Right now I’m working on an app that uses some backend logic to let clients communicate with each other in real time. I’m gonna talk about that.
A little while ago I wrote an article (that no one read) about static apps and why they’re so great. Right now, I’m working on an application that does some realtime stuff and its a static application. Being mostly a front-end developer, I thought it would be sort of a tough task for me to handle. I’m currently a computer science student so I didn’t think it would tooooo hard. I did some research and it seemed like Socket.IO would be a good option since it calls itself the “fastest and most reliable real-time engine”. I worked with Socket.IO for about half an hour and remembered when I was talking with my friend Charles about backend services. After all, they were talked about a lot in the Static Apps Field Guide. He was using Parse.com for an app we were collaborating on, and I thought using something like that would be make this a lot easier and fun. After some more digging I found out that Parse didn’t really offer some of the features I needed, but that Firebase was really cool, fast, and well documented.
After working for a few days, Firebase ended up being the right decision because of its included static hosting, realtime capabilities, pretty simple pricing structure, helper libraries, and simple interface. Firebase does pretty much everything I need and that’s pretty great. One thing that’s been pretty helpful is its “AngularFire” library. It allows for some pretty tight integration with AngularJS that allows me to use the two together more effectively. The result of this is a really fast and really stable Angular app that uses no custom backend code. If I had coded all of this functionality myself it would have been, nowhere near as good, take months for me to get right, end up being more expensive in the long run.
What I’m making can pretty much be considered a browser based typing game. I’m not really ready to release more details on it yet since there aren’t any. I think that once this app reaches a more polished state, I’ll put an open beta release online for people to play and offer feedback on. Until then I’ll just be making more silly blog updates like this one.
In conclusion, backend services like Parse and Firebase are awesome and allow us to make truly static web applications that are fully functional, perform amazingly, and can be developed way faster.