Access MySQL from Android through RESTful Web Service

Finally, I found some time to write about accessing MySQL or any database that you can think about from an Android application. Android offers a built-in database known as SQLite which is supposed to be used for local data storage. For example, if you want to store your recent transactions locally in the device, you have to go with SQLite. I have already written a few articles on how to use SQLite database in Android. However, enterprise mobile applications often depend on client/server databases such as MySQL, Oracle DB or MongoDB. Whatever the database, you have chosen, the way to access them from an Android application is pretty same. In this article, I explain how to access a MySQL database from an Android application written in Kotlin.

I will use Kotlin for all upcoming Android tutorials because it is the future of Android programming. Kotlin is a JVM based language and you can easily convert a Kotlin project into Java and vice versa.

An Android application is not supposed to directly access a database deployed in a server. I do not recommend implementing JDBC connections in an Android application due to the tight coupling introduced between the application and the database. The industrial best practice requires you to implement a web service between the database and the Android application. Having a web service layer reduces the complexity of the Android application and also reduces the dependency on database specific operations. Therefore, the problem of accessing a client/server database like MySQL from an Android application can be defined as the problem of consuming a web service hosted somewhere.

Having said that, as an Android developer, you don't need to care about what is behind the web service. It may be a MySQL database, MongoDB database, a Social Media network or even a Weather Network API. What you need is the API endpoints exposed by the web service. In this article, I only explain how to connect to a web service hosted on your local machine from an Android application. However, the sample web service used in this article provides API endpoints to CRUD operations on a MySQL database. Please follow the RESTful CRUD With Java and MySQL in Minutes article and develop the web service to access a MySQL database. In the following section, you will learn how to access the web service you have created for accessing a database.
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Setup Scala on IntelliJ IDEA

Scala is a JVM based functional programming language widely being used in data analytics. You can install Scala on Ubuntu using sudo apt install scala. However, IDE support is inevitable these days. Therefore, this article explains how to use Scala in IntelliJ IDEA.

Setup Scala on IntelliJ IDEA

Step 1:
Install Oracle JDK 1.8. Please note that Scala strictly requires Java 1.8. You can follow my article Install Oracle JDK 8 on Linux to install JDK 1.8 on Linux.

Step 2:
Install the latest IntelliJ IDEA. You can install either the community version or the Ultimate version depending on the license. Again, I have an article explaining how to Install IntelliJ IDEA on Linux.

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Install IntelliJ IDEA on Linux

This article shows you the way to manually install the latest version of IntelliJ IDEA on Linux. If you do not have Java in your system, follow this link and install the Java first.

Install IntelliJ IDEA on Linux

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Android: Simple Calculator in Kotlin

It has been a long time since I wrote the tutorial: Android: Simple Calculator. However, still, that tutorial attracts more readers to my blog. Therefore, I have decided to write a new article to develop the same application using Kotlin. The previous article on developing a Calculator application using Java is still valid and feel free to compare this article with the previous one.


Android: Simple Calculator in Kotlin

Step 1:
Create a new Android application: Kotlin Calculator with an Empty activity. In the very first dialog, make sure that you have enabled the Kotlin support.

Android: Simple Calculator in Kotlin

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Determine if a String has all Unique Characters

Determine if a String has all Unique Characters

Question: Implement an algorithm to determine if a string has all unique characters.

Example:
The String "Hello" has two "l"s. Therefore, it does not have all unique characters. On the other hand, if you consider the String "World", it is formed using all unique characters.

Break Down:
Let's write a class named TestUniqueness which has a method isUnique which can be called from the main method as given below:
public class TestUniqueness {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        System.out.println(isUnique("hello"));
        System.out.println(isUnique("world"));
    }

    public static boolean isUnique(String text) {
        return false;
    }
}
Of course, you can write a fancy code to read user input and feed them to an isUnique method. However, to keep the code clean and simple, I am calling the static method isUnique and immediately print the response. The isUnique method returns false all the times. In the following section, we are going to implement the algorithm for the isUnique method.

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Setup Apache Axis2 on Ubuntu

This tutorial helps you to setup Apache Axis2 on Ubuntu and to add it to Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers.

Step 1:
Download the latest version of Apache Axis2 from this link.

Step 2:
Open the Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and enter the following command to change the directory.
cd /opt/

Step 3:
Enter the command given below to extract the Axis2 from  the ~/Downloads directory. If your downloaded file is in any other directory and replace the last parameter by the actual file path.
sudo unzip ~/Downloads/axis2-1.7.8-bin.zip -d .

Step 4:
Rename the folder name to axis2.
sudo mv axis2-1.7.8/ axis2/

Step 5:
To deploy web services, you may need to add some files inside this folder. Therefore it is required to change the permission of this directory. Enter the following command to change the permission of axis2 folder.
sudo chmod -R 777 axis2/

Step 6:
Environment variables AXIS2_HOME and PATH have to be added to the system. Enter the following command in the terminal to open the /etc/environment.
sudo gedit /etc/environment

Step 7:
Add the following line at the end of the file.
AXIS2_HOME="/opt/axis2"

Add the /opt/axis2/bin to the PATH.

The /etc/environment before the modification.

The /etc/environment after the modification.


Step 8:
Reload the environment variables to the current terminal using this command.
source /etc/environment

Step 9:
Enter the following command to start the Axis2 server.
axis2server.sh

If you are using Java 9 or latest, you may get an error similar to:
"-Djava.endorsed.dirs=/opt/axis2/lib/endorsed:/usr/lib/jvm/jdk-10.0.2/jre/lib/endorsed:/usr/lib/jvm/jdk-10.0.2/lib/endorsed is not supported. Endorsed standards and standalone APIs
in modular form will be supported via the concept of upgradeable modules.
Error: Could not create the Java Virtual Machine.
Error: A fatal exception has occurred. Program will exit
".
To fix this problem, open $AXIS2_HOME/bin/axis2Server.sh script and scroll down to the bottom. At the end of the script, you have a command like this:
java $JAVA_OPTS -classpath "$AXIS2_CLASSPATH" \
    -Djava.endorsed.dirs="$AXIS2_HOME/lib/endorsed":"$JAVA_HOME/jre/lib/endorsed":"$JAVA_HOME/lib/endorsed" \
    org.apache.axis2.transport.SimpleAxis2Server \
    -repo "$AXIS2_HOME"/repository -conf "$AXIS2_HOME"/conf/axis2.xml $*
Replace it with the following command. As you can notice, we simply remove the JVM arguments from the command.
java $JAVA_OPTS -classpath "$AXIS2_CLASSPATH" \
    org.apache.axis2.transport.SimpleAxis2Server \
    -repo "$AXIS2_HOME"/repository -conf "$AXIS2_HOME"/conf/axis2.xml $*
Save all the changes and start the server again.

Step 10:
Visit to the following URL.
http://localhost:8080/axis2/services/
If you get the Deployed services page, you have successfully setup the Apache Axis2 in your system.

Step 11:
To stop the Axis2, press Ctrl + C in the terminal which is currently running the axis2server.

Integrate Axis2 with Eclipse
If you do not have Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers, follow this link and install the Eclipse.

Step 1:
Open the Eclipse.

Step 2:
Goto Windows → Preferences in the menu bar and select the Axis2 Preferences under the Web Services.


Step 3:
Click on the 'Browse' button and select the Axis2 home directory.


Step 4:
Click ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’

Now you are ready to use Apache Axis2 from Eclipse.
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Install MySQL with phpMyAdmin on Ubuntu

There are hundreds of articles on how to install phpMyAdmin on Ubuntu. However, none of them showed me an error-free way of installing phpMyAdmin in my system. This article is for those who want to install phpMyAdmin and MySQL without any errors.



phpMyAdmin depends on Apache Server, PHP, and MySQL. Therefore, I recommend to install them before installing phpMyAdmin.

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