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Integrating Realm with Xamarin (Includes Realm Sync)

When it comes to mobile applications with database support, the first thing that comes to mind is SQLite. However, there are a few drawbacks with SQLite such as no support for data encryption and low performance when dealing with large data.In this article, we take a closer look at Realm, a non-relational database and a solid replacement for SQLite and core data. It is quite efficient and works seamlessly even with a large amount of data.Why use RealmEasy to use Provides data synchronization Fast and Efficient Provides Encryption of data Ways of using Realm Using realm locally: This creates a local file in your mobile app. Using realm cloud: The data lives in realm cloud and will be synchronized with the local database. In this article I will show how to integrate realm in the Xamarin Forms project. I will also show how to use realm as local database(Part-1) and realm cloud(Part-2) Prerequisites Visual Studio 2015 Update2 or higher for windows Visual Studio for Mac 7.0 or higher Part-1: Using Realm Local Database Firstly, create a Xamarin Forms project in Visual Studio for Windows or Mac. Go to the NuGet packages and install the realm package in all your solutions. Always prefer to install the latest one. It automatically adds fodyweavers.xml. If not added, please add it manually in all your projects.  Go to PCL project>—>Right click—>Add—>New File—>XML File—>FodyWeavers.xml Go to Android project>—>Right click—>Add—>New File—>XML File—>FodyWeavers.xml Go to iOS project>—>Right click—>Add—>New File—>XML File—>FodyWeavers.xml Add the below code in the fileFodyWeavers.xml <? xml version="1.0" encoding=" utf-8" ?>  < Weavers>  <RealmWeaver />  </Weavers> Let's create a model  public class Animals: RealmObject  {          public string Name { get; set; }          public int Age { get; set; }  } Opening Realms  Opening a Realm can be done by instantiating a new Realm object.  // Get a Realm instance   var realm = Realm.GetInstance(); Note: If nothing is passed, it creates the default realm. You can add realm name as below var realm = Realm.GetInstance(“Animals”); This will create realm db with “Animals” name To add/delete/update or do any operation of realm, first you need a Realm instance. 1) Add elements var _realm = Realm.GetInstance();  Add elements  _realm.Write(() =>                      {                          var entry = new Todo{ Name = “Dog”, Age =3 };                          _realm.Add(entry);                      }); 2) Delete elements  var param = _realm.All<Animals>().First(b => b.Name == “Dog”);   using (var trans = _realm.BeginWrite())                   {                       _realm.Remove(param);  trans.Commit();                   }   3) Update elements  _realm.Write(() =>                      {  param.Name = “Cat”;                          _realm.Add(param);                      }); Part-2: Using Realm Cloud Now let's see how to use realm cloud. The setup is still the same. Here we need a few more additional steps. 1) Create an account in realm cloud at. (one-month free trial account).  2) Create an instance in realm cloud by clicking on create an instance This instance ID will be further used for authentication  There are two types of Realm sync Full Sync: All the data present in the cloud will be synced locally Query Based Sync: Only partial data i.e the result set that is queried will be synced into the local copy. Here I am going to show you how to use full sync as Realm recommends using Full sync. Client Authentication:  Realm supports two types of authentication Simple Authentication: To simply get started one can use simple authentication which uses username, password and other one is anonymous login. JWT Authentication: It is recommended to use JWT Authentication for a better experience. The below code shows how to use simple authentication with username and password.  var authUrl = new Uri("https://myinstance.cloud.realm.io");  var credentials = Credentials.UsernamePassword(username, password, createUser: false);  var user = await User.LoginAsync(credentials, authUrl); To authenticate, you must supply a server URL. This is the base URL for your server, such as https://myinstance.cloud.realm.io Note: Here “myinstance" would be the instance id that you generated while creating your account  Create Realm through realm studio or through code. If the realm has not been created, while calling the realm instance it will automatically create. If you have already created through realm studio, you can just call the instance. Example: public static string realmPath = "realms://instanceId/realmname; Here the realm path consists of instanceId followed by realm name. Something like this public static string realmPath = "realms://instanceId/Animals; Now let’s login and call realm instance public async Task GetInitialize() { await StartLoginCycle(); } private async Task StartLogin() { do { await Task.Yield(); } while (!await LogIn()); }//Call the login methodprivate async Task<bool> LogIn() { try { user = User.Current; if (user == null) { var username = "DevUser"; //Pass your username var password = “User123"; //Pass the password var credentials = Realms.Sync.Credentials.UsernamePassword(username, password); /// Log in as the user. user = await User.LoginAsync(credentials, new Uri(RealmConnectionString.AuthUrl)); } Debug.Assert(user != null); Console.WriteLine("Login successful."); await GetDataFromRealm(); return true; } catch (Exception ex) { ///await Application.Current.MainPage.DisplayAlert("Error", ex.Message, "OK"); return false; } }//Call or create realm instance: public static async Task GetDataFromRealm() {                  var configuration = new FullSyncConfiguration(new Uri(realmPath, UriKind.Absolute), user);                  Var   _realm = await Realm.GetInstanceAsync(configuration);               var param = _realm.All<Animals>();  //Adding/updating/deleting operations are same as above  } ConclusionIn the above sections, we have seen how to integrate realm local db and realm cloud into your xamarin forms project. You will also be able to perform operations like adding items, updating items and deleting items (showed in Part-1). These code snippets are the same for realm local database and realm cloud. You can find how to use linq queries in the below reference link. However, few features are not supported such as: groupby, union, intersect, distinct,except,  select, selectmany, join, group join, concat, skipwhile, take, skip and takewhile.  Note: Opening the realm instance asynchronously for the first time is recommended. Once the data is synchronized, the instance should be called synchronously.  You can also download realm studio, create a realm file, and add the data. This helps to minimize the code in your application.   Below are a few reference links that might help with further information Using realm with xamarin. Linq support. Realm Encryption. 

Integrating Realm with Xamarin (Includes Realm Sync)

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Integrating Realm with Xamarin (Includes Realm Sync)

When it comes to mobile applications with database support, the first thing that comes to mind is SQLite. However, there are a few drawbacks with SQLite such as no support for data encryption and low performance when dealing with large data.
In this article, we take a closer look at Realm, a non-relational database and a solid replacement for SQLite and core data. It is quite efficient and works seamlessly even with a large amount of data.

Integrating Realm with Xamarin

Why use Realm

  • Easy to use 
  • Provides data synchronization 
  • Fast and Efficient 
  • Provides Encryption of data 

Ways of using Realm 

  1. Using realm locally: This creates a local file in your mobile app. 
  2. Using realm cloud: The data lives in realm cloud and will be synchronized with the local database. 

In this article I will show how to integrate realm in the Xamarin Forms project. I will also show how to use realm as local database(Part-1) and realm cloud(Part-2

Prerequisites 

  1. Visual Studio 2015 Update2 or higher for windows 
  2. Visual Studio for Mac 7.0 or higher 

Part-1: Using Realm Local Database 

  1. Firstly, create a Xamarin Forms project in Visual Studio for Windows or Mac. 
  2. Go to the NuGet packages and install the realm package in all your solutions. Always prefer to install the latest one. 
  3. It automatically adds fodyweavers.xml. If not added, please add it manually in all your projects.  

Go to PCL project>—>Right click—>Add—>New File—>XML File—>FodyWeavers.xml 

Go to Android project>—>Right click—>Add—>New File—>XML File—>FodyWeavers.xml 

Go to iOS project>—>Right click—>Add—>New File—>XML File—>FodyWeavers.xml 

Add the below code in the file
FodyWeavers.xml 

<? xml version="1.0" encoding=" utf-8" ?> 
< Weavers> 
<RealmWeaver /> 
</Weavers> 

Let's create a model 

 public class Animals: RealmObject 
{ 
        public string Name { get; set; } 
        public int Age { get; set; } 
} 

Opening Realms  

Opening a Realm can be done by instantiating a new Realm object.  

// Get a Realm instance  
var realm = Realm.GetInstance(); 

Note: If nothing is passed, it creates the default realm. You can add realm name as below 

var realm = Realm.GetInstance(“Animals”); 

This will create realm db with “Animals” name 

To add/delete/update or do any operation of realm, first you need a Realm instance. 

1) Add elements 

var _realm = Realm.GetInstance(); 
Add elements 
_realm.Write(() => 
                    { 
                        var entry = new Todo{ Name = “Dog”, Age =3 }; 
                        _realm.Add(entry); 
                    }); 

2) Delete elements 

 var param = _realm.All<Animals>().First(b => b.Name == “Dog”);  
using (var trans = _realm.BeginWrite())  
                {  
                    _realm.Remove(param); 
trans.Commit();  
                }   

3) Update elements 

 _realm.Write(() => 
                    { 
param.Name = “Cat”; 
                        _realm.Add(param); 
                    }); 

Part-2: Using Realm Cloud 

Now let's see how to use realm cloud. The setup is still the same. Here we need a few more additional steps. 

1) Create an account in realm cloud at

(one-month free trial account).  

2) Create an instance in realm cloud by clicking on create an instance 

This instance ID will be further used for authentication  

There are two types of Realm sync 

  1. Full Sync: All the data present in the cloud will be synced locally 
  2. Query Based Sync: Only partial data i.e the result set that is queried will be synced into the local copy. 

Here I am going to show you how to use full sync as Realm recommends using Full sync. 

Client Authentication:  

Realm supports two types of authentication 

  1. Simple Authentication: To simply get started one can use simple authentication which uses username, password and other one is anonymous login. 
  2. JWT Authentication: It is recommended to use JWT Authentication for a better experience. 

The below code shows how to use simple authentication with username and password. 

 var authUrl = new Uri("https://myinstance.cloud.realm.io"); 
var credentials = Credentials.UsernamePassword(username, password, createUser: false); 
var user = await User.LoginAsync(credentials, authUrl); 

To authenticate, you must supply a server URL. This is the base URL for your server, such as https://myinstance.cloud.realm.io 

Note: Here “myinstance" would be the instance id that you generated while creating your account  

Create Realm through realm studio or through code. If the realm has not been created, while calling the realm instance it will automatically create. If you have already created through realm studio, you can just call the instance. 

Example: 

public static string realmPath = "realms://instanceId/realmname; 

Here the realm path consists of instanceId followed by realm name. Something like this 

public static string realmPath = "realms://instanceId/Animals; 

Now let’s login and call realm instance 

public async Task GetInitialize()
{
await StartLoginCycle();
}
private async Task StartLogin()
{
do
{
await Task.Yield();
}
while (!await LogIn());
}

//Call the login method

private async Task<bool> LogIn()
{
try
{
user = User.Current;
if (user == null)
{
var username = "DevUser"; //Pass your username
var password = “User123"; //Pass the password
var credentials = Realms.Sync.Credentials.UsernamePassword(username, password);
/// Log in as the user.
user = await User.LoginAsync(credentials, new Uri(RealmConnectionString.AuthUrl));
}
Debug.Assert(user != null);
Console.WriteLine("Login successful.");
await GetDataFromRealm();
return true;
}
catch (Exception ex)
{
///await Application.Current.MainPage.DisplayAlert("Error", ex.Message, "OK");
return false;
}
}

//Call or create realm instance: 

public static async Task GetDataFromRealm() 

{ 
                var configuration = new FullSyncConfiguration(new Uri(realmPath, UriKind.Absolute), user); 
                Var   _realm = await Realm.GetInstanceAsync(configuration); 
             var param = _realm.All<Animals>(); 
//Adding/updating/deleting operations are same as above 
} 

Conclusion

In the above sections, we have seen how to integrate realm local db and realm cloud into your xamarin forms project. You will also be able to perform operations like adding items, updating items and deleting items (showed in Part-1). These code snippets are the same for realm local database and realm cloud. 

You can find how to use linq queries in the below reference link. However, few features are not supported such as: groupby, union, intersect, distinct,except,  select, selectmany, join, group join, concat, skipwhile, take, skip and takewhile.  

Note: Opening the realm instance asynchronously for the first time is recommended. Once the data is synchronized, the instance should be called synchronously.  

You can also download realm studio, create a realm file, and add the data. This helps to minimize the code in your application.   

Below are a few reference links that might help with further information 

  1. Using realm with xamarin
  2. Linq support
  3. Realm Encryption
Mounika

Mounika Rajapuram

Module Lead

Mounika calls herself a dynamic professional with expertise in developing mobile applications for iOS and Android. With C# and Xamarin as primary areas of expertise, she also likes to dwell in doodle art in her pastime.

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The unprecedented, never-before seen levels of confusion and chaos across industries has put leaders on edge, and decision making has been difficult to say the least. To tide through the situation, organizations and management must set in place business continuity plans and deploy an agile change management approach.   Research by McKinsey and the Harvard Business School concluded that companies that had successfully adopted agile ways of working pre-COVID-19 performed better and were able to move beyond the crisis far more rapidly than those that had not. Agile organizations were already equipped with processes and structures to combat uncertainty, such as cross-functional teams, sprints and reviews and clarity on requirements, outputs and outcomes.  Employees of Agile organizations, already used to navigating change, were able to adjust faster, and with less emotional turmoil. Even when it came to individual teams within companies, the research found that business units that had gone agile before the pandemic performed better, scoring higher on operational performance, customer delight, and employee engagement.  Having many efficient agile teams across an enterprise, and empowering them with the tools and processes they need to stay ahead of the game, makes it possible for the entire organization to survive, get to the other side of the pandemic and thrive. With the world turning increasingly digital, online learning is the way forward—and more organizations are turning to virtual learning platforms to help their employees stay updated with new-gen skills. 5. Adaptability and resilienceThe river birch tree is among the most resilient trees that is known to survive the roughest storms. How? Because it has a limb structure that bends and does not break. This allows it to withstand the gustiest of winds and the most torrential downpours. COVID has brought in winds of change and like the birch tree, the workforce needs to adapt and become resilient to tide through the aftershocks of the pandemic. Resilient organizations are able to respond well to any crisis and quickly set in place recovery measures that are undertaken together with employees and stakeholders. The management should adapt to the shift in mindset that is necessitated by the changes, and must make a plan for navigation through the implications of the crisis. They should empower employees to survive and move past the uncertainties caused by unfolding circumstances. Employees must be equipped to cope with the changing dynamics of the new-age workplace. They will need to operate remotely, collaborate across geographies, and adapt to innovation.  They should be given the opportunity to re-skill and upskill in latest technologies to keep up with the evolving times.Emotional stressors can be at an all-time high, and employees should have access to soft skills training that can help them to handle their situation with maturity and resilience.  Some of the ways in which managers can help employees to stay on track are through frequent team huddles to increase collaboration and fuel motivation, and peer-to-peer knowledge transfer sessions between team members to inculcate a culture of support through trying times.  Technology is evolving, businesses are transforming and adaptability is the key to survival.  Even before the pandemic,   the McKinsey Global Institute had reported that as many as 375 million workers—which roughly translates to 14 percent of the global workforce—would have to switch occupations in order to adapt, or acquire new skills in the next decade.  There may be reversals but what sets apart a resilient employee from the rest is the ability to bounce back and work with renewed zeal towards the path to success.  
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