Chris Mendez in Angular, Firebase

AngularFire: Getting started with Angular and Firebase

Firebase provides a hosting service for Angular developers at nearly zero cost. The service provides three types of hosting: NoSQL database, server-side code and Angular hosting. This entry will help you get started using Firebase.

I should start by saying that the Angular team has documentation on Github but I found that it was only partially complete. I also wanted to include pictures showing what the command-line results look like. I hope this article provides new developers with a few more details not found in the original documentation.

Step 0 - Install Angular

Install Angular on your Mac.

Step 1 - Create a new app

Create a new Angular app.

ng new myapp  

Change directory into your app.

cd myapp  

Step 2 - Install 3rd party libaries

Install AngularFire to your local project.

npm install angularfire2 --save  

Install Firebase to your local project.

npm install firebase --save  

Globally install the Firebase command-line tools.

npm install -g firebase-tools  

Step 3 - Registering your app with Firebase

Log into Firebase using a Google account.

firebase login  

Initialize Firebase hosting.

firebase init  

Firebase Login

Once you've successfully logged in and picked a project, you will see this confirmation.

Step 4 - Configuring your app for Firebase

Now that we've installed Firebase, authenticated our account and created a project, our next step will be to get the Firebase keys required to build an app.

There is a way to get the API keys using the Firebase Console but I always worry that the UIX will often change quickly and render this article obsolete so instead we're going to use the command-line. Using terminal and the Firebase command-line tools, let's get the keys.

firebase setup:web  

Now that you have your keys, we'll want to copy and paste them into your Firebase app. Once suggested place is /src/environments/environment.ts.

export const environment = {  
    production: false,
    firebase: {
        "apiKey": "xxx-xxx-2-xxx",
        "databaseURL": "",
        "storageBucket": "",
        "authDomain": "",
        "messagingSenderId": "xxx",
        "projectId": "xxx"

My preferred method is to create a .env file on my local computer. Read this tutorial on how to place your configuration keys into a .env.

Step 5 - Final Step

The final step is to open app/app.module.ts and paste this import and initializer

These three libraries will help you connect to your Firebase database and authentication.

import { BrowserModule } from '@angular/platform-browser';  
import { NgModule } from '@angular/core';  
import { FormsModule } from '@angular/forms';  
import { HttpModule } from '@angular/http';

// Firebase Config Lives here
import { environment } from '../environments/environment';

// Firebase specific libraries
import { AngularFireModule } from 'angularfire2';  
import { AngularFireDatabaseModule } from 'angularfire2/database';  
import { AngularFireAuthModule } from 'angularfire2/auth';

import { AppComponent } from './app.component';

  declarations: [
  imports: [
  providers: [],
  bootstrap: [AppComponent]
export class AppModule { }  

Step 6 - Accessing Data

Open up /src/app/app.component.ts and paste this.

import { Component } from '@angular/core';  
//AngularFire libraries
import { AngularFireDatabase, FirebaseListObservable } from 'angularfire2/database';

  selector: 'app-root',
  templateUrl: 'app.component.html',
  styleUrls: ['app.component.css']
export class AppComponent {  
  //This Observable will hold the items inside your Firebase database. 
  items: FirebaseListObservable<any[]>;
  //On instantiation, create a database reference.
  constructor(db: AngularFireDatabase) {
    //Store the database items
    this.items = db.list('/items');

Step 7 - Deploy to Firebase hosting

Before we deploy our app, we'll need to build it:

ng build  

This is the only command you need to build our app.

firebase deploy  


Error #1 - targetNames not a function

If you get an error like this, make sure you have these two files within your Angular app directory. firebase.json and database.rules.json.

firebase [debug] TypeError: targetNames.join is not a function