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Google Launches Cloud NoSQL Database for Mobile, Web Apps

Google announced a new cloud-based NoSQL database for its Firebase development platform that supports mobile and Web app programming.

Firebase provides back-end functionality to support apps, such as analytics, authentication, crash reporting, performance monitoring and storage.

Now being added to the storage options is Cloud Firestore, designed to store and sync app data at global scale.

Those options already include the Firebase Realtime Database, another NoSQL data store for hosting and syncing app data. Google said that Cloud Firestore is not a drop-in replacement for Firebase Realtime Database, and it will continue to develop both offerings.

"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," said Alex Dufetel, program manager, in a blog post last week.

Cloud Firestore addresses those limitations with features such as:

  • 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

Along with those server-side SDKs, Google provides Android, iOS, and Javascript SDKs that it claims can sync app data almost instantly and also enable serverless development, handling complex code for tasks such as authentication and networking.

As with many things created by Google, the ability to scale is a priority for the new offering.

Noting that the new product's name indicates it was developed in close collaboration with the Cloud Platform team, Dufetel said: "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."

Cloud Firestore is now in a public beta program. It's provided as a storage option in the three Firebase pricing plans, including the free Spark plan for hobbyists that limits stored data to 1 GB and places limits on bandwidth and document operations.

Google pointed interested developers to the following resources for more information:

  • Documentation
  • Pricing
  • Quotas and limits
  • Open source iOS SDK
  • Open source JavaScript SDK
  • Cloud Firestore for Realtime Database Developers
  • About the Author

    David Ramel is editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine and Application Development Trends Magazine.

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