15 Best Open-source Database Backend Server and Google Firebase Alternatives

15 Best Open-source Database Backend Server and Google Firebase Alternatives
Photo by Jr Korpa / Unsplash

Google Firebase is a Google-hosted cloud real-time NoSQL database for building mobile, web and desktop applications.

It offers a database backend, an API, user registration and authentication, monitoring, user permissions, file and attachment store, and more.

With Firebase, all that developers need to start building an app is a Google account, and setup their developer account, set up their first Firebase app, and use the credentials in their apps.

Firebase saves developers a great deal of time and effort for setup and support. It takes the headache of server maintenance, upgrade, security, and DevOps cost. It also comes with a large set of development libraries, SDKs, and extensions which make the development of an app a blaze.

It is an ideal solution for mobile developers and companies, especially as it integrates with other Google services like Analytics, Google Ads, Google Play Store, Data Studio, and other third-party services like Slack and Jira. However, it is not completely free.

So, in this article, we have reviewed a list of open-source self-hosted Google Firebase alternatives for developers and companies.

Why do we need self-hosted Firebase Alternatives?

  1. Stay in control of your data: You will host the database, backend, and files on your server.
  2. Cost: The cost of running open-source software on your own hardware is minimal compared to a SaaS system.
  3. Privacy: a self-hosted system, that helps you to keep your data and user activities private.

Open-source database backend server and Google Firebase alternative

1- Supabase

Supabase is an open-source database with a backend solution that helps developers create their backend in seconds.

Like Google Firebase, it offers a database setup (PostgreSQL), control dashboard, authentication to manage user login and registration, storage for file uploading and management, and extra server functions like cron jobs.

Supabase storage offers full support for images, documents, and videos.

If you are looking for an enterprise-grade solution with similar functionalities like Firebase so, Supabase is the right answer, but keep in mind it is still under heavy development.

The Open Source Firebase Alternative | Supabase
The Open Source Alternative to Firebase.

2- Parse

Parse server is an open-source backend solution that speeds up application building. It features a database, user management, authentication, file upload, and push notifications.

I used Parse a few times, and I was satisfied with the speed and productivity it offers, especially in terms of developer tools as it comes with dozens of SDKs, libraries, and sample code to speed up the production process.

Parse offers a GraphQL library with REST-API. It also comes with iOS, Android, JavaScript, .NET, Xamarin, macOS, Unity Game Engine, PHP, and Arduino SDKs. Parse has a well-documented developer portal that is always edited and updated by Parse developers and the community.

Parse Platform
The open source GitHub page for the Parse platform.

3- Appwrite

Appwrite is a self-hosted backend server for building web, mobile, and desktop apps. It supports multiple applications natively without hacks or workarounds.

It features a dashboard for apps, database, user, functions and storage management, real-time analytics per project, lives connections monitor, background tasks, and webhooks.

Appwrite also is suitable for creating Geo-data and location-based apps, it also comes with a console to track API usage for all applications.

Appwrite offers SDK for Flutter, Node.js, Kotlin, Objective-C, PHP, Ruby, Python, Java, and Go programming languages.

Appwrite - Open-Source End-to-End Backend Server
Appwrite is a backend-as-a-service platform that provides developers with all the core APIs required to build any application.

4- Kuzzle

Kuzzle is an open-source scalable server with multiprotocol API, admin console and modular infrastructure for building real-time apps.

It includes fast full-text search, geofencing and real-time pub/sub data exchange and sync. Therefore, it is suitable for building mobile apps, games, and web apps.

Kuzzle offers a large set of libraries and SDK to help developers integrate and build apps faster. It supports JavaScript, PHP, Android, C, C++, C#, Swift, Android, Java, Go, Python, Ruby and Lua.

IoT Platform & Backend Open Source - Kuzzle
Kuzzle publishes open source IoT Platform software to accelerate the development of your innovative IoT & Data applications.

5- Etebase

Etebase is a self-hosted open-source backend server for building secure applications. It offers end-to-end encryption, revision history, sharing, access control, and a built-in billing service.

SDKs and software libraries include Rust, JavaScript client, TypeScript client, Java/ Kotlin library, Python client library,  C, and C# libraries. Go, Ruby and Swift libraries are still work in progress.

Etebase is a Libre project which is released under AGPL-3.0 License.

Etebase - Your end-to-end encrypted backend
An open-source and end-to-end encrypted SDK and backend

6- Horizon

Horizon is a real-time JavaScript backend built on top of RethinkDB. It has a server backend, a client library,  a command line interface app and GraphQL support.

Horizon offers a subscription layout for creating real-time apps, user account API, authentication with external service and social login support (Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), and a permission management API.

Horizon uses WebSocket for real-time communication which makes it ideal for creating messaging and communication applications.

GitHub - rethinkdb/horizon: Horizon is a realtime, open-source backend for JavaScript apps.
Horizon is a realtime, open-source backend for JavaScript apps. - GitHub - rethinkdb/horizon: Horizon is a realtime, open-source backend for JavaScript apps.

7- SapphireDb

SapphireDb is a self-hosted real-time database for .Net apps. It features a simple configuration, model validation, offline-first support, join and include operations, complex queries, actions, authentication, messaging, and rich set of developer-friendly libraries and SDKs.

GitHub - SapphireDb/SapphireDb: SapphireDb Server, a self-hosted, easy to use realtime database for Asp.Net Core and EF Core
SapphireDb Server, a self-hosted, easy to use realtime database for Asp.Net Core and EF Core - GitHub - SapphireDb/SapphireDb: SapphireDb Server, a self-hosted, easy to use realtime database for As…

8- RethinkDB

RethinkDB is an open-source real-time database engine for creating modern reactive apps.

It features a rich dashboard with real-time analytics and graphs, a data explorer, a simple learning curve, rich data models and queries with Geospatial queries support, and a large set of administration tools.

The official binary packages for RethinkDB are available for: Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, and macOS. RethinkDB`s community released some unofficial packages for Fedora, openSUSE, Arch Linux, Linux Mint, Raspberry Pi (Raspbian), and Gentoo.

RethinkDB: the open-source database for the realtime web

9- Deployd

Deployd is an open-source JavaScript backend for MongoDB. With Deployd, developers can create their collection, set permission, and methods, and manage all user profiles and authentications.

Deployd comes with a dashboard, a file editor, a rich library of sample code sources, rich documentation, static file development support (.HTML), and a JavaScript client library.

I used it in a couple of projects, and I highly recommend it for small, simple, and lightweight mobile or web applications.  


10- CouchDB

CouchDB is a multipurpose open-source database engine with a developer-friendly API and rich web admin dashboard. It offers user-crud operation and authentication out-of-the-box. It also supports document upload, file attachment and storage.

CouchDB is proven to build offline-first apps with PouchDB support. It has a dead-simple configuration and works seamlessly on Windows, Linux, macOS, and low-resource Linux servers.

Apache CouchDB

11- Baserow

Baserow is a low-code and no-code database application layer with a rich REST-API headless mode for building data-rich web and mobile apps.

It features multi-project (app) support, and dynamic data tables view with a rich control panel which comes with Kanban and Calendar views as well.  It supports real-time collaboration and unlimited data row display.

Baserow is built on top of Django (Python web development framework), and NuxtJS (Vue Framework) and uses PostgreSQL for the database.

The system can be extended by developers with a developer-friendly extension API.

Baserow: Create and manage databases with this no-code free app
Creating and managing databases is a critical part for any business or any development process. It also requires fair knowledge of installing, configuring and managing database engines and the managing software. While there are some cool management tools like PhpMyAdmin (Adminer) and pgAdmn for Po…

12- Hoodie

Hoodie is a database backend server/ client framework for creating web, desktop, and mobile apps.

Offline-first is a unique feature for Hoodie because it uses PouchDB to sync the data between the client and server.

Under the hood, Hoodie uses Hapi framework. The project has not been updated for some time, the leading website is offline, and its current status is unknown, so you may consider not using it in production.

GitHub - hoodiehq/hoodie: :dog: The Offline First JavaScript Backend
:dog: The Offline First JavaScript Backend. Contribute to hoodiehq/hoodie development by creating an account on GitHub.

13- Pocketbase

Pocketbase the the simplest and the lightest of them all, because it is written in the Go programming language. It features automatic API, SDKs for JavaScript and Dart (Flutter), Authentication, file, and document uploads.

Build A Backend For Your Apps in Mins with The Low-code Pocketbase
Pocketbase is a free low-code open-source solution that offers developers a fast way to build backend systems for their apps. It is written in the Go programming language and works extremely fast. Also, it does not take much to setup on Windows, Linux, and macOS. Pocketbase comes in a compact

14- Apitable

Apitable is an open-source low-code Airtable alternative, however, it can be used as a collaborative backend platform for building real-time apps.

Apitable comes with dozens of end-user and developer-friend features, yet it requires a strong server to run.

APITable Is An Open-source Low-code Solution and Airtable Alternative
APITable is a free open-source and self-hosted API-oriented low-code platform for building collaborative apps and better than all other Airtable open-source alternatives. It comes with dozens of useful features which include team collaboration in real-time, automatic headless API dashboard, several…

15- SuperTokens

SuberTokens is a self-hosted open-source user authentication backend for startups and companies. It helps developers build a user-based workflow without the complication of a complex authentication layer.

SuberTokens offers user authentication, tokens management, session management, forget email workflow, email verification, social login support, and easy front-end implementation.

The project is under heavy development, so stay tuned for incoming features like Passwordless login, 2FA; Two-factors authentication (SMS, EMAIL, App-based), and more framework and language libraries like Flask, Django, and others.

The main reason why we added SuperTokens here is, some developers may need such a tool for unified authentication and log-in with this list.

SuperTokens, Open Source User Authentication
Add simple email and password sign up functionality to your site or app in 15 minutes

In the end

Google Firebase platform helps developers to create mobile and web apps faster, but it comes at cost of privacy and portability. This article covers the open-source alternatives for Google Firebase, with a primary goal to help developers match their requirements with the solution on this list to find the best result.

If you know any other solution that should be on this list, please feel free to send us a message, and we will gladly add it here.

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