Google’s Firebase taps serverless Cloud Functions

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Google’s Firebase taps serverless Cloud Functions


Firebase features a cross-platform SDK with capabilities for cloud data storage and synchronization across devices

Firebase, Google Cloud’s backend and SDK for mobile and web application development, is being enhanced with serverless compute capabilities. Google Cloud Functions for Firebase, now available in a beta release, allows developers to run back-end JavaScript code that responds to events triggered by Firebase features and HTTPS requests.

Developers upload their code to Google’s cloud, and the functions are run in a managed Node.js environment. There is no need for users to manage or scale their own servers. “[Cloud Functions] enables true server-less development,” Google’s Ben Galbraith said. Like AWS Lambda and Microsoft’s Azure Functions, Cloud Functions allows users to deploy and run code without provisioning servers. Developers code to cloud APIs, and the cloud takes care of managing and scaling the functions.

Acquired by Google in 2014, Firebase features a cross-platform SDK with capabilities for cloud data storage and synchronization across devices. It also provides app usage analytics and tools for serving in-app advertising and sending targeted notifications to users.

Google has also just released a beta version of Firebase Performance Monitoring. The service provides insight into the performance of iOS and Android mobile apps by monitoring startup times, network response times, and other aspects of app performance. The data can be analyzed in the Firebase Console.

Google also has begun open-sourcing Firebase SDKs, describing it as the first step toward open-sourcing client libraries. “We’re starting by open sourcing several products in our iOS, JavaScript, Java, Node.js, and Python SDKs. We’ll be looking at open sourcing our Android SDK as well,” Salman Qadri, Firebase product manager, said. Admin SDKs to access Firebase on privileged environments are now open source as well, including the recently launched Python SDK.

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