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Amplify vs. Firebase: Which Is Best Suited for Your Project?

If your business is serious about growth and digital transformation, you’d better have your sights set on mobile and web app development. With a solid mobile app available to consumers, clients, and other stakeholders, your company is better accessible, more efficient, and can wind up more profitable. Developing a new web or mobile application isn't [...]

BairesDev Editorial Team

By BairesDev Editorial Team

BairesDev is the leading nearshore technology solutions company with 4,000+ professionals in 50+ countries representing the top 1% of tech talent.

10 min read

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If your business is serious about growth and digital transformation, you’d better have your sights set on mobile and web app development. With a solid mobile app available to consumers, clients, and other stakeholders, your company is better accessible, more efficient, and can wind up more profitable.

Developing a new web or mobile application isn’t all that hard. The challenge really surfaces when you attempt to make the life cycle of those apps as efficient as possible. For such optimizations, you’re going to want to empower your developers with the right tools and services to simplify the process. 

After all, the faster your developers can deliver, the easier it is for your business to grow and evolve.

If you look at the market, you’ll find plenty of available services, all of which offer different features, languages, support, interconnection, speed, reliability, and flexibility. Two such services are AWS Amplify and Google Firebase. What are these tools, and which is best suited for your project?

Let’s dive into both of these and answer the questions to see who comes out on top (for you) in the Amplify vs Firebase challenge.

What Is AWS Amplify?

Let’s first examine AWS Amplify. This tool is a complete solution that lets web and mobile developers build, ship, and host full-stack applications on AWS without having to be a cloud expert. With the ability to leverage a wide range of AWS services through a visual interface or the command line, AWS Amplify makes it relatively easy to integrate backend features with Android, React, React Native, iOS, Ionic, and Angular applications.

With AWS Amplify, your developers can craft cloud-native applications that deliver a near-native experience. Your team will spend more time focusing on an application’s functionality, instead of having to deal with tooling and retooling the backend, which can be extremely demanding.

One thing to understand, however, is that AWS Amplify is used to develop and deploy mobile and web applications to the AWS ecosystem. Because of that, your developers will be limited to deploying only to the AWS infrastructure. 

The different pieces of AWS Amplify include the following.

Amplify Studio

Amplify Studio is a visual interface that offers a point-and-click environment for building full-stack applications (both front and backend).

Amplify CLI

Amplify CLI is a toolchain for configuring and managing an application backend.

Amplify Libraries

Amplify Libraries is an open-source set of client libraries used to build cloud-native mobile and web apps.

Amplify UI Components

Amplify UI Components is an open-source design system that uses cloud-connected components to enable the efficient building of applications.

Amplify Web Hosting (Managed CI/CD and Hosting)

Amplify Web Hosting is a fully-managed CI/CD service for hosting static and server-side rendered applications.

Key Features of AWS Amplify

Further features and benefits of AWS Amplify include:

  • Fully integrated with AWS infrastructure and services
  • Offline sync via device datastore
  • Supports GraphQL and REST API development
  • Highly scalable
  • Supports AppSync and AWS Lambda
  • GUI tools for easier app building
  • AR/VR support
  • Near-native performance
  • Automated testing tools
Feature Amplify
Created by Amazon Web Services
Popularity High
Authentication & Authorization Amplify provides a comprehensive set of authentication and authorization features that can be easily configured and customized. It supports multiple identity providers and allows for custom authentication flows.
Real-time Database Amplify provides a powerful real-time database that can be used to store and retrieve data in real-time. It supports offline data access and syncing, and can be easily integrated with other services.
Cloud Storage Amplify provides a cloud storage service that can be used to store and retrieve files in the cloud. It supports versioning, secure access control, and automatic data validation.
Analytics Amplify provides an analytics service that can be used to track user behavior, measure app performance, and gain insights on how to improve the user experience. It provides real-time data and allows for custom event tracking.
Push Notifications Amplify provides a push notification service that can be used to send targeted notifications to users. It supports multiple platforms and allows for easy integration with other services.
Community Support Amplify has a large and active community, with a dedicated forum for developers to ask questions and share tips. There are also many tutorials and resources available online.
Learning Curve Amplify has a steeper learning curve compared to Firebase, due to its more comprehensive set of features and services.
Strengths Amplify provides a more comprehensive set of features and services compared to Firebase. It allows for more customization and flexibility, and is a great choice for more advanced projects.
Weaknesses Amplify has a steeper learning curve and is more complex than Firebase. It also requires more setup and configuration.

What is Google Firebase?

Google Firebase is a BaaS (Backend as a Service) app development platform, which means your developers (and IT staff) won’t have to bother managing and administrating complicated backend servers or write APIs for your apps to communicate with those servers. Google Firebase offers NoSQL and real-time hosting for databases, content, authentication, notifications, and services.

With Google Firebase, your company can build, release, monitor, and engage with your apps and those who use the apps. And, because Firebase is maintained by Google, the platform seamlessly interacts with the Google ecosystem, which means services like Google Ads, Google Marketing, Google Play, Data Studio, and Big Query are built right in.

Firebase also makes it very easy to roll out new features with uninterrupted service. That perk alone makes the platform incredibly enticing to businesses who see downtime as a failure.

Google Firebase was written in such a way that everything can be easily modified to fit just about any need.

The different pieces of Google Firebase include the following.

Crashlytics

Crashlytics is a real-time crash reporting tool to help developers track, prioritize, and address issues.

Analytics

Firebase integrates with Google Analytics for unlimited reporting of multiple Firebase SDK events.

Performance Monitoring

Performance Monitoring is a service to help gain real-time insight into mobile and web app performance.

Test Lab

Firebase Test Lab is a cloud infrastructure environment used for app testing that features screenshots, logs, and videos within the Firebase console.

App Distribution

Firebase App Distribution gives you a comprehensive view of your beta testing program for both Android and iOS.

Key Features of Google Firebase

The more important features to be found with Google Firebase include:

  • Supports two real-time databases: Cloud Firestore and Realtime Database
  • Includes Firebase ML that harnesses the power of Google machine learning
  • Authentication supports phone numbers, passwords, and third-party providers (such as Google, Twitter, Facebook)
  • Firebase Cloud Messaging, which is a cross-platform message service
  • Scalable hosting
  • Cloud storage
  • Emulators for Authentication, Cloud Functions, Firestore, RTDB, hosting, and Google Cloud Pub/Sub
Feature Firebase
Created by Google
Popularity High
Authentication & Authorization Firebase Authentication provides a simple authentication solution that can be integrated with multiple identity providers. It also offers easy email and password authentication with built-in functionality.
Real-time Database Firebase Realtime Database provides a real-time database that can be easily integrated with other Firebase services. It supports offline data access and syncing, and is optimized for mobile devices.
Cloud Storage Firebase Storage provides a simple cloud storage solution that can be easily integrated with other Firebase services. It supports file upload and download, and provides built-in security features.
Analytics Firebase Analytics provides detailed analytics on user behavior, app performance, and audience segmentation. It provides real-time data and allows for custom event tracking. It also integrates with Google’s BigQuery for advanced analytics capabilities.
Push Notifications Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) provides a push notification service that can be easily integrated with other Firebase services. It supports multiple platforms and allows for easy targeting of notifications.
Community Support Firebase has a large and active community, with a dedicated forum for developers to ask questions and share tips. There are also many tutorials and resources available online.
Learning Curve Firebase has a relatively gentle learning curve, as it provides a simple and easy-to-use set of features and services.
Strengths Firebase is a great choice for simple and small projects, as it provides a simple and easy-to-use set of features and services. It’s quick and easy to get started, with minimal setup required.
Weaknesses Firebase has a more limited set of features and services compared to Amplify. It may not be suitable for more advanced projects and lack of flexibility.

Pricing

AWS Amplify pricing is similar to most of the Amazon developer products. There is a free plan, which gets you 5GB of storage, 1,000 builds, and expires after 12 months. The other plan is a pay-as-you-go that runs $0.01 per build minute and $0.023/GB/month.

Google Firebase pricing is similar and offers a free plan (Spark Plan), which is ideal for developing smaller apps. Their Blaze Plan is a pay-as-you-go model with a handy pricing calculator, so you can get an idea of what using the platform for your project might cost.

Conclusion

In the end it’s a bit like the Nest JS vs Express JS question, which platform you choose will depend on your needs and which ecosystem you plan on using. If your company is an AWS shop, AWS Amplify is an obvious choice. If, on the other hand, you lean more toward the Google ecosystem, Firebase is where it’s at.

BairesDev Editorial Team

By BairesDev Editorial Team

Founded in 2009, BairesDev is the leading nearshore technology solutions company, with 4,000+ professionals in more than 50 countries, representing the top 1% of tech talent. The company's goal is to create lasting value throughout the entire digital transformation journey.

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