Firebase

Firebase is a remote database that can be integrated with Xcode and Swift. It allows the user to save data in the cloud and retrieve it as well.

I started looking into Firebase and there are some things I like and some things I don’t like. 

I really like the possibility to look at the database in a visual form and to have the ability to edit entries in the cloud. This is a functionality that I didn’t find when I was using Core Data. I don’t like, that I had to install cocoa pods. It took me a couple of hours because I got error messages. I also dislike that building the project takes a long time, even though I am working with basic projects. In addition to that, I also currently have problems retrieving data

This is what I have been doing so far.

Importing Firebase

If I want to use Firebase in one of my Swift Programs, I have to import Firebase. To achieve that, I need to write:

import Firebase

Initializing Firebase

When I have Firebase imported, I have to call set up Firebase. This is done in the initializing Method of the entry point of the Swift project. 

@main
struct FirebaseProject: App {
	init(){
		FirebaseApp.configure()
	}
}

Calling methods that use Firebase

When I am done with the first two steps, I can use functions to call, when I want to create data, update data or delete data. Before I can do this, I need a reference to the database. For that, I write:

let db = Firestore.firestore()

When I have access to the database, I need to select a collection. For that, I write:

let collection = db.collection("collectionName")

Now I have access to the collection. With this, I can access the documents that are in this collection. I can also create new documents in the collection.

Create

To create a new document, I can write:

let newDocument = collection.document()

To set the data in the new document, I can write:

newDocument.setData(["key":"value"])

The data is stored in a dictionary with a key value pair. As far as I know, the key has to be a string and the value can have different types, like string, int, boolean and some more. 

Update

To update the value of a specific key of a document, I can write:

newDocument.updateData(["key":"updatedValue"])

This will only update the value for the specified key. If the document has a dictionary with more than one key, the other keys will not be affected or changed. If I overwrite the data, like this:

newDocument.setData(["key":"newValue")

All other keys in the dictionary will be gone because this overwrites the entire dictionary of the document. 

Delete

If I want to delete this document, I can write:

newDocument.delete()

If I am using a for loop, I need to call the reference on the document, which would look like this:

for document in documents {
	document.reference.delete()
}

Connecting to User Interface

Once Firebase is set up in the @main structure, I can use it in my views, like the ContentView

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