I often recommend Firebase as a first step to using Google Cloud, especially to mobile and front-end developers that don’t exactly want to become backend or cloud experts.
Firebase’s backend features such as Firestore, Serverless functions, Cloud Storage, and ML Kit are actually based on Google Cloud implementations under the hood and this video explains how you can take advantage of this to start small and grow your development as needed :
For anyone already using Firebase the good news is that you’re virtually already using Google Cloud and that a world of additional features are just a step away. For any Google Cloud user the good news is that Firebase is there to offer a natural toolset to build mobile and webapp frontends to existing services.
Common Project definition
In fact, when you create a Firebase project, it is a Google Cloud project in every aspect: resource grouping, identity management, and billing. While the look and feel of the Firebase console and the Google Cloud console are clearly different, you can open the same project with either one.
The video above and the upcoming one focus on the three main products that Firebase and Google Cloud have in common : Cloud Storage, Cloud Functions, and Cloud Firestore.
Cloud console exposes the full power of Cloud Storage, while the Firebase console exposes those features that are more likely to be relevant to Firebase developers.
The typical use-case for Firebase developers using Cloud Storage is when managing user-generated content. This is where the Firebase Android, iOS, web, Unity, and C++ SDKs make it easy and yet secure to upload and download objects such as images straight from the app.
Similar to Google Cloud projects using App Engine, any new Firebase project comes with a default Cloud Storage bucket. In most cases Firebase developers also use this default storage location and thus do not need to reference it by name.
Because of all the Google Cloud and Firebase commonalities discussed so far any data stored in Cloud Storage using Firebase can be further accessed, and processed in Google Cloud and vice versa!
Finally, one thing that you will want to note is how Cloud Storage bucket access control is different :
- Cloud IAM is used to control access to buckets and objects from other Google Cloud services
- On the other hand, Firebase security rules control access only from mobile applications that use the Firebase SDKs
In the upcoming video we’ll cover Cloud Functions and Cloud Firestore.