Android Programming

Android Firebase : Starter - Save Data

Hi guys.In this an example tutorial we cover how to configure firebase realtime database with android and write a simple example of saving data into firebase from an edittext. What we do:

  • Create google firebase account.
  • Create firebase project and database.
  • Save data from our android edittext to firebase

What Is Firebase Realtime Database?

Firebase Realtime database is a database backend as a service Cloud hosted solution that gives us the platform to build rich apps.Normally we are used to making HTTP requests to read or write data against our servers.But not in Firebase.It uses synchronization technology that allows it to be realtime,but still performant.

Main Feautures?

  • Its realtime .

  • Platfrom Independent.

  • Easy Access Control.

  • It’s a NoSQL solution and is heavily optimized for performance.

  • Has Offline capability .

  • Its User Friendly.

1. Create Basic Activity Project

  1. First create a new project in android studio. Go to File --> New Project.

  2. Type the application name and choose the company name. New Project Dialog

  3. Choose minimum SDK. Choose minimum SDK

  4. Choose Basic activity. Choose Empty Activity

  5. Click Finish. Finish

Basic activity will have a toolbar and floating action button already added in the layout

Normally two layouts get generated with this option:

No. Name Type Description
1. activity_main.xml XML Layout Will get inflated into MainActivity Layout.Typically contains appbarlayout with toolbar.Also has a floatingactionbutton.
2. content_main.xml XML Layout Will be included into activity_main.xml.You add your views and widgets here.
3. MainActivity.java Class Main Activity.

In this example I used a basic activity.

The activity will automatically be registered in the android_manifest.xml. Android Activities are components and normally need to be registered as an application component.

If you've created yours manually then register it inside the <application>...<application> as following, replacing the MainActivity with your activity name:


        <activity android:name=".MainActivity">

            <intent-filter>

                <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />

                <category android:name="android.intent.category.LAUNCHER" />

            </intent-filter>

        </activity>

You can see that one action and category are specified as intent filters. The category makes our MainActivity as launcher activity. Launcher activities get executed first when th android app is run.

Advantage of Creating Basic Activity project

You can optionally choose empty activity over basic activity for this project.

However basic activity has the following advantages:

No. Advantage
1. Provides us a readymade toolbar which gives us actionbar features yet easily customizable
2. Provides us with appbar layout which implements material design appbar concepts.
3. Provides a FloatinActionButton which we can readily use to initiate quick actions especially in examples like these.
4. Decouples our custom content views and widgets from the templating features like toolbar.

Generated Project Structure

AndroidStudio will generate for you a project with default configurations via a set of files and directories.

Here are the most important of them:

No. File Major Responsibility
1. build/ A directory containing resources that have been compiled from the building of application and the classes generated by android tools. Such a tool is the R.java file. R.java file normally holds the references to application resources.
2. libs/ To hold libraries we use in our project.
3. src/main/ To hold the source code of our application.This is the main folder you work with.
4. src/main/java/ Contains our java classes organized as packages.
5. src/main/res/ Contains our project resources folders as follows.
6. src/main/res/drawable/ Contains our drawable resources.
7. src/main/res/layout/ Contains our layout resources.
8. src/main/res/menu/ Contains our menu resources XML code.
9. src/main/res/values/ Contains our values resources XML code.These define sets of name-value pairs and can be strings, styles and colors.
10. AndroidManifest.xml This file gets autogenerated when we create an android project.It will define basic information needed by the android system like application name,package name,permissions,activities,intents etc.
11. build.gradle Gradle Script used to build the android app.

3. Create Firebase and Download Configuration File

Head over to Firebase Console, create a Firebase App, Register your app id and download the google-services.json file. Add it to your app folder.

Add Config File

4. Specify Maven repository URL

Head over to project level(project folder) build.gradle and

  1. Add Google services classpath as below
  2. Add maven repository url
// Top-level build file where you can add configuration options common to all sub-projects/modules.

buildscript {
    repositories {
        jcenter()
    }
    dependencies {
        classpath 'com.android.tools.build:gradle:2.3.3'
        classpath 'com.google.gms:google-services:3.1.0'


        // NOTE: Do not place your application dependencies here; they belong
        // in the individual module build.gradle files
    }
}

allprojects {
    repositories {
        jcenter()
        maven {
            url "https://maven.google.com" // Google's Maven repository
        }
    }
}

task clean(type: Delete) {
    delete rootProject.buildDir
}

5. Add Firebase Dependencies

Add them in you app level(app folder) build.gradle, then

dependencies {
    compile fileTree(dir: 'libs', include: ['*.jar'])

    testCompile 'junit:junit:4.12'
    compile 'com.android.support:appcompat-v7:23.3.0'
    compile 'com.android.support:design:23.3.0'
    compile 'com.android.support:cardview-v7:23.3.0'

    compile 'com.google.firebase:firebase-core:11.8.0'
    compile 'com.google.firebase:firebase-database:11.8.0'
}
apply plugin: 'com.google.gms.google-services'

Make sure you apply plugin: 'com.google.gms.google-services' as above.

6. Our Model Class : Spacecraft.java

This is our model class representing a single spacecraft object.

The spacecraft will name,propellant and description properties.

package com.tutorials.hp.firebasestarter.m_Model;


public class Spacecraft {

    String name,propellant,description;

    public Spacecraft() {
    }

    public String getName() {
        return name;
    }

    public void setName(String name) {
        this.name = name;
    }

    public String getPropellant() {
        return propellant;
    }

    public void setPropellant(String propellant) {
        this.propellant = propellant;
    }

    public String getDescription() {
        return description;
    }

    public void setDescription(String description) {
        this.description = description;
    }
}

7.: Our FirebaseHelper class.

Where we write to Firebase database CRUD code. In this example we are saving data to Firebase. This class will receive a DatabaseReference as a parameter when instantiate.

package com.tutorials.hp.firebasestarter.m_FireBase;

import com.google.firebase.database.DatabaseException;
import com.google.firebase.database.DatabaseReference;
import com.tutorials.hp.firebasestarter.m_Model.Spacecraft;


public class FirebaseHelper {

    DatabaseReference db;
    Boolean saved=null;

    public FirebaseHelper(DatabaseReference db) {
        this.db = db;
    }

    //SAVE
    public Boolean save(Spacecraft spacecraft)
    {
        if(spacecraft==null)
        {
            saved=false;
        }else
        {
            try
            {
                db.child("Spacecrafts").setValue(spacecraft);
                saved=true;

            }catch (DatabaseException e)
            {
                e.printStackTrace();
                saved=false;
            }
        }

        return saved;

    }
}

8 : Our MainActivity

This class is our main activity and derives from appcompatactivity.

  • Our launcher activitivity
  • We show input dialog.
  • UI Stuff.
package com.tutorials.hp.firebasestarter;

import android.app.Dialog;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.support.design.widget.FloatingActionButton;
import android.support.design.widget.Snackbar;
import android.support.v7.app.AppCompatActivity;
import android.support.v7.widget.Toolbar;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.Button;
import android.widget.EditText;
import android.widget.Toast;

import com.google.firebase.database.DatabaseReference;
import com.google.firebase.database.FirebaseDatabase;
import com.tutorials.hp.firebasestarter.m_FireBase.FirebaseHelper;
import com.tutorials.hp.firebasestarter.m_Model.Spacecraft;

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {

   DatabaseReference db;
    FirebaseHelper helper;
    EditText nameEditTxt,propTxt,descTxt;

    @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);
        Toolbar toolbar = (Toolbar) findViewById(R.id.toolbar);
        setSupportActionBar(toolbar);

        //SET UP FIREBASE DB
        db= FirebaseDatabase.getInstance().getReference();
        helper=new FirebaseHelper(db);

        FloatingActionButton fab = (FloatingActionButton) findViewById(R.id.fab);
        fab.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
            @Override
            public void onClick(View view) {
                 displayInputDialog();
            }
        });
    }

    //DISPLAY INPUT DIALOG
    private void displayInputDialog()
    {
        Dialog d=new Dialog(this);
        d.setTitle("Save To Firebase");
        d.setContentView(R.layout.input_dialog);

        nameEditTxt= (EditText) d.findViewById(R.id.nameEditText);
        propTxt= (EditText) d.findViewById(R.id.propellantEditText);
        descTxt= (EditText) d.findViewById(R.id.descEditText);
        Button saveBtn= (Button) d.findViewById(R.id.saveBtn);

        //SAVE
        saveBtn.setOnClickListener(new View.OnClickListener() {
            @Override
            public void onClick(View v) {

                //GET DATA
                String name=nameEditTxt.getText().toString();
                String propellant=propTxt.getText().toString();
                String desc=descTxt.getText().toString();

                //SET DATA
                Spacecraft s=new Spacecraft();
                s.setName(name);
                s.setPropellant(propellant);
                s.setDescription(desc);

                //SAVE
                if(name != null && name.length()>0)
                {
                    if(helper.save(s))
                    {
                        nameEditTxt.setText("");
                        propTxt.setText("");
                        descTxt.setText("");

                    }
                }else
                {
                    Toast.makeText(MainActivity.this, "Name Must Not Be Empty", Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();
                }

            }
        });

        d.show();
    }

}

9. Our Layouts

(a). activity_main.xml

Our main activity layout.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<android.support.design.widget.CoordinatorLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:app="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res-auto"
    xmlns:tools="http://schemas.android.com/tools"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    android:fitsSystemWindows="true"
    tools:context="com.tutorials.hp.firebasestarter.MainActivity">

    <android.support.design.widget.AppBarLayout
        android:layout_width="match_parent"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:theme="@style/AppTheme.AppBarOverlay">

        <android.support.v7.widget.Toolbar
            android:id="@+id/toolbar"
            android:layout_width="match_parent"
            android:layout_height="?attr/actionBarSize"
            android:background="?attr/colorPrimary"
            app:popupTheme="@style/AppTheme.PopupOverlay" />

    </android.support.design.widget.AppBarLayout>

    <include layout="@layout/content_main" />

    <android.support.design.widget.FloatingActionButton
        android:id="@+id/fab"
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:layout_gravity="bottom|end"
        android:layout_margin="@dimen/fab_margin"
        android:src="@android:drawable/ic_dialog_email" />

</android.support.design.widget.CoordinatorLayout>

(c). content_main.xml

This layout will get included in the activity_main.xml.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:app="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res-auto"
    xmlns:tools="http://schemas.android.com/tools"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent"
    android:paddingBottom="@dimen/activity_vertical_margin"
    android:paddingLeft="@dimen/activity_horizontal_margin"
    android:paddingRight="@dimen/activity_horizontal_margin"
    android:paddingTop="@dimen/activity_vertical_margin"
    app:layout_behavior="@string/appbar_scrolling_view_behavior"
    tools:context="com.tutorials.hp.firebasestarter.MainActivity"
    tools:showIn="@layout/activity_main">

    <TextView
        android:layout_width="wrap_content"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:text="Hello World!" />
</RelativeLayout>

(c). InputDialog.xml

This is our input dialog. Will contain edittexts for inputing data to Firebase.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<LinearLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:orientation="vertical" android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent">

    <LinearLayout
        android:layout_width="fill_parent"
        android:layout_height="match_parent"
        android:layout_marginTop="?attr/actionBarSize"
        android:orientation="vertical"
        android:paddingLeft="15dp"
        android:paddingRight="15dp"
        android:paddingTop="50dp">

        <android.support.design.widget.TextInputLayout
            android:id="@+id/nameLayout"
            android:layout_width="match_parent"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content">

            <EditText
                android:id="@+id/nameEditText"
                android:layout_width="match_parent"
                android:layout_height="wrap_content"
                android:singleLine="true"
                android:hint= "Name" />
        </android.support.design.widget.TextInputLayout>

        <android.support.design.widget.TextInputLayout
            android:id="@+id/propLayout"
            android:layout_width="match_parent"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content">

            <EditText
                android:id="@+id/propellantEditText"
                android:layout_width="match_parent"
                android:layout_height="wrap_content"
                android:singleLine="true"
                android:hint= "Propellant" />

        <android.support.design.widget.TextInputLayout
            android:id="@+id/descLayout"
            android:layout_width="match_parent"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content">

            <EditText
                android:id="@+id/descEditText"
                android:layout_width="match_parent"
                android:layout_height="wrap_content"
                android:singleLine="true"
                android:hint= "Description" />
        </android.support.design.widget.TextInputLayout>

        </android.support.design.widget.TextInputLayout>

        <Button android:id="@+id/saveBtn"
            android:layout_width="fill_parent"
            android:layout_height="wrap_content"
            android:text="Save"
            android:clickable="true"
            android:background="@color/colorAccent"
            android:layout_marginTop="40dp"
            android:textColor="@android:color/white"/>

    </LinearLayout>

</LinearLayout>

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Best Regards, Oclemy.