What is Cloud Firestore?
Cloud Firestore is yet another cloud product from the stables of Google.
Firestore is a new database service for Firebase, Google’s app platform for developers. Firebase has been fairly popular with developers because it helps you build apps on the Google cloud platform without worrying about managing the underlying infrastructure. This way, you have the flexibility to focus on the functionality you want and at the same time, you get a world-class platform for deployment. In addition, you also get the necessary insights and analytics that can be shared across all Google’s products.
Another salient aspect of Firebase is that it gives developers access to a real-time database that is effectively managed and scaled by Google. Due to such advantages, Firebase has caught on well with developers.
This new Firestore database is sure to make Firebase a more attractive choice for developers, as it complements the existing Firebase Realtime Database. IN fact, if you look closely, there’s quite a bit of overlap between these two databases.
So, why do we need Firestore?
Over time, Google realized that developers hit some issues during the process of development and these issues could not be solved with the existing realtime database. This is why a new service was introduced, so it could ease these pain points and make the development process more enjoyable and productive for developers.
Realtime databases, in general, come with many limitations. First off, it can’t handle a ton of complex queries and secondly, the platform itself was architected to have a limit of 100,000 connected devices. Some of the largest Firebase’s customers hit this limit fairly quickly, and this means, they are forced to spread their database among different shards. All this negates the use of a realtime database and makes them a lot less effective.
Firestore was introduced to overcome these limitations.
Some critics argue that an easier way is to redesign the realtime database completely. But that’s easier said than done as it would entail a lot of time and resources. Instead, the Google team chose to build another database that would overlap the existing database, and at the same time, will be free of the existing limitations.
In addition, Firestore gives the choice to build offline apps using the local database for web, iOS and Android platforms. Users can also sync data across apps in real time, and this adds to the attractiveness of Firestore.
To top it, small customers don’t really have to make the switch to Firestore right away.
Overall, this is a good move by Google and one that could boost the usage of Google cloud platform.