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Firebase Vs MongoDB: Difference Between Firebase & MongoDB

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17th Jun, 2023
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Firebase Vs MongoDB: Difference Between Firebase & MongoDB

As more businesses and consumers come online, more data is being generated that needs to be stored, updated, managed, and analyzed. Database Management System (DBMS) is the software used for this purpose, which maintains interactions between users and applications. All Android and iOS apps and websites are handled through databases. To get more users onboard an application and scale it further, the database becomes one of the technology stack’s essential elements. The more efficient and powerful a database, the more traffic an application can handle.

Database

 It is a systematic collection of data that is accessed through a DBMS. The data can be organized into rows, columns, tables, documents, etc. There are many types of databases, such as hierarchical, network, object-oriented, relational, and NoSQL.

SQL and NoSQL

Structured Query Language (SQL) is used for communicating with relational databases where the data is stored in tables. It has a predefined schema. It is effortless to search, insert, update, and delete any database data with SQL programming. It has an extensive collection of tools and functions and can be applied to several data models. It is used by several applications and can be scaled vertically by adding CPU, SSD, or RAM. Since SQL databases have existed over a long period, more documentation and support can easily be found online.

‘Not-only’ SQL (NoSQL) is an open-source database that is used when data is stored in various data models like documents. There is more flexibility in the way the databases can be structured. It has a dynamic schema. NoSQL is easily and highly scalable by adding more servers to the database. It is ideal for more extensive and more powerful applications and can also be used for real-time applications. Compared to SQL, NoSQL is newer, so there are less documentation and support that can be found online.

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Read: SQL Vs MySQL: Difference Between SQL and MySQL

Firebase

Source

Firebase is a NoSQL database developed by Google. It is a platform that provides multiple services for building web and mobile applications such as real-time database, cloud storage, hosting, cloud functions, and Machine Learning Kit. More than a database it is a Backend-as-a-service. It is used by real-time messaging, multi-player gaming, storage apps, etc. Companies such as Alibaba, The New York Times, Shazam, Trivago, etc. use Firebase.

In Firebase Realtime Database, data is stored as JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), and any changes in data can be synchronized in real-time for every connected user. The apps are responsive even when offline. Cloud Firestore can store data in documents that can be organized in collections.

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Firebase is ideal for small scale apps, which require less expertise in coding and can be easily developed when there is a time constraint. It can also handle traffic very well and can be remotely configured. It is highly scalable and user-friendly in terms of authentication and notifications. As it is a part of Cloud Firebase services, it can be easily integrated with other Firebase products.

It supports Java, C++, JavaScript, Swift, Objective-C, NodeJS etc. The pricing is a pay-as-you-go plan and has flexible rates, so it depends on how much the application grows.

However, Firebase does not perform well when there is high traffic, and it cannot be used for large scale applications as compared to MongoDB. There are no relational queries. The app creators do not own data, and thus it is not highly secure. Migrating data can be tricky. Lastly, the Firebase database becomes more expensive as the application starts to scale.

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Features Provided by Firebase

  • Real-time database
  • Cloud storage
  • Firebase storage
  • Cloud functions
  • ML kit
  • Remote config
  • Google Analytics
  • In-app messaging
  • Performance monitoring
  • Dynamic links
  • Test lab
  • A/B testing
  • Cloud firestore
  • Predictions
  • Hosting
  • Cloud messaging
  • Crash reports
  • App Index
  • Firebase authentication

MongoDB

Source

MongoDB is an open-source NoSQL database managed by MongoDB Inc. It is a cross-platform, document-oriented database that is highly flexible in handling indexing and queries as needed. It does not provide varied services such as Firebase does but gives importance to data storage.

Data is stored locally as documents in JSON format. Different categories of apps are powered by it, such as search engines, social networks, retail, etc. Companies such as eBay, Adobe, Google, Cisco, KPMG, etc. use MongoDB. It requires more coding expertise and is ideal for large-scale applications that need to be developed without a time constraint. MongoDB provides high performance, is highly scalable, and can handle high traffic exceptionally well.

Developers have more freedom as data can be handled easily and have more flexibility as there is no requirement of a unified data structure across all objects. Data is secure as there is no SQL injection possible. Any changes made in the database do not affect the application. Additionally, MongoDB also has geospatial support.

MongoDB supports Java, JavaScript, C, C#, Perl, Python, NodeJS, etc. Compared to Firebase, MongoDB is cheaper as there is a free version available if the developer has their own server. Payment is required only when there is a need to use MongoDB servers.

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But there have been cases of leaking, losing, and corrupting of data with MongoDB. The queries are very complex and difficult to work with. It does not offer powerful indexing and searching. ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) properties are not followed completely. This database should not be used for highly transactional systems. Learn more about MongoDB Project ideas.

Also Read: Hadoop Vs MongoDB

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Features Offered by MongoDB

  • Adaptable
  • Prominence to map-reduce and aggregation tools
  • Data analytics support
  • Schema-free C++ database
  • Simple database architecture
  • Supports data storage in the cloud
  • Powerful indexing and search tool
  • Information re-creation and duplication
  • Adaptable schema
  • Real-time data reports

Main Differences Between Firebase and MongoDB

If you are trying to understand which is better regarding Firebase vs MongoDB, here is an overview of their differences.

  • Firebase vs MongoDB: Performance

When comparing Firebase and MongoDB for performance, it is clear that both are designed to handle scaling. However, MongoDB comes out on top in terms of performance due to its customizable features and the availability of a variety of efficient Atlas tiers.

If third-party review reports are to be believed, MongoDB comes out on top, although the result depends mostly on your usage habits and individual issue space. Since MongoDB was made to process online transactions and work with fast-moving data pipelines, it is understandable that MongoDB would be faster than other relational database systems.

When it comes to stability and performance, there are noticeable differences between Firebase and MongoDB. Data storage in the cloud has made Firebase less dependable and limits its ability to adapt. It makes MongoDB much more reliable due to its dependable servers, making it a responsible database platform. That is one of the major performance advantages of MongoDB.

  • Firebase vs MongoDB: Service Usage

Firebase can be used anonymously by anyone from anywhere, while only authorized users can access the data stored in MongoDB. Data saved in Firebase can be accessed by any device, but MongoDB requires appropriate identification for more secure access to its database.

  • Firebase vs MongoDB: Market Popularity

Both MongoDB and Google Firebase have prominent market dominance in this field. However, when a graph of queries is conducted, it can be seen that for every 42 searches in the name of Firebase, an average of 70 inquiries are done for MongoDB. Firebase has witnessed a sudden, noticeable rise, whereas MongoDB is subject to a slower rise. As of now, they are equals.

  • Firebase vs MongoDB: Pricing

When comparing Firebase vs MongoDB pricing, you will find a ‘pay as you go’ system in Firebase, which does not have a fixed cost. In contrast, hosting MongoDB on your own server is free. However, if you choose to use Atlas, there may be a cost, although a free version is also available.

  • Firebase Vs MongoDB: Database Usage

Let’s compare the Firebase database vs MongoDB database usage.

  • Developers prefer using MongoDb for high-speed logging in an app and Firebase for real-time data.
  • A simple API makes Firebase easier to integrate. MongoDB is used for managing massive data.
  • If you need to quickly scale up your application, Firebase is a great choice. However, MongoDB is the better option if you prioritize fast storage and scaling.
  • Firebase is used for real-time sync, while MongoDB is used for storing geospatial information.

Which is better? Firebase or MongoDB?

When comparing these two databases, there are some similarities, but many differences, as seen above. Depending on the application that is needed to be developed, preference can be given to one of these. Small scale, less traffic, low expertise, less time, low security, and low-performance apps can be developed using Firebase.

Whereas a large scale, high traffic generating, more expertise available, and high performing apps should be developed using MongoDB. Firebase comes with many other services and real-time synchronization other than just data storage as compared to MongoDB. However, there is more freedom and fewer expenses when using MongoDB.

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Eventually, it depends on the app developers’ resources and needs and can choose the appropriate database that meets with all their requirements. 

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Rohit Sharma

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Rohit Sharma is the Program Director for the UpGrad-IIIT Bangalore, PG Diploma Data Analytics Program.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Why do we need a database?

The primary reason to have a database is to store, analyse, and work with humongous amounts of data. Moreover, a database puts spreadsheets and text files to use to simplify the way it manages data. Additionally, developers can further access and use the data whenever they want. The need for a database arises especially when there is a need to manage large chunks of data. Developers can store these data in a database in a refined manner. The ease to update the database using Data Manipulation Language is another reason why the database is needed. Furthermore, when data constraints are put to use, the integrity of the database remains as it is. This also keeps unauthorised users from accessing the DB, thus, maintaining security.

2How has NoSQL Database evolved over years? Explain a few NoSQL databases.

NoSQL Databases is a non-relational database that aims to retrieve and store data easily. NoSQL databases are bliss for applications that operate on Big Data and use real-time data in their web apps. As NoSQL databases, Firebase and MongoDB are the most widely used ones. Other examples include Cassandra, Redis, Neo4j, Oracle NoSQL, Couchbase, etc. Firebase database uses background connectivity with a real-time engine. It is Google-owned and offers cloud function, hosting, machine learning, and storage flexibility to users. MongoDB is another NoSQL database that is flexible, easy to use, and scalable. It is mainly used for querying. It is a leading NoSQL database out of the lot.

3When should you use Firebase and MongoDB respectively?

Firebase is best, to begin with, if you are to use small projects like web and mobile applications. If the look-in-one Cloud provider is not a big deal for you, go for firebase. However, if you wish to use a general-purpose data solution, go for MongoDB as it will offer you wealthy privileges such as scalability, and querying. Alternatively, you can also choose MongoDB Atlas depending on how huge your requirement is.

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