What users are saying about
72 Ratings
149 Ratings
72 Ratings
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Score 8.7 out of 100
149 Ratings
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Score 8.2 out of 100

Highlights

Firebase and Heroku Platform are platforms for applications development and continuous delivery. Firebase offers a more abstracted backend setup, requiring less server-side expertise from developers. Heroku Platform gives more control and insight into backend processes, but requires developer effort and knowledge to do so. Both products are used most heavily by small businesses, likely because their pricing allows new users to start for free and scale up as-needed, which makes them attractive options for hobbyists, freelancers, and start-ups.

Features

Both Heroku Platform and Firebase help developers create, deliver, and maintain web-based applications, but they each have their own strengths.

Firebase gives developers a lot of in-service tools to use in their applications. Developers especially appreciate the built-in authentication tools, which handle the entire user authentication process end-to-end. The Firebase Console is a much-appreciated feature that allows developers to deliver app updates, send or schedule push notifications, and monitor their app from a centralized interface. A/B testing tools help teams adjust and optimize the user experience. Solid documentation and strong support from the Firebase community help developers get started and solve problems as they occur.

Heroku Platform makes it quick and easy to test and deliver new applications. Users appreciate the effort that Heroku’s team has put into UX across the board, with an intuitive and useful GUI, API, and command-line interface. Detailed and useful notifications, metrics, and alerts help developers monitor their app and take action when problems arise or usage patterns change. It’s also easy to scale up on server resources as an app’s needs become more demanding.

Limitations

However, Heroku Platform and Firebase might not be suited for all applications, as each platform has its drawbacks.

Heroku Platform can be expensive, especially when developers need to scale up. Important features might be gated behind advanced subscription tiers, and repeated attempts to upsell extra resources and features can be frustrating. Other users found Heroku Platform’s notifications about server status and downtime to be overzealous, generating too many irrelevant alerts with no effective way to filter them. For free users, their server goes to sleep if its application is not used frequently enough, and it can be slow to reboot when used again.

Firebase users primarily complain about the user experience. The interfaces can be unpleasant to use and unintuitive, especially for the included Firestore database system. Firebase users also found the platform limiting, since its abstraction of some server-side functions makes them difficult to adjust. Other developers wish Firebase had a more robust capability to track user interactions with their app. Although community support for the product is strong, the official support team seems to be hit-or-miss, leaving some users satisfied and other users frustrated with rote, unhelpful responses.

Pricing

Firebase offers two pricing tiers. The Spark Plan is free and includes most of Firebase’s feature set, with data usage caps and restrictions. The Blaze plan is pay-as-you-go for data usage and adds additional features, such as multiple databases per project and access to the Google Cloud infrastructure-as-a-service product. For specific pricing details, refer to the Firebase pricing page, which includes a plan calculator for estimating your cost.
Heroku Platform uses a tiered build-a-price model based on type of application, number and tier of app containers, database access, and add-ons. To evaluate your price for Heroku Platform, use the price estimation tools on the Heroku website.

Likelihood to Recommend

Firebase

Firebase is very well suited for pretty much any backend service for mobile apps. From databases to mobile notifications, Firebase will provide a service that you can use - and in most cases try tor free first - that will help you implement the feature as simply and reliably as possible.
Ahmed Anwar Nasr | TrustRadius Reviewer

Heroku Platform

Heroku is very well suited for startups looking to get a server stack up and running quickly. There is little to no overhead when managing your instances. However, you'll need a background in basic DevOps or system management to make sure everything is set up correctly. In addition, it's easy to accidentally go crazy on pricing. Make sure you're only creating the server instances you need to run the base application and set up an auto-scaler plugin to handle peaks.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Feature Rating Comparison

Platform-as-a-Service

Firebase
Heroku Platform
8.6
Ease of building user interfaces
Firebase
Heroku Platform
9.2
Scalability
Firebase
Heroku Platform
8.0
Platform management overhead
Firebase
Heroku Platform
9.2
Workflow engine capability
Firebase
Heroku Platform
8.1
Platform access control
Firebase
Heroku Platform
7.5
Services-enabled integration
Firebase
Heroku Platform
8.5
Development environment creation
Firebase
Heroku Platform
9.5
Development environment replication
Firebase
Heroku Platform
8.7
Issue monitoring and notification
Firebase
Heroku Platform
8.3
Issue recovery
Firebase
Heroku Platform
8.6
Upgrades and platform fixes
Firebase
Heroku Platform
8.9

Pros

Firebase

  • User authentications: Firebase is an amazing tool that removes the requirement for having an authentication server locally or on your private cloud. It has its own cloud and syncs your user data in realtime and securely. Firebase will run the end to end authentication process and free you to make your application a better user experience.
  • Firebase Console is one of the best features of this platform. This console is one point stop for all monitoring and troubleshooting purposes. You can view data from all of your connected applications and make and changes in realtime from the console itself.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Heroku Platform

  • Heroku has a very simple deployment model, making it easy to get your application up-and-running with minimal effort. We can focus on our efforts the unique aspects of our application.
  • The robust add-on marketplace makes it easy to try out new approaches with minimal effort and investment -- and when we settle on a solution, we can easily scale it.
  • Heroku's support is quite good -- their staff is quite technical and willing to get into the weeds to diagnose even complicated problems.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Cons

Firebase

  • If you are looking for a mobile app analytics platform that has extremely high-quality tracking (down to an ad level), then Firebase may not be for you. While they do track basic UTMs source, medium, and sometimes campaign, Firebase's attribution only scratches the surface of what other competitors are able to do.
  • Firebase has room for improvement when it comes to its Cloud Messaging aka Push Notifications. The room for improvement lies in its user segmentation capabilities. Currently, Firebase does not allow for platform users to segment app users based on in-app events, except for their predictive user events (Firebase predicts which events users will take). Rather Firebase primarily allows for app user segmentation based on demographics and locations. Also, Firebase doesn't allow for automated push notifications or adding images to the push notifications.
  • While Firebase can export data into Google Analytics, it does not allow for direct data exports to a data visualization tool like Google Data Studio, or mobile app engagement platforms, etc. This would be a more advanced feature, that would ideally be in their paid plan.
Sam Lepak | TrustRadius Reviewer

Heroku Platform

  • Large price jumps between certain resource tiers (2x Dyno for $50 per month versus Performance Dyno for $250). Free Postgres next jumps to $50 per month.
  • Marketing/Branding to non-technical stakeholders. As the years pass, I've had to fight more to convince stakeholders on the value of Heroku over AWS.
  • Improve Buildpack documentation. This is one area where Heroku's documentation is fairly confusing.
Ben Gelsey | TrustRadius Reviewer

Likelihood to Renew

Firebase

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Heroku Platform

Heroku Platform 9.5
Based on 6 answers
Heroku is easy to use, services a ton of functions for you out of the box, and provides a means to get a software product off the ground and managed quickly and easily. The tools provide allows a small to medium size org to move very quickly. The CLI tools provided make managing an entire technical infrastructure simple.
Mark Hutter | TrustRadius Reviewer

Usability

Firebase

Firebase 9.5
Based on 2 answers
It is simple to use overall, the console's main menu is divided into Develop, Quality, Analytics and Grow - which have further subdivisions by their set of features and tools. Develop and Quality are relevant for product and tech. Analytics is relevant for product, analytics and Grow is relevant for marketing. This makes the overall use very easy.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Heroku Platform

Heroku Platform 9.2
Based on 17 answers
Easy to use web based console and easy to use command line tools; deployment is done directly from a GIT repository. What more could you ask for?The one thing that keeps me from giving it a 10 is that custom build packs are almost incomprehensible. We used one for a while because we needed cairo graphics processing. Fortunately, I was able to figure out a different way to do what we needed so that we could get off the custom build pack.
David Hart | TrustRadius Reviewer

Reliability and Availability

Firebase

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Heroku Platform

Heroku Platform 8.0
Based on 2 answers
Heroku availability correlates pretty strongly to AWS US EAST availability. We had a couple of times where there was a Heroku-specific issue but not for the last 7-8 months.
David Hart | TrustRadius Reviewer

Performance

Firebase

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Heroku Platform

Heroku Platform 9.0
Based on 2 answers
The only issue that I ever have is that about 1 out of 20 deployments (git push) will hang and need to be cancelled and done again.
David Hart | TrustRadius Reviewer

Support Rating

Firebase

Firebase 7.5
Based on 14 answers
Our analytics folks handled the majority of the communication when it came to customer service, but as far as I was aware, the support we got was pretty good. When we had an issue, we were able to reach out and get support in a timely fashion. Firebase was easy to reach and reasonably available to assist when needed.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Heroku Platform

Heroku Platform 8.7
Based on 38 answers
I've used it for many years without facing any major problem. It's not hard at all to get used to it, it's documentation is outstanding and simple. We are close to 2020 and I don't think most of the existing companies or startups should still face old problems such as wasting time deploying code and calculate computing resources.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Implementation Rating

Firebase

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Heroku Platform

Heroku Platform 9.0
Based on 6 answers
Be ready to pay a bit more than expected in the beginning if you're migrating from a big server. The application is probably not ready for the change and you have to keep improving it with time.
It's also important to consider that you can't save anything to the disc as it will be lost when your application restarts, so you have to think about using something like S3.
Willian Molinari | TrustRadius Reviewer

Alternatives Considered

Firebase

Before using Firebase, we exclusively used self hosted database services. Using Firebase has allowed us to reduce reliance on single points of failure and systems that are difficult to scale. Additionally, Firebase is much easier to set up and use than any sort of self hosted database. This simplicity has allowed us to try features that we might not have based on the amount of work they required in the past.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer

Heroku Platform

Heroku is the more expensive option for hosting compared to some of the cloud platforms we investigated, but it's worth it for us because of the plug-and-play nature of Heroku deployment. We can be up and running in a few minutes and know with precision how much it will cost us each month to run the application, unlike Amazon Web Services where you have to go to great pains to configure it correctly or else you might end up with a shocking monthly bill. Overall, spending the time to configure Amazon Web Services or one of its competitors is likely the more affordable and powerful choice, because you have control over so many specifics of the configuration. But it also requires the burden of continuing to maintain and update your AWS instance, whereas with Heroku they take care of security fixes and platform upgrades. It's a great service and we are happy to pay the extra cost for the value-adds Heroku provides.
Jonah Dempcy | TrustRadius Reviewer

Return on Investment

Firebase

  • Firebase was our sole data analytics platform through our Beta period which was crucial to make business decisions and adjust our application.
  • Because it was free it allowed us to focus on high priority issues instead of adding in a costly data analytics platform (which we finally did - Appsee and Appsflyer - which costs us now over $500 month so it saved us $500/month for about 4 months).
  • There's no way to directly correlate this to ROI but without Firebase's basic app analytics we would have never made core changes to our app or business and possibly still wouldn't be producing revenue today.
Evan Laird | TrustRadius Reviewer

Heroku Platform

  • Heroku allowed us to get up and running fast. Deployment was really easy and connecting to our codebase was, too. The deployment integration with GitHub is pretty slick.
  • The add-ons provisioning is so simple and the documentation is so thorough that, at least at first, it means you don't have to hire a dedicated devops person to manage this stuff.
  • Heroku has tools that allow the collaborators (those with access to the Heroku dashboard) to be able to quickly and easily do triage from just about anywhere, including your smartphone.
Shannon E. Wells-Mongiovi | TrustRadius Reviewer

Pricing Details

Firebase

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

Firebase Editions & Modules

Edition
Phone Authentication$0.011
Stored Data$0.182
  1. Per Verification
  2. Per GiB
Additional Pricing Details

Heroku Platform

General

Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No

Heroku Platform Editions & Modules

Edition
Production$25.001
Advanced$250.001
  1. per month
Additional Pricing Details

Rating Summary

Likelihood to Recommend

Firebase
8.6
Heroku Platform
8.4

Likelihood to Renew

Firebase
Heroku Platform
9.5

Usability

Firebase
9.5
Heroku Platform
9.2

Reliability and Availability

Firebase
Heroku Platform
8.0

Performance

Firebase
Heroku Platform
9.0

Support Rating

Firebase
7.5
Heroku Platform
8.7

Online Training

Firebase
Heroku Platform
6.0

Implementation Rating

Firebase
Heroku Platform
9.0

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