SQL or NoSQL? That is the question. Successful companies need reliable, robust databases to handle their day-to-day data management needs. However, with so many technologies on the market, it can be difficult to know which database provider is right for your company. Firebase and MySQL are two database solutions built very differently.
Here are the five key differences between Firebase and MySQL:
- Architecture: Firebase is a NoSQL database that stores and syncs data in real-time, sometimes referred to as a real-time document store. MySQL is an open-source relational database management system based on the domain-specific language SQL.
- Data Handling: Firebase handles large data sets effectively. MySQL is a good choice for complex data.
- Language Support: MySQL supports more programming languages than Firebase, including Ada, C++, Python, and others. Firebase specializes in server-side languages to support application developers, such as JSON and Node.js.
- Price: Firebase has free and paid-for versions. MySQL is open-source and free.
- Reviews: Firebase has a customer review score of 4.5/5 on the website G2. MySQL has a very slightly lower customer review score of 4.4/5.
In summary, Firebase is a NoSQL database, and MySQL, as the name suggests, is a SQL database. (If you are unfamiliar with the differences between SQL vs. NoSQL databases we recommend reading SQL vs. NoSQL: 5 Critical Differences.)
So which should you choose? We give a comprehensive breakdown of Firebase vs. MySQL. Learn more about features, user scores, pros, cons, and more below.
Table of Contents
Firebase vs. MySQL: Features Table
User scores on G2.com
Free with limits or pay-as-you-use from $0.01 to $0.18 per transaction
Free and open-source, chargeable enterprise solutions are available
Spark plan offers free usage with some limits
Google currently, initially Tamplin and Lee
Ada, C, C#, C++, Delphi, Java, PHP, Python, and more
ADO, JDBC, ODBC
What Is Firebase?
Firebase Realtime Database (Firebase) is a cloud-based NoSQL database that syncs and stores data between users in real time. Other NoSQL options include MongoDB and Cassandra. Google markets Firebase as a backend solution for web-based and mobile app development. It provides users with the ability to collaborate across various devices and create serverless apps.
If you’ve been around the DevOps scene for a while, you may remember the name “Envolve.” This was the original service created by Tamplin and Lee back in 2011, and was actually an integrated online chat tool. However, developers discovered that the real-time architecture used for chatting was ideal for syncing application data, so the creators separated this out as Firebase. After raising substantial funds in seeding rounds, Firebase was acquired by Google in 2014 and the rest, as they say, is history.
Firebase Use Cases
The real-time data syncing capabilities are a draw for application developers who need a database service. All changes made to the stored data are instantly propagated to any connected service. This is ideal for cross-platform mobile application development, as programmers don’t need to create separate instances for individual platforms. The architecture also has applications such as collaborative business tools and communication services.
What Is MySQL?
Developed by Oracle, MySQL is the world's most popular open-source database. It works across over 20 operating systems, including FreeBSD, Linux, OS X, Solaris, and Windows. It is a relational database management system (RDBMS) based on the domain-specific programming language Structured Query Language (SQL). PostgreSQL is another example of a popular RDBMS. Unlike Firebase, MySQL is an open-source database, which means it’s free to use and adapt to your business’s needs. Users can deploy MySQL using cloud storage or build an on-premises version that’s accessible offline.
As an RDBMS, MySQL classifies data into various tables based on related data types. Programmers use SQL (structured query language) to transform and extract the data from the RDBMS.
My SQL Use Cases
When implemented into an operating system, MySQL can help businesses manage users, network access, and other components of a computer storage system.
MySQL is also ideal for storing and accessing information such as customer details, product inventories, and lists of transactions. CRMs will often use SQL databases to quickly access all the relevant customer information needed to log a contact or a sale.
Integrate.io connects with My SQL right out of the box, allowing you to easily merge all your customer details and transactions with other business data in your data warehouse for clearer business insights. For more information on Integrate.io's native MySQL connector, visit our Integration page.
Firebase and MySQL Differences
There are various differences between Firebase and MySQL:
- Firebase uses NoSQL. MySQL uses SQL.
- Firebase has horizontal scalability. MySQL is vertically scalable.
- Firebase uses key-value, wide-column, graph, or document stores. MySQL is table-based.
- Firebase has dynamic schemas to facilitate unstructured data. MySQL has predefined schemas and cannot easily handle unstructured data.
In the end, it comes down to how your organization needs to manage its data. MySQL's predefined schemas determine the structure of data before you use it, which can be restrictive. But MySQL also makes defining and manipulating complex data a simple and worthwhile process. It’s also better than Firebase for multi-row transactions. Conversely, Firebase can be a good choice for large data sets because NoSQL scales data horizontally, and Firebase is faster than MySQL by some margin.
Recommended Reading: What Are the Top 10 SQL Server Data Tools for 2023?
Support and Training
Another factor when it comes to MySQL vs. Firebase is understanding what level of support you can expect to receive. Dedicated data managers might adapt to both database systems with ease, but for businesses and startups that don’t have on-site data experts, training and support are essential.
Firebase Support Options
- An online community
- Learning pathways/tutorials
- Firebase Summit (annual event)
- Firebase Alpha Program (for early access to Firebase products)
MySQL Support Options
- MySQL Developer Zone (documentation/server manuals/tutorials/articles)
- Mailing lists
- Bugs database
- Training and certifications
- Consulting services
If you want data management tools that don’t require hiring a full-time data scientist, schedule a call with Integrate.io. Our no-code data pipeline platform connects you to the data sources that matter to your business with ease. Try it for yourself with a 14-day trial.
Of course, no business makes a major tech stack decision without considering its budget first. For both databases, you need to consider your need and the level of resources you’ll require to handle your data. Here are the basics when it comes to pricing.
Firebase has a fairly complicated pricing system. There's a free tier with limited features, called the Spark Plan, and a pay-as-you-use tier called the Blaze Plan.
- The Spark Plan is free but has limits so it may only be useful to developers or businesses just getting started.
- The Blaze Plan calculates an expected price based on the information you input. The structure is based on authenticated queries and transactions, which range from $0.01 to $0.18 each. Businesses pay this on a pay-as-you-use basis. Once certain limits are passed, Blaze pricing merges into Google Cloud pricing.
The Blaze Plan requires users to input their requirements and the type of project they’re working on to get a quote.
As an open-source platform, MySQL is free. However, there are commercial options for enterprises that require an embedded version with additional features and security. Prices range from $4,280 to $64,200.
Data Management Made Easy With Integrate.io
Firebase and MySQL are two databases that offer a range of data management solutions based on vastly different ecosystems. As a cloud-based NoSQL database, Firebase handles large data sets effectively. As an open-source RDBMS, MySQL is more than capable of taming complex data. Ultimately, MySQL is the cheaper of the two, while Fireblaze is more specifically tailored to cross-platform development.
Integrate.io is a data integration cloud platform that uses ETL (extract, transform, load) technology to take information from your databases and business SaaS, drawing it all into your data warehouse for a single source of truth. Reverse ETL allows you to send data exactly where it needs to go, while ultra-fast ELT/CDC (change data capture) technology keeps rapidly shifting datasets accurate.
Complete data integrity gives you a level of data observability that’s simply impossible without effective data integration tools. This empowers you to monitor and report on your internal business systems with a much higher level of efficiency, quickly dealing with any issues that crop up.
If you're looking for a powerful data integration solution to handle your organization’s big data, schedule a demo to try the Integrate.io platform for yourself. We look forward to speaking with you.