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Shariq Ahmed
Shariq Ahmed

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Supabase: Firebase Alternative

Supabase: Firebase Alternative

When you simultaneously hear words like database, authentication, file storage, and auto-generated APIs, know that the speaker is talking about Supabase.

But what actually is it? Well, it's an open-source alternative to Firebase that can serve as a complete backend. It's also called backend as a platform (BaaS) service.

On their official website, in bold letters, it's written, 'Build in a weekend. Scale to millions. Thankfully, SupaBase is living up to its words. Developers can spin up their backend in literally a few hours. And unlike Firebase, Supabase doesn't use a NoSQL database. It utilizes a relational database management system called PostgreSQL. That's why it's best suited for apps that have complex and structured data.

Fun fact: If you want Supabase to use some other language apart from PostgreSQL, you can vote for it on their official website.

Now as per Supabase officials, JavaScript and Flutter are the only two languages that they support. The good thing is that Supabase is free. However, its cloud option is paid. Using the latter, you can directly import bulk data - that's something alien for Firebase users. That's because there are no inbuilt services that allow bulk data uploads in Firebase. Developers have to use third-party Node scripts.

And if they don't want to manage infrastructure, there won't be any problem in SupaBase. That's because, in SupaBase, not only can you query data from the client but also make real-time changes to the data. This way user behavior, engagement, and conversion rates can be tracked. And as far as Supabase speed is concerned, it reads 4 times faster than Firebase. Result? Improved data retrieval and responsiveness of apps.

There's also an authorization system in Supabase using which you can authenticate users and assign them roles. In other words, you can customize access levels in different parts of the application. SupaBase also provides an API based on the PostgreSQL language. This means developers can write custom functions. And don't you worry? Since SupaBase is open source, all its tools and products, including storage and Edge functions, can be used without paying a penny.

And it seems that among the developer community, Supabase is gaining traction. Apart from all the above features, Supabase's intuitive user interface might be one reason. Many Firebase users are also seen using Supabase because it allows them to use tables. On GitHub, Supbase currently has 61k stars. Their client list is glowing with names like Quivr, Chatbase, and GoodTape.

But is Supabase easy to learn?

Well, yes. As per Supabase users, you don't need to be an expert in the database. All thanks to their comprehensive doc that makes it easy for even non-techies to work in Supabase.

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