Google announced today that it is acquiring cloud hosted database company Firebase. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Google will continue to offer Firebase’s services as part of its Google Cloud Platform line.
“If you’re a developer who has built an app on top of Firebase, nothing will change for you and you can continue to use Firebase as you normally would,” Firebase co-founder and CEO James Tamplin wrote in a blog post announcing the acquisition.
Firebase could make life much easier for developers working on real-time applications, such as chat apps or business collaboration tools. Typically, applications like this run code in the browser, or on your smart phone, that communicates with a web server that, in turn, reaches back to a database server. Firebase, which launched two years ago, now claims to have 110,000 developers using its service, is part of a growing number of companies that are trying to cut the backend server out of that equation.
Firebase cuts out the middle step by letting applications communicate directly with a database with no need for a bunch of complex code in between the two. All of the code runs in the browser, or on your phone, and the data the application needs is synchronized with the Firebase’s servers. “We’ve kind of changed the paradigm from one were you think about sending data and storing data as two separate things to a paradigm where it’s just about synchronizing data,” Lee told us back in 2012.
Firebase competes with mobile-centric data hosting companies like Parse, as well as database hosting services such as Amazon’s DynamoDB and IBM’s Cloudant.