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Arturo Volpe

I am a software engineer.

Metric collection using ionic and fabric

26 Feb 2018 » ionic

Fabric

Fabric is a group of tools that are very useful for various common task in an typical mobile app development, in this blog we will explore various parts of fabric including Crashlytics, Beta and Answers.

First you need to create an account and a organization (various apps are grouped in an organization), and then go to Organizations page, you need to copy the API key and the Build Secret to install all the tools and plugins that we will cover.

Cordova plugin

The fabric plugin by Sarriaroman is a very useful and easy to use plugin that will allow the integration of the fabric tools.

ionic cordova plugin add cordova-fabric-plugin \
               --variable FABRIC_API_KEY=$API_KEY \
               --variable FABRIC_API_SECRET=$BUILD_SECRET

For the official installation process go to plugin installation page

Note: This plugins works only in a mobile device, when you are using the browser to test the app the plugin will not be available.

Note: You will have one ‘aplication’ per platform, this means that you don’t need to identify any of your request because the data for every platform will be stored and handled independently.

Ionic integration

If you are using Ionic 2, 3 or later, then maybe you want TypeScript integration, to achieve this, you need to add to your tsconfig.json the following:

  ...
  "files": [
    "plugins/cordova-fabric-plugin/typings/cordova-fabric-plugin.d.ts"
  ],
  ...

Note: For an example of how to use this typings you can go to the typings examples.

Crashlytics

Crashlytics is a very useful tool to report crash and other events (like not fatal crashes and errors).

if (window['fabric']) {
   fabric.Crashlytics.sendNonFatalCrash(message);
}

The first check is to prevent to use the plugin in the browser.

Store user data

To add metadata to your reports you need to use various specific methods to store the info, the main method is setXXXValueForKey (XXXX can be String, Int, Bool or Float), but there are other specific methods to store user data:

  • setUserName
  • setUserEmail
  • setUserIdentifier

When the user login you can store this data, and when the user log outs we need to set the values of this keys to null.

Answers

In a similar way, we can use the tool Answers, which is a tool to store various events and to keep a track of actions of the user, for example we can track successful logins, track a shopping cart, start of game levels, etc (you can create your custom events too).

You can create a simple AnswerProvider to abstract the plugin and has an single access point to Answers

First, let create the provider:

ionic g provider answer

And edit the constructor (we don’t need the HttpClient that comes by default with every provider):

constructor(public platform: Platform) {

    platform.ready().then(
        () => {
            if (window['fabric'])
                this.answers = fabric.Answers;
            else
                this.answers = null;
        }
    )

}

And then add methods for our usage, for example to store and payment event:

public endPurchase(item: string, 
                  itemType: string, 
                  itemId: string, 
                  currency = 'USD', 
                  success = true, 
                  amount = 0) {
    if (!this.answers) return;
    this.answers.sendPurchase(amount, currency, success, item, itemType, itemId);

}

Note: The if(!this.answers) must be in every single method of this provider, and you can accept your objects and handle the logic to translate your events and the types of events in Answers

I will update this blog with more information about the various tools, including beta and firebase