LiveCode LessonsLiveCode LessonsHow To - LiveCode Mobile Tasks Android TasksHow do I use Push Notifications with Android in LiveCode 9.6.5?

How do I use Push Notifications with Android in LiveCode 9.6.5?

In LiveCode 9.6.5, the Android engine is built using version 30 of the Android API, a requirement for new apps submitted to the Google Play store.

This has required some changes for Android apps. One of them is that GMC (Google Cloud Messaging) has now been retired, and replaced with Firebase Messaging. This requires a small change to Android Standalone Application Settings: the Push Sender ID should be replaced with the path to a google-settings.json configuration file which can be downloaded from the Firebase console.

In this lesson we will go through all the necessary steps, from setting up a new project in Firebase Console to sending a push notification to your LiveCode Android app.

Basic setup in Firebase Console

First, visit https://console.firebase.google.com/u/0/ and click on "Add project"

Give your project a name and press Continue:

In the next screen, you can turn off Google Analytics if you wish, and then click Create Project:

Wait while your project is created:

Click Continue once the new project is ready:

Next step is to add an Android app to this project:

Click on the Android icon to add an Android app to the project:

In the next screen, enter the Android Package Name. This should match the "Identifier" field in the Android Standalone Settings, e.g. com.livecode.pushNotificationTestLC965

Once you enter a package name, the "Register app" button is enabled. Press it to register your app:

Now you should have reached the next step, which is to download the google-services.json file:

Download this file (google-services.json) and store it in a safe place. You will need this file in the Android Standalone Settings

Configuring Push Notification in the Android Standalone Settings

You need to check the Push Notification checkbox, and then select the google-services.json file you downloaded in the previous step. Moreover, make sure you have enabled the "Internet" permission.

Writing a LiveCode Application with Push Notification Support

When you have registered with Firebase and activated the service you can create a LiveCode stack that tries to register with the Push Notification Server. Add the following code to the LiveCode stack script:

on pushNotificationRegistered pMessage
   answer "Registered:" && quote & pMessage & quote with "Okay"
end pushNotificationRegistered

Once you start the application, you should receive a message that is similar to the one shown in this step. The token displayed is specific to your device and you need to record it, so that you can send to the device from an application or a server. In this test scenario you may want to e-mail the token to yourself, possibly by updating the code as follows:

on pushNotificationRegistered pMessage
   answer "Registered:" && quote & pMessage & quote with "Okay"
   // Update the e-mail address as required
   revMail "me@my-email-address.com",,"token",pMessage
end pushNotificationRegistered
on pushNotificationReceived pMessage
   answer "Push Notification:" && quote & pMessage & quote with "Okay"
end pushNotificationReceived

Sending a Push Notification

Visit Firebase's Notification Composer here: https://console.firebase.google.com/u/0/project/_/notification and choose your project:

In the next screen, choose Send your first message:

In the next screen, you can compose your notification. Enter a title and text for the notification, and click Next:

In the Target section, choose your target app id from the dropdown, and click Next:

In the Scheduling section, choose "Now" and click Next:

In the Additional options section, you can specify the "Payload" value. Note that the key is "livecode.payload", not just "payload". Then enter a value for the key "livecode.payload". This will be the payload string that will be received in the pushNotificationReceived message:

Now go back to the "Notification" section, and click on the Send test message button:

In the dialog that opens, enter the device token, i.e. the one you got in the pushNotificationRegistered message:

Once you enter the device token, press Test:

The registered device will receive the notification:

19 Comments

simon schvartzman

Hi, many thanks for this great lesson. I was able to successfully follow it and get it working. Question now is how to send a notification from a Livecode script. In the depreciated lesson there was a script showing how to do it but I'm afraid it doesn't work anymore with the new Firebase service. Many thanks for any hints

simon schvartzman

Regarding my previous comment I found the problem. I was using an API key from the previous version of the API, once I changed it to what now appears as the "Server Key" in the Project Credentials the notification was delivered.

simon

Here I'm again. I found another problem when sending the notification using the LC stack. Even though the notification is received neither the title nor the body are displayed when the APP is closed. What could be wrong?

Panos Merakos

Hello Simon,

I think that if you replace this line in the card script:

put pPayload into tDataA["payload"]

with:

put pPayload into tDataA["livecode.payload"]

then things will work.

Kind regards,
Panos
--

Simon

Hi Panos, many thanks for your prompt reply. Unfortunately it didn't work. Any other suggestion?
Best!

Panos Merakos

Hello Simon,

I'll try to create an updated LC stack for sending push notifications in LC 9.6.5, but I do not think I'll manage to have a look at this earlier than next week. Just a clarification - what is the exact problem with this stack? If I understood correctly, the notification is received by the app if the app is already running, but not if the app is not running? Or it is received in both cases, but if the app is not running, the title and body are not displayed? And what is it displayed in this case?

simon

Hi Panos let me try to clarify. Notifications are received in both cases with the APP running or not. When the APP is not running and the Notification is sent from the Cloud Messaging Console the Notification Banner shows: APP Logo + APP Name + Notification Title + Notification Text. When the notification is sent from the LC stack the Notification Banner shows just: APP Logo + APP Name.

Panos Merakos

Thanks for the clarification, Simon.

One last quick change to try:

Add these lines to the card script, just after the line you replaced previously (do keep the replaced line):

local tNotifA
put pTitle into tNotifA["title"]
put pBody into tNotifA["body"]
put tNotifA into tNotificationA["notification"]

Simon

Panos your are almost there! Please see below the differences (hope is clear enough)
Cloud Messaging LC Stack
1st Line APP Logo + Name APP Logo + Name
2nd Line Notification Title APP Name
3rd Line Notification Text Notification Title

Simon

Sorry it ended up with the wrong formatting....let's try again

Line ==== Cloud Messaging ==== LC Stack
1st ==== APP Logo + Name ==== APP Logo + Name
2nd ==== Notification Title ==== APP Name
3rd ==== Notification Text ==== Notification Title

Panos Merakos

Hello Simon,

Just tried with the changes I suggested, and I get the same result with Cloud Messaging and LC stack, that is:

Line ==== Cloud Messaging ==== LC Stack
1st ==== APP Logo + Name ==== APP Logo + Name
2nd ==== Notification Title ==== Notification Title
3rd ==== Notification Text ==== Notification Text

Could you please doublecheck?

In the LC stack, the "notification text" is whatever you enter into the field "Body"

Cheers,
Panos
--

Simon

Hi Panos, you are right and I was wrong. I was using the wrong contents for the "notification text", everything is working as expected. Many thanks for your customary help (now I need your extra help to make notifications work on iOS...)

Best regards

Alfred DiMola

Panos,
I got the LCS notification stack working thanks to you and Simon. A few of questions
1) No matter what I set the Badge value to it just increments the icon on the device by one. I don't see a Badge option on the FCM console. FCM notifications just increments it by one like the LCS method.
2) On the FCM console there is an optional image field. It does not show up on the notification although the preview shows it.(setLargeIcon()).
3) I assume you (LC) picked the upper left icon ( setSmallIcon() ) ??
4) On the FCM console I can just send the notification (not a test). It says that the notification was sent. I assume this is to all installs? I don't get the notification on the device. If sending a notification all install should work can I also do this from an LCS script?
5) How do I get a list of all registered app installs?
6) Just a note: I use a stub stack model. If the app is open when the message is received the pushNotificationReceived message goes to the current main stack. I the app is closed then when the app is opened it goes to the stub stack.
7) I observed that the pushNotificationReceived message does not fire until preOpenStack is complete. Is this correct?
Thanks!

Panos Merakos

Hello Ralph,

Lots of questions here, I need to do some investigation first :)

RE (1), how do you set the badge value? I had a look at the sample stack attached to the other lesson, and I believe this line:

put pBadge into tDataA["badge_value"]

should be replaced by:

put pBadge into tDataA["badge value"]

(i.e. replace the underscore with space in tDataA["badge_value"])

Similarly, when using the FCM console, the key name should be "badge value", not "badge_value".

I'll try to answer the other questions in the next couple of days.

Cheers,
Panos
--

Panos Merakos

Hello Ralph,
RE (2) and (3), indeed, the optional icon in the FCM console uses setLargeIcon(), but LC only supports setSmallIcon(), which you can set in the Android Standalone Settings.

Cheers,
Panos
--

Panos Merakos

@Ralph,

RE (4) and (5), how do you send the notification? If I press the "Send Test Message" button, I have to enter a "FCM registration token", which is the DeviceID. You can get the DeviceID for each install with "on pushNotificationRegistered pMessage" (pMessage is the deviceID - I should have made this clearer in the lesson, but I'll update it asap)

Panos Merakos

@Ralph,

RE (6), I think this is the expected behaviour, isn't it?
RE (7), I just had a look at the source code and it seems that the pushNotificationReceived message is sent *before* the preopenstack/openstack/preopencard/opencard messages. Are you observing the opposite?

Cheers,
Panos

Ralph

(4) Other than using the test button with specific token(s) you can schedule a notification without specifying any tokens. The FMC says that it was sent(I assumed to all registered users) but I don't see it on the device. I once saw this notification when I sent a test message right after I sent the scheduled notification. The scheduled(now) message followed the test message. That was the only time I saw the scheduled notification.
(5) I was just wondering if there was anyway to get a list of all registered users. I guess the only way is to record them on a back-end server.
(7) Let me address this before #6. I wanted to see if I could put any of the push-notification handlers in a library stack so no matter what main stack was active I could still handle the message centrally. The first thing I do in the preOpen handler is to "start using" my library stacks. I send an email via my web service from the registered message and added the "stacksinuse" to the email and all my library stacks(five) were loaded so I assumed that my preOpenStack handler had already run unless LC is searching for all LiveCode files in the package and did "start using"s for me?
(6) Yes I see that only the active(on screen) stack will get the message. I want to handle these messages in one central library, so if my libraries are loaded will the push-notification messages all go thru the message path and find their way to the library stacks?

Like Simon said "Thanks for the timely responses"!

Panos Merakos

Hello Ralph,

(4) Hmm, indeed, I scheduled a notification as you described, planned for "now", and I received it after a couple of hours. Interesting..
(5) Correct, I did some research and it seems you have to record the device IDs in a back end server.
(6)(7) Well, according to the LC engine code, the push notification messages are sent before the (pre) openStack one, so I guess in this case, you could still have all the notification-related messages in a library stack, but slightly tweaked, e.g. do something like:

In the main stack:

on pushNotificationReceived pMessage
if "myLibraryStack" is not among the lines of the stacksInUse then
start using stack "myLibraryStack"
end if
send "libPushNotificationReceived pMessage" to stack "myLibraryStack"
end pushNotificationReceived

and in the library stack:

on libPushNotificationReceived pMessage
// code for handling pushNotificationReceived msg here
end libPushNotificationReceived

The alternative is to add an "on startup" handler to your mainstack (the one which is built into the standalone) - you should be able to load your library stack(s) there.
And "startup" will happen before the push notification messages I think.

Cheers,
Panos

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