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Firebase Environment Setup

There are a few steps you need to complete to get your Firebase environment ready:

  1. Setup Push Notifications
  2. Enable the security and search rules
  3. Enable the storage rules

Enable Push Notifications

To handle push notifications, we use Firebase Cloud Functions. This service allows you to upload a script to Firebase hosting. This script monitors the realtime database and whenever a new messsage is detected, it sends a push notification to the recipient.

Below is a summary of the steps that are required to setup push using the Firebase Cloud Functions script. For further instructions you can look at the Firebase Documentation.

  1. Clone this repository to your computer
  2. Navigate to the directory in terminal
  3. Run firebase login and login using the terminal
  4. Run firebase init
  5. Select Database, Functions and Storage
  6. Select "Use an existing project"
  7. Choose the correct app from the list
  8. "What file should be used for Database Rules? (database.rules.json)" Enter
  9. "File database.rules.json already exists. Do you want to overwrite..." N
  10. Repeat N for all files
  11. Choose JavaScript
  12. Choose y for ESLint
  13. File ... already exists. Overwrite? N
  14. "Do you want to install dependencies with npm now?" Y
  15. "What file should be used for Storage Rules? (storage.rules)" Enter
  16. "Overwrite?" N
  17. Find the functions directory you've just created and add the files: index.js and package.json from Github
  18. Run npm install
  19. Make sure the flag enableV4Compatibility matches the value used in your project
  20. If you are using the user blocking module ensure that the variable in the script blockedUsersEnabled is set to true
  21. Run firebase deploy

Now the script is active and push notifications will be set out automatically.

Deploy the Firebase rules

Firebase secures your data by allowing you to write rules to govern who can access the database and what can be written. On the Firebase dashboard click Database then the Rules tab.

Copy the contents of the database.rules.json file into the rules and click publish.

OR

Make sure your firebase.json file is follows:

"database": {
  "rules": "database.rules.json"
}

Run:

firebase deploy --only database:rules

Bolt

The rules are written in bolt which is a language that makes it easier to write the rules. We include an up-to-date version of the rules in the chat-sdk-rules.json file but if you want to update the rules yourself, you should edit the rules.bolt file.

Install Bolt:

npm install --g firebase-bolt

Then run:

firebase-bolt database.rules.bolt

This will generate a rules.json file which you can add to your project from the Firebase console.

You can also update your firebase.json to:

"database": {
    "rules": "database.rules.bolt"
},  

Deploy the storage rules

Make sure storage is enabled for your project. On the Firebase dashboard click Storage and follow the instructions to enable storage.

The storage rules are needed to enable image storage and upload for image messages and user profiles.

Update your firebase.json file as follows:

"storage": {
	"rules": "storage.rules"
}

Run:

firebase deploy --only storage

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