The online home of John Pollard

Client-side development with AngularJS and Firebase

I’ve been busy over the last couple of months building out a prototype of a web app/business idea - unfortunately it’s not quite ready for public viewing just yet, but hopefully not too long now.

What I did want to write briefly about was how much fun it was to write a single page app using AngularJS. I’ve been meaning to try Angular out for a while, and I’ve been really impressed on how easy it is to get up and running, as well as how well its functionality maps to real world applications.

The documentation is a little ropey at times, and the code examples aren’t great - although as ever Stack Overflow is your friend. Once I grasped the overall concept of how to structure your code, I’ve been really productive and very happy with how quickly I’ve been able to iterate in the prototype.

My app also needed a datastore to hold information, and I’ve been trying out Firebase. It’s a realtime backend that natively stores JSON, and has client libraries for many platforms including Angular, which made it very simple to get up and running.

The realtime synching between multiple browsed logged into the same account is truly impressive, and I’d definitely recommend taking at look to see if it matches what you need.

For me, it was great to be able to have a datastore I could access form client-side code without having to write my own intermediate API data layer. However, once the app moves into production the true realtime synching may be overkill for my particular needs - especially if the app gets any traction - so I may end up rolling my own solution for cost benefits more than anything else.