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Liferay Mobile SDK logo

Liferay Android SDK

Sample

Check out the Android sample app. It's a Contacts app that lists all Liferay users and shows contact details about them. It contains many examples on how to use the Liferay Mobile SDK and it's a good way to learn how to use the Liferay Mobile SDK to build your own native applications.

Setup

Manually

  1. Download the latest version of liferay-android-sdk.jar.

  2. Within your Android project, copy the JAR into your project's /libs folder. Android Developer Tools should automatically add this JAR to your classpath.

  3. You will also need to download and copy these dependencies to the /libs folder: httpclient-android-4.3.3.jar and httpmime-4.3.3.jar.

  4. Start using it!

Gradle

If your Android project is using Gradle as the build system, you can add Liferay Android SDK as a dependency to your project, all versions are available at JCenter and Maven Central repositories:

repositories {
    jcenter()
    mavenCentral()
}

dependencies {
    compile group: 'com.liferay.mobile', name: 'liferay-android-sdk', version: '6.2.0.+'
}

You can do the same and add to your pom.xml if you are using Maven:

<dependency>
    <groupId>com.liferay.mobile</groupId>
    <artifactId>liferay-android-sdk</artifactId>
    <version>LATEST</version>
</dependency>

Gradle and Maven will download all the necessary dependencies before building your project.

If you get errors such as Duplicate files copied in APK META-INF/NOTICE when building with Gradle, add this to your build.gradle file:

android {
  ...
  packagingOptions {
      exclude 'META-INF/LICENSE'
      exclude 'META-INF/NOTICE'
  }
  ...
}

Compatibility

Liferay

Each Liferay Mobile SDK is designed to work with a specific Liferay Portal version. Because of that, its version scheme reflects the compatible Liferay version.

For example, Liferay Mobile SDK 6.2.0.1 is built to work with Liferay Portal 6.2.0, while Liferay Mobile SDK 7.0.0.1 will work with Liferay Portal 7.0.0.

The fourth integer in the version (6.2.0.x) is related to internal Liferay Mobile SDK versions. For example, if a bug is found on 6.2.0.1, we will release a version called 6.2.0.2 with the bug fix.

This doesn't mean you can't support several Liferay versions in the same app though. You can add to your classpath both versions 6.2.0.1 and 7.0.0.1. There won't be conflicts because service classes packages are separated by their version number as well: *.v62, *.v7, etc.

To find out which Liferay versions you are connecting to, use the PortalVersionUtil.getPortalVersion(…) method.

Android

The Liferay Android SDK is compatible with Android versions 2.3.3 and up. It may work with older versions, but these are the versions we use to run our unit tests.

Use

  1. Create a Session with the user credentials:

    import com.liferay.mobile.android.auth.basic.BasicAuthentication;
    import com.liferay.mobile.android.service.Session;
    import com.liferay.mobile.android.service.SessionImpl;
    
    Session session = new SessionImpl("http://10.0.2.2:8080", new BasicAuthentication("test@liferay.com", "test"));

    The first parameter is the URL of the Liferay instance you are connecting to. If you are running your app on an Android Emulator, it points to your local Liferay instance. In this case, http://10.0.2.2:8080 is equivalent to http://localhost:8080, which means the emulator and Liferay are running in the same machine.

    The second parameter is the user credentials for authentication. You need to provide the user's email address, screen name or user ID. It depends on which authentication method your Liferay instance is using. Along with that, you need to provide the user's password.

    As the name indicates, BasicAuthentication uses Basic Authentication to authenticate each service call. The Mobile SDK also supports OAuth authentication as long as the OAuth Provider portlet is deployed to your Liferay Portal. To learn how to do OAuth authentication with the Mobile SDK, check the OAuth sample app.

    Be careful to use these credentials on a production Liferay instance. If you're using the administrator credentials, you have permission to call any service and can change any data by accident.

    If you are building a login view for your app, you can use the SignIn utility class to check if the credentials given by the user are valid or not.

    import com.liferay.mobile.android.auth.SignIn;
    
    SignIn.signIn(session, new JSONObjectAsyncTaskCallback() {
    
        @Override
        public void onSuccess(JSONObject userJSONObject) {
            System.out.println("Successful sign-in, user details: " + userJSONObject)
        }
    
        @Override
        public void onFailure(Exception e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    
    });

    The Mobile SDK doesn't keep any persistent connection or session with the server. Each request is sent with the user credentials (except for OAuth). The SignIn class is just a way to return the user information after a successful sign-in.

  2. Check which Liferay services you need in order to build your app by navigating to http://localhost:8080/api/jsonws. This page lists all available portal services and plugin services.

  3. If you are building a blogs app, for example, you can import BlogsEntryService.

    import com.liferay.mobile.android.v62.blogsentry.BlogsEntryService;

    Since the SDK is built for a specific Liferay version, service classes are separated by their package name. In this case, it's .v62, which means this SDK is built for Liferay 6.2. You can use several SDKs at the same time to support different Liferay versions.

  4. Create a BlogsEntryService object and make a service call.

    BlogsEntryService service = new BlogsEntryService(session);
    
    JSONArray jsonArray = service.getGroupEntries(10184, 0, 0, -1, -1);

    It fetches all blog entries from the Guest site, which, in this example, has groupId equal to 10184.

    This is a basic example of a synchronous service call; the method will only return after the request is finished.

    Service method return types can be void, String, JSONArray, and JSONObject. Primitive type wrappers can be Boolean, Integer, Long, and Double.

    Many service methods require groupId as a parameter. You can get the user's groups by calling the getUserSites() method from GroupService.

Unauthenticated session

It's also possible to create a Session instance that has no credential information. You need to use the constructor that accepts the server URL only:

Session session = new SessionImpl("http://10.0.2.2:8080");

However, most portal remote methods don't accept unauthenticated remote calls, you will get a Authentication access required exception message in most cases.

This will only work if the remote method on the portal or your plugin has the @AccessControlled annotation just before the method:

import com.liferay.portal.security.ac.AccessControlled;

public class FooServiceImpl extends FooServiceBaseImpl {

@AccessControlled(guestAccessEnabled = true)
public void bar() { ... }

Asynchronous

Android doesn't allow synchronous HTTP requests, like we demonstrated above, from the main UI thread. You can only make them from different threads; for example, from within an AsyncTask instance.

The SDK can help you make asynchronous HTTP requests if you don't want to create an AsyncTask yourself. It makes the service call from an AsyncTask and you can pass a callback that is invoked after the request finishes.

Set a callback class implementation to the session and all the following service calls will be asynchronous. Set it back to null if you want to make synchronous calls again.

import com.liferay.mobile.android.callback.Callback;
import com.liferay.mobile.android.callback.typed.JSONArrayCallback;

AsyncTaskCallback callback = new JSONArrayCallback() {

    public void onFailure(Exception exception) {
        // Implement exception handling code
    }

    public void onSuccess(JSONArray result) {
        // Called after request has finished successfully
    }

};

session.setCallback(callback);
service.getGroupEntries(10184, 0, 0, -1, -1);

If an exception occurs during the request, the onFailure method is called. It can be either a connection exception (e.g., a request timeout) or a ServerException.

When a ServerException occurs, it's because something went wrong on the server side. For example, if you pass a groupId that doesn't exist, the portal will complain about it and the SDK will wrap the error message with a ServerException.

There are many AsyncTaskCallback implementations, one for each service method return type: JSONObjectAsyncTaskCallback, JSONArrayAsyncTaskCallback, StringAsyncTaskCallback, BooleanAsyncTaskCallback, IntegerAsyncTaskCallback, LongAsyncTaskCallback, and DoubleAsyncTaskCallback. Pick the appropriate implementation for your service method return type. In the example above, since getGroupEntries returns a JSONArray, you must use the JSONArrayAsyncTaskCallback instance.

It's also possible to use a generic AsyncTaskCallback implementation called GenericAsyncTaskCallback. For this implementation, you must implement a transform method and handle JSON parsing by yourself.

If you still don't want to use any of these callbacks, you can implement AsyncTaskCallback directly, but be careful, you should always get the first element of the JSONArray passed as a parameter to the onPostExecute(JSONArray jsonArray) method (i.e., jsonArray.get(0)).

The onSuccess method is called on the main UI thread after the request has finished.

Since the request is asynchronous, service.getGroupEntries returns immediately with a null object. The result will be passed to the callback onSuccess method instead.

Batch

The SDK allows sending requests using batch processing, which can be much more efficient in some cases. For example, you want to delete 10 blog entries at the same time; instead of making one request for each delete call, you can create a batch of calls and send them all together.

import com.liferay.mobile.android.service.BatchSessionImpl;

BatchSessionImpl batch = new BatchSessionImpl(session);
BlogsEntryService service = new BlogsEntryService(batch);

service.deleteEntry(1);
service.deleteEntry(2);
service.deleteEntry(3);

JSONArray jsonArray = batch.invoke();

First, create a BatchSessionImpl session. You can either pass credentials or another session to the constructor. This is useful when you already have a session object and want to reuse the same credentials.

Then, make the service calls as usual; as with asynchronous calls, these methods return a null object right away.

Finally, call the invoke() method from the session object. It returns a JSONArray containing the results for each service call. Since there are three deleteEntry calls, the jsonArray contains three objects. The order of the results matches the order of the service calls.

If you want to make batch calls asynchronously, set the callback as a BatchAsyncTaskCallback instance:

import com.liferay.mobile.android.task.callback.BatchAsyncTaskCallback;

batch.setCallback(new BatchAsyncTaskCallback() {

    public void onFailure(Exception exception) {
    }

    public void onSuccess(JSONArray results) {
        // The result is always a JSONArray 
    }

});

As you can see, the return type is always a JSONArray.

Non-primitive arguments

There are some special cases in which service methods arguments are not primitives. In these cases, you should use JSONObjectWrapper, for example:

JSONObjectWrapper wrapper = new JSONObjectWrapper(new JSONObject());

You must pass a JSON containing the object properties and their values. On the server side, your object will be instantiated and setters for each property will called with the values from the JSON you passed.

There are some other cases in which server service methods require interfaces or abstract classes arguments. Since it's impossible for the SDK to guess which implementation you want to use, you must initialize JSONObjectWrapper with the className, like that:

JSONObjectWrapper wrapper = new JSONObjectWrapper(className, new JSONObject());

The server will look for the class name in its classpath and instantiate the object for you, then call setters just like the previous example. OrderByComparator is a good example, more about that bellow.

OrderByComparator

On the server side, OrderByComparator is an abstract class, because of that, you must pass the name of a class that implements it, for example:

String className = "com.liferay.portlet.bookmarks.util.comparator.EntryNameComparator";

JSONObjectWrapper orderByComparator = new JSONObjectWrapper(className, new JSONObject());

If the service you are calling accepts null for a comparator argument, just pass null to the service call.

You probably want to set the ascending property for a comparator. Unfortunately, as of Liferay 6.2, most Liferay OrderByComparator implementations don't have a setter for this property and it's not possible to set from the SDK. This will be fixed in future portal versions.

However, if you have a custom OrderByComparator that has a setter for ascending you can do:

String className = "com.example.MyOrderByComparator";

JSONObject jsonObject = new JSONObject();
jsonObject.put("ascending", true);

JSONObjectWrapper orderByComparator = new JSONObjectWrapper(className, jsonObject);

For more examples, take a look at this test case: OrderByComparatorTest.java.

ServiceContext

ServiceContext is a special case because most Liferay services methods require it, however, you are not required to pass it to the SDK, you can just pass null. The server will create a ServiceContext instance with default values for you.

If there is some property you want to set for ServiceContext you can do:

JSONObject jsonObject = new JSONObject();
jsonObject.put("addGroupPermissions", true);
jsonObject.put("addGuestPermissions", true);

JSONObjectWrapper serviceContext = new JSONObjectWrapper(jsonObject);

For more examples, take a look at this test case: ServiceContextTest.java.

Binaries

Some Liferay services require argument types such as byte arrays (byte[]) and Files (java.io.File).

The SDK converts byte arrays to Strings before sending the POST request, for example, "hello".getBytes("UTF-8") becomes a JSON array like "[104,101,108,108,111]". The SDK does that for you so you don't have worry about it, you just need to pass the byte array to the method.

You need to be careful while using such methods though, because you are allocating memory for the whole byte array and may have memory issues if content is large.

Some other portal service methods require java.io.File, in these cases the SDK requires InputStreamBody instead.

Here's an example on how to create InputStreamBody instances:

InputStream is = context.getAssets().open("file.png");
InputStreamBody file = new InputStreamBody(is, "image/png", "file.png");

That is, you need to create an InputStream and pass it to the InputStreamBody constructor along with the file's mime type and name.

The SDK will send a multipart form request to the portal. On the server side, a File instance will be created and sent to the service method you are calling.

Every service that makes upload return a AsyncTask instance, you can use that to cancel the upload if needed.

In case you want to listen for upload progress to create a progress bar, you can create a UploadProgressAsyncTaskCallback callback and set to the current Session object, its onProgress method will be called for each byte chunk sent, it will pass the total number of uploaded bytes so far. For example:

session.setCallback(

    new UploadProgressAsyncTaskCallback<JSONObject>() {

        (...)

        public void onProgress(int totalBytes) {
            // This method will be called for each byte chunk sent.
            // The totalBytes argument will contain the total number
            // of uploaded bytes, from 0 to the total size of the
            // request.
        }

        (...)

    }

);

For more examples on this subject, check these test cases: DLAppServiceTest.java (aadFileEntry* methods) and UploadFileUtil.java.

Troubleshooting

If you are having trouble the use the Liferay Android SDK, check out the sample app, it contains good examples on how to use it and serves as a good starting point.

The SDK has unit tests that cover the most important parts and we use it daily in production-ready apps, do some research before posting questions to our forum , there are good chances there's something wrong with your code and not the SDK.

It helps a lot if you know the Android basics.

If you really got stuck, post the question to our forum, we will try to answer as soon as possible. If there's something missing in the documentation, let us know!

Found a bug or want to suggest an improvement? File a ticket to our Jira project or create a GitHub issue.

We will list in this section the most common mistakes and questions:

Exception: "org.apache.http.conn.HttpHostConnectException: Connection to http://10.0.2.2:8080 refused"

The SDK needs access to the internet in order to make requests to your portal instance, even if you are running the portal locally. This is common to the majority of the Android apps out there. You need to add this permission to AndroidManifest.xml in order to fix it:

<manifest...>
    <uses-permission android:name="android.permission.INTERNET" />
...
</manifest>

Build error: "Duplicate files copied in APK META-INF/NOTICE"

See the Gradle section.

How can I use the SDK with custom portlet services that I've developed?

See the SDK Builder documentation

Do I need to use the Liferay IDE integration in order to use the SDK?

No, you can use it with Android Studio or any other IDE you want, there's no requirement to use the Liferay IDE.

Exception: android.os.NetworkOnMainThreadException

You are trying to make a request from your app main thread, this will freeze the user's interaction with the app. Check the Asynchronous section.

I don't know which portal APIs exist and how to use them.

Check the http://localhost:8080/api/jsonws page. From there you can see which services are available, which parameters are needed and even simulate requests. If you are having trouble to invoke services from this page, you will also have trouble to invoke from the SDK.

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