Firebase Opens Its Real-Time App Infrastructure To All Developers

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When Y Combinator-backed Firebase first announced its app infrastructure service last April, it saw 4,000 developer sign-ups in the first week and raised a $1.1 million round shortly afterwards. Since then, co-founder James Tamplin said the company has been quietly bringing on more developers and improving the technology. Today it’s launching its public beta, giving any interested developer access to the service.

Firebase grew out of the chat service Envolve. Tamplin told me last year that he realized there’s a bigger opportunity in making the real-time infrastructure used by apps like Envolve available to all developers, so they can “build apps really, really fast without worrying about servers or writing server code.”

There are already 14,000 developers using Firebase, and through their apps, the company’s infrastructure is already supporting up to 250,000 users simultaneously. Some developers are building brand-new apps, but Tamplin said Firebase is also being used by more established companies, including Klout and Twitch.tv, to build additional features and services.

Tamplin said he’s opening the public beta now because Firebase has achieved an important milestone — 99.9 percent uptime. He also pointed to recent improvements on the security side, including support for SSL, and to increase integration with other platforms and services.

While the current infrastructure is built for web apps, Firebase also supports mobile development through a partnership with Trigger.io, and Tamplin said we can expect more mobile support soon.

“The vision still remains the same,” he added. “We want to be the go-to real-time backend for all these great experiences.”