Integration

This section describes how to integrate an Electrode Native container in your Android or iOS mobile application.

Android

A Container library can be added to a mobile Android application project in one of two ways:

  • By adding a dependency on the Electrode Native container AAR (recommended), or

  • By directly adding the Electrode Native container module to the Android project (as a git submodule for example)

You will also need to update your build.gradle files with the following:

  • jcenter repository

We publish the react-native Maven artifact to jcenter. Therefore, you must make sure that jcenter is present in your list of repositories. The repositories are most commonly defined in your top-level project build.gradle.

repositories {
jcenter()
//...
}
  • resolution strategy

React Native includes some third-party libraries that might conflict with the versions you are using. For example, you might have issues with jsr305. If that is the case, add the following to your application module build.gradle

configurations.all {
resolutionStrategy.force 'com.google.code.findbugs:jsr305:3.0.0'
//...
}

In addition to the above resolution strategy for handling the jsr305 conflict, you might also run into a conflict with OkHttp. React Native depends on a specific version of the very popular networking library, OkHttp. If you are using this library in your application, you might be forced to align your version of OkHttp with the version included with the React Native version that you are using. This is due to the current React Native design.

  • okio linting

You might run into a conflict with the okio third party library which comes with React Native. It is a known issue. To resolve this issue, disable the lint check for InvalidPackage. You can also find solutions by searching for the okio conflict on the web.

lintOptions {
disable 'InvalidPackage'
//...
}

Adding the Container as an AAR

If a Maven publisher has been configured in the Electrode Native cauldron, Electrode Native will package and publish the Electrode Native container project as a Maven artifact containing the AAR file(either to a local or remote Maven repository)

If you are implicitly publishing a container from a Cauldron (through a change in container content or the use of [cauldron regen-container] command), the Maven artifact will have the following data:

  • Group ID : com.walmartlabs.ern

  • Artifact ID : {mobile-app-name}-ern-container

  • Version string : {container-version}

{mobile-app-name} is the name of the mobile application in the cauldron for the Electrode Native container that is being generated. For example, if the application name is walmart, the Electrode Native container artifact ID will be walmart-ern-container.

{container-version} is the version of the generated Electrode Native container. The container version can be in the form: x.y.z where x, y and z are integers. For example 1.2.3 is a valid container version. You can specify a version for a Container or, by default, the current version will be patched-bumped to the new version.

To add a dependency on the Electrode Native container, in your mobile application add the following code to the dependencies object of your application module build.gradle. Be sure to substitute the {mobile-app-name} and {container-version} to represent your application.

dependencies {
api 'com.walmartlabs.ern:{mobile-app-name}-ern-container:{container-version}'
//...
}

If you are explicitly publishing a container through the use of publish-container command, the Maven artifact id will be local-ern-container. The group id will remain the same though com.walmartlabs.ern. You can pass options to the command to change the artifact id and group id at your convenience. Please see publish-container documentation for more details. Also, if you use or plan to use a locally published Electrode Native container (to your maven local repository), make sure to declare mavenLocal in the list of repositories. This is located in the top-level project build.gradle.

repositories {
mavenLocal()
//...
}

Adding the container as a Git submodule

Alternatively, you can include an Electrode Native container in a mobile application by adding it as an Android module. Although this is not the recommended way to add third-party dependencies (the container being one) to an Android project, it is however possible and this might be the best process if you don't have a remote Maven repository that you can publish the container to.

To add the container library as an Android module, add a GitHub publisher to the cauldron (or use publish-container with the git publisher option). Then, when a new Container version is published, Electrode Native will publish the resulting project to a private or public GitHub repository. It will create a Git tag for each version of a container. You can then add the container Android module to your application project--managed as a Git submodule.

Note Do not edit the code of the container if you use this procedure even though adding the Container directly in your project makes its code editable. The container code should not be modified manually, as any custom modification will be lost the next time the container is generated.

Be sure to include the module in your project settings.gradle, and add a api project directive to your application module build.gradle. Find more information on declaring API and implementation dependencies

Configure Android build configuration versions

The following android build parameters can be configured with application specific needs.

  • buildToolsVersion - Android SDK build tools is a component of the Android SDK required for building Android apps. The version specified will update the app level build.gradle

    android {
    buildToolsVersion "28.0.3"
    }
  • compileSdkVersion - The API level designated to compile the application.

  • minSdkVersion - The minimum API level that the application targets.

  • sourceCompatibility - Defines which language version of Java your source files should be treated as. It can take a valid Java Version

  • targetCompatibility - Defines the minimum JVM version your code should run on, i.e. it determines the version of byte code the compiler generates. It can take a valid Java Version

  • targetSdkVersion - The designated API Level that the application targets

    android {
    compileSdkVersion 28
    defaultConfig {
    minSdkVersion 19
    targetSdkVersion 28
    }
    }
  • supportLibraryVersion - You may want a standard way to provide newer features on earlier versions of Android or gracefully fall back to equivalent functionality. You can leverage these libraries to provide that compatibility layer.

    compile 'com.android.support:appcompat-v7:28.0.0'

You can configure androidConfig in the cauldron as show below.

{
"containerGenerator": {
"androidConfig": {
"buildToolsVersion": "28.0.3",
"compileSdkVersion": "28",
"minSdkVersion": "19",
"supportLibraryVersion": "28.0.0",
"targetSdkVersion": "28"
}
}
}

JavaScript Engine (RN 0.60 and above)

Starting with React Native 0.60, the JavaScript engine is distributed separately from the React Native AAR. Also, prior to this version, JavaScriptCore was the only JavaScript engine that could be used on Android for React Native applications. Starting with this new version, it is now possible to use alternative JavaScript engines such as Hermes or V8.

Electrode Native currently support both JavaScriptCore and Hermes engines. By default, without explicit configuration, Electrode Native will use the non international variant of JavaScriptCore engine.

JavaScriptCore

With React Native 0.60.0, JavaScriptCore engine now comes in two variants : android-jsc and android-jsc-intl. The later is the international variant. It includes ICU i18n library and necessary data allowing to use e.g. Date.toLocaleString and String.localeCompare that give correct results when using with locales other than en-US. This variant is about 6MB larger per architecture.

By default, the version of JavaScriptCore used by Electrode Native will be set to the latest version available at the time of Electrode Native version release and will be communicated in the release notes. The default JavaScriptCore variant will always be the non international one.

It is possible to change these defaults, using the androidConfig object of containerGenerator as shown below.

{
"containerGenerator": {
"androidConfig": {
"jsEngine": "jsc",
"jscVersion": "^245459.0.0",
"jscVariant": "android-jsc"
}
}
}

jscVersion is the version (fixed or range) of the JavaScriptCore engine while jscVariant is the variant (android-jsc or android-jsc-intl).

Hermes

To use Hermes engine rather than JavaScriptCore, you should set the jsEngine in androidConfig to hermes.

{
"containerGenerator": {
"androidConfig": {
"jsEngine": "hermes",
"hermesVersion": "0.2.1"
}
}
}

iOS

An Electrode Native container can be retrieved in a few ways:

  • Use a dependency manager such as Carthage or Cocoapods or,

  • Perform a manual git clone of the container

Using CocoaPods (RN >= 0.61, XCode >= 11.0)

If the client application is using CocoaPods to manage its dependencies, it is possible to package and distribute the container in a way that it can be added as a pod dependency (in the Podfile) of the client application.

One thing to note here though, is that due to the fact that the container itself is using CocoaPods and is depending on third-party pods, it is not possible (as far as we know) to add it 'as-is' to the client application. One way to work around this, is to distribute the container as a pre-compiled binary instead of as its raw source code. One advantage of such an approach is that it will reduce build time of the client application (as it doesn't have to build the container during application build). One inconvenient of this approach is that the source code of the container will not be visible/accessible in the client app which can make debugging issues a bit more complex.

The high level steps are to build & package the container as an XCFramework, and to publish it along with an associated podpsec file, to a git repository. The client application can then add the container as a pod depenndency in its Podfile.

  1. Build & Package the container as an XCFramework

After the container is generated (via create-container command or other way) the XCFramework container transformer can be used to build & package the container as an XCFramework.

One way to achieve this is to use the transform-container command as follow:

ern transform-container -p ios -t xcframework

This can also be achieved through cauldron by adding the following step in container generation pipeline config:

{
"name": "ern-container-transformer-xcframework",
}
  1. Publish the container XCFramework as a pod to a git repository

After an XCFramework has been generated for the container, the CocoaPod git publisher can be used to publish the container XCFramework to a git repository, along with its associated podspec.

One way to achieve this is to use the publish-container command as follow:

ern publish-container --platform ios -p cocoapod-git -u [ssh_or_https_url_to_git_repo] -v [container_version]

This can also be achieved through cauldron by adding the follwing step in container generation pipeline config:

{
"name": "ern-container-publisher-cocoapod-git",
"url": "[ssh_or_https_url_to_git_repo]",
}

This publisher will only upload the pre-compiled XCFramework to the repository, along with an adequatly generated ElectrodeContainer.podspec file. It will also create a git tag matching the container version.

  1. Add the container pod dependency to client application Podfile

The container can then be added as a one line entry to the Podfile of the client application as follow:

pod 'ElectrodeContainer', :git => '[ssh_or_https_url_to_git_repo]', :tag => '[container_version]'

The tag can be omitted in case the client application prefer to always pull the latest container version from default branch of the repository. :branch can be used in place of :tag, to always pull the latest container from a specific branch.

Then, running pod install from the client application, will properly retrieve the container as a pod dependency.

Using Carthage

  1. Create a Cartfile if you don't already have one, or open an existing Cartfile.

  2. Add the following line to your Cartfile.

    git "git@github.com:username/myweatherapp-ios-container.git" "v1.0.0"
  3. Create a Cartfile.resolved file if you don't have one or open your existing Cartfile.resolved file.

  4. Add the following line to your Cartfile.resolved file:

    git "git@github.com:username/myweatherapp-ios-container.git" "v1.0.0"
  5. Install your dependencies using the following command:

    carthage bootstrap --no-build --platform ios

Use Git to clone container

  1. Clone the container.

    git clone git@github.com:username/myweatherapp-ios-container.git

Add Container to your mobile application

React Native >= 0.61

  1. Check if your mobile application is using a workspace, (ie: you have an .xcworkspace file in your project directory). If not, open the .xcodeproj file of your mobile application in Xcode.

  2. In Xcode's menu bar, File -> Save As Workspace... You can use the same name as the .xcodeproj file for your workspace name. Save at the same level as the .xcodeproj.

  3. Close Xcode and re-open, this time selecting the workspace file.

  4. Make sure nothing is selected in the project navigator, In Xcode's menu bar, File -> Add Files to <your workspace name>. If you used Carthage, look for ElectrodeContainer.xcodeproj in the Carthage/Checkouts directory. If you cloned the container, find the ElectrodeContainer.xcodeproj in the cloned container directory.

  5. Add Files again, this time adding the Pods.xcodeproj that is located in the Pods directory of the container.

React Native < 0.61

  1. Open your mobile application project file in Xcode.

  2. Right click your <your project name> in the project navigator. Select Add Files to <your project name>. If you used Carthage, look for ElectrodeContainer.xcodeproj in the Carthage/Checkouts directory. If you cloned the container, find the ElectrodeContainer.xcodeproj in the cloned container directory.

Additional Configuration

After installing the dependency, you will need to add additional configurations.

  1. In Xcode, choose <your project name> from the Project Navigator panel.

  2. Click <your project name> under TARGETS.

  3. From the General tab, locate Frameworks, Libraries, and Embedded Content and click +

  4. Select ElectrodeContainer.framework and click Add.

  5. In Build Phases, verify that ElectrodeContainer is in Link Binary With Libraries and Embed Frameworks.

  6. Edit Scheme for your <your project name> target. Locate Build Options and uncheck Parallelize Build.

Skip installing dependencies (RN >= 0.61)

When using React Native >= 0.61, you can configure the iOS container generator to skip the automatic installation of dependencies. This container generation mode is the default one when generating iOS containers on Linux/Windows, as the pod install command cannot be run on these platforms. To also generate such a container on MacOS, you can set the skipInstall flag to true in the container generator iOS configuration, as follow:

{
"containerGenerator": {
"iosConfig": {
"skipInstall": true
}
}
}

Alternatively, for containers that are not generated using a cauldron, you can set the --skipInstall option of the create-container command.

Extra configuration

You can override the iOS deployment target version to use by setting iosConfig in the cauldron as show below.

{
"containerGenerator": {
"iosConfig": {
"deploymentTarget": "11.0"
}
}
}