Firebase is a serverless platform by Google that helps developers build and grow apps. Millions of developers every day use Firebase for building complex and profitable SaaS projects.
Why is Firebase so popular? Firebase offers many services for developers:
- Analytics: Provides data about how people interact with your app on mobile devices or the web without writing any code
- Cloud Storage: Lets you store and access user-generated content like images or videos in the cloud
- Firestore and RealTime DB: two serverless and NoSQL databases with different strengths for storing your application data
- Messaging: allows sending push messages and notifications to the connected clients
- AppCheck: helps secure your applications with the invisible Recaptcha v3
As you can see, Firebase offers a complete solution for building a SaaS.
It's easy to set up and secure and scales out automatically as you grow. In addition, it's cost-effective and easy to use, so you don't need an army of developers to maintain your database or update its security rules.
In this post, we'll detail why Firebase is one of the best solutions for building a modern SaaS and its weaknesses, so you know how to complement it with other tools should you need to.
When Firebase doesn't support what you need, you can still use all the other Google Cloud's products, such as:
- SQL databases
- Caching stores such as Redis
- Analytics Tools and DBs such as BigQuery and BigTable
- Secret Management services
- ... and all the rest of Google Cloud's products and its Marketplace that allows you to install apps with a single click
The Firebase emulator is a fully-functional, real-time simulator of your app that you can use to test your code locally.
The emulator covers all the Firebase products, which means you can create a local environment that almost entirely reflects your Cloud application in production.
Firebase isn't stingy about how many projects you create, so you can easily create a project for each environment.: This helps you save money and develop projects that most likely won't cost you anything more.
The cloud is a great place to build serverless products. You don’t need to worry about database maintenance or server uptime and reliability because everything is taken care of automatically. Firebase lets you focus on building your core product while keeping costs low.
If you are a solo developer or a small team, relying on Google's cloud reliability is incredibly helpful: in fact, all your time is best spent on building the product and gaining product-market fit, rather than fighting CIs and servers all day.
While Firebase is often regarded as a PaaS for Mobile apps, the truth is that you can build any application with it: Web Apps, IoT apps, and desktop ones.
Firebase has developed its SDKs to work with multiple programming languages and platforms and offers a Rest API for the unsupported ones.
Firebase has often been criticized for its SDKs: heavy on the client-side, confusing due to the various published versions, and not the best API out there.
Fortunately, the Firebase SDKs have received more love recently: starting from version 9 (the current one at the time of writing), they are lighter, more straightforward to use, and better documented.
They're finally tree-shakeable, so your client-side will only load what it uses.
Firebase is a very reasonably priced service for what it does.
Also, thanks to its very generous free tier, it's likely that you will not spend a dollar on developing your application during its first months if your traffic is light.
This is amazing if you are a solo developer, a small startup, or quickly prototyping an internal tool for your company.
The most complete Firebase SaaS starter kit today is Makerkit: It's a complete solution for building a SaaS, including all the modules you need to start.
It's built on top of Firebase, Next.js and Tailwind CSS and offers everything you need to kick-start a fully working SaaS application that you can use as a starting point for shipping your next SaaS idea.
Makerkit is built on the fastest growing technologies in recent years, designed to be quick and easy to use.
In conclusion, Firebase is an excellent choice for building SaaS applications; we think it's even better today than before and will continue to improve.
Therefore, we at Makerkit believe that Firebase is one of the best options available if you're looking to build a scalable, serverless product on the cloud that supports real-time notifications.
If you want to build a new SaaS with Firebase, take a look at our SaaS starter template for creating a SaaS with Firebase and Next.js. We made it so that starting a new SaaS project won't take more than 5 minutes. It's ideal if you are a solo developer or a startup or if you feel like prototyping something new.