Migrating from Firebase Realtime Database to a new backend powered by Hasura.
Lineup Ninja is a comprehensive abstract and agenda management platform for conferences, exhibitions and association events. It is sold directly to customers and as white labeled software. The first iteration of the Lineup Ninja product was built using Firebase Realtime Database. As Lineup Ninja saw increasing traction, they were facing a couple of issues with this MVP backend.
- Their large enterprise clients required them to meet with the security and regulatory compliance standards of their respective regions.
- They wanted to add powerful search and querying features to their app which Firebase Realtime Database did not make easy.
Lineup Ninja decided to use GraphQL as it has a similar query structure to Firebase and so they could migrate easily. They evaluated several GraphQL tools before deciding to go with Hasura because:
- It was very easy to get started with Hasura: click and run on Heroku helped them test it out quickly, and the learning curve was very short.
- Hasura provided realtime GraphQL over Postgres - providing an easy to use realtime API but with all the benefits and advantages of an RDBMS.
- The fact that Hasura used Postgres meant it was easy to troubleshoot problems thanks to the large ecosystem.
Lineup Ninja was able to migrate out of Firebase and have a fully functional production grade backend ready with very few developer resources, on a very tight deadline.
Their new backend enabled sales to different enterprise customer segments:
- European customers worried about GDPR could now store their data on their own Postgres databases.
- Chinese clients could now use it - their largest customer has clients in China and would not have been able to use the MVP since it was built on Firebase.
- Large enterprise customers who care about security - they wanted a security policy and an overview of the architecture, and were much more comfortable with the database being Postgres rather than it being built using Firebase.
Hasura also gave them 2 other benefits:
- Hasura enables them to leverage serverless and not worry about DevOps, which is important since the team is small.
- Hasura’s high performance helped them save significantly on infrastructure costs.
Going forward, Lineup Ninja will be adding several new features to their product over the coming weeks and months. They are very confident in their new backend’s ability to keep up with their feature velocity and scaling demands.
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This case study was prepared basis a discussion with Gordon Johnston, CTO at Lineup Ninja.