What is Google Firebase?
Firebase is Google’s own offering to build high-quality mobile apps. Firebase offers app builders an app development structure consisting of analytics, messaging, databases and crash reporting logs. Owing to its quick scalability and collaborative ability with other Google consoles, it has become the first choice for most mobile app developers.
What is XMPP?
XMPP stands for Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol. It is an open XML technology that enables real-time communication for chat applications as well as other tons of other applications like customer support, ticketing, etc. XMPP, on the other hand, is an open standard for messaging and online presence indication.
XMPP gives greater emphasis for secured and private chats which has made it the obvious choice for building real-time chat applications like WhatsApp. Another great facet about XMPP is that it is a living standard that is constantly made better by a thriving community of developers.
Now how does Google’s Firebase and open-standard XMPP stand tall against each other?
What makes them a better choice compared to the other alternative to build an Android/iOS chat application?
Building a chat application using firebase iOS or Android and creating a chat application using XMPP are entirely different scenarios. We are getting to the Ground zero of that question in this write-up. This is a close inspection of Firebase and XMPP as a platform for building a chat application.
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To make the comparison easier and the judgment to the point, let us divide the points of comparison into 5 factors:
* Setup Convenience
* Platform Flexibility
Read : How WhatsApp Works & its technology?
Firebase does not have any set of protocols. The user should define the database structure and assign the messaging information. The advantage of the Firebase in chat app is that the user can decide what should be In and Out of the database structure.
XMPP has a set of standard protocol and owns the server. The user can apply the protocol to their database to exchange the messages for easy communication. And also ensure the network security using DSL to prevent the private messages.
On the scale of setup convenience, Google Firebase is easy and quick to market. It requires minimal procedures to get the app up and going.
XMPP, due to its high-end real-time communication capabilities takes time and effort to set up. The difficulty in setup convenience is made good with the open-source availability.
Firebase uses WebSockets and MongoDB for real-time database management. They are powerful and offer total control across the database. Also, Google Firebase has a range of Google suite applications that can be easily integrated for cloud hosting to performance monitoring.
XMPP’s USP lies in its scalability to quickly scale applications from few users to lakhs of users. It allows coders to give standards-based presence indicating messaging apps that thousands of users can use simultaneously for communication and file-sharing.
Google Firebase allows integration of additional features to the app as and when needed. It allows developers to test and see the results live in action before rolling out the update.
This is of great help in real-time communication instances like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc. where messaging cannot be stopped to update new features.
XMPP enables developers to create custom functionalities on top of XMPP. It also allows for extending the instant messaging functionalities that go beyond instant messaging like chatrooms, network management, content syndication, file sharing, gaming, collaboration, geolocation sharing, VoIP among many others.
Similar to XMPP, Google Firebase also offer SSL encryption. Additionally, it also offers its own custom defined concept of security and rules that help in securing data manipulation in the NoSQL Firebase database.
XMPP can be made to behave like a separate company intranet. This feature makes it a perfect pick to build enterprise communication channels. Also, XMPP can be secured with additional security measures like TLS and SASL which prevents data interception.
XMPP and Firebase have opened up several opportunities for developers to build real-time chat apps that are strong, stable and extensible. Also, XMPP supports all forms of multimedia including text, audio, and video. Google’s Firebase cannot be said to have all the high-flying features that XMPP promises. However, it is a good choice to build a mobile app that makes the real-time exchange of information easier.
Want to build your chat application using Firebase?
Want to build your chat application using XMPP?
Be warned that there is going to be too much of coding ahead. Both the frameworks have their own ups and downs. There is no one-size-fits-all choice. Weigh the pros and cons we have discussed above to make a final choice that will make your real-time application choice a reality. Hiring an experienced developer to create your firebase chat app would also need some basic knowledge of the functioning of it.
Now, what if we told there is an easier to build your own chat platform on XMPP? Introducing Contus Fly – a readymade chat app building solution complete with high-end communication and collaboration facilities.