Discover Supabase: The Top Open-Source Firebase Alternative


Supabase is an open-source alternative to Firebase, providing developers with a backend-as-a-service platform that includes a database, authentication, storage, and real-time capabilities. Built on top of PostgreSQL, It aims to make it easier for developers to build scalable and robust applications without managing the backend infrastructure. Additionally, It supports custom domains, and SSL enforcement, and provides both REST API and GraphQL API. To learn more, please refer to the official Supabase Doc.

Why Choose Supabase?

Supabase stands out for several reasons:

  • Open Source: Unlike Firebase, It is open source, meaning developers can inspect the code, contribute to it, and host it themselves.
  • PostgreSQL: It leverages PostgreSQL, a powerful and widely-used relational database, ensuring robust and reliable database management.
  • Feature-Rich: It offers a comprehensive suite of tools, including real-time capabilities, authentication, storage, automatic API generation, etc.

Comparison with Firebase

While Firebase is known for its ease of use and extensive feature set, it is proprietary and can lead to vendor lock-in. Supabase, on the other hand, provides similar features with the flexibility and transparency of an open-source platform. Here are a few more points of comparison:

DatabasePostgreSQL (relational, advanced querying)Firestore (NoSQL, hierarchical data)
Open SourceYes, fully open sourceNo, proprietary by Google
PricingCompetitive and transparent pricingGenerous free tier, but can become expensive as you scale
Hosting OptionsOption to self-hostFully managed by Google, no self-hosting
API FlexibilityProvides both REST and GraphQL APIsPrimarily REST and Firestore SDKs, GraphQL requires additional setup
Community and EcosystemScalable file storage integrates with the databaseStrong community, open-source plugins, and integrations
Real-time CapabilitiesBuilt on PostgreSQL, familiar SQL experienceStrong community, open-source plugins, and integrations
AuthenticationBuilt-in user management, third-party providersComprehensive auth solutions, integration with Google services
StorageScalable file storage integrates with the databaseScalable file storage integrates with database
Serverless FunctionsEdge Functions, serverless, low latencyCloud Functions, serverless, powerful
Custom DomainsSupports custom domainsSupports custom domains
SSL EnforcementSSL enforcement availableSSL enforced

Getting Started with Supabase

Setting Up an Account

To start with Supabase, sign up for a free account on the Supabase website. Once registered, you can create new projects, manage existing ones, and access the dashboard.

Creating a New Project

After logging in, create a new project by specifying a project name, database password, and the region where your project will be hosted. It will set up the necessary infrastructure and provide you with the project URL and API keys.

Connecting to a Database

It uses PostgreSQL as its database engine. You can connect to your Supabase database using any PostgreSQL client or library. It provides connection details, including the host, database name, user, and password, in the project settings.

Core Features


It offers a complete authentication solution, including user management, third-party authentication providers (such as Google, GitHub, and Facebook), and security features like password reset and email verification.

Realtime Database

One of Supabase’s standout features is its real-time capabilities. It enables developers to subscribe to database changes and receive real-time updates, making it ideal for applications that require live data synchronization.


It provides a robust storage solution for managing media files, documents, and other assets. It integrates seamlessly with your applications, allowing you to upload, manage, and serve files efficiently.

API Generation

It automatically generates RESTful APIs for your database tables, making it easy to interact with your database from your front-end code. These APIs are secure and customizable to fit your application’s needs.


User Management

It provides a comprehensive user management system, allowing you to create, update, and delete users programmatically. It also supports user roles and permissions to secure different parts of your application.

Authentication Providers

It supports multiple authentication providers out of the box, including email/password, Google, GitHub, and Facebook. This makes it easy to implement social logins and enhance the user experience.

Security Features

Security is a top priority for Supabase. It includes features such as password hashing, email verification, and multi-factor authentication to ensure your users’ data is protected.


It leverages PostgreSQL, providing a full-featured SQL database with support for complex queries, transactions, and joins. PostgreSQL’s advanced features ensure your database can handle various use cases, from simple applications to complex data models.

Database Management

The Supabase dashboard offers tools for managing your database, including running SQL queries, creating and modifying tables, and managing relationships. You can also use PostgreSQL clients for advanced database management.

Integrating Supabase with Existing Databases

If you have an existing PostgreSQL database, you can integrate it with Supabase, taking advantage of Supabase’s additional features while retaining your existing data and schema.

Realtime Capabilities

Realtime Subscriptions

Supabase’s real-time subscriptions allow you to listen for changes in your database and update your application in real time. This is particularly useful for chat applications, live dashboards, and collaborative tools.

Implementing Realtime Features in Applications

To implement real-time features, you can use Supabase’s client libraries to subscribe to table changes and react to updates instantly. This enables a smooth and interactive user experience.

Storage Solutions

File Storage

It provides scalable file storage, allowing you to store and manage files such as images, videos, and documents. The storage solution integrates with your database, enabling you to associate files with database records easily.

Managing Media Files

You can upload, retrieve, and manage media files using Supabase’s storage APIs. The storage solution ensures your files are secure and accessible when needed.

Integrating Storage with Applications

Integrating storage with your application is straightforward using Supabase’s client libraries. You can handle file uploads, display media, and manage storage directly from your frontend code.

API Management

Automatic API Generation

Supabase automatically generates RESTful APIs for your database tables, making it easy to perform CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations on your data. These APIs are ready to use without additional configuration. In addition to RESTful APIs, Supabase also provides GraphQL APIs, offering a flexible and powerful way to query your data.

Customizing API Endpoints

While Supabase generates APIs automatically, you can customize these endpoints to fit your application’s needs. This includes adding custom logic, modifying responses, and securing endpoints with access controls. Both REST and GraphQL endpoints can be tailored to meet specific requirements, ensuring your application’s API layer is both robust and versatile.

API Security and Rate Limiting

Supabase ensures your APIs are secure by providing authentication and authorization mechanisms. You can also implement rate limiting to protect your APIs from abuse and ensure optimal performance. These security features help maintain the integrity and reliability of your application’s backend.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

Supabase is a powerful and flexible backend-as-a-service platform that simplifies the development of scalable and robust applications. Its open-source nature ensures transparency and avoids vendor lock-in while leveraging PostgreSQL for advanced database capabilities.

For more insight into the project’s active development and community contributions, here is a comprehensive overview of the Supabase GitHub repository:

GitHub RepositorySupabase
GitHub Starsstars
GitHub ForksForks
GitHub Last CommitLast Commit
GitHub LicenseLicense
GitHub Top LanguageLanguages Top
GitHub Languages CountLanguages Count
GitHub ContributorsContributors
GitHub IssuesIssues
GitHub WatchersWatchers

With comprehensive features including authentication, storage, real-time capabilities, and support for both REST and GraphQL APIs, Supabase is a versatile choice for a wide range of projects.

The platform’s active community, continuous updates, and robust security features make it a top choice for developers seeking a Firebase alternative. Whether you are a startup, a growing company, or an individual developer, Supabase provides the tools and flexibility needed to build modern, scalable applications without the complexities of managing backend infrastructure.