Android Firebase GridView  Tutorial.

The Plan

This is an android firebase gridview tutorial. How to save data to firebase,retrieve then show that data in a simple gridview.

  • Save data from edittext to google firebase database.
  • Retrieve the data by attaching events to a DatabaseReference instance.
  • Bind the data to a simple gridview using ArrayAdapter.

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

  1. Its our data object
package com.tutorials.hp.firebasesimplegridview.m_Model;

public class Spacecraft {

    String name;

    public Spacecraft() {
    }

    public String getName() {
        return name;
    }

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

7. Our FirebaseHelper class

Where we perform :

  • Writes using push() and setValue() methods.
  • We retrieve data by attaching childeventlistener to our DatabaseReference instance.
  • Fill a simple arraylist with this data
package com.tutorials.hp.firebasesimplegridview.m_FireBase;

import com.google.firebase.database.ChildEventListener;
import com.google.firebase.database.DataSnapshot;
import com.google.firebase.database.DatabaseError;
import com.google.firebase.database.DatabaseException;
import com.google.firebase.database.DatabaseReference;
import com.tutorials.hp.firebasesimplegridview.m_Model.Spacecraft;

import java.util.ArrayList;

public class FirebaseHelper {

    DatabaseReference db;
    Boolean saved=null;
    ArrayList<String> spacecrafts=new ArrayList<>();

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

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

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

        return saved;

    }

    //RETRIEVE
    public ArrayList<String> retrieve()
    {

        db.addChildEventListener(new ChildEventListener() {
            @Override
            public void onChildAdded(DataSnapshot dataSnapshot, String s) {
                fetchData(dataSnapshot);
            }

            @Override
            public void onChildChanged(DataSnapshot dataSnapshot, String s) {
                fetchData(dataSnapshot);

            }

            @Override
            public void onChildRemoved(DataSnapshot dataSnapshot) {

            }

            @Override
            public void onChildMoved(DataSnapshot dataSnapshot, String s) {

            }

            @Override
            public void onCancelled(DatabaseError databaseError) {

            }
        });

        return spacecrafts;
    }

    private void fetchData(DataSnapshot dataSnapshot)
    {
        spacecrafts.clear();
        for (DataSnapshot ds:dataSnapshot.getChildren())
        {
            String name=ds.getValue(Spacecraft.class).getName();
            spacecrafts.add(name);
        }
    }

}

8. Our MainActivity

  • Launcher activity
  • Bind data to gridview
  • Show input dialog
package com.tutorials.hp.firebasesimplegridview;

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

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

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {

    GridView gv;
    ArrayAdapter<String> adapter;
    DatabaseReference db;
    FirebaseHelper helper;

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

        gv= (GridView) findViewById(R.id.gv);

        //SETUP FIREBASE
        db= FirebaseDatabase.getInstance().getReference();
        helper=new FirebaseHelper(db);

        //adapter
        adapter=new ArrayAdapter<String>(this,android.R.layout.simple_list_item_1,helper.retrieve());
        gv.setAdapter(adapter);

        gv.setOnItemClickListener(new AdapterView.OnItemClickListener() {
            @Override
            public void onItemClick(AdapterView<?> parent, View view, int position, long id) {
                Toast.makeText(MainActivity.this, helper.retrieve().get(position), Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();
            }
        });

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

    private void displayInputDialog()
    {
        Dialog d=new Dialog(this);
        d.setTitle("Save To Rirebase");
        d.setContentView(R.layout.input_dialog);

        final EditText nameEditTxt= (EditText) d.findViewById(R.id.nameEditText);
        Button saveBtn= (Button) d.findViewById(R.id.saveBtn);

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

                //GET DATA
                String name=nameEditTxt.getText().toString();

                //SET DATA
                Spacecraft s=new Spacecraft();
                s.setName(name);

                //VALIDATE
                if(name != null && name.length()>0)
                {
                    if(helper.save(s))
                    {
                        nameEditTxt.setText("");
                        adapter=new ArrayAdapter<String>(MainActivity.this,android.R.layout.simple_list_item_1,helper.retrieve());
                        gv.setAdapter(adapter);

                    }
                }else
                {
                    Toast.makeText(MainActivity.this, "Name Cannot 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.firebasesimplegridview.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>
(b). content_main.xml

This layout will be included into our activity_main.xml. We add our gridview which is our adapterview here.

<?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.firebasesimplegridview.MainActivity"
    tools:showIn="@layout/activity_main">

    <GridView
        android:id="@+id/gv"
        android:layout_width="match_parent"
        android:layout_height="wrap_content"
        android:numColumns="3" />
</RelativeLayout>
(c). input_dialog.xml

Basically our input form layout. Will be used to insert data into Firebase Database.

  • Input Dialog
<?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="20dp">

        <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>

        <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="10dp"
            android:textColor="@android:color/white"/>

    </LinearLayout>

</LinearLayout>

How To Run

  1. Download the project.
  2. You'll get a zipped file,extract it.
  3. Open the Android Studio.
  4. Now close, already open project.
  5. From the Menu bar click on File >New> Import Project.
  6. Now Choose a Destination Folder, from where you want to import project.
  7. Choose an Android Project.
  8. Now Click on “OK“.
  9. Done, your done importing the project,now edit it.
  10. You'll need to head over to Firebase Console, create app, then download configuration file and add to your project in the app folder.

More Resources

Resource Link
GitHub Browse Browse
GitHub Download Link Download
Video Tutorial Video

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