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Emmanuel Aiyenigba
Emmanuel Aiyenigba

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Top Firebase Alternatives


In today’s fast-paced world of software development, startups want to build performant and scalable applications fast and with a small team. This quest has led to the demand for cloud service models that can take care of the backend complexities so that developers can focus more on writing and maintaining the frontend.

For early-stage startups that want to move fast, it is time-consuming and capital-intensive to hire experts to build their backend from the ground up, not to mention the complexities of building and maintaining backend infrastructure and their services - authentication, datastore, storage, analytics search, real-time event streaming, hosting, etc. For this and many other reasons, development teams look to Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) vendors to provide effective, efficient, performant, and scalable software to handle the backend and backend-related services so that developers can build faster by having less tasks to focus on and also reduce the time to market significantly.

Firebase is a cloud-based Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) that helps accelerate the development of applications. It presents several built-in services to build web and mobile applications fast. However, its numerous limitations, some of which are deal-breakers, have led development teams to explore alternative BaaS providers.

This article will delve into the limitations of Firebase, explore a few existing alternatives and provide guidance on selecting a superior Backend-as-a-Service solution.

Benefits of Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS)

Backend-as-a-Service has many benefits for developers. The way the web and mobile applications are built is changing as demands for apps and features are increasing daily. Development teams want to move fast and scale together. BaaS makes this possible. The following are some of the benefits of BaaS:

  • Development speed: BaaS helps you build fast by taking care of the entire backend infrastructure for you so that you do spend valuable time figuring out complexities and lets you focus on fewer tasks - only the frontend. This way, the time from building to market is reduced.
  • Cross-platform compatibility: with BaaS, cross-platform compatibility becomes easier because you can integrate your web and mobile applications under a single backend designed to scale by default.
  • Scalability: Most BaaS providers design their platforms to scale by default. Your backend scales up as the load and traffic increase and scales down as they decrease. You don’t have to worry about managing scalability yourself.
  • Cost: BaaS reduces the cost of building, hosting, maintaining, and updating your backend by yourself. It eliminates the need to hire experts to build and maintain your servers in-house. It also reduces the maintenance cost for backend services like storage, infrastructure provisioning, and database management.
  • Server availability: BaaS providers typically have global server availability, ensuring that your apps are available globally to users always.
  • Security: BaaS providers invest heavily in security and conform to best security practices to protect sensitive user data. On top of that, they allow you to set permission regarding who can read or write to your application.

Firebase; the downsides

Firebase offers several services out-of-the-box, like authentication, analytics, crashlytics, firestore, performance monitoring and cloud function, etc. It also has a large community of users. However, it is not always the easiest, fastest, and most flexible option available due to its limitations. Some of these limitations of Firebase can be a deal breaker for development teams. Let’s take a look at some of the downsides.

  • Challenges with data storage: Firebase uses a real-time database as its primary store. However, the database has less querying capabilities. You cannot do a full-text search or query multiple keys at once in Firebase. It also doesn’t help you filter your data efficiently since the filtered data is returned unordered. The limitation in the query capabilities affects the efficiency of data access and may slow down performance.
  • Restriction in data migration: Firebase promotes platform dependence by restricting data migration, making it difficult to move your data out when you want. Every developer wants a BaaS provider that allows them the flexibility to move their data out whenever and without restriction.
  • Built to lock you in. Vendor lock-in is the major downside of Firebase. It wants to keep you dependent on the platform by making it difficult for you to move away. You rely heavily on the services and updates provided by Google. It can be restrictive at a certain point as you don’t have any control over what goes on behind the scenes.
  • Pricing: The Firebase free tier is limited, making it suitable for only small applications. Pricing becomes very expensive as your app grows. Firebase’s pricing model is complex and hard to predict since the upgrade plan is pay-as-you-go.
  • Security: Firebase’s security rules work by comparing a pattern to database paths and applying customized conditions to grant access to data at these paths. However, building large-scale apps on top of them can be difficult because the rules are limited. The Firebase real-time database security rules leverage JSON in the rule definition. The JSON file can grow quickly and become excessively large, making it difficult to manage, as any mistake in modification can potentially affect the entire application.

Firebase shines more with smaller applications. For large and complex applications, you should consider using other BaaS. Let’s delve into the alternatives to Firebase.

Top Firebase Alternatives

Many Firebase alternatives exists, but we will only look at a few. We will discuss features, benefits, and cons of each platform, as well as their pricing option and developer support. Whether you are looking for a BaaS platform that is more flexible, scalable, secure, and affordable than Firebase, this list will help you find the right one.


SinglebaseCloud is an AI-powered cloud-based low-code Backend-as-a-Service that helps you build web and mobile applications faster at scale. SinglebaseCloud provides features like datastore, authentication, storage, search, analytics, etc. through SDKs, GraphQL, SQL, and REST to build apps faster and better. SinglebaseCloud is the first BaaS provider that offers Vector Database and Vector Search out-of-the-box.

It addresses and resolves the bottlenecks and constraints found with Firebase. Vector database, advanced querying and indexing capabilities, AI-powered vector search, and other features impossible in Firebase are now possible with SinglebaseCloud out-of-the-box. Think of SinglebaseCloud as the alternative that resembles Firebase the closest but with much more flexibility, scalability, and features. If you love Firebase but are concerned about its rigidity and numerous limitations, SinglebaseCloud may be the right alternative for you. SinglebaseCloud’s NoSQL document database is equipped with SQL capabilities to help you query data quickly.


SinglebaseCloud offers a NoSQL document database that allows you to store, manage, and use unstructured data efficiently. It takes care of all of the server-side complexities for you so that you can focus on your frontend

Features & Pros

  • Vector database: SinglebaseCloud’s vector database can store and manage vector data efficiently. With a vector database, you can index and store vector embeddings for fast data retrieval and similarity search. It enables you to equip large-language models (LLMs) with long-term memory.
  • Vector search: Vector search or Similarity search helps you find similar vectors by calculating the similarities (closeness and distance). With vector search, you can search and retrieve information from a vector database based on meaning or context instead of keywords as in other databases. Vector search helps you unlock intelligent search results. SinglebaseCloud provides these features out of the box.
  • NoSQL datastore: SinglebaseCloud has an efficient document-based NoSQL datastore to help you manage your text data. Its datastore is equipped with advanced matching query and SQL capabilities to enable you to query for data quickly.
  • Seamless integration with your applications: SinglebaseCloud’s services and features need no extra configuration to make them work - they work by default. It can integrate seamlessly with your app’s existing functionalities without creating conflicts.
  • Fast and intuitive: SinglebaseCloud is designed to be fast and intuitive. Because it is AI-powered, the database doesn’t require explicit instructions for every task; it possesses an innate sense of intuition to respond to your queries and requests. It also has fast querying and indexing capabilities.
  • Performant and scalable: Your SinglebaseCloud backend can scale up as the load and traffic increase and scale down at less traffic by default, making your app performant regardless of the traffic. Its NoSQL document database allows you to store and manage unstructured data efficiently.
  • Efficient storage system: SinglebaseCloud provides an efficient storage service to handle your app’s files and media. Its robust image processing capabilities let you store, manipulate, and deliver images at scale. For optimal performance, SinglebaseCloud allows you to cache and automatically resize images. It has a secure and flexible storage system with features like access controls, automatic backups, and versioning, making it easier to serve images.
  • Seamless authentication experience: SinglebaseCloud has industry-standard authentication protocols to secure your application and protect user data. Multi-factor authentication and social login options are also available.
  • Insightful analytics and efficient search capabilities: SinglebaseCloud’s analytics help you make data-driven decisions. Its customizable indexing, filtering, and relevance ranking features help your application unlock fast and accurate search results.
  • Predictable pricing and developer support: SinglebaseCloud has predictable pricing and great developer support to keep you going. Unlike other BaaS providers, SinglebaseCloud’s prices will be flat for your tier, so you should not expect any fluctuations in cost.


  • SinglebaseCloud is new, so the community around it is still small. You may get little or no peer support while building.
  • It uses a NoSQL document database. If you prefer relational databases, this can be an issue for you
  • It is not open-source, and you cannot self-host.


Supabase is an open-source BaaS platform that provides tools and services for building fast, scalable, and secure applications. It leverages PostgreSQL as its database and offers a range of features and functionalities to enable the development of full-fledged modern applications. Authentication, instant APIs, storage, analytics, vector embeddings, and edge functions are all provided by Supabase out of the box.


Features & Pros

  • Realtime database: Supabase offers a real time PostgreSQL database, allowing you to store and retrieve data in real time, making it suitable for applications that require instant updates.
  • Flexible services: Supabase is super flexible and extensible - you can use any of their services as a standalone. For example, you can use the Supabase storage alone and then use another product’s datastore - it gives you that much flexibility.
  • Industry-standard security: Supabase takes security very seriously. It allows you to define granular access control. Its powerful Postgres Row Level Security (RLS) allows to create policies to control access to your data. RLS ensures that users only access the data they are authorized for. You can enable RLS for any table in your database.
  • Real time event triggers: Developers can set up event triggers that respond to changes in the database. When an event is triggered, Supabase can execute serverless functions enabling you to automate tasks or send notifications in real time.


  • Learning curve: Supabase has a steep learning curve. Developers who are new to PostgreSQL may find it hard to navigate
  • It only supports PostgreSQL database. If you prefer a non-relational database, then Supabase may not be the right tool.
  • Scalability: If self-hosting, you may have to manage scalability concerns as your app grows.
  • Limited Ecosystem: Supabase is a relatively new platform compared to more established Backend-as-a-Service providers. It may have a smaller ecosystem of third-party integrations, libraries, and plugins compared to more mature alternatives.


Appwrite is an open-source BaaS platform built by hundreds of developers. It enables you to spin up a backend easily, build any application at scale with any coding languages, and host it wherever you want. It is a great Firebase alternative with core functionalities like authentication, database, storage, function, and real-time events.


Features & Pros

  • Database services: Appwrite’s NoSQL database lets you store and retrieve structured data. You can organize your data into databases, collections, and documents so that you can query with ease. It also supports relationships for efficient data modeling.
  • Functions: Appwrite’s functions let you extend Appwrite with code snippets and build anything you want. Functions are triggered by webhooks, HTTP requests, SDK options, and scheduled executions.
  • Robust authentication: Appwrite offers user authentication and identity management services, allowing developers to implement user registration, login, and access control. It supports various authentication methods, including email/password, OAuth, and custom JWT.
  • Cloud Functions: Appwrite supports serverless computing through its Cloud Functions feature. Developers can write and deploy serverless functions that run in response to HTTP requests or database events, extending the functionality of their applications.


  • Learning curve: It may take a while to familiarize yourself with the Appwrite platform.
  • Customization complexity: Sometimes, you may need to customize your backend, which can lead to extensive custom coding and more development efforts.
  • Infrastructure management: If you self-host Appwrite, you will be responsible for managing, updating, and scaling your server. It may not be a good idea if you are looking for a fully managed BaaS solution.

Parse Server

Parse Server is an open-source backend framework that enables developers to build scalable and customizable server-side logic for web and mobile applications. Initially developed by Facebook as a Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform, Parse Server is now maintained by an open-source community.

Parse Server

Features & Pros

  • Database Agnostic: Parse Server is designed to be database-agnostic, allowing developers to choose the database that best suits their project's needs. It supports databases like MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and others, providing flexibility in data storage.
  • Data Storage and Querying: Parse Server offers a powerful data storage system with support for classes and objects, making it easy to organize and query data. Developers can perform complex queries and filtering operations, making it suitable for various application types.
  • Real-Time Features: Parse Server includes real-time features that allow developers to build applications with live updates and collaboration. It provides a real-time database and live queries, enabling applications to push data updates to clients in real time.
  • Authentication and User Management: Parse Server provides robust authentication and user management services, allowing developers to implement user registration, login, password reset, and access control. It supports various authentication methods, including email/password, social logins, and custom authentication.


  • As of the time of writing this article, one major con of Parse Server is that it is not actively maintained, which can be a deal-breaker.
  • Self-hosting complexity: Setting up and maintaining Parse can be complex for developers without experience in server administration


In your quest to find the ideal Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform, it's essential to consider a solution that not only accelerates development but also offers the flexibility and scalability required for your projects. While Firebase has garnered recognition for its out-of-the-box services and vibrant community, it's vital to acknowledge its limitations, especially when embarking on larger and more complex applications. The alternatives provided in this article can help you build a better, faster, and more scalable backend for your applications.

Top comments (2)

androaddict profile image

Can we use Supabase for notification Android apps with free of cost ?

emmanuelthecoder profile image
Emmanuel Aiyenigba

I think that Supabase let's you integrate OneSignal to do push notifications.

I believe @jonmeyers_io can say more about this.