Realm authentication clarification



I have very little experience with backend and I’m kind of trying to figure out this whole authentication thing.

After reading the Realm platform documentation, it seems like Realm provides very basic authentication. My understanding is that it only supports username/password login without any extra features. My first question is what am I missing on if I don’t implement custom authentication? What are those extra features?

My second question is related to custom authentication. Do I need an independent server for that or can I just code it in Realm cloud?

Finally, if I need an auth server, what are my best options considering I have a tight budget? Auth0 is too expensive.

Any help would be appreciated.


I guess it depends on what app you are using. I am personally using Firebase Authentication for my app (iOS/Android) and this is free to use. For it to work with Realm Cloud you will need a server side component though, but this is pretty easy to set up with Firebase Cloud functions.

I wrote the initial guide for how to do this here, but I am sure the Realm guys have improved it since then :wink:


Thanks Sipe! Are there any drawbacks to using Firebase vs my own authentication server? If say down the line I want to use my own server, how difficult would the migration process be?


I would never write my own authentication server, so I don’t think I am qualified to answer that question. Doesn’t sound like an easy task though…

Another option would be to go with the basic Realm authentication for now and then wait. Realm and MongoDB Stitch will merge in 2020 and the Stitch platform already has authentication built in. If I was starting over I would go this route.


Yes, I know. I might just do that if I can’t figure out the whole authentication thing.