Google Cloud Firestore: Why Choose It For Mobile App Development
It is a fact that we already have several prominent databases available in the market to be used for web and mobile development. Some of such names that comes to the mind first are Redis, Amazon Dynamo DB, and Firebase Realtime Database from Google itself!
So what inspired Google to come up with cloud Firestore when it already has its own Realtime Database!
The answer is that Google came up with Cloud Firestore to let the users across the globe have a better database solution to be used for their project. Again, it came up with some improvements that covered the limitations of their previous database solution in terms of functionality, performance, and scalability.
So, let’s delve deep and see what this new database from Google has in store for us!
What Is Google Cloud Firestore?
Google Cloud Firestore is a NoSQL document database that is fast, serverless, fully-managed and cloud-native. It is used by mobile and web applications across the globe for simplified querying, syncing and storing data. It helps you build serverless apps due to the integration with Firebase and Google Cloud Platform and its strong security features. It also offers offline support and live-synchronization with its client libraries.
Features of Google Cloud Firestore
Google Cloud Firestore is said to come with some of the effective and prominent features you can ask for. The same has been explained below:
Based on the user demand, Firestore can automatically scale on its own. You will be able to experience the same level of performance irrespective of the size of the database. You need to know that the size of the database does not affect query time. To reduce any latency, Cloud Firestore performs multi-regional replication automatically.
By using Firestore, it is possible to retrieve the information that matches the parameters in your query. This can be a single document in question or the whole set of documents present in there.
Offline database usage possible:
Cloud Firestore helps you achieve database synchronization more or less in real-time, cross-device collaboration and cross-device syncing. This way even when the user is offline, he or she gets to use the application and the database sync takes place once the internet connectivity is restored.
Serverless development aimed:
Google works continuously to help developers have better access to Cloud. Cloud Firestore offers a high-level of support for development that is serverless. So without having to go for any extra authentication servers, now you can easily integrate your app with the cloud database.
Robustness is encouraged:
Compared to Firebase Realtime Database, Cloud Firestore is said to become a more robust solution. The issues that Firebase faces with structuring, querying and scaling, are said to be resolved by Firestore. As Firebase Realtime database and Firestore are designed to easily integrate, you can use both of them together too.
Why should you choose Google Cloud Firestore?
So whether for native or hybrid app development, there are a few good reasons to choose Google Cloud Firestore. The same has been explained below and you can just keep reading…
Advantage of Google cloud and Firebase together
Google Cloud Firestore is a combined solution of Firebase and Google Cloud. For the same reason, it offers a solution leveraging the benefits of both technologies. It brings to you the scalability of the Google Cloud platform along with the expertise gained from the Firebase Realtime Database. You also get to enjoy an automatic upgrade here.
Offers robust security
Cloud Firestore offers strong consistency and automatic multi-region replication. This ensures that your data will remain safe even in case of some mishap. It offers robust and flexible security to both web and mobile platforms with the help of Cloud Firebase Security Rules. It offers Identity and Access Management for server SDKs.
When using Cloud Firestore, you will be able to enjoy automatic data validation coming with non-cascading rules which combine validation and authorization.
You can write rules with Cloud Firestore. It is possible to write even the complex expressions to a true or false value even if it does not have assignments, loops or any procedural statements.
Pricing is cost-effective
Google Cloud Firestore is a cost-effective database solution and it enjoys a different pricing model as compared to Firebase pricing. Apart from the charges on the amount of storage and the network bandwidth, here the operations performed in the database are charged, which include the number of writes, reads, and deletes made.
Even though Cloud Firestore charges you for the amount of storage, for different operations and the network bandwidth, you can say that their charges are very low. There is a ‘usage’ section provided in Cloud Firestore where you can check your usage for a said period.
Helps with offline support
Offline support is provided by Cloud Firestore for web and mobile clients. This means your application will get updated in real-time when data changes are made in the backend. To store and serve data, it makes use of local cache and offers built-in offline support. So whether offline or online, it enables data syncing across different devices.
So, irrespective of the internet connectivity or network latency, your app remains responsive to Cloud Firestore through the offline Firestore support. This means even when the device is offline, your app can query, read, write or listen to data. So if any changes are made in the data during the offline mode, the changes will be synced to the cloud once the client comes back online.
Data handling capabilities are excellent
Across several collections and documents, Cloud Firestore offers the benefits of ACID transactions. Here ACID stands for atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability.
As Cloud Firestore is quite structured and makes use of nesting of objects, it needs less denormalization or data flattening. This means you can easily have sorting and filtering on a property within a single query as Cloud Firestore offers support for indexed queries.
It lets you write and carry out transaction operations completely atomically or in batches. This also meant that transactions will keep on happening automatically and repeatedly until it is completed.
Cloud Firestore is a NoSQL database that has been designed in such a manner that it can easily scale with the Google Cloud Platform, a powerful infrastructure for applications. So based on the application’s load, it offers horizontal scaling automatically.
It is possible to easily organize and handle even the most complex hierarchical data with Cloud Firestore. Such kind of data structure stores information in a fashion of document collection where documents further have sub-collections.
Cloud Firestore comes with an automatic scalability feature and is a multi-region solution. This means here data gets distributed across the data centers which are spread across different regions and it offers strong reliability and global scalability. You can find it across the globe in regional or multiregional configurations.
A serverless solution
Cloud Firestore is a cloud or serverless solution which has been designed in a way to turn app development simple and offer better developer experience. So just to manage access to your data, there is no need to set up an intermediary server.
Cloud Firestore is an integrated solution of Firebase, which is a mobile app development platform from Google and Google Cloud Platform. For the same reason, it offers benefits of both together. It becomes easy to use Cloud Firestore for prototyping, iterating changes and getting the production system up quickly and running as it is a serverless solution. It even offers you offline support and live-synchronization.
To put it together, Google Cloud Firestore is one of its kinds of solutions that we have from Google. The years of research and the enormous experience that Google has accumulated over time can be seen here in the form of a better database solution.