Android client app
Java JavaScript Other
Pull request Compare This branch is 3 commits ahead, 144 commits behind projectbuendia:dev.
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.
client-libs @ d67cd85


This repository contains the Buendia app, which runs on tablets with Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) or higher. See the Buendia wiki for more details about the project and about the OpenMRS module that this app communicates with.

Copyright notice

Copyright 2015 The Project Buendia Authors

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.

Developer setup

Follow the instructions below to get your system set up to do Buendia client development.


  • If java -version reports a version lower than 1.7, install JDK 7:
    • Linux: sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jdk
    • Mac OS: Download from Oracle
  • Note: JDK 8 works fine for client development, but you'll need the Java 7 runtime installed to run the OpenMRS server.
Android Studio
(Optional) Tablet with Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) or higher
  • We use Sony Xperia Z2 tablets in the field: they are waterproof, have a great screen, and come with KitKat. Otherwise, we recommend at least a 10" tablet; the app is designed for 1200 x 1920 resolution. Without a tablet, you can use an emulator (see below).

Android Studio project setup

  1. Get the Buendia client source code:

    git clone --recursive
  2. Launch Android Studio and click Open an existing Android Studio project.

  3. Navigate to the root directory of your client repo and click Choose.

  4. Wait a few minutes while Android Studio builds the project for the first time.

    • During the first build, it's normal to get errors about missing parts of the SDK (e.g. "Error: failed to find target android-21", "Error: failed to find Build Tools revision 19.1.0"). In each case, just click the suggested resolution to install the necessary SDK component (e.g. "Install missing platform(s) and sync project", "Install Build Tools 19.1.0 and sync project") until the build finishes without errors.

You are now ready to develop the Buendia client in Android Studio.

Building and running the client on a tablet

On your tablet, enable Developer options by opening the Settings app, selecting About tablet, and tapping the Build number 7 times. Then, in the Settings app under Developer options, turn on USB debugging.

Connect a USB cable from your computer to your tablet. Click OK when asked if you want to allow USB debugging.

Set up your system to detect your device.

  • if you're developing on Windows, you need to install a USB driver for adb. For an installation guide and links to OEM drivers, see this OEM USB Drivers document.
  • If you're developing on Mac OS X, it just works. Skip this step.
  • If you're developing on Ubuntu Linux, you need to add a udev rules file that contains a USB configuration for each type of device you want to use for development. In the rules file, each device manufacturer is identified by a unique vendor ID, as specified by the ATTR{idVendor} property. For a list of vendor IDs, see USB Vendor IDs. To set up device detection on Ubuntu Linux.
    • Log in as root and create this file: /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules.
    • Use this format to add each vendor to the file: SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="054c", MODE="0666", GROUP="plugdev". In this example, the vendor ID 054c is for Sony. The MODE assignment specifies read/write permissions, and GROUP defines which Unix group owns the device node.
    • Now execute: chmod a+r /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules.

On Android Studio, click the Run button (green triangle in the toolbar at the top). For Module select app and click OK.

Wait a few minutes for the app to build (you can see progress in the status bar at the bottom). When it's done, Android Studio will automatically install it on the tablet and start it.

Client tests

The client-side tests include both unit tests and functional tests, all located under the project's androidTest folder. These tests run best on a real tablet attached to your computer. (When run on an Android emulator, some tests work and some don't.)

You can run just the tests in a single file, or run all the tests under a given folder (such as the androidTest/java folder for all the tests in the entire project). In the Project pane, right-click a file or folder, choose Create Run Configuration, and then choose Android Tests (the one with the icon containing the little green Android robot). It's necessary to set the Specific instrumentation runner to AndroidJUnitRunner. Then you can Run or Debug this run configuration to run the tests.

Changing the default OpenMRS server settings

You can always manually change the OpenMRS server, username, and password on the Settings page in the app. It's tedious to keep doing this every time the app is uninstalled and reinstalled, though. To change the default settings, which are built into the app, edit these lines in app/build.gradle:

def serverDefault = serverDev
def openmrsUserDefault = 'buendia'
def openmrsPasswordDefault = 'buendia'

By default, the client is built with its Server set to, which is an instance of the OpenMRS server with dummy data that we use for development. For release builds, we set this to simply server, which is the hostname of the Edison server in real deployments. (When you set the Server to, say, blarg, the OpenMRS base URL is automatically set to http://blarg:9000/openmrs. If you need to use a different port or path, you can edit the URL directly in the Advanced page in Settings.)

If you want to run the client with an OpenMRS server that you have built locally, you have three options:

  1. Deploy OpenMRS with your locally built server module on an Internet-accessible website; run the client on a real tablet with Internet access and set its OpenMRS base URL to point at that website
  2. Run OpenMRS on your own computer; assign your computer an IP address that's reachable from the tablet; run the client on a real tablet and set its OpenMRS base URL to point at your computer
  3. Run OpenMRS on your own computer; run the client in an Android emulator on your computer

An Android emulator runs significantly slower than a real tablet, but in terms of setup it's usually the quickest way to get a locally built client running with a locally built OpenMRS server. Using a local client and local server also enables you to do development while completely offline.

Using an emulator and a locally built OpenMRS server

To set up an emulator with some settings that are known to work:

  • In Android Studio, open Tools > Android > AVD Manager
  • Click Create Virtual Device
  • Click New Hardware Profile and select:
    • Device Type: Phone/Tablet
    • Screensize: 10.1 inches
    • Resolution: 1200 x 1920 px
    • Memory: RAM: 2 GB
    • Input: no hardware buttons, no keyboard
    • Navigation Style: None
    • Supported device states: Portrait only
    • Cameras: both front and back
    • Sensors: all sensors (Accelerometer, Gyroscope, GPS, Proximity)
    • Default Skin: No Skin
  • Click OK and with your new hardware profile selected, click Next
  • For System Image, choose the KitKat image with API level 19 and Target Android 4.4.2 and click OK
  • Click Show Advanced Settings and select:
    • Startup size and orientation:
      • Scale: Auto
      • Orientation: Portrait
    • Camera:
      • Front: None
      • Back: None
    • Network:
      • Speed: Full
      • Latency: None
    • Emulated Performance:
      • Host GPU: on
      • Store a snapshot for faster startup: off
    • Memory and Storage:
      • RAM: 2 GB
      • VM heap: 256 MB
      • Internal Storage: 1 GB
      • SD card: Studio-managed, 1 GB
    • Custom skin definition: No Skin
    • Keyboard:
      • Enable keyboard input: turn this off for a realistic simulation (on-screen soft keyboard); turn this on for the convenience of typing with your real keyboard instead of clicking the tablet keyboard
  • Click Finish

The emulated tablet will not have access to the Internet, but it will see your computer at IP address, so you'll need to run an OpenMRS server on your computer and then set the client's OpenMRS base URL to If you edit app/build.gradle and change

def openmrsRootUrlDefault = openmrsRootUrlDev;


def openmrsRootUrlDefault = openmrsRootUrlLocalhost;

the client will have its server URL set to by default.

Faking Tablet Resolution on Non Tablet Devices

Resolution of field devices

In the field, the Buendia project uses Sony Xperia Z2 Tablets. The user interface, has thus been written assuming a tablet interface, and in particular, assuming the specific resolution and DPI of the Sony Xperia Z2.

You can determine the specific resolution / DPI of the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet by plugging it into a computer and running the following commands (make sure you have adb set up and USB debugging turned on):

$ adb shell wm size
Physical size: 1920x1200
$ adb shell wm density
Physical density: 240

Faking the resolution on an Android phone

If you've got an Android phone, but not an Android tablet, it's still possible to develop the Buendia app, but it will be much easier if you fake the screen resolution of the tablet on your phone. You can do this by plugging your Android device into a computer, and running:

$ adb shell wm size 1920x1200
$ adb shell wm density 240
$ adb reboot


  • You may need to use a size of 1200x1920 instead of 1920x1200; it depends on the default orientation of your phone screen.
  • It's important to reboot because most apps assume that the density (in particular) doesn't change over the life of the application.
  • These settings persist through reboots.

Resetting your Android phone to normal

Once you're finished developing, you probably want to be able to use your phone as normal again 😄

I suggest the following commands:

$ adb shell wm size reset
$ adb shell wm density reset
$ adb reboot

Testing Notes

  • Works on a release-build Nexus 5 running Lollipop; your mileage may vary.

Android SDK packages

If you're using Android Studio, you don't need to worry about installing SDK packages; Android Studio will take care of it for you (see Android Studio project setup above). You only need to install the packages yourself if you want to build the client from the command line.

The set of Android SDK packages needed to build the client is:

  • Android SDK Platform 5.0.1 (API level 21)
  • Android SDK Build-tools, revision 19.1
  • Android Support Library, revision 23
  • Android Support Repository, revision 17

The graphical Android SDK Manager at $ANDROID_HOME/tools/android will let you select and install these packages interactively; or you can install them all with the command:

$ANDROID_HOME/tools/android update sdk --no-ui --all --filter android-21,build-tools-19.1.0,extra-android-support,extras-android-m2repository,platform-tools

ANDROID_HOME is usually /opt/android-sdk-linux on a Linux machine and ~/Library/Android/sdk on a Mac.

To build the client from the command line, go to the root of your client repo and run ./gradlew clean assembleDebug. The resulting apk will be at app/build/outputs/apk/app-debug.apk.