamic links.

Adwords

It helps reach potential customers via online advertising.

By launching targeted advertising campaigns using Google Analytics to the Firebase audience to engage with your user group.

Linking Ads to Firebase gives you access to powerful tools to help you see how your ad investment leads to uploading and installing your app and in-app activity. It also lets you export lists of audience names to ads and import events from Analytics to ads.

Remote Config

This cloud service allows you to change the behavior and look of the application without the need to deploy a new update at no cost to an unlimited number of active users per day.

Remote config creates default values ​​within the application that affect the appearance and behavior of this application. Later you can use the Firebase console or the Remote Config REST API to modify these values ​​by overwriting them. As the developer wishes.

App Indexing

App indexing is useful for listing your app and its content in Google search results, so if users download and install your app, they can launch it and go directly to the content they are looking for.

It also helps revitalize and engage app users by helping them find public and personal content on their devices, and the query autocomplete feature helps them get what they’re looking for more quickly.

If users don’t own the app yet, relevant queries will show a card to install your app in search results.

These are the main features of Firebase.