Firebase - A real-time server


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Want to build chat applications, online games and other exciting stuff? Firebase is here to help you developing all these amazing things.
Go through these slides to learn about Firebase, and how to use it.

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Firebase - A real-time server

  1. 1. Firebase Aneeq Anwar Software Engineer (iOS)
  2. 2. What is Firebase?  Firebase is a scalable, real-time back for your application. It allows developers to build rich, collaborative applications without the hassle of managing servers or writing server-side code
  3. 3. Firebase is Platform Independent!  Firebase has support for the web, iOS, OS X, and Android clients.  In addition, it has a Node.js and a Java library designed for server-side use.  The Firebase web client supports all mainstream browsers (IE 7+, Firefox 3+, Chrome, Safari, Opera, and major mobile web browsers), and it works on any network connection.
  4. 4. How does it work?  Developers install firebase by including a library in their applications.  This library provides a data structure that is automatically synchronised between all of your clients and with our servers.  If one client changes a piece of data, every other client observing the same piece of data will be updated as well within milliseconds.
  5. 5. Is Firebase just for “real-time” apps?  Not at all!  Firebase is for anybody that wants to write apps without having to run backend servers or write server code.  Many developers prefer focusing on frontend HTML and JavaScript rather than building, deploying, and maintaining server-side backend code.  Even if real-time isn’t critical to your application, Firebase can help you build your application faster and scale seamlessly.
  6. 6. Firebase features  Custom server code Firebase fully support access from your backend servers. When used in this configuration, you still get all of the benefits of using Firebase as your data store (way less code, easier scaling, real-time updates, etc.), while gaining the flexibility to run whatever custom backend logic you need.
  7. 7. Firebase features  Custom server code (Contd.) It has a Node.JS client, a Java Client and a REST API specifically for this purpose. This allows you to do your own data processing, custom validation, etc. on your own servers while still relying on Firebase for data storage and real- time propagation of updates.
  8. 8. Firebase features  First class security Firebase is intended for business-critical applications, and it take the safety of your data very seriously. All of your data is stored redundantly and off-site backups are made nightly.
  9. 9. Firebase features  Offline support Firebase transparently reconnects to the Firebase servers as soon as you regain connectivity.
  10. 10. Firebase features  Offline support (Contd.) In the meantime, all Firebase operations done locally by your app will immediately fire events, regardless of network state, so your app will continue functioning correctly.
  11. 11. Firebase features  Offline support (Contd.) Once connectivity is reestablished, you’ll receive the appropriate set of events so that your client “catches up” with the current server state, without you having to write any custom code.
  12. 12. Firebase features  Real-time Synchronisation Data updating speed of firebase is very fast. Firebase is designed to be fast enough for high performance real-time applications like network games.
  13. 13. Firebase features  Real-time Synchronisation (Contd.) It maintain persistent connections between clients and its servers so that data can be pushed in both directions without delay, and it’s servers are optimised for extremely low latencies. As such, you can expect typical network latencies (generally less than 100ms) for data updates between clients.
  14. 14. Firebase features  Data to store At a high-level you can store any type of data in Firebase, from game state to chat messages to images or other media files.
  15. 15. Firebase features  Data to store (Contd.) At a low-level, it support basically the same data types as JSON: Strings, Numbers, Booleans, and Objects (which in turn contain Strings, Numbers, Booleans, and more Objects).
  16. 16. Who uses Firebase  Atlassian (JIRA)  Codecademy  Twitch  And many more…
  17. 17. Firebase Data Structure  When a new Firebase is created, it is assigned its own unique hostname. For example, if you were to create a Firebase for your SampleChat application, it could live at:
  18. 18. Firebase Data Structure
  19. 19. Firebase Data Structure  We refer to these URLs that point to data as locations.  Firebase locations can store strings, numbers, booleans, or nested children.
  20. 20. Firebase Data Structure  Nested children allow you to structure your data hierarchically.  For instance, SampleChat has a list of users, which are located at:
  21. 21. Firebase Data Structure  The data for users 'fred' and 'jack' is stored at these nested locations:  In this example, 'fred' and 'jack' are said to be children of 'users', and 'users' is said to be the parent of 'fred' and ‘jack'.
  22. 22. Firebase Data Structure  Note that Firebase locations can contain either data (a string, number, or boolean) or children, but not both.  Locations for data can nest as deeply as you like. For example, the last name for user 'fred' is located at: https://SampleChat.firebaseIO-
  23. 23. Firebase integration in iOS
  24. 24. Firebase Integration 1. Download latest Firebase.framework from 2. Unzip the above file and drag the .framework folder to your XCode project under Frameworks
  25. 25. Firebase Integration 3. Firebase depends on these other frameworks. Add them to your project:  libicucore.dylib  libc++.dylib  CFNetwork.framework  Security.framework  SystemConfiguration.framework
  26. 26. Firebase Integration 4. Firebase makes use of Objective-C classes and categories, so you'll need to add this under "other linker flags" in build settings:  -ObjC
  27. 27. Creating Firebase References  Firebase* sampleChatRef = [[Firebase alloc] initWithUrl:@“"];  Firebase* childRef = [sampleChatRef childByAppendingPath:@“users"]; This is equivalent to:  Firebase* childRef = [[Firebase alloc] initWithUrl:@“"];  Firebase* parentRef = [childRef parent]; parentRef and sampleChatRef now point to the same location.
  28. 28. Creating Firebase References  Firebase* usersRef = [sampleChatRef childByAppendingPath:@"users"];  Firebase* fredRef = [usersRef childByAppendingPath:@“fred"]; is equivalent to:  Firebase* fredRef = [sampleChatRef childByAppendingPath:@"users/fred"];
  29. 29. Writing Data to Firebase First we get a reference to the location of the user’s name data:  Firebase* nameRef = [[Firebase alloc] initWithUrl:@"https://SampleChat.firebaseIO-"]; And then we write data to his first and last name locations:  [[nameRef childByAppendingPath:@"first"] setValue:@"Fred"];  [[nameRef childByAppendingPath:@"last"] setValue:@“Swanson"]; Alternatively, we can do:  [nameRef setValue:@{@"first": @"Fred", @"last": @"Swanson"}];
  30. 30. Writing Data to Firebase If you want to write multiple children of a Firebase location at the same time without overwriting other existing data, you can perform an "update" operation as shown:  [nameRef updateChildValues:@{@"first": @"Fred", @"last": @“Swanson"}];  Adding a Completion Callback [dataRef setValue:@"text" withCompletionBlock:^(NSError *error, Firebase* ref) { if(error) { NSLog(@"Data could not be saved: %@", error); } else { NSLog(@"Data saved successfully."); } }];
  31. 31. Reading Data from Firebase Firebase is a real-time database, so data is never read synchronously. Instead, you read data by attaching a callback to a Firebase reference as shown: NSString* url = @""; Firebase* dataRef = [[Firebase alloc] initWithUrl:url]; [dataRef observeEventType:FEventTypeValue withBlock:^(FDataSnapshot *snapshot) { NSLog(@"fred's first name is: %@", snapshot.value); }];
  32. 32. Reading Data from Firebase We can observe different types of events:  Value  Child Added  Child Changed  Child Removed  Child Moved
  33. 33. Reading Data from Firebase All reads are done through asynchronous callbacks If the referenced data is already cached, your callback will be called immediately, but if this is the first time the data was accessed by this client, Firebase will need to request the data from the Firebase servers first.
  34. 34. Reading Data from Firebase Callbacks are triggered both for the initial state of your data and again any time data changes In the above example, our callback will be called again if Fred's first name ever changes.
  35. 35. Reading Data from Firebase Callbacks receive snapshots of data A snapshot is a picture of the data at a particular Firebase location at a single point in time. It contains all of the data at that location, including any child data. If you want to convert this data to a native format (such as a JavaScript object on the web or a Dictionary in Objective-C), you must do so explicitly.
  36. 36. Reading Data from Firebase Firebase is intelligent about aggregating callbacks Firebase ensures that only the minimum required dataset is loaded from the server, and the calling of callbacks and generation of snapshots is extremely efficient. As a result, you should feel comfortable attaching many callbacks and having multiple callbacks of different types attached to the same location.
  37. 37. Reading Data from Firebase Events that are triggered on your client do not always correspond exactly with the write operations that were performed on other clients For example, if two other clients were to set the same piece of data at approximately the same time, there is no guarantee that two events will be triggered on your local client. Depending on the timing, those two changes could be aggregated into a single local event. Regardless, eventually all clients will have a consistent view of the data, even if the events triggered in the process may differ from client-to-client.
  38. 38. Reading Data from Firebase Reading data once: [dataRef observeSingleEventOfType:FEventTypeValue withBlock:^(FDataSnapshot *snapshot) { // do some stuff once }]; This is equivalent to: __block FirebaseHandle handle = [dataRef observeEventType:FEventTypeValue withBlock:^(FDataSnapshot *snapshot) { // do some stuff ... // Remove the callback [dataRef removeObserverWithHandle:handle]; }];
  39. 39. Reading Data from Firebase Using a Cancel Callback: Firebase* fredRef = [[Firebase alloc] initWithUrl:@"https://SampleChat.firebaseIO-"]; [fredRef observeEventType:FEventTypeValue withBlock:^(FDataSnapshot *snapshot) { // Read succeeds. NSLog(@"We have permission."); } withCancelBlock:^(FDataSnapshot *snapshot) { // Read fails. NSLog(@"We do not have permission."); }];
  40. 40. Reading Data from Firebase Detaching Callbacks:  [dataRef removeObserverWithHandle:someCallbackHandle]; If you would like to remove all callbacks at a location, you can do so as shown:  [dataRef removeAllObservers];
  41. 41. References:    references.html   