Firebase or Kinvey for Auth, Data Integration, SDKs and Compliance

Firebase or Kinvey for Auth, Data Integration, SDKs and Compliance

Posted on December 19, 2019 0 Comments
Firebase or Kinvey for Auth_1200X620

Does it matter what cloud service I choose for my next app? It most certainly does.

I have the privilege (mostly) of hearing from thousands of app developers through a variety of mediums here at Progress. These range from surveys (such as this one with responses from 5K+ developers); workshops, conferences (such as jsmobileconf which was awesome); or even live chat within our cloud platforms. While frontend religions are well established, an emerging question I hear is around cloud services since there are several mature services to choose from today across Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Progress or multi-cloud.

So, what cloud service do I choose for my next app? Is it the de facto provider or do I search for the best tool for the job, which may require faster time to market or military grade security with an enterprise auth system? Let’s start by contrasting Firebase with Progress Kinvey, our serverless application development platform that delivers mobile, web and chat apps using existing skills.

Where Does Firebase Fit?

Firebase is a mobile and web application development platform developed by Firebase, Inc. in 2011. It was subsequently acquired by Google in 2014. Firebase is a good choice as a development platform when:

  • Your team is proficient with building applications on Firebase
  • You’re developing a consumer application that doesn’t require any external data or auth systems
  • Your app’s primary function is revenue generation using ads
  • You need to export mobile app data to BigQuery for user analytics

When Should I Use Progress Kinvey?

Kinvey is a serverless application development platform to develop multichannel apps which are deployed on a cloud backend that will auto-scale to the highest levels, while integrating with existing cloud and legacy systems across data and auth. Kinvey is ideal when:

  • You have an aggressive timeframe to get to market with an MVP
  • You need integration with existing auth systems such as Active Directory
  • You need data integration for existing cloud or on premises data such as Salesforce or SQL Server
  • You need sub-second responses from legacy systems or slow APIs
  • You have limited resources to manage security and compliance (HIPAA, SOC2, GDPR, etc.)

A Deeper Dive Into Progress Kinvey

Assuming you see value in the scenarios where Kinvey is ideal, I want to expand on some of the differentiated cloud services to consider for your next app, and what they really mean to you.

Identity Federation Providers

The majority of application developers and architects I’ve met don’t want to own a single line of code as it relates to the implementation of authentication, including reliance on open source libraries. It creates huge risk with little reward, so developers prefer commercial providers to authenticate against identity systems such as SAML, OAuth2, OpenID, Active Directory and LDAP. DIY approaches mean that the development team assumes all security risk for setup and configuration for identity federation services.

What auth looks like to developers:
authentication implementation flow

What auth looks like to developers with Kinvey:

var user = new Kinvey.User();
 var promise = user.loginWithMIC(window.location.href);
 promise.then(function onSuccess(user) {


Data Integration and Frameworks for Cloud and On-premises Data

Developers are already expected to know way too many facets of application development. When building apps that require external databases or application data, why should they have to learn new proprietary interfaces and backend data and security infrastructure? Kinvey includes this capability out of the box with 50+ prebuilt connectors available from microservices frameworks for data integration across SAP, Salesforce, SQL Server, Postgres, MySQL and more with patented technology to provide sub-second access from the slowest systems or APIs, as well as access data securely behind firewall without network configuration. As a development team, you’re good but you shouldn’t have to be that good.

Security Architecture

Compliance such as HIPAA and SOC2 are assessed at platform level and DevSecOps automation is built into each step of the pipeline managed by Progress. There are a ton of apps running on Firebase as well, but smaller organizations may not get dedicated support and success resources. The development team ends up managing security across individual services and will assume all risk. Compliance of the app itself is also left to the development team, in which case you should get someone else who you trust to do it—or demand a raise.

Supported SDKs

I’m terrified of getting involved in developer religions so it’s important for cloud services to provide a wide range of SDKs. Kinvey is not trying to exclude developers with affinities to Microsoft or Google so we support a wide range of SDKs across iOS, Android, Angular, NodeJS, React, React Native, NativeScript, Vue, HTML5. .NET, Xamarin. But for those who will call me out – Kinvey does not have a specific flutter SDK…yet.

Get a Deeper Look by Attending this Webinar

One of my favorite developer relations leaders, Rob Lauer, walks through this in more detail on a webinar, complete with a demo that demonstrates the value through code.

Sumit Sakar

Sumit Sarkar

Technology researcher, thought leader and speaker working to enable enterprises to rapidly adopt new technologies that are adaptive, connected and cognitive. Sumit has been working in the data access infrastructure field for over 10 years servicing web/mobile developers, data engineers and data scientists. His primary areas of focus include cross platform app development, serverless architectures, and hybrid enterprise data management that supports open standards such as ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET, GraphQL, OData/REST. He has presented dozens of technology sessions at conferences such as Dreamforce, Oracle OpenWorld, Strata Hadoop World, API World, Microstrategy World, MongoDB World, etc.


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