Google Launches Cloud Firestore NoSQL Document Database Optimized for App Development

Google has launched Cloud Firestore, a fully managed, NoSQL document database that lets developers store, synchronize, and query data for their mobile apps, with offline support, at scale. 

According to Google, syncing data to the cloud is critical to developing a mobile or web app, but it is also difficult to do. Challenges for developers include setting up their own servers to host the data and make sure they're up and running 24 hours a day, and the need to make sure clients can deal with network issues and handle offline support. Moreover, if an app becomes an overnight success, there is also the need to handle unexpected surges in traffic without breaking down.

Cloud Firestore is a fully managed solution that's part of the Google Cloud Platform and, according to the company, it can grow to meet developers’ needs, no matter how large their app gets.

Announced today in a blog post by Alex Dufetel, product manager, Cloud Firestore, which is now available in beta, synchronizes data between devices in real-time. Its Android, iOS, and JavaScript SDKs sync app data quickly making it easier to build reactive apps, automatically sync data across devices, and build powerful collaborative features. It uses collections and documents to structure and query data and also allows for expressive queries. Queries scale with the size of a result set, not the size of your dataset, so there is consistent performance whether fetching 1 result from a set of 100, or 100,000,000.

Cloud Firestore also enables offline data access via an on-device database, enabling apps to function smoothly, even when users lose connectivity. This offline mode is available on Web, iOS and Android. Enabling serverless development, Cloud Firestore's client-side SDKs take care of the complex authentication and networking code developers normally need to write themselves and on the back end also provides a powerful set of security rules so you can control access to your data. Security rules allow developers to control which users can access which documents, and permit them to apply complex validation logic to their data as well. Combined, says Dufetel, these features allow the mobile app to connect directly to the database.

In addition, the Cloud Firestore integrates with the rest of the Firebase platform, allowing developers to configure cloud functions to run custom code whenever data is written, while SDKs automatically integrate with Firebase Authentication, to help them get started quickly.