Firebase vs Heroku: Which is Better in 2022

Are you searching for the right cloud services platform to host your next big project? Well, stop whatever you are doing right now and read this post. In this post, I will compare the Firebase and Heroku platforms. We will see what services they have to offer and what cost each service. We will compare side by side; its pricing, services, advantages, drawbacks.

Before you signup for any cloud or SaaS services, you should consider the following points.

Deciding factors for Firebase vs. Heroku

Before get into the comparison between Firebase and Heroku, let’s see which services offer which features, their advantages, and drawbacks.

What is Firebase

Firebase is a Backend-as-a-Service(BaaS) that grew into a next-generation app-development platform on Google Cloud Platform. If you are using Firebase, then you don’t need to manage the servers and write APIs. Firebase is your server, your API, and your datastore, all written so generically that you can change it to accommodate most needs.

If you are using Firebase Realtime Database, then you are not connecting your database to normal HTTP requests. Instead, you are using a websocket to connect your client to the Firebase server.

Services of Firebase

  1. Cloud Firestore
  2. Cloud Functions
  3. Cloud Storage
  4. Firebase ML
  5. Authentication
  6. Hosting

Advantages of Firebase

  1. Firebase is blazing fast.
  2. It provides so many services that it reduces development time and effort.
  3. Real-time database scalability.
  4. Google analytics integration.
  5. Flexible cost.
  6. Free trial of Firebase services.

Drawbacks of Firebase

  1. If you are building a web application, then it does not provide as powerful support as an Android app.
  2. Limited querying capabilities.
  3. Limited support for iOS features.
  4. If your project is huge, then sometimes you will face real-time synchronization issues.
  5. Data migration problems.

Some notable customers

  1. Twitch
  2. Instacart
  3. Accenture
  4. Alibaba
  5. Atlassian
  6. CBS
  7. Citrix

What is Heroku

Heroku is a platform and a service (PaaS) that enables developers to build, run, and operate applications completely in the cloud. Heroku performs the processes of deploying, configuring, scaling, tuning and managing apps as simple as possible so that developers can focus on what’s most important: building great apps that fascinate and engage customers.

Services of Heroku

  1. CI / CD
  2. App metrics
  3. Code and data rollback
  4. Smart containers
  5. Data Clips
  6. Heroku Redis

Advantages of Heroku

  1. Heroku offers deployment, environment configuration, and manageability simple and easy to do.
  2. For beginners, Heroku is an exceptional tool because it is fast and easy to configure.
  3. The Heroku CLI provides an amazing interface for interacting with the cloud environment. 
  4. Pipelines from development to production are very simple. Application rollbacks are also very easy.

Drawbacks of Heroku

  1. To purchase additional dynos/workers, you need to pay $35 a month, which is quite costly.
  2. Limited in types of instances
  3. Inbound and outbound latency is high.
  4. It offers low network performance.

Some notable customers

  1. Toyota Europe
  2. Dubsmash
  3. Macy’s
  4. Yonomi

Similarities between Firebase and Heroku

Both Firebase and Heroku support SSL, backend storage, custom domains, and many other excellent features that enhance application deployment. This post outlines the advantages and drawbacks of each platform. 

Firebase vs. Heroku

To compare Firebase vs. Heroku, Firebase gives developers many in-service tools to use in their applications. Heroku platform makes it quick and easy to test and deliver new applications. 

The Firebase Console is a much-appreciated feature that allows developers to deliver app updates, send or schedule push notifications, and monitor their app from a centralized interface.  Heroku provides Heroku CLI that manages the project deployment. It provides useful and detailed notifications, metrics, and alerts to help developers monitor their apps and take action when problems arise or usage patterns change. 

Heroku provides the best UX across the board, with an intuitive and useful GUI, API, and command-line interface. Firebase users primarily complain about the user experience. The interfaces can be unpleasant to use and unintuitive, especially for the Firestore database system, its real-time database system. We already compared the Firebase Realtime database vs. Cloud Firestore in this blog. Check out that as well.

Firebase vs. Heroku: Pricing

Firebase provides a free plan and then pays as you go. The free plan is a spark plan, and then you need to upgrade to a blazing plan. For complete pricing for the blaze plan for different services, check out the Firebase pricing page.

Heroku provides a free plan for hobby projects, and the server will sleep after the inactivity in your project. For a paid plan, it provides the following three options.

  1. Production Plan: $25 and up per month.
  2. Advanced Plan:  $250 and up per month.
  3. Enterprise Plan: Contact sales for that.

Firebase vs. Heroku: Comparison Table

FirebaseHeroku
OwnersGoogleSalesforce
Hosted onGoogle Cloud PlatformAmazon’s data centers
Type of ServicesBaaS, PaaS, SaaSPaaS
PricingIt is based on the services you are using.$0.05 per hour
Supported Languages / PlatformsNode.js, PHP, Python, Go, Scala, Clojure, Java, RubyJavaScript, Android, iOS, PHP, Java
Best forStartups, Medium Businesses.Medium to large enterprises
ComplexityIt is simple than Heroku.It does require some server knowledge.
Built-in Tools for managementFirebase CLIHeroku CLI
Rapid deploymentThe deployment process of the Firebase service is hard to compare to Heroku.Heroku offers you a ready-to-use environment that allows you to push your code and make a few configuration changes to get your application running.

Wrap up

Firebase and Heroku are both good choices for your next project, but when it comes to choosing one of them, it all comes to your project requirement. You need to see your project’s functionalities and scalability. I

If you want to use services from Firebase, then it is good to host your project in Firebase.

If you are building everything from scratch, then Heroku will be your choice because you can host anything you want and provides different services and support to run your project smoothly.

See also

Firebase vs. MongoDB

Firebase vs. AWS

Leave a Comment