Is Firebase an SQL Database? (2023 Update)

1.5 Minutes
firebase sql

No, Firebase is not an SQL database. Firebase offers two different types of NoSQL databases, each with distinct features and use cases:

Realtime Database:

  • A NoSQL JSON database.
  • Provides real-time data synchronization and offline support.
  • Ideal for applications that require low-latency data updates.


  • A NoSQL document-oriented database.
  • Offers real-time updates, offline support, and powerful querying capabilities.
  • Provides better scalability and more advanced features compared to the Realtime Database.

firebase sql database

Why Firebase is not an SQL Database

Despite offering two different databases, Firebase is not an SQL database. Both Realtime Database and Firestore are NoSQL databases. Here's why:

Data Model:

SQL databases use tables with fixed schema and predefined data types. In contrast, Firebase's Realtime Database stores data as JSON objects, while Firestore uses collections and documents with flexible schema and dynamic data types. This allows for more adaptable data structures in Firebase.

Query Language:

SQL databases use Structured Query Language (SQL) for querying and manipulating data. On the other hand, both Realtime Database and Firestore employ simple APIs without the need for a separate query language. This makes it easier to work with data, especially for developers who may not be familiar with SQL.

Scaling and Data Relationships:

SQL databases require manual sharding and partitioning for horizontal scaling and use joins to create relationships between tables, enabling complex queries. Firestore, however, is designed to scale automatically, making it easier to manage large datasets. In addition, Firestore focuses on document-based storage, which means relationships between collections need to be managed manually.

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