Tag Archives: Firebase

Google Play services and Firebase migrating to AndroidX

Posted by Doug Stevenson, Developer Advocate

Later this year, the Google Play services and Firebase SDKs will migrate from the Android Support libraries to androidx-packaged library artifacts. We are targeting this change for June/July of 2019. This will not only make our SDKs better, but make it easier for you to use the latest Jetpack features in your app.

If your app depends on any com.google.android.gms or com.google.firebase libraries, you should prepare for this migration. To quickly test your build with androidx-packaged library artifacts, add the following two lines to your gradle.properties file:

android.useAndroidX=true
android.enableJetifier=true

If your build still works, then you're done! You will be ready to use the new Google Play services and Firebase SDKs when they arrive. If you experience any new build issues or want more information on this migration, visit the official Jetpack migration guide. We will communicate when the androidx migration is complete in the near future, stay tuned!

New ML Kit features easily bring Machine Learning to your apps

Posted by Brahim Elbouchikhi, Director of Product Management and Matej Pfajfar, Engineering Director

We launched ML Kit at I/O last year with the mission to simplify Machine Learning for everyone. We couldn’t be happier about the experiences that ML Kit has enabled thousands of developers to create. And more importantly, user engagement with features powered by ML Kit is growing more than 60% per month. Below is a small sample of apps we have been working with.

But there is a lot more. At I/O this year, we are excited to introduce four new features.

The Object Detection and Tracking API lets you identify the prominent object in an image and then track it in real-time. You can pair this API with a cloud solution (e.g. Google Cloud’s Product Search API) to create a real-time visual search experience.

When you pass an image or video stream to the API, it will return the coordinates of the primary object as well as a coarse classification. The API then provides a handle for tracking this object's coordinates over time.

A number of partners have built experiences that are powered by this API already. For example, Adidas built a visual search experience right into their app.

The On-device Translation API allows you to use the same offline models that support Google Translate to provide fast, dynamic translation of text in your app into 58 languages. This API operates entirely on-device so the context of the translated text never leaves the device.

You can use this API to enable users to communicate with others who don't understand their language or translate user-generated content.

To the right, we demonstrate the use of ML Kit’s text recognition, language detection, and translation APIs in one experience.

We also collaborated with the Material Design team to produce a set of design patterns for integrating ML into your apps. We are open sourcing implementations of these patterns and hope that they will further accelerate your adoption of ML Kit and AI more broadly.

Our design patterns for machine learning powered features will be available on the Material.io site.

With AutoML Vision Edge, you can easily create custom image classification models tailored to your needs. For example, you may want your app to be able to identify different types of food, or distinguish between species of animals. Whatever your need, just upload your training data to the Firebase console and you can use Google’s AutoML technology to build a custom TensorFlow Lite model for you to run locally on your user's device. And if you find that collecting training datasets is hard, you can use our open source app which makes the process simpler and more collaborative.

Wrapping up

We are excited by this first year and really hope that our progress will inspire you to get started with Machine Learning. Please head over to g.co/mlkit to learn more or visit Firebase to get started right away.

Web Notifications API Support Now Available in FCM Send v1 API

Posted by Mertcan Mermerkaya, Software Engineer

We have great news for web developers that use Firebase Cloud Messaging to send notifications to clients! The FCM v1 REST API has integrated fully with the Web Notifications API. This integration allows you to set icons, images, actions and more for your Web notifications from your server! Better yet, as the Web Notifications API continues to grow and change, these options will be immediately available to you. You won't have to wait for an update to FCM to support them!

Below is a sample payload you can send to your web clients on Push API supported browsers. This notification would be useful for a web app that supports image posting. It can encourage users to engage with the app.

{
"message": {
"webpush": {
"notification": {
"title": "Fish Photos 🐟",
"body":
"Thanks for signing up for Fish Photos! You now will receive fun daily photos of fish!",
"icon": "firebase-logo.png",
"image": "guppies.jpg",
"data": {
"notificationType": "fishPhoto",
"photoId": "123456"
},
"click_action": "https://example.com/fish_photos",
"actions": [
{
"title": "Like",
"action": "like",
"icon": "icons/heart.png"
},
{
"title": "Unsubscribe",
"action": "unsubscribe",
"icon": "icons/cross.png"
}
]
}
},
"token": "<APP_INSTANCE_REGISTRATION_TOKEN>"
}
}

Notice that you are able to set new parameters, such as actions, which gives the user different ways to interact with the notification. In the example below, users have the option to choose from actions to like the photo or to unsubscribe.

To handle action clicks in your app, you need to add an event listener in the default firebase-messaging-sw.js file (or your custom service worker). If an action button was clicked, event.action will contain the string that identifies the clicked action. Here's how to handle the "like" and "unsubscribe" events on the client:

// Retrieve an instance of Firebase Messaging so that it can handle background messages.
const messaging = firebase.messaging();

// Add an event listener to handle notification clicks
self.addEventListener('notificationclick', function(event) {
if (event.action === 'like') {
// Like button was clicked

const photoId = event.notification.data.photoId;
like(photoId);
}
else if (event.action === 'unsubscribe') {
// Unsubscribe button was clicked

const notificationType = event.notification.data.notificationType;
unsubscribe(notificationType);
}

event.notification.close();
});

The SDK will still handle regular notification clicks and redirect the user to your click_action link if provided. To see more on how to handle click actions on the client, check out the guide.

Since different browsers support different parameters in different platforms, it's important to check out the browser compatibility documentation to ensure your notifications work as intended. Want to learn more about what the Send API can do? Check out the FCM Send API documentation and the Web Notifications API documentation. If you're using the FCM Send API and you incorporate the Web Notifications API in a cool way, then let us know! Find Firebase on Twitter at @Firebase, and Facebook and Google+ by searching "Firebase".

Introducing ML Kit

Posted by Brahim Elbouchikhi, Product Manager

In today's fast-moving world, people have come to expect mobile apps to be intelligent - adapting to users' activity or delighting them with surprising smarts. As a result, we think machine learning will become an essential tool in mobile development. That's why on Tuesday at Google I/O, we introduced ML Kit in beta: a new SDK that brings Google's machine learning expertise to mobile developers in a powerful, yet easy-to-use package on Firebase. We couldn't be more excited!



Machine learning for all skill levels

Getting started with machine learning can be difficult for many developers. Typically, new ML developers spend countless hours learning the intricacies of implementing low-level models, using frameworks, and more. Even for the seasoned expert, adapting and optimizing models to run on mobile devices can be a huge undertaking. Beyond the machine learning complexities, sourcing training data can be an expensive and time consuming process, especially when considering a global audience.

With ML Kit, you can use machine learning to build compelling features, on Android and iOS, regardless of your machine learning expertise. More details below!

Production-ready for common use cases

If you're a beginner who just wants to get the ball rolling, ML Kit gives you five ready-to-use ("base") APIs that address common mobile use cases:

  • Text recognition
  • Face detection
  • Barcode scanning
  • Image labeling
  • Landmark recognition

With these base APIs, you simply pass in data to ML Kit and get back an intuitive response. For example: Lose It!, one of our early users, used ML Kit to build several features in the latest version of their calorie tracker app. Using our text recognition based API and a custom built model, their app can quickly capture nutrition information from product labels to input a food's content from an image.

ML Kit gives you both on-device and Cloud APIs, all in a common and simple interface, allowing you to choose the ones that fit your requirements best. The on-device APIs process data quickly and will work even when there's no network connection, while the cloud-based APIs leverage the power of Google Cloud Platform's machine learning technology to give a higher level of accuracy.

See these APIs in action on your Firebase console:

Heads up: We're planning to release two more APIs in the coming months. First is a smart reply API allowing you to support contextual messaging replies in your app, and the second is a high density face contour addition to the face detection API. Sign up here to give them a try!

Deploy custom models

If you're seasoned in machine learning and you don't find a base API that covers your use case, ML Kit lets you deploy your own TensorFlow Lite models. You simply upload them via the Firebase console, and we'll take care of hosting and serving them to your app's users. This way you can keep your models out of your APK/bundles which reduces your app install size. Also, because ML Kit serves your model dynamically, you can always update your model without having to re-publish your apps.

But there is more. As apps have grown to do more, their size has increased, harming app store install rates, and with the potential to cost users more in data overages. Machine learning can further exacerbate this trend since models can reach 10's of megabytes in size. So we decided to invest in model compression. Specifically, we are experimenting with a feature that allows you to upload a full TensorFlow model, along with training data, and receive in return a compressed TensorFlow Lite model. The technology behind this is evolving rapidly and so we are looking for a few developers to try it and give us feedback. If you are interested, please sign up here.

Better together with other Firebase products

Since ML Kit is available through Firebase, it's easy for you to take advantage of the broader Firebase platform. For example, Remote Config and A/B testing lets you experiment with multiple custom models. You can dynamically switch values in your app, making it a great fit to swap the custom models you want your users to use on the fly. You can even create population segments and experiment with several models in parallel.

Other examples include:

Get started!

We can't wait to see what you'll build with ML Kit. We hope you'll love the product like many of our early customers:

Get started with the ML Kit beta by visiting your Firebase console today. If you have any thoughts or feedback, feel free to let us know - we're always listening!

Announcing new SDK versioning in Google Play services and Firebase

Posted by Doug Stevenson, Developer Advocate

Starting today, the Android SDKs for Google Play services and Firebase will be using a new build and versioning scheme. This may require some changes to the way you build your Android app, so be sure to read here thoroughly to get all the details.

Here's a quick summary of what's new in these SDKs:

  • All dependencies now use semantic versioning.
  • Each dependency may be updated individually, removing the need to upgrade them all simultaneously in your app.
  • Each dependency has a faster cycle for bug fixes and new features.

Beginning with version 15 of all Play services and Firebase libraries, version numbers adhere to the semantic versioning scheme. As you know, semver is an industry standard for versioning software components, so you can expect that version number changes for each library indicate the amount of change in the library.

Each Maven dependency matching com.google.android.gms:play-services-* and com.google.firebase:firebase-* is no longer required to have the same version number in order to work correctly at build time and at run time. You will be able to upgrade each dependency independently from each other. As such, a common pattern for specifying the shared version number for Play and Firebase dependencies in Gradle builds will no longer work as expected. The pattern (now anti-pattern) looks like this:

buildscript {
    ext {
        play_version = '15.0.0'
    }
}

dependencies {
    // DON'T DO THIS!!
    // The following use of the above buildscript property is no longer valid.
    implementation "com.google.android.gms:play-services-auth:${play_version}"
    implementation "com.google.firebase:firebase-auth:${play_version}"
    implementation "com.google.firebase:firebase-firestore:${play_version}"
}

The above Gradle configuration defines a buildscript property called play_version with the version of the Play and Firebase SDKs, and uses that to declare dependencies. This pattern has been helpful to keep all the dependency versions together, as previously required. However, this pattern no longer applies starting with version 15 for each library. Each dependency that you use may now be at different versions. You can expect that individual library updates may not be released at the same time - they may be updated independently.

In order to support this change in versioning, the Play services Gradle plugin has been updated. If you're using this plugin, it appears like this at the bottom of build.gradle in your app module:

apply plugin: 'com.google.gms.google-services'

Here is what has changed in this plugin:

  • It checks for compatible versions of Play and Firebase libraries. This is similar to enabling the failOnVersionConflict() ResolutionStrategy.
  • Licensing information is embedded in each individual build artifact. If you use the oss-licenses plugin to manage license requirements, you should update it to the latest.

The first version of this plugin that works with the new versioning system is 3.3.0. When working with the new versions of Play and Firebase libraries, it should be added to your buildscript classpath dependencies as follows:

classpath 'com.google.gms:google-services:3.3.0'

If you're not using this plugin, but you still want strict version checking of your dependencies, you can apply this new Gradle plugin instead:

apply plugin: 'com.google.android.gms.strict-version-matcher-plugin'

In order to use this plugin, you will also need to add the following to your buildscript classpath, obtained from Google's Maven Repository:

classpath 'com.google.android.gms:strict-version-matcher-plugin:1.0.0'

If you're not using Android Studio 3.1 to develop your app, you will need to upgrade in order to get the correct version checking behavior within the IDE. Get the newest version of Android Studio here.

With these changes in place, you are now able to adopt new versions of the various SDKs more freely, without a strict requirement to update everything at once. It also enables the development teams for each SDK to ship fixes and enhancements more quickly. Going forward, you can track the releases for Play services SDKs and Firebase SDKs with the provided links.

Transitioning Google URL Shortener to Firebase Dynamic Links

Posted by Michael Hermanto, Software Engineer, Firebase

We launched the Google URL Shortener back in 2009 as a way to help people more easily share links and measure traffic online. Since then, many popular URL shortening services have emerged and the ways people find content on the Internet have also changed dramatically, from primarily desktop webpages to apps, mobile devices, home assistants, and more.

To refocus our efforts, we're turning down support for goo.gl over the coming weeks and replacing it with Firebase Dynamic Links (FDL). FDLs are smart URLs that allow you to send existing and potential users to any location within an iOS, Android or web app. We're excited to grow and improve the product going forward. While most features of goo.gl will eventually sunset, all existing links will continue to redirect to the intended destination.

For consumers

Starting April 13, 2018, anonymous users and users who have never created short links before today will not be able to create new short links via the goo.gl console. If you are looking to create new short links, we recommend you use Firebase Dynamic Links or check out popular services like Bitly and Ow.ly as an alternative.

If you have existing goo.gl short links, you can continue to use all features of goo.gl console for a period of one year, until March 30, 2019, when we will discontinue the console. You can manage all your short links and their analytics through the goo.gl console during this period.

After March 30, 2019, all links will continue to redirect to the intended destination. Your existing short links will not be migrated to the Firebase console, however, you will be able to export your link information from the goo.gl console.

For developers

Starting May 30, 2018, only projects that have accessed URL Shortener APIs before today can create short links. To create new short links, we recommend FDL APIs. FDL short links will automatically detect the user's platform and send the user to either the web or your app, as appropriate.

If you are already calling URL Shortener APIs to manage goo.gl short links, you can continue to use them for a period of one year, until March 30, 2019, when we will discontinue the APIs.

As it is for consumers, all links will continue to redirect to the intended destination after March 30, 2019. However, existing short links will not be migrated to the Firebase console/API.

URL Shortener has been a great tool that we're proud to have built. As we look towards the future, we're excited about the possibilities of Firebase Dynamic Links, particularly when it comes to dynamic platform detection and links that survive the app installation process. We hope you are too!

Firebase Crashlytics graduates from beta

Originally posted on the Firebase Blog by Jason St. Pierre, Product Manager.

Back in October, we were thrilled to launch a beta version of Firebase Crashlytics. As the top ranked mobile app crash reporter for over 3 years running, Crashlytics helps you track, prioritize, and fix stability issues in realtime. It's been exciting to see all the positive reactions, as thousands of you have upgraded to Crashlytics in Firebase!

Today, we're graduating Firebase Crashlytics out of beta. As the default crash reporter for Firebase going forward, Crashlytics is the next evolution of the crash reporting capabilities of our platform. It empowers you to achieve everything you want to with Firebase Crash Reporting, plus much more.

This release include several major new features in addition to our stamp of approval when it comes to service reliability. Here's what's new.

Integration with Analytics events

We heard from many of you that you love Firebase Crash Reporting's "breadcrumbs" feature. (Breadcrumbs are the automatically created Analytics events that help you retrace user actions preceding a crash.) Starting today, you can see these breadcrumbs within the Crashlytics section of the Firebase console, helping you to triage issues more easily.

To use breadcrumbs on Crashlytics, install the latest SDK and enable Google Analytics for Firebase. If you already have Analytics enabled, the feature will automatically start working.

Crash insights

By broadly analyzing aggregated crash data for common trends, Crashlytics automatically highlights potential root causes and gives you additional context on the underlying problems. For example, it can reveal how widespread incorrect UIKit rendering was in your app so you would know to address that issue first. Crash insights allows you to make more informed decisions on what actions to take, save time on triaging issues, and maximize the impact of your debugging efforts.

From our community:

"In the few weeks that we've been working with Crashlytics' crash insights, it's been quite helpful on a few particularly pesky issues. The description and quality of the linked resources makes it easy to immediately start debugging."

- Marc Bernstein, Software Development Team Lead, Hudl

Pinning important builds

Generally, you have a few builds you care most about, while others aren't as important at the moment. With this new release of Crashlytics, you can now "pin" your most important builds which will appear at the top of the console. Your pinned builds will also appear on your teammates' consoles so it's easier to collaborate with them. This can be especially helpful when you have a large team with hundreds of builds and millions of users.

dSYM uploading

To show you stability issues, Crashlytics automatically uploads your dSYM files in the background to symbolicate your crashes. However, some complex situations can arise (i.e. Bitcode compiled apps) and prevent your dSYMs from being uploaded properly. That's why today we're also releasing a new dSYM uploader tool within your Crashlytics console. Now, you can manually upload your dSYM for cases where it cannot be automatically uploaded.

Firebase's default crash reporter

With today's GA release of Firebase Crashlytics, we've decided to sunset Firebase Crash Reporting, so we can best serve you by focusing our efforts on one crash reporter. Starting today, you'll notice the console has changed to only list Crashlytics in the navigation. If you need to access your existing crash data in Firebase Crash Reporting, you can use the app picker to switch from Crashlytics to Crash Reporting.

Firebase Crash Reporting will continue to be functional until September 8th, 2018 - at which point it will be retired fully.

Upgrading to Crashlytics is easy: just visit your project's console, choose Crashlytics in the left navigation and click "Set up Crashlytics":

Linking Fabric and Firebase Crashlytics

If you're currently using both Firebase and Fabric, you can now link the two to see your existing crash data within the Firebase console. To get started, click "Link app in Fabric" within the console and go through the flow on fabric.io:

If you are only using Fabric right now, you don't need to take any action. We'll be building out a new flow in the coming months to help you seamlessly link your existing app(s) from Fabric to Firebase. In the meantime, we encourage you to try other Firebase products.

We are excited to bring you the best-in class crash reporter in the Firebase console. As always, let us know your thoughts and we look forward to continuing to improve Crashlytics. Happy debugging!

Google Analytics for Firebase: New Look and New Features

If you use Google Analytics for Firebase to measure your apps, you'll notice something familiar today: a new look and feel that's more consistent with your Google Analytics experience.

These new elements echo some of the changes we made to Google Analytics earlier this year — the updates should help bridge the gap for anyone who uses both Google Analytics and Google Analytics for Firebase. We've also added new reports and cards that will make the Google Analytics for Firebase Dashboard more timely and helpful.

Real-Time Data 


We are now providing you with more real-time information throughout Google Analytics for Firebase to give you a better read on what’s happening in your app.

Inside the Google Analytics for Firebase Dashboard, you’ll now find a real-time card, much like the one on the Google Analytics Home. It shows details on the number of active users in the past 30 minutes. You'll also see the top conversion events logged by the app. You can configure these conversions so you can track app events that are most important to your team.


The new Google Analytics for Firebase Dashboard
 
Google Analytics for Firebase has a brand new stability card that reports on data from Firebase Crash Reporting and Firebase Crashlytics. It displays the percentage of users who have not had their app crash, so you can see just how stable your app is.

Latest Release 


The new Latest Release report lets app developers track the adoption and stability of new app versions within a few hours of release.

The report also contains a real-time card with an app version filter that lets you see which users have adopted the latest version of a release and know whether any versions have crashed in the past 30 minutes. It also lets you measure your users’ level of engagement.

Same Great Analytics 


The updated experience is more consistent with Google Analytics, but one thing hasn't changed: Google Analytics for Firebase users still get the same great app-centric reporting and analysis they're used to for Android and iOS. Our engineers are working on developments and new features we'll share in the months to come.

To see the new look and updated features, check out your Firebase project now. (Don't have one yet? Sign up!)


Better A/B Testing with Firebase

Earlier this year, the Google Optimize and Firebase teams worked together to bring A/B testing functionality to Firebase. Last week, at the Firebase Dev Summit, we announced that A/B testing is now available in beta to all app developers.

This post originally appeared on The Firebase Blog.







Announcing Better A/B Testing with Firebase 


If you're like most app developers, you know that small changes can often make a big difference in the long term success of your app. Whether it's the wording that goes into your "Purchase" button, the order in which dialogs appear in your sign-up flow, or how difficult you've made a particular level of a game, that attention to detail can often make the difference between an app that hits the top charts, or one that languishes. 


But how do you know you've made the right changes? You can certainly make some educated guesses, ask friends, or run focus groups. But often, the best way to find out how your users will react to changes within your app is to simply try out those changes and see for yourself. And that's the idea behind A/B testing; it lets you release two (or more!) versions of your app simultaneously among randomly selected users to find out which version truly is more successful at getting the results you want. 


And while Firebase Remote Config did allow you to perform some simple A/B testing through it's "random percentile" condition, we've gone ahead and added an entirely new experiment layer in Firebase that works with Remote Config and notifications to make it quick and easy to set up and measure sophisticated A/B tests. Let's take a quick tour of how it works!


Getting to Know the New A/B Testing Feature 


With the new A/B testing feature, you can create an A/B test that will allow you to play with any combination of values that you can control through Remote Config. Setting up an A/B test allows you to define how the experiment will behave in a number of different ways, including determining how many of your users are involved with the experiment at first…


…how many variants you want to run, and how your app might behave differently for each variant…


...and what the goal of the experiment is.


Different experiments might have different desired goals, and A/B testing supports a number of common outcomes, like increasing overall revenue or retention in your app, reducing the number of crashes, or increasing the occurrence of any event you're measuring in Google Analytics for Firebase, such as finishing your in-app tutorial.

Once you've defined your A/B test, Firebase takes over by delivering these different variations of your app to randomly-selected members of your audience. Firebase will then measure your users' behavior over time, and let you know when an experiment appears to be performing better, based on those goals you've defined earlier. Firebase A/B testing measures these results for you with the same Bayesian statistical models that power Google Optimize, Google's free testing and personalization product for websites.

Using A/B Tests for Better Onboarding: A Case Study 


Fabulous, a motivational app for building better habits, recently made improvements to their app's onboarding by using Firebase A/B testing. When the user first starts an app, Fabulous shows them how to complete a habit, presents them with a letter about forming better habits, and then asks them to commit to a simple routine. The team suspected that if they removed a few steps from this onboarding process, more people might complete it.


Some of the screens a typical user encounters when first using Fabulous.
 
So they ran an A/B test where some users didn't see the letter, others didn't see the request to commit to a simple routine, and others skipped both of those steps. The Fabulous team found that by removing both of these steps from the onboarding process, there was a 7% improvement in the rate of users completing the onboarding flow. More importantly, they confirmed that this shorter onboarding experience didn't have any impact on their app's retention.

Test Your Notifications, Too! 


You also have the ability to A/B test your app notification messages through the Firebase Notifications console. You can try out different versions of your notification message and see which ones lead to more users opening up your app from that notification, or which messages lead to users performing some intended goal within your app, like making a purchase.

Getting Started 


A/B testing is available in beta to all Firebase developers starting today. If you're excited to get started, you should make sure that your app is wired up to use Remote Config and/or Firebase Cloud Messaging, and that you've updated these libraries to the latest and greatest versions. You can always find out more about A/B testing in our documentation, or check out the A/B Test Like a Pro video series we've been building.

Then, head on over to the Firebase Console and start making your app better — one experiment at a time!


Introducing Cloud Firestore: Our New Document Database for Apps

Originally posted by Alex Dufetel on the Firebase Blog

Today we're excited to launch Cloud Firestore, a fully-managed NoSQL document database for mobile and web app development. It's designed to easily store and sync app data at global scale, and it's now available in beta.

Key features of Cloud Firestore include:

  • Documents and collections with powerful querying
  • iOS, Android, and Web SDKs with offline data access
  • Real-time data synchronization
  • Automatic, multi-region data replication with strong consistency
  • Node, Python, Go, and Java server SDKs

And of course, we've aimed for the simplicity and ease-of-use that is always top priority for Firebase, while still making sure that Cloud Firestore can scale to power even the largest apps.

Optimized for app development

Managing app data is still hard; you have to scale servers, handle intermittent connectivity, and deliver data with low latency.

We've optimized Cloud Firestore for app development, so you can focus on delivering value to your users and shipping better apps, faster. Cloud Firestore:

  • Synchronizes data between devices in real-time. Our Android, iOS, and Javascript SDKs sync your app data almost instantly. This makes it incredibly easy to build reactive apps, automatically sync data across devices, and build powerful collaborative features -- and if you don't need real-time sync, one-time reads are a first-class feature.
  • Uses collections and documents to structure and query data. This data model is familiar and intuitive for many developers. It also allows for expressive queries. Queries scale with the size of your result set, not the size of your data set, so you'll get the same performance fetching 1 result from a set of 100, or 100,000,000.
  • Enables offline data access via a powerful, on-device database. This local database means your app will function smoothly, even when your users lose connectivity. This offline mode is available on Web, iOS and Android.
  • Enables serverless development. Cloud Firestore's client-side SDKs take care of the complex authentication and networking code you'd normally need to write yourself. Then, on the backend, we provide a powerful set of security rules so you can control access to your data. Security rules let you control which users can access which documents, and let you apply complex validation logic to your data as well. Combined, these features allow your mobile app to connect directly to your database.
  • Integrates with the rest of the Firebase platform. You can easily configure Cloud Functions to run custom code whenever data is written, and our SDKs automatically integrate with Firebase Authentication, to help you get started quickly.

Putting the 'Cloud' in Cloud Firestore

As you may have guessed from the name, Cloud Firestore was built in close collaboration with the Google Cloud Platform team.

This means it's a fully managed product, built from the ground up to automatically scale. Cloud Firestore is a multi-region replicated database that ensures once data is committed, it's durable even in the face of unexpected disasters. Not only that, but despite being a distributed database, it's also strongly consistent, removing tricky edge cases to make building apps easier regardless of scale.

It also means that delivering a great server-side experience for backend developers is a top priority. We're launching SDKs for Java, Go, Python, and Node.js today, with more languages coming in the future.

Another database?

Over the last 3 years Firebase has grown to become Google's app development platform; it now has 16 products to build and grow your app. If you've used Firebase before, you know we already offer a database, the Firebase Realtime Database, which helps with some of the challenges listed above.

The Firebase Realtime Database, with its client SDKs and real-time capabilities, is all about making app development faster and easier. Since its launch, it has been adopted by hundred of thousands of developers, and as its adoption grew, so did usage patterns. Developers began using the Realtime Database for more complex data and to build bigger apps, pushing the limits of the JSON data model and the performance of the database at scale. Cloud Firestore is inspired by what developers love most about the Firebase Realtime Database while also addressing its key limitations like data structuring, querying, and scaling.

So, if you're a Firebase Realtime Database user today, we think you'll love Cloud Firestore. However, this does not mean that Cloud Firestore is a drop-in replacement for the Firebase Realtime Database. For some use cases, it may make sense to use the Realtime Database to optimize for cost and latency, and it's also easy to use both databases together. You can read a more in-depth comparison between the two databases here.

We're continuing development on both databases and they'll both be available in our console and documentation.

Get started!

Cloud Firestore enters public beta starting today. If you're comfortable using a beta product you should give it a spin on your next project! Here are some of the companies and startups who are already building with Cloud Firestore:

Get started by visiting the database tab in your Firebase console. For more details, see the documentation, pricing, code samples, performance limitations during beta, and view our open source iOS and JavaScript SDKs on GitHub.

We can't wait to see what you build and hear what you think of Cloud Firestore!