Firebase - a (truly) global variable


A global variable concept in programming languages was a misnomer for a very long time, since it was never truly accessible from throughout our planet, but only within the "global" scope of an application. A new service called Firebase is about to change this by providing global synchronization of data and exposing it to programmers as a regular variable that can be accessed, set and cleared. I think this seemingly small change has major implications for how web applications will be built from now. For starters, back-end as we know it from LAMP-style applications seems to be a thing of the past since Firebase is actually providing backend-as-a-service. Secondly, web frameworks such as Rails for Ruby, Django for Python or Symfony for PHP have suddenly become obsolete. Let me know in the comments if you have some clue what will supplement them. Third, we can expect time needed to develop web applications to further reduce from days to hours. If you don't believe me, try Firebase tutorial and see it for yourself. Globally accessible array or dictionary of data is incredibly powerful data structure. By employing such solution when developing Traffic Management System for Slovenian highways we managed to completely decouple sensors and actuators on one side, from control and monitoring logic on the other side. I consider Firebase to be equally important for the ultimate separation of concerns between user front-end and data processing back-end. No wonder than that our investors poured several millions of dollars recently in the Firebase. It might very well be that Firebase is the best service upon which to develop connected web and mobile applications, not AWS, Google AppEngine, or Heroku.