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App Startup   Part of Android Jetpack.

The App Startup library provides a straightforward, performant way to initialize components at application startup. Both library developers and app developers can use App Startup to streamline startup sequences and explicitly set the order of initialization.

Instead of defining separate content providers for each component you need to initialize, App Startup allows you to define component initializers that share a single content provider. This can significantly improve app startup time.

Setup

To use Android Startup in your library or app, add the following to your gradle file:

dependencies {
    implementation "androidx.startup:startup-runtime:1.0.0-alpha02"
}

Initialize components at app startup

Apps and libraries often rely on having components initialized right away when the app starts up. You can meet this need by using content providers to initialize each dependency, but content providers are expensive to instantiate and can slow down the startup sequence unnecessarily. Additionally, Android initializes content providers in an undetermined order. App Startup provides a more performant way to initialize components at app startup and explicitly define their dependencies.

To use App Startup to initialize components automatically at startup, you must define a component initializer for each component that the app needs to initialize.

Implement component initializers

You define each component initializer by creating a class that implements the Initializer<T> interface. This interface defines two important methods:

  • The create() method, which contains all of the necessary operations to initialize the component and returns an instance of T.
  • The dependencies() method, which returns a list of the other Initializer<T> objects that the initializer depends on. You can use this method to control the order in which the app runs the initializers at startup.

For example, suppose that your app depends on WorkManager and needs to initialize it at startup. Define a WorkManagerInitializer class that implements Initializer<WorkManager>:

Kotlin

// Initializes WorkManager.
class WorkManagerInitializer : Initializer<WorkManager> {
    override fun create(context: Context): WorkManager {
        val configuration = Configuration.Builder().build()
        WorkManager.initialize(context, configuration)
        return WorkManager.getInstance(context)
    }
    override fun dependencies(): List<Class<out Initializer<*>>> {
        // No dependencies on other libraries.
        return emptyList()
    }
}

Java

// Initializes WorkManager.
class WorkManagerInitializer implements Initializer<WorkManager> {

    @Override
    public WorkManager create(Context context) {
        Configuration configuration = Configuration.Builder().build();
        WorkManager.initialize(context, configuration);
        return WorkManager.getInstance(context);
    }

    @Override
    public List<Class<Initializer<?>>> dependencies() {
        // No dependencies on other libraries.
        return emptyList();
    }

}

The dependencies() method returns an empty list because WorkManager does not depend on any other libraries.

Suppose that your app also depends on a library called ExampleLogger, which in turn depends on WorkManager. This dependency means that you need to make sure that App Startup initializes WorkManager first. Define an ExampleLoggerInitializer class that implements Initializer<ExampleLogger>:

Kotlin

// Initializes ExampleLogger.
class ExampleLoggerInitializer : Initializer<ExampleLogger> {
    override fun create(context: Context): ExampleLogger {
        // WorkManager.getInstance() is non-null only after
        // WorkManager is initialized.
        return ExampleLogger(WorkManager.getInstance(context))
    }

    override fun dependencies(): List<Class<out Initializer<*>>> {
        // Defines a dependency on WorkManagerInitializer so it can be
        // initialized after WorkManager is initialized.
        return listOf(WorkManagerInitializer::class.java)
    }
}

Java

// Initializes ExampleLogger.
class ExampleLoggerInitializer implements Initializer<ExampleLogger> {

    @Override
    public ExampleLogger create(Context context) {
        // WorkManager.getInstance() is non-null only after
        // WorkManager is initialized.
        return ExampleLogger(WorkManager.getInstance(context));
    }

    @Override
    public List<Class<Initializer<?>>> dependencies() {
        // Defines a dependency on WorkManagerInitializer so it can be
        // initialized after WorkManager is initialized.
        return Arrays.asList(WorkManagerInitializer.class);
    }
}

Because you include WorkManagerInitializer in the dependencies() method, App Startup initializes WorkManager before ExampleLogger.

Set up manifest entries

App Startup includes a special content provider called InitializationProvider that it uses to discover and call your component initializers. App Startup discovers component initializers by first checking for a <meta-data> entry under the InitializationProvider manifest entry. Then, App Startup calls the dependencies() methods for any initializers that it has already discovered.

This means that in order for a component initializer to be discoverable by App Startup, one of the following conditions must be met:

  • The component initializer has a corresponding <meta-data> entry under the InitializationProvider manifest entry.
  • The component initializer is listed in the dependencies() method from an initializer that is already discoverable.

Consider again the example with WorkManagerInitializer and ExampleLoggerInitializer. To make sure App Startup can discover these initializers, add the following to the manifest file:

<provider
    android:name="androidx.startup.InitializationProvider"
    android:authorities="${applicationId}.androidx-startup"
    android:exported="false"
    tools:node="merge">
    <!-- This entry makes ExampleLoggerInitializer discoverable. -->
    <meta-data  android:name="com.example.ExampleLoggerInitializer"
          android:value="androidx.startup" />
</provider>

You don't need to add a <meta-data> entry for WorkManagerInitializer, because WorkManagerInitializer is a dependency of ExampleLoggerInitializer. This means that if ExampleLoggerInitializer is discoverable, then so is WorkManagerInitializer.

The tools:node="merge" attribute ensures that the manifest merger tool properly resolves any conflicting entries.

Run lint checks

The App Startup library includes a set of lint rules that you can use to check whether you've defined your component initializers correctly. You can perform these lint checks by running ./gradlew :app:lintDebug from the command line.

Manually initialize components

Ordinarily when you use App Startup, the InitializationProvider object uses an entity called AppInitializer to automatically discover and run component initializers at application startup. However, you can also use AppInitializer directly in order to manually initialize components that your app doesn't need at startup. This is called lazy initialization, and it can help minimize startup costs.

You must first disable automatic initialization for any components that you want to initialize manually.

Disable automatic initialization for an individual component

To disable automatic initialization for a single component, remove the <meta-data> entry for that component's initializer from the manifest.

For example, adding the following to the manifest file disables automatic initialization for ExampleLogger:

<provider
    android:name="androidx.startup.InitializationProvider"
    android:authorities="${applicationId}.androidx-startup"
    android:exported="false"
    tools:node="merge">
    <meta-data android:name="com.example.ExampleLoggerInitializer"
              tools:node="remove" />
</provider>

You use tools:node="remove" in the entry instead of simply removing the entry in order to make sure that the merger tool also removes the entry from all other merged manifest files.

Disable automatic initialization for all components

To disable all automatic initialization, remove the entire entry for InitializationProvider from the manifest:

<provider
    android:name="androidx.startup.InitializationProvider"
    android:authorities="${applicationId}.androidx-startup"
    tools:node="remove" />

Manually call component initializers

If automatic initialization is disabled for a component, you can use AppInitializer to manually initialize that component and its dependencies.

For example, the following code calls AppInitializer and manually initializes ExampleLogger:

Kotlin

AppInitializer.getInstance(context)
    .initializeComponent(ExampleLoggerInitializer::class.java)

Java

AppInitializer.getInstance(context)
    .initializeComponent(ExampleLoggerInitializer.class);

As a result, App Startup also initializes WorkManager because WorkManager is a dependency of ExampleLogger.

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