Code360 powered by Coding Ninjas X Naukri.com. Code360 powered by Coding Ninjas X Naukri.com
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Introduction to Firebase

Leveraging ChatGPT - GenAI as a Microsoft Data Expert
Speaker
Prerita Agarwal
Data Specialist @
23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction

The need to create complex structures and logic to control the data and flow of the application is one of the key issues that developers frequently encounter. They spend a lot of time and energy on this. This is where the developers start looking for easy yet powerful tools to integrate with their applications to make them robust and improved. Here, Firebase comes into play. Since Firebase manages all the intricate data structures, developers can now complete tasks more quickly and easily.

Firebase

Developers may swiftly create and expand their applications using the Firebase mobile development platform. Google uses Firebase to offer tools and cloud services that assist web and mobile developers in resolving typical issues throughout the application lifecycle. Firebase handles issues including developing an app, enhancing its usability, and boosting user engagement. On iOS, Android, and the web, Firebase is simple to integrate. For the benefit of game developers, it also works nicely with C++ and Unity. To aid developers in moving swiftly and ensuring that the app is of the same calibre across all popular platforms, Firebase offers an SDK specifically designed for each of them.

Firebase Services

These fundamental issues in the lifecycle of our applications are helped by Firebase's wide range of tools and Cloud Services. Firebase offers a variety of services that are categorised into three categories.

  • Category 1: Building better applications is the first category. If we create a new application, Firebase gives a serverless starting point.
  • Category 2: Improve Application Quality is the next category. After the app is created, Firebase provides tools to aid the developer in enhancing the app's reliability and efficiency.
  • Category 3: Drive user engagement is the third category. Finally, Firebase provides tools to aid developers in increasing user retention and engagement.
Get the tech career you deserve, faster!
Connect with our expert counsellors to understand how to hack your way to success
User rating 4.7/5
1:1 doubt support
95% placement record
Akash Pal
Senior Software Engineer
326% Hike After Job Bootcamp
Himanshu Gusain
Programmer Analyst
32 LPA After Job Bootcamp
After Job
Bootcamp

Phases of Lifecycle

After this quick overview of Firebase, let us look at the application lifecycle. There are three primary stages to its lifecycle.

  • Phase 1: When creating a new application or adding new features to an existing one, the first phase is the development phase.
  • Phase 2:  After completing our application, we want to make it available to users. We must, however, go cautiously and keep an eye out for any potential collisions that might occur.
  • Phase 3: The third and final phase is when we want to know more about the users once they start using the new application. Decide to further customise their experience for the most valuable users to keep them.

Development Phase

Let us start with the development phase category of products. We will examine the typical application architecture. The developers are accustomed to and can recognise a feature from their projects.
Suppose the developer has a mobile app that uses a Representational State Transfer (REST) API to connect to our central frontend server. All of the other backend services are connected to that server. A developer typically has a server for media assets and authentication. Additionally, there is the database, which is one of the initial choices made by app developers.
Developers are concerned about infrastructure and how it will change as a company grows. New platforms might also need to be added in addition to that. Scaling the frontend server can be necessary. The security of the authentication server must also be guaranteed. The developer must ensure that the media server terabytes are ready and the database is fast enough. It is where Firebase comes in. Below, we can see how the issues get solved with Firebase.

Development Phase

Example

Let us imagine we are creating a smartphone application that handles user-generated material. It might be a photo album with mobile and web interfaces that attacks and extracts information from any photograph a user uploads and then shows the user the results.
User authentication comes first while developing the architecture of our software. Facebook, email, phone, and other services are all supported via the out-of-the-box authentication UI provided by Firebase. The user can upload their photograph to cloud storage, a safe area in the Cloud for user content, when they have successfully authenticated themselves. Cloud services are activated when a new image is uploaded to cloud storage. In this instance, optical character recognition on the image. Thanks to Firebase ML Kit, machine learning models may be easily accessed from the app.
After separating the text from the image, we will store it in the real-time NoSQL database Cloud Firestore. A cloud app can sign up for updates on new information kept in Cloud Firestore. As a result, our users are promptly informed of the text extracted from their photographs. The user attests that the text is accurate.
If we were starting from new with a Cloud-native app, we might put an end to our work here. However, what if we incorporate a cloud-native module into an established legacy programme that primarily uses on-premises logic?
In that instance, the traditional backend can access the Secure API. When a user approves a new entry to Cloud Firestore, we may utilise Cloud Functions to alert the backend.

Improve Application Quality

After discussing the advantages of creating apps with Firebase, let us speak about maintaining the health of those apps. Here too, Firebase can be helpful.

Improve Application Quality

Therefore, we created our app. It offers a long number of excellent characteristics. In the alpha test, it is doing nicely. It is superior to anything else. We are sure of that. Yet, what if our programme is unreliable or prone to bugs in the real world? We might get unfavourable evaluations. Users may become upset and leave unfavourable reviews if our application crashes, scaring off prospective new users.
Let us explore how Firebase might be of assistance to us. We just finished creating a new feature for the application, and we are prepared to upload the upgraded application to the Apple and Play Stores. We could wish to start by implementing the new feature for a small subset of consumers. With Firebase, we have complete control over the rollout.
First, we can use Remote Config to hide a new feature from view before publishing the new release to the App Stores. Next, we can choose the 1% of people using the new feature first using Google Analytics for Firebase.
We can use firebase performance monitoring and crash analytics to track user experience once 1% of users have activated the new functionality. We may check to see who has the new functionality turned on and keep an eye out for any potential app problems that it might bring about. By exporting our data to BigQuery, we can explore it more thoroughly. We will soon have determined that only users of really outdated devices experience app crashes. Nevertheless, it functions well on practically all devices. We may now want to delay the rollout of the problematic devices so that most customers can take advantage of the new feature.

Drive User Engagement

Finally, the phase of the application lifecycle that is arguably the most crucial has arrived. When users use the Firebase-built application, we can be sure that it operates as planned because all Firebase monitoring dashboards show good health. We may concentrate on attracting and keeping the most valued customers.
We must first and foremost understand our users. We can quickly separate our consumers into audience segments using Google Analytics to tailor their experience further. Next, we can employ machine learning to forecast user behaviour based on previously recorded analytics events with Predictions.
Finally, we can mirror all the events to BigQuery if we need to go further into the data.
It is time to experiment with performance-enhancing our application once we better understand and have begun segmenting our user base. The critical component of this is Remote Config. It enables us to remotely modify the behaviour of our applications without distributing new builds, which would be labour-intensive and cumbersome for the user.
We can create and carry out tests to find out what makes the best possible app experience for a specified segment when combined with Google Analytics and A/B testing. Finally, we require tools to aid in retaining current users and attracting new ones.
Push notifications are an in-app messaging feature that can be used, for instance, to present a special offer to the most valuable users. We will employ Cloud messaging to connect with them to reengage consumers who have not used our app in a few days.
As part of our marketing strategy, we wish to promote our app on external websites. Dynamic Links will be an excellent tool in the situation. Prospects will be assisted in viewing our app in the relevant app stores through Dynamic Links. On an Android smartphone, clicking the link will immediately take the user to the Play Store. An iOS user, on the other hand, will be directed to the Apple App store.

Creating a Firebase Project

Now, Let us go over a short demonstration of how to create a firebase project.

Step 1  Creating Project

Create a Firebase project. In the firebase console, click on "Create a project".

Creating Project

Step 2 Naming Project

Enter the desired project name to start a new project. Review and agree to the Firebase terms if prompted. Click "continue."

Naming Project

Optional Step

Setting up Google Analytics for the Firebase project is an optional step. Enable Google Analytics and select this by clicking "Continue".

Optional Step

Step 3 Configuring Google Analytics

It involves setting up Google Analytics. First, choose the Analytics location. Then decide to share Google Analytics data using the default settings. Click "Create project" after reading and accepting the Google Analytics terms.

Configuring Google Analytics

Firebase automatically allocates resources for the Firebase project. The Firebase console's Overview page for the project will be displayed when the procedure is finished. Now, We successfully created a project in Firebase.

Top features and usages of Firebase

  • Provides Real-Time Databases: The first service provided by the Firebase package was its real-time database, from the year 2011; it has been a stable, efficient and expanding service. A real-time database is also referred to as a “NoSQL” database, as data from these applications are stored in the cloud storage so that it can be accessed and updated at the real-time only. The delay between actual data updation and registered data updation is NIL.
    In cases where the target device is not connected to the internet, the updations are stored offline in the cache memory of the device and later when the device is reconnected to the internet services; it gets synchronised with the cloud. Applications from the e-commerce, banking, communication industries highly avail this service. The data can be queried by the user and is stored in the usual JSON format.
  • User-Authentication: To make the platform secure, Firebase Authentication is used, that provides access only if the correct user-identity is entered before data manipulation. It comes from the Google Authentication Libraries,  that is reconstructed for applications using Firebase, you can analyse its reliability now! It provides a bunch of in-built User-interfaces for authentication via user-credential, Google- credential, social media credentials like Twitter and Facebook. These in-built UIs are further customisable; to give you the platform for showing your creativity.
  • Hosting Services: Developers often need hosting for web-applications, progressive web-applications and mobile landing pages. For applications developed with HTML, CSS and Javascript, Firebase provides static web-hosting services. It uses the usual HTTPS and SSL for securing the data transactions.
  • Eliminates Servers: It allows us to sink our applications directly with the Google cloud, which eliminates the need for setting up third-party servers. It uses a tool for running the backend code on an event-driven basis, directly from the cloud. This architecture is popularly known as “serverless architecture”. The clients are entirely isolated from each other, having distinct functions, even in the cloud and can only communicate via APIs. With this, Google is emerging as one of the top service providers, globally.

The devices are only connected via cloud APIs
Image Source: firebase.google.com

  • Machine Learning Libraries: Although this feature is currently is in the beta version, it is the most opulent feature of Firebase. Firebase allows integrating machine learning libraries with Android and iOS applications. “ML Kit” is the feature of Firebase that is widely used in intelligent applications like the Google Lens.ML Kit can support both cloud services and on-device services with the help of APIs. It is widely used for face recognition, voice recognition, bar code and QR code scanning, natural language processing and other AI techniques.
  • Data Analysis: When a project goes live, the feedback mechanism is very important for its improvisation and stability. It includes Google Analytics that gives you a detailed statistical report about user retention, user engagement rates, or the various user behavioural data that assists you in the overall operation of your business. Firebase has a collaboration with fifty-two analytical companies, that allows user to avail unlimited and unpaid reporting capabilities.

Analyses the data stored in the cloud
Image Source: firebase.google.com

  • Testing Services: Firebase comes with an integrated Test Lab, that allows you to test your app ecosystem with a number of virtual and tangible devices. You can integrate the Test Lab with your pre-installed testing tool or the Android Studio itself. Along with the usually provided detailed test summary report, Firebase also provides the screenshots of the bugs encountered or system crash instances. Alas! The Test Lab is incompatible with iOS devices yet. Crash reports are also well aligned; the issue with the highest priority is placed on top of the list, along with the bugs their corresponding root causes are also mentioned in the report with the exact row and column number. Apart, from the application ecosystem, it also tests the server connectivity and the turnaround time of any thread.
  • Cloud Notifications & Predictions: With the help of Firebase Google Analytics, cloud messaging analyses a pattern among the users, and sends them push-notifications and messages. It allows the developers to customise the messages or notifications based on the user profile, their subscriptions, behavioural patterns, services availed, etc. For sending push notifications, you don’t have to write any source code; this feature comes in-built with Firebase. You can even change the messages or notifications dynamically, without pulling down the application or re-publishing it.

Push Notifications and messages for user-retention
Image Source: firebase.google.com

Prediction service comes from the Machine Learning bucket; it divides the users into specific sections depending upon their actions or the services that they use. For Example- Netflix recommendations or Google Ads. These predictions help the business in retaining its customers and works as an implicit marketing strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Firebase SQL or NoSQL?

Thanks to the Firebase Realtime Database, a NoSQL database stored in the Cloud, we can store and sync data between users in real-time.

Is Firebase backend or frontend?

Frontend developers may plug their GUI onto Firebase's pre-built backend without waiting for the backend to be finished.

What language is used for Firebase?

Programming in C++, Java, JavaScript, JavaScript/Node.js, Objective-C, and Swift is supported by the Firebase SDK.

Is Firebase an API?

Developers may quickly sync and save data in real-time using the Firebase API. Without needing to manage servers or write server-side code, developers may use the service to create their apps. IOS, Android, and JavaScript applications include Ember, React, Angular, and Backbone bindings.

Is Firebase a web server?

For developers, Firebase Hosting offers production-quality online content hosting. We can quickly launch web applications with a single command and serve static and dynamic content to a worldwide CDN (content delivery network).

Is Firebase a good database?

Rapid prototyping is made possible by Firebase's excellent ability to generate something quickly from scratch. Firebase can be the go-to solution if we roughly know what we want to do and require a fully configured backend we can connect to.

Conclusion

In this article, we talked about Firebase. It is an application development platform from Google. Here, we can read about the items it contains and the common development problems it resolves. We also read about the range of application developers' tools to create better-quality applications. Additionally, we observed how to create a project through the Firebase console. Firebase is simple to use and extremely powerful. Because Firebase handles data administration with ease and few lines of code, it makes the developer's life much easier. It allows them to focus less on that logic. Firebase is a crucial development component and will be around for a long time. You can learn about Cloud Computing and find our courses on Data Science and machine learning. Do not forget to check out more blogs on GCP to follow.

Thank you image


Explore Coding Ninjas Studio to find more exciting stuff. Happy Coding!

Topics covered
1.
Introduction
2.
Firebase
2.1.
Firebase Services
3.
Phases of Lifecycle
3.1.
Development Phase
3.1.1.
Example
3.2.
Improve Application Quality
3.3.
Drive User Engagement
4.
Creating a Firebase Project
4.1.
Step 1  Creating Project
4.2.
Step 2 Naming Project
4.3.
Optional Step
4.4.
Step 3 Configuring Google Analytics
4.5.
Top features and usages of Firebase
5.
Frequently Asked Questions
5.1.
Is Firebase SQL or NoSQL?
5.2.
Is Firebase backend or frontend?
5.3.
What language is used for Firebase?
5.4.
Is Firebase an API?
5.5.
Is Firebase a web server?
5.6.
Is Firebase a good database?
6.
Conclusion