Realtime Database


So while I started working with databases back in the 90's, they were fairly simplistic and did not require any internet access or APIs.

Things sure have changed, the basic concept hasn't but the application certainly has. When developing web applications, DBs are an integral part of the process. Last semester we explored a SQL database called PostgreSQL. The process for installing and integrating with our front-end web application was not as straight forward as we were led to believe from the documentation. But there were quite a few key learnings as we struggled through the setup and testing.

This week we started a project which is essentially a clone of a popular Web App called "Task Rabbit". To handle the backend database portion of the project we were introduced to Firebase, a backend as a service (BaaS). Firebase provides a realtime database by providing an integrated API to sync data from the Web App and the database with very little effort.

So far so good, I am at the halfway point through the tutorial from our friend Leo at Code4Startup. I have been using GitHub for my version control system and have been saving my work after every lesson. Initially I was saving after every task but I found that the code was breaking too much, so I decided to save after every sub-task. This helped quite a bit with the debugging of my code.

If you have a good handle on basic HTML, CSS & Javascript and have been introduced to AngularJS I would totally recommend working through this tutorial. The project that is built is very useful and is a great way to demonstrate a MVP.

Darren MacDonald is an entrepreneur, ergonomist, ski bum, technophile and life long learner. He loves design, usability, @BigSpruceBrew and @UITstartup.