Why Firebase Cloud Functions are Awesome

Why Firebase Cloud Functions are Awesome

In the process of building my application, I used Firebase Cloud Functions that are called by triggers in the Firebase Cloud Firestore. Basically, whenever a record is written to specific collections in my app’s Firestore, the Cloud Functions trigger Slack notifications.

Recently, I built an application for some devs on my team in order to boost sharing of what we learn every week. We are always learning something new, and I wanted a platform that could help orchestrate that. In the process of building my application, I used Firebase Cloud Functions that are called by triggers in the Firebase Cloud Firestore. Basically, whenever a record is written to specific collections in my app’s Firestore, the Cloud Functions trigger Slack notifications. This whole process was a lot of fun, and actually quite powerful. This post is going to cover some basics, and showcase how powerful using cloud functions can be.

Some Background

So before I go into details, here’s some basic info on the app that I built. It’s open source, and you can look at the code on GitHub here.

As I stated in the intro, the whole application is built to orchestrate sharing what the folks I work with learn every week.

  • It scores users based on learning activity that they record each week.
  • The idea is that once a week the winners are recognized, and then there’s an impromptu meeting to highlight some of what was learned.
  • The app includes Slack integration along with Zoom for the meetings.
  • When users record learning activity, a hyperlink is included so that the activities can be reviewed later

Prior to building this application, I had played with Cloud Functions and even built some HTTP endpoints. I was interested in how you could leverage Node Express to literally build out your own API with Firebase Cloud Functions.

However, with this application I wanted to use Cloud Firestore triggers to automatically call these functions when records were saved. By using Cloud Functions with triggers, I was free to build my application and let the Cloud Functions handle the notifications.

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