What is Firebase?
Firebase is a Google-hosted platform that helps with many facets of app development, however more specifically for Pugpig apps, it helps with app monitoring and engagement. All of this is accessible through a well-documented dashboard.
What Firebase features do we support?
We support four of the core Firebase features. Analytics, Cloud messaging, In-app messaging and Crashlytics. All are part of Firebase's no-cost solutions.
Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) provides a reliable solution to sending push notifications for your apps. We support notifications with deep links, as well as rich push notifications (see below for requirements).
FCM is accessible via the Firebase console under Engage > Messaging.
Firebase in-app messaging is a great tool for guiding users, allowing you to present a popup message in a variety of different ways. This is separate from push notifications and only applies once a user is already in the app so there's no need for permissions to be accepted.
In-app messaging is accessible via the Firebase console under Engage > Messaging.
Crashlytics is Firebase's crash reporting tool. It is integrated into all Bolt apps using Firebase, without any additional configuration, giving us a consistent picture of our platform stability. There's also the additional option to link it up to Slack, which we always set up where possible. This ensures we get easy-to-access updates on; new, urgent and regressed crashes. Rest assured that if you've received a notification about a new crash, so have we!
Crash reporting is accessible via the Firebase console under Release and monitor > Crashlytics, though we always keep a close eye so you shouldn't have to.
What do we need from you to get set up?
First of all you'll need a Firebase project for your app. Information on projects, including setup, can be found in the Firebase documentation. If you're happy to, please provide email@example.com ‘Owner’ access to your project. This will allow us to configure and test as easily as possible.
The most important things we'll then need from your Project are your Firebase config files, which we can retrieve ourselves if we have Owner access.
For iOS push we'll also need an APNs authentication key or APNs certificate.
If you wish to utilise rich push notifications to include media such as images and gifs in your messages then we'll also need to set up NSE profiles and identifiers for your iOS app.
If you wish to send push notifications automatically, we'll also need your cloud messaging server key which can be found in Project settings > Cloud messaging > Cloud Messaging API (Legacy) - You may need to enable the API.
FAQs / Troubleshooting
For many queries you can check out Firebase's FAQ page but one main point to note - you do not need to worry about any mention of SDKs or app development. All of that is handled by the Pugpig Product team, saving you to focus on using Firebase's tools.
How do I find my token and installation ID to test Push and In-app messaging?
Both are obtained via your app logs. Once you have your logs you can find each of the following.
Token - Search the app logs for
Firebase token active: - Then copy the following string, similar to the below:
The token can also be obtained via the hidden settings menu.
Installation ID - Search the app logs for
Firebase installation ID: - Then copy the following string, similar to the below:
Can I segment users?
Yes you can, Firebase allows you to create and manage various audiences across push, analytics and even ads.