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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is Firebase Realtime Database?
3.
What is Cloud Firestore?
4.
Capabilities and Implementation
4.1.
Firebase Realtime Database
4.1.1.
Capabilities:
4.2.
Firestore
4.2.1.
Capabilities:
5.
Differences between Realtime Database and Cloud Firestore
6.
Frequently Asked Questions
6.1.
In terms of querying, which is better, Firebase Realtime Database or Firestore?
6.2.
How can we access the data from Firebase Realtime Database?
6.3.
What do you mean by sharding?
7.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Firebase Realtime Database v/s Cloud Firestore

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

Introduction

Welcome Ninjas. This blog will take you through a series of concepts of Firebase Realtime Database and Cloud Firestore and which of the both should be preferred. But before going any further, let's understand Firebase and its significance.

Firebase Realtime Database v/s Cloud Firestore

Firebase is a backend development software provided by google. It enables the developers to develop ios apps, web apps, etc. It provides various quality tools and services to developers. It stores data in the JSON format. It has five key features.

  1. Authentication
  2. Realtime Database
  3. Hosting
  4. Test Lab
  5. Notifications
Firebase

What is Firebase Realtime Database?

Firebase Realtime Database is a NoSQL database in which we store the data in JSON format. It is cloud-hosted. What does Realtime mean? A Realtime database signifies that the data is synchronized in real-time(every second or even a nanosecond) with every client part of the server. All the clients are provided with one Realtime Database instance, which is updated in real-time with the latest data.

Database real time

The foremost advantage of real-time syncing is that the data can be accessed from any device at any time. E.g., When we are working in a team and suppose we are using a google spreadsheet. The changes one makes to it will be visible to all the others working in a group.

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What is Cloud Firestore?

Cloud Firestore is also a part of Google Firebase. It came after the Firebase Realtime Database. Like the firebase realtime database, it is also a NoSQL database and flexible. Cloud Firestore also syncs the data in realtime and is used for web and mobile development. One significant advantage is that the cloud firestore can provide offline support, which helps create responsive apps that can work without an online network.

Capabilities and Implementation

Firebase Realtime Database

Capabilities:

The capabilities of the Firebase Realtime Database are as follows:

Realtime - So far, we know that the Firebase Realtime Database syncs the data to all the clients connected to the server.

Offline - If a device goes offline or is offline, it stores the changes to the disk made when the device is online, and after the connectivity is reestablished, the data is synced again.

Accessible from Client Devices - The Database can be accessed from any client's mobile device or web browser without an application server.

Firestore

Capabilities:

The capabilities of the Firebase Realtime Database are as follows:

  1. Realtime & Offline support: Like the Realtime database, it provides real-time data sync and offline support for responsive apps.
  2. Expressing Querying: We can query and retrieve the data from the Database. Data is also indexed. Hence, the query performance is proportional to the size of the resultset.

Differences between Realtime Database and Cloud Firestore

There exist several differences between the both. Based on them, one should choose which one to prefer. 

Look at the table below:-

Table of difference

Both of them have specific features and characteristics based on which we choose which one of them to use for a particular application.

Frequently Asked Questions

In terms of querying, which is better, Firebase Realtime Database or Firestore?

In Firestore, querying and indexing are more efficient as filtering & sorting can be performed under a single query operation.

How can we access the data from Firebase Realtime Database?

We can either use the Firebase Database REST API or the Firebase SDK to access the database.

What do you mean by sharding?

Sharding proves useful in large datasets. It is the splitting or breaking of the data into smaller parts to manage and store it easily. 

Conclusion

We hope this blog successfully helped you understand the concept of Firebase Realtime Database and Cloud Firestore and the difference between them.

If you found this blog interesting and insightful, refer to similar blogs:

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Cloud functions and extensions in Firebase

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