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7 Comments

Firebase simple app. Add backend later on?

Hi group,

As I am thinking more of my simple web app, I am realizing that for V0/V1 i can get away with just static resources and simple JS.
Can I start this with firebase and then for V2 add more server side functionality?

Does this high level architecture make sense?

  1. 2

    Let me share my personal use case here.

    I was developing an all-in-one iOS workout tracker called Fightie (https://fightie.com) and based on my use case, I want to implement cloud sync features for users so they can share their workout histories from App to the cloud and the workout histories can be rendered on both sides (from web dashboard & iOS)

    In order to make this happen, my original idea was to make a backend server by myself and handles all parts related to user login/register/auth.

    But after check deeper, I finally realized that this "basic" auth part is totally out of my biz scope, and needless to say that it's really hard for one man to handle all these details. (Did I mention that I also need to support iOS & Web two platforms?)

    So based on all the materials I have found, I decided to move on by using Firebase because it basically handles all the details for auth (for iOS app, you are also forced to implement Apple Id Login by Apple).

    After things are done, I just realized that I used not only its "Authentication" but also "Realtime Database" to do cloud syncing, "Storage" to keep users' static files, and "Crashlytics" to track app crashes.

    Compared with the time I saved, it's totally worth for my use case and I also successfully launched my 1.0.0 version to the public 2 days ago (yay)

    There is no one tech that fits all the projects and can be used for everyone, so just do more research to make a good final decision before writing any lines of code! Always focus on your biz first and see what can be improved later!

    This is what I have learned in these 8 months to build this product, hope this information helps!

    :)

  2. 1

    Go with what will help you move fastest, and don't overthink it 🧐

  3. 1

    I'd start with Firebase right away. I've build an app with it and it was super easy to set everything up.

  4. 1

    Yes, but only if you're OK starting over implementing V2 down the road. I personally start using a traditional db right from the beginning (Google Cloud SQL with GraphQL API layer on top of it), this also simplifies the client-side code (similarly to Firebase) when an existing GraphQL client (Relay) handles data fetching and state management without a need to write custom code (as would be the case with Redux).

  5. 1

    Really depends on what you're trying to achieve with your project, but if you're looking for quick validation and iteration I'd say go with Firebase.

    It's gonna take away so much work you'd have to do otherwise, allowing you to scale on demand.

    I try to follow the KISS methodology as much as I can, so if you don't need a full-blown feature now, then just worry about it when the time comes, if it ever comes.

    Good luck!

  6. 1

    My motto is: mock as long as you can get away with it. If your MVP is not depending on any backend features just leave them out and build the important stuff. What I do personally is just carve out the overall structure of how things should work later on e.g. communication between front/backend. On the frontend, I then usually add little comments like // Todo call backend here that I can refer to later on. Firebase services are pretty handy especially if you want to get started quickly so I can highly recommend just going for it.

  7. 1

    Depends on what you mean by 'server side functionality'. Most of server side already work out-of-box with firebase (combination of hosting + firestore + cloud functions + auth + analytics).

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