Get Started with React Native

The App Center SDK uses a modular architecture so you can use any or all of the services.

Let's get started with setting up App Center React Native SDK in your app to use App Center Analytics and App Center Crashes.

1. Prerequisites

Before you begin, please make sure that the following prerequisites are met:

  • You are using a React Native project that runs React Native 0.34 or later.
  • You are targeting devices that are running on Android Version 4.0.3/API level 15 or later, or iOS version 8.0 or later.
  • For iOS, the default way to use the SDK requires CocoaPods. (If you haven't installed CocoaPods, please follow the CocoaPods Getting Started to do so). Nonetheless, it is possible to link the SDK manually.

2. Create your app in the App Center Portal to obtain the App Secret

If you have already created your app in the App Center portal, you can skip this step.

  1. Head over to appcenter.ms.
  2. Sign up or log in and hit the blue button on the top right corner of the portal that says Add new and select Add new app from the dropdown menu.
  3. Enter a name and an optional desciption for your app.
  4. Select the appropriate OS (Android or iOS) and select React Native as the platform.
  5. Hit the button at the bottom right that says Add new app.

Once you have created an app, you can obtain its App Secret on the Getting Started page or Settings page on the App Center Portal.

Note

App secret is like an api key for your app, it allows events and telemetry to be sent to App Center backend. It doesn't provide any access to your account. It can't be used to invoke App Center REST APIs (like trigger builds or send push notifications). If your code is open source, we recommend you inject the secret at build or in a similar way.

3. Add the App Center SDK modules

The default integration of the SDK uses CocoaPods for iOS. If you are not using CocoaPods in your app, you need to integrate the React Native SDK manually for your iOS app.

3.1 Integrate the SDK automatically

  1. Open a Terminal and navigate to the root of your React Native project, then enter the following line to add App Center Analytics and Crashes to the app:

    npm install appcenter appcenter-analytics appcenter-crashes --save
    

    Note

    --save or --save-dev flag is required in this step. React Native will link modules based on dependencies and devDependencies in your package.json file.

    In case you prefer yarn over npm, use the following command to install App Center:

    yarn add appcenter appcenter-analytics appcenter-crashes
    

    The App Center SDK uses a modular approach, where you just add the modules for App Center services that you want to use. appcenter-analytics and appcenter-crashes make sense to add to almost every app, as they provide value with no additional setup required. appcenter provides general purpose App Center APIs, useful for multiple services.

  2. Link the plugins to the React Native app by using the react-native link command.

    react-native link
    

    Note

    On React Native 0.47.0, there is a bug when using link without parameters.

    If you are using that version, please link all modules separately:

    react-native link appcenter
    react-native link appcenter-analytics
    react-native link appcenter-crashes
    

    For iOS, it will try to download the App Center SDK for iOS and macOS from CocoaPods, if you see an error like:

    Added code to initialize iOS App Center SDK in ios/reactnativesample/AppDelegate.m
    Analyzing dependencies [!] Unable to find a specification for AppCenterReactNativeShared (~> {version}) 
    

    Please run the following command:

    pod repo update
    

    And then retry running react-native link.

  3. A set of prompts will appear asking for additional information. The first will ask for the App Secret, which enables App Center to map this app to the right user account.

    What is the Android App Secret? 0000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000
    
    What is the iOS App Secret? 0000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000
    

    If you provided the App Secret previously, you won't be prompted again instead seeing the current value for the secret and where to change it in the source if needed.

    The SDK will then ask whether or not to send user events automatically. Learn more about sending user events manually.

    For the Android app, should user tracking be enabled automatically? (Use arrow keys)
        ❯ Enable Automatically
          Enable in JavaScript
    
    For the iOS app, should user tracking be enabled automatically? (Use arrow keys)
        ❯ Enable Automatically
          Enable in JavaScript
    

    Finally it will ask whether or not to send crash reports automatically. Learn more about processing on crash reports in JS.

    For the Android app, should crashes be sent automatically or processed in JavaScript before being sent? (Use arrow keys)
        ❯ Automatically
          Processed in JavaScript by user
    
    For the iOS app, should crashes be sent automatically or processed in JavaScript before being sent? (Use arrow keys)
        ❯ Automatically
          Processed in JavaScript by user
    

3.2 [iOS only] Integrate the iOS SDK manually

We strongly recommend integrating the SDK via CocoaPods as described above. Nonetheless, it's also possible to integrate the iOS native SDK manually.

Note

The latest App Center React Native SDK doesn't necessarily depend on the latest App Center iOS SDK, because the iOS SDK is updated and released before the React Native one.

The consequence is that you have to know which version of the iOS SDK the React Native SDK depends on.

  1. Download the App Center SDK for React Native frameworks provided as a zip file.

  2. From the release notes on GitHub, please also download the corresponding frameworks of the App Center SDK for iOS.

  3. Unzip both archives and you will see a folder called AppCenter-SDK-Apple/iOS that contains different frameworks for each App Center service. The framework called AppCenter is required in the project as it contains code that is shared between the different modules. You will also see a folder named AppCenterReactNativeShared which contains a single framework for the React Native bridge for iOS which is also required.

  4. [Optional] Create a subdirectory for 3rd-party libraries.

    • As a best practice, 3rd-party libraries usually reside inside a subdirectory (it is often called Vendor), so if you don't have your project organized with a subdirectory for libraries, create a Vendor subdirectory now (under the ios directory of your project).
    • Create a group called Vendor inside your Xcode project to mimic your file structure on disk.
  5. Open Finder and copy the previously unzipped AppCenter-SDK-Apple/iOS and AppCenterReactNativeShared folders into your project's folder at the location where you want it to reside.

  6. Add the SDK frameworks to the project in Xcode:

    • Make sure the Project Navigator is visible (⌘+1).
    • Now drag and drop AppCenter.framework, AppCenterAnalytics.framework, AppCenterCrashes.framework and AppCenterReactNativeShared.framework from the Finder (in the location from the previous step) into Xcode's Project Navigator. Note that AppCenter.framework and AppCenterReactNativeShared.framework are required to start the SDK, make sure they are added to your project, otherwise the other modules won't work and your app won't compile.
    • A dialog will appear, make sure your app target is checked. Then click Finish.

4. Start the SDK

Now you can build and launch your application either from command line or Xcode/Android Studio.

4.1 Build and run your application from command line

You may build and launch your iOS application by the following command:

react-native run-ios

Tip

You can launch it on an iOS simulator or iOS device by specifying the iOS device name in react-native run-ios --device "myDeviceName".

You may build and launch your Android application by the following command:

react-native run-android

Tip

You can launch it on an android emulator or android device by specifying the device id in react-native run-android --deviceId "myDeviceId" (deviceId from adb devices command).

4.2 Build and run your application from Xcode or Android Studio

For iOS, open your ios/{appname}.xcworkspace or ios/{appname}.xcodeproj in Xcode and build from there.

Note

If you linked App Center automatically via react-native link (as in step 3.1), you should open ios/{appname}.xcworkspace in Xcode. Because App Center CocoaPods dependencies only works with xcworkspace not xcodeproj, and ios/{appname}.xcodeproj won't have App Center CocoaPods dependencies linked.

For Android, import your android project in Android Studio and build from there.

Great, you are all set to visualize Analytics and Crashes data on the portal that the SDK collects automatically. There is no additional setup required. Look at Analytics and Crashes section for APIs guides and walkthroughs to learn what App Center can do.