Recommendations for Database Choice and Push Notifications


I’m new to the Particle community, so please bear with me. I know there are a ton of services out there, some free, some not, and of varying levels of complexity. I want to keep things as simple as possible and, for the time being at least, as cheap as possible.

So, based on my application description (below), I was wondering if you could recommend a good approach/service for push notifications and database integration.

In general terms, my project consists of a Photon module that, when an event happens (i.e. switch, sensor, alarm, etc), will do the following:

  • Send a push notification to a mobile device (I’m only supporting iOS initially)
  • Query an online database
  • Perform an action based on the values it retrieves from the database (i.e. turn on a relay, flash an LED, etc)
  • Update the same online database
  • Send another push notification to the mobile device to signal that it’s finished

Now, for each transaction there will be less than a dozen parameters read from the database and only one or two parameters written to it. Also, it will be activity driven (i.e. no regularly timed transactions) and there will likely be less than 10 transactions per day.

NOTE: As per 'ScruffR’s comments, the iOS app will also need read/write access to the database.

So, based on that, can any of you gurus give me some recommendations to point me in the right direction?

I appreciate your time.


Ubidots should be able to handle all that.

I would say it’s probably the easiest path to accomplishing this also.

It does allow you to send SMS or email messages based on data points also.

That looks really cool, but it doesn’t look like they provide an SDK for iOS. I’ll keep looking into it though.

You only mentioned push notifications too the iOS app but not that this app should also do anything with the DB direct.

When you say “this app”, do you mean the application running on the Photon? If so, I did mention in my original post that the Photon will have to “Update the same online database”. As for the iOS app, it will rarely need to write to or read from the database as part of normal operation, but it will need full access to it for configuration purposes.

“this” is meant as reflexive pronoun, so it refers to the iOS app which is mentioned just before.
And the fact that you mentioned the Photon did do the communication with the DB did in deed not slip my attention, but the fact that you didn’t state any connection between iOS app and DB was obvious enough to suggest that this must have been what I actually meant IMO.

For the DB communication between Ubidots servers and iOS you might need to tap them tho’
On the other hand - some configuration is possible via their web portal.

Yes, I will look into Ubidots a bit more, but from what I’ve seen so far, I’m not sure that it’s quite the right fit for my application. Thanks for the feedback.

Ubidots has a API it call the data stored in it via a iOS application.

OK, I will look for it on the Ubidots website. Thanks.

Hello @Yeroc,

Reading the requirements of your project, we would love to be your one-stop shop for application solutions but at this time, some of the features and functionality to look to deploy are beyond the capabilities of Ubidots. Regrettably, at the moment Ubidots doesn’t support Push Notifications. The Dev team is planning to engineer this but we don’t have a due date yet. Additionally, Ubidots does not provide a SDK for iOS.

Wholly, we wish we could be of additional assistance, but your intended application in its entirety is more than we current support. To this, we welcome you to explore the platform for any other potential IoT application developments. And, lastly, you can always contact the Ubidots Team through the Ubidots community forums, the in-app chat channel, or by email, and a real person, like me, will respond to your inquires.

All the best,
Maria C. and the Ubidots Team

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Thanks for the clarification. I’m sure I’ll use Ubidots for future projects.

I use Pushover for push notifications. I don’t know if it can do anything else, but the push notifications have been reliable.

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@Yeroc I’ve used incoming webhooks in Slack with Particle webhook integration for Push Notification. It works for the most part. Sometimes I dont get a push notification but the data is in the channel.
Hope this helps.

Thanks for the reply.

I think I’m going to start out just using a JSON database and then get a push notification every time a value in the JSON database is changed. Hopefully that won’t be too difficult to start with. Then, later on, I’ll handle my database elsewhere, maybe using AWS EC2 or something.


I just started looking at It may have what your looking for.

Thanks! I’ll check it out.