We’re doing it again! Firebase party at WWDC18

by Brian Lynn, Firebase Party Host

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Heading to WWDC this year? Join us at the Firebase party on June 4th as we celebrate with the top iOS developers from around the world.

We’re excited to once again throw a party for our community at this year’s conference. If you’re going to be in town, join us for a night to mingle with other developers, meet engineers and product leads from the Fabric+Firebase team, and relax after the first day of WWDC.

We can’t wait to see you and toast to another exciting summer of mobile development.

  • When: Monday, June 4th, 2018
  • Time: 8:00pm - 12:00am
  • Where: The GlassHouse
  • Price: Free (!)

Tickets are limited so request your invite today! (Note: a confirmed ticket is required for entry)

New resources to help you with GDPR

by Mark Bouchard, Engineering Manager

On May 25th, the most significant piece of European data protection legislation in 20 years comes into effect: the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.

We know that GDPR compliance is at the top of many of your minds, so we’re pleased to announce updated, GDPR-ready terms that include Data Processing and Security Terms. These Data Processing and Security Terms can help you out even if you aren’t in Europe, because the new regulations can govern the processing of personal data regardless of where it takes place. We believe data protection is important, so we have included it in our Terms of Service acceptance. You can accept these updated terms today by visiting your Fabric dashboard:

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Many organizations also need to specify a Data Processing Officer (DPO) or EU Representative, someone who ensures compliance with the regulations. You can enter your DPO’s details for your organization via your settings dashboard:

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We've also collected the answers to the questions you may need for your own compliance process, including information on the privacy and security certifications we have, the types of end-user information we process, and more. To learn more, see our new support guides for iOS or Android!

Cheers,

-


Link Fabric events to Firebase: do more with your data

By Shobhit Chugh, Product Manager

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Most app teams collect data about their users to better serve them. But having data alone doesn’t automatically lead to insight. To be valuable, it needs to be processed, analyzed, and distilled into information that informs strategy and decision-making.

Answers, the analytics engine that powers Fabric, helps you understand your users by tracking events. Events are in-app actions (like login, social share, or purchase) that reveal how people interact with your app. This information is vital to learning how engaged users are, what actions they take most (and least), and how their behavior changes over time.

Today, we’re excited to give you more freedom to explore and examine your event data through a new Fabric events + Firebase integration. Now, all Fabric customers can unlock highly-requested analytics features in Firebase by creating and linking their Firebase account.
 

Fabric & Firebase are stronger together

Firebase is Google’s mobile platform that helps you build and grow high-quality apps without managing infrastructure. As we stated at Google I/O 2017, Fabric joined forces with Firebase because our two platforms are stronger together and offer complementary tools.

For instance, Fabric has always adhered to an opinionated philosophy and presented critical app data in a digestible way. However, we’ve heard from many of you that you want more flexibility. By teaming up with Firebase, we can build on the freedom and power that Firebase gives developers to do deeper analysis without compromising our opinionated approach.

This new Fabric events + Firebase integration allows you to use existing Fabric events with Firebase’s advanced marketing and analytics features to get more flexibility to organize, interpret, and act on your event data.
 

Build custom audiences to get deeper user insight

Although Fabric automatically groups your users into activity segments based on sessions, it’s interesting to group users by their behaviors too. With the Fabric events + Firebase integration, you can create custom audiences (a.k.a. user segments) in Firebase using your Fabric events and event attributes.

For example, you could create a “power users” audience to group people who have completed a key in-app action many times. For gaming apps, this group could consist of users who have who have completed at least 10 levels and made an in-app purchase.

With custom audiences, you can slice and dice your user data by in-app behavior to better understand engagement.


View historical data to unearth long-term trends

Fabric focuses on realtime events for the past 30 days, while Firebase gives you long-term visibility. Once you integrate Fabric events with Firebase, all event data that is collected from that point on will be accessible in Firebase. This extended view into your user behavior will help you uncover persisting trends.


Combine different data sources into one view with custom analysis

The Fabric events + Firebase integration also gives you access to your raw data (something you’ve wanted for a long time!) so you can perform more sophisticated and targeted analysis. Specifically, when you complete the integration and link your Firebase project to BigQuery, your Fabric events will flow into a BigQuery dataset. BigQuery is a petabyte-scale analytics data warehouse that you can use to run SQL-like queries over vast amounts of data.

For example, if you track user events in multiple places (such as Fabric, Google Analytics 360, custom analytics collected by a mobile backend service), you can import and aggregate them from all of these sources in BigQuery to see a complete picture. From there, you can also use data visualization tools, like Data Studio, to turn this aggregated, raw data into informative reports that are easy to read, share, and customize.

In addition, this Fabric events + Firebase integration gives you the ability to manage permissions on projects and datasets so you have control over who is able to share, view, and retrieve your data.

BigQuery


Turning data into action

The Fabric events + Firebase integration gives you enhanced flexibility and control over your data. But what do you do after you’ve dissected, analyzed, and extracted meaning from it? How can you turn these insights into action?

By using these insights to trigger smart marketing campaigns.

Firebase provides tools like Cloud Messaging and Remote Config that can send messages and alter your app in response to Fabric events. For example, ecommerce apps can send a push notification with a discount code to all users who have made an in-app purchase to encourage them to buy something else. Or, ecommerce apps can enable “one-click checkout” for this group.


Tap into the power of Firebase in 3 steps

You can start the integration process right from your dashboard. Simply click the Firebase icon in your Fabric dashboard in the left navigation bar.

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The integration only takes a few minutes and can be done by a developer in three simple steps:

  1. Link apps*
    *If you don’t have an existing Firebase account, don’t worry. We’ll walk you through setting one up.
  2. Upgrade the SDKs
  3. Ship your app

For more details on how to implement this, check out our technical docs for iOS and Android. This integration can be enabled with minimal code changes and you won’t need to re-instrument your events.

Once you have completed the set up, your Fabric events (from that point on) will automatically flow to Firebase so you can build audiences, view historical trends, run custom analysis, and trigger personalized marketing campaigns. You’ll also continue to have access to this data in Fabric.

We’re pumped to unveil this integration, as it represents a big step towards our goal of bringing the best of Fabric and Firebase together so you have one place to build, understand, and grow your app. We can’t wait to hear what you think!

Fabric + Firebase: Now stronger together

by Rich Paret, GM, Fabric

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Since joining forces with Firebase early this year, we’ve been working closely with our new teammates on the same mission: helping you build apps, understand your users, and grow your business. We want to combine our unique strengths to give you access to better tools and infrastructure, all while continuing to upgrade Fabric. That’s why in May at Google I/O, we upgraded Digits to Firebase phone authentication and launched more features for Fabric.

After I/O, the Fabric + Firebase team have been working hard to integrate our two platforms - with the goal of bringing you the best of both in a thoughtful way. Today, we have some more news to share with you. Check it out:

Upgraded Fabric

As we work on integrating Fabric and Firebase, we're still continuing to improve Fabric. We started by officially releasing crash insights out of beta, so you can triage and resolve issues faster than ever before. Additionally, we launched fastlane precheck to help you avoid unnecessary delays from the iOS app store. We also built a new tool called snapshot in fastlane, which automagically generates app screenshots for all of your devices at the same time.

Crashlytics is now available on Firebase

Eliminating crashes is crucial to improving user experience. That’s why today at the Firebase Dev Summit, we unveiled a beta version of Crashlytics in Firebase to give Firebase developers access to our market-leading crash reporter. Firebase Crashlytics has the core crash reporting features of Fabric’s Crashlytics, but it also includes integrations with other Firebase tools. For example, Firebase customers can use Crashlytics to power custom workflows and get alerts about stability issues that impact a critical app flow (i.e. a payment flow).

Right now, Firebase Crashlytics is still in beta, so there’s no need to switch over if you’re happy with Crashlytics on Fabric. We plan to release more integrations over the coming months and make Crashlytics as awesome on Firebase as it is on Fabric in the future - stay tuned :)

Better together

Over the past months, we’ve been encouraging you to use both Fabric and Firebase since the two platforms are stronger together. Some of you have already started using Crashlytics with Firebase tools, which has been incredibly exciting to see. For instance, Doodle, an app that brings people together, used Crashlytics with Firebase Remote Config to redesign their app and improve engagement by 42%. Learn more about how they did it here:



Additionally, we have started to incorporate what you love about the Fabric dashboard into Firebase. Today, we helped launch a new dashboard experience on Firebase, which begins with a mission control and a new left-hand navigation bar similar to Fabric:

We also helped release a new analytics dashboard that is organized around the questions and tasks that you tackle on a day-to-day basis - with similar traits to Fabric’s dashboard we launched early this year. And much like Fabric’s “Latest Release” dashboard, Firebase now includes a similar section under their analytics as well as real-time data on crashes and active users.

If you’re already using Firebase, these updates will be rolling out over the next few weeks (you can get early access here). We hope these updates are helpful to you, and we’re actively working on giving you one place to build, understand, and grow your app in the future!

Celebrating with the community

We love celebrating with our passionate community. Kristen Johnson (Product Manager, Fabric) shared the new Firebase Crashlytics with many of you during today's Firebase Dev Summit. We also hosted these technical sessions:

  • “Automating your app's release process using fastlane” - by Felix Krause (Creator of fastlane) and Josh Liebowitz (Fabric Engineer)
  • “Building high-quality apps with Crashlytics and Firebase Performance” - by Jason St. Pierre (Product Manager, Fabric)

We hope you enjoyed our conference and found it helpful. If you couldn't make the event this time, check out the recordings for our keynote and technical talks!

Onwards,

-


Introducing Cloud Firestore: our new document database for apps

Originally posted by Alex Dufetel on the Firebase Blog

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Today we’re excited to launch Cloud Firestore, a fully-managed NoSQL document database for mobile and web app development. It's designed to easily store and sync app data at global scale, and it's now available in beta.

Key features of Cloud Firestore include:

  • Documents and collections with powerful querying

  • iOS, Android, and Web SDKs with offline data access

  • Real-time data synchronization

  • Automatic, multi-region data replication with strong consistency

  • Node, Python, Go, and Java server SDKs

And of course, we've aimed for the simplicity and ease-of-use that is always top priority for Firebase, while still making sure that Cloud Firestore can scale to power even the largest apps.

Optimized for app development

Managing app data is still hard; you have to scale servers, handle intermittent connectivity, and deliver data with low latency.

We’ve optimized Cloud Firestore for app development, so you can focus on delivering value to your users and shipping better apps, faster. Cloud Firestore:

  • Synchronizes data between devices in real-time. Our Android, iOS, and Javascript SDKs sync your app data almost instantly. This makes it incredibly easy to build reactive apps, automatically sync data across devices, and build powerful collaborative features -- and if you don’t need real-time sync, one-time reads are a first-class feature.

  • Uses collections and documents to structure and query data. This data model is familiar and intuitive for many developers. It also allows for expressive queries. Queries scale with the size of your result set, not the size of your data set, so you'll get the same performance fetching 1 result from a set of 100, or 100,000,000.

  • Enables offline data access via a powerful, on-device database. This local database means your app will function smoothly, even when your users lose connectivity. This offline mode is available on Web, iOS and Android.

  • Enables serverless development. Cloud Firestore’s client-side SDKs take care of the complex authentication and networking code you’d normally need to write yourself. Then, on the backend, we provide a powerful set of security rules so you can control access to your data. Security rules let you control which users can access which documents, and let you apply complex validation logic to your data as well. Combined, these features allow your mobile app to connect directly to your database.

  • Integrates with the rest of the Firebase platform. You can easily configure Cloud Functions to run custom code whenever data is written, and our SDKs automatically integrate with Firebase Authentication, to help you get started quickly.

Putting the ‘Cloud’ in Cloud Firestore

As you may have guessed from the name, Cloud Firestore was built in close collaboration with the Google Cloud Platform team.

This means it's a fully managed product, built from the ground up to automatically scale. Cloud Firestore is a multi-region replicated database that ensures once data is committed, it's durable even in the face of unexpected disasters. Not only that, but despite being a distributed database, it's also strongly consistent, removing tricky edge cases to make building apps easier regardless of scale.

It also means that delivering a great server-side experience for backend developers is a top priority. We're launching SDKs for Java, Go, Python, and Node.js today, with more languages coming in the future.

Get started!

Cloud Firestore enters public beta starting today. If you're comfortable using a beta product you should give it a spin on your next project. We can’t wait to see what you build and hear what you think of Cloud Firestore!