Android

Install Parse SDK on your Android Studio Project

Introduction

In this section you learn how to install Parse Android SDK into your Android Studio project.

This tutorial uses a basic app created in Android Studio 3.2 with Compile SDK Version = 27 and targetSdkVersion 27

At any time, you can access the complete Android Project built with this tutorial at our GitHub repository.

Prerequisites

To complete this tutorial, you need:

  • An app created at Back4App.
  • Android Studio.
  • Basic android app.
    • Note: If you don’t have a basic app created you can follow the Create a Project tutorial from Android Studio Website. After you create your basic app you are ready to follow this guide.

Note: Parse Android SDK works with Compile SDK Version = 27 and targetSdkVersion 27 or higher.

Step 1 - Install SDK

Android Studio uses Gradle (an advanced build toolkit) to automate and manage the build process while allowing you to define flexible custom build configurations. To install Parse SDK for Android you will have to make some set up in the Gradle of your Android Studio Project. To do so, follow the steps described below:

  1. In your Android Studio project, open your build.gradle (Module:app) file.

    Be careful, there are two files named build.gradle. You want to modify the (Module:app) one.

  2. Now, go right after the dependencies{} tag in the build.gradle (Module:app) file and copy the following code snippet:
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    repositories {
      mavenCentral()
      jcenter()
      maven { url 'https://jitpack.io' }
    }
    
  3. It’s also necessary to look in the android{} tag if your compileSdkVersion is 27 or higher and also if your targetSdkVersion is 27 or higher. If they aren’t, you must change these versions to 27 or higher, otherwise your Parse SDK for Android may not work properly. After checking this, your build.gradle (Module:app) should look like the one in the image below.
  4. Now you are ready to install the Parse SDK. To do so, you need to add the following lines inside the dependencies{} tag.
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       // Don't forget to change the line below with the latest version of Parse SDK for Android
       implementation "com.github.parse-community.Parse-SDK-Android:parse:latest.version.here"
    

    Remember to update the version of Parse SDK for Android to the latest one. You can find out which is the latest version at JitPack website, following these steps:

    1. At JitPack website paste parse-community/Parse-SDK-Android in the Git repo url box.
    2. After doing that, click on the Look up button. Then you should see the available versions of Parse SDK for Android, as shown in the following image.
  5. Sync your build.gradle and we are ready to go.

To learn more about adding support libraries to your Android Studio Project, see the Android Studio’s Support Library Setup page.

Step 2 - Connect your app to Back4App

To use the Parse SDK, your application need to have access to the internet network. To allow your app to have it, you need to grant permissions in the AndroidManifest.xml file. Also, you have to set up the app’s credentials to connect your app to Back4App. To do this, folow the steps below.

  1. Go to app > manifests > AndroidManifest.xml in your Android Studio Project.
  2. Now, go right after the application tag in the AndroidManifest.xml file and copy the following code snippet:
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    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE"/>
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET"/>
    
  3. Inside the application section of the AndroidManifest.xml file, add the following code:
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       <meta-data
           android:name="com.parse.SERVER_URL"
           android:value="@string/back4app_server_url" />
      <meta-data
           android:name="com.parse.APPLICATION_ID"
           android:value="@string/back4app_app_id" />
      <meta-data
           android:name="com.parse.CLIENT_KEY"
           android:value="@string/back4app_client_key" />
    
  4. Go to app > res > values > strings.xml file.
  5. In the strings.xml file add the following code:
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        <string name="back4app_server_url">https://parseapi.back4app.com/</string>
    
        <!-- Change the following strings as required -->
        <string name="back4app_app_id">PASTE_YOUR_APPLICATION_ID_HERE</string>
        <string name="back4app_client_key">PASTE_YOUR_CLIENT_KEY_HERE</string>
    
  6. Leave the string.xml opened and go to Back4App Website, log in and click on My Apps. Find your app and then click on SERVER SETTINGS.
  7. Find the “Core Settings” block and click on Settings. The “Core Settings” block looks like this:
  8. After that, you will see the details of your Parse app, such as your App Id and your Client Key. Copy these credentials and paste them in the appropriate place at the strings.xml file of your Android Studio Project.

Step 3 - Initialize your Parse App

  1. Create a Java file called App that extends Application.
  2. Import to your App.java file:
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    import com.parse.Parse;
    
  3. Inside App.java onCreate method, right after super.onCreate() call the following code:
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    Parse.initialize(new Parse.Configuration.Builder(this)
                  .applicationId(getString(R.string.back4app_app_id))
                  // if defined
                  .clientKey(getString(R.string.back4app_client_key))
                  .server(getString(R.string.back4app_server_url))
                  .build()
    );
    

    Don’t forget to define this file in the AndroidManifest.xml. To do so, go to the AndroidManifest.xml file and add the following line of code inside the application tag:

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    android:name=".App"
    

    If the name of the java file that extends Application that you created on the previous step isn’t “App”, don’t forget that the code above should have the correct name of the file (android:name=".name_of_the_file").

Step 4 - Test your connection

With Parse SDK every time a user download your app, it’s possible to register its installation by using the ParseInstallation.getCurrentInstallation() method of ParseInstallation class. The first time you save a ParseInstallation, Parse will add it to your Installation class on your Dashboard. To test your connection with Parse SDK, let’s save an installation in the main activity of your Android Studio Project, following the steps described below.

  1. Go to your Android Studio Project and add the following code to your onCreate() method in order to save the installation of the application into your Dashboard.
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    // Save the current Installation to Back4App
    ParseInstallation.getCurrentInstallation().saveInBackground();
    
  2. Launch your app and go to Back4App Website and click on My Apps. Find your app and then click on DASHBOARD.
  3. Now click on Core > Browser > Installation. You should see an installation registered, as shown in the image below.

It’s done!

At this point, you have learned how to install the Parse SDK in your application.

Learn more by walking around our Android Tutorials.