Real-time Group Chat using Firebase Realtime Database

Today, let us show you how you (yes, just you!) can add a full-featured chat functionality to your Web, Android, or iOS app, in a day’s work. (Spoiler for the backend developers: there’s no backend code needed. Absolutely. Zero. Backend. Code.)

What is Firebase?

Firebase was initially a product developed by a startup named Envolve Inc., that sought to make an API for embedding real-time chat in mobile and web apps. Long story short, it grew wildly and this lead the developers to separate the chat feature and the underlying real-time engine that powered it; and that was eventually acquired by — none other than — Google.

Google took it to a whole new level by integrating its slew of services and features targeted towards mobile developers and evolved Firebase from just a real-time database to “BaaS” – Backend as a Service. I’ll not go much into this but here’s a screenshot from their page with the full arsenal of the services provided —

Firebase - services provided

Firebase – services provided

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