AppCenterDevelopmentXamarin

App Center Push notification service and Xamarin Forms

A push notification is a message that pops up on a mobile device. Push notifications are messages send via application to directly address the end users.

In this blog post, I will show how to use App Center Push service and show how to implement push notifications in Xamarin Forms. For now, I will focus only on push notification for Android mobiles. In one of the next sessions, I will present how iOS works with App Center Push Notification service.

App Center Push notification service which targets Android mobiles uses Google Firebase Cloud messaging platform for Push notifications. Therefore, I will show how to set up Firebase Cloud Messaging service in order to use it with App Center and my Android mobile application.

Setting up Firebase Cloud Messaging

(Xamarin) Android application and App Center need to “pair” with Google Firebase ecosystem first in order to send/receive Push notifications.

Android mobile applications uses “google-services.json” configuration to register to google push notification ecosystem.

Similarly, App Center uses Firebase server key token to “talk” to Firebase. Let’s look how to setup Firebase and get these information from Firebase portal. What I need to do:

  • Create new Firebase project.
  • Add new application to newly created project.
  • Get Server key for App Center to register to Firebase.
  • Get google-services.json file for connecting (android) mobile app with Firebase.

So, let’s start!

New Firebase Project

I logged into Firebase console at https://console.firebase.google.com and created new project.

I had to go over few steps….

As as result, I have new Firebase project in place. Now, I can add new Android application.

Add new application to my project

How to get Firebase project server key token

I need this information in order to “pair” Firebase and App Center.

How to get google-service.json

This configuration file is used in my Android mobile application to use Push notifications system.

Finally, I have Firebase server key token to be used in App Center and google-services.json configuration file to be used with my mobile app.

Setting up App Center push service

Next step is to configure App Center Push Notification service. This step is very simple, I just add Firebase server key token to my Push notification service:

Xamarin Forms Push Notification client

These steps are required in order to create simple Xamarin Forms Push notification client:

  • Create new empty Xamarin.Forms project.
  • Add Microsoft.AppCenter.Push NuGet to all projects (platform specific and shared project).
  • Add google-services.json to Android project and mark file with GoogleServiceJson build action.
  • Push notification event handler put in my app to handle receive message from push notification back-end.
Set up build action for google-services.json file in Visual Studio 2019

On my developer machine GoogleServiceJson build action was missing so I added Xamarin.GooglePlayServices.Basement NuGet (and restarted Visual Studio 2019).

The code how to handle push notification inside Xamarin Forms:

Let’s send some push notifications

In my App Center portal I select my application and corresponding Push notification service. Next, I create new notification campaign, set target audience, and send message! Voila, push notification sent to mobile clients.

On my running Android application I got:

Conclusion

In this blog post I presented App Center Push notification service.

I showed whole process how to set up Push notification on Xamarin Forms (android) application with App Center and Firebase for Android platform.

Stay tuned, in one of the next sessions I will show how to use AppCenter Push notifications for iOS.

Until then, happy coding!

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