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Authenticate with Firebase on Android Using a Custom Authentication System

You can integrate Firebase Authentication with a custom authentication system by modifying your authentication server to produce custom signed tokens when a user successfully signs in. Your app receives this token and uses it to authenticate with Firebase.

Before you begin

  1. If you haven't already, add Firebase to your Android project.
  2. In your project-level build.gradle file, make sure to include Google's Maven repository in both your buildscript and allprojects sections.
  3. Add the dependency for the Firebase Authentication Android library to your module (app-level) Gradle file (usually app/build.gradle):
    implementation 'com.google.firebase:firebase-auth:18.0.0'
  4. Get your project's server keys:
    1. Go to the Service Accounts page in your project's settings.
    2. Click Generate New Private Key at the bottom of the Firebase Admin SDK section of the Service Accounts page.
    3. The new service account's public/private key pair is automatically saved on your computer. Copy this file to your authentication server.

Authenticate with Firebase

  1. In your sign-in activity's onCreate method, get the shared instance of the FirebaseAuth object:

    Java

    private FirebaseAuth mAuth;
    // ...
    // Initialize Firebase Auth
    mAuth = FirebaseAuth.getInstance();

    Kotlin

    private lateinit var auth: FirebaseAuth
    // ...
    // Initialize Firebase Auth
    auth = FirebaseAuth.getInstance()
  2. When initializing your Activity, check to see if the user is currently signed in:

    Java

    @Override
    public void onStart() {
        super.onStart();
        // Check if user is signed in (non-null) and update UI accordingly.
        FirebaseUser currentUser = mAuth.getCurrentUser();
        updateUI(currentUser);
    }

    Kotlin

    public override fun onStart() {
        super.onStart()
        // Check if user is signed in (non-null) and update UI accordingly.
        val currentUser = auth.currentUser
        updateUI(currentUser)
    }
  3. When users sign in to your app, send their sign-in credentials (for example, their username and password) to your authentication server. Your server checks the credentials and returns a custom token if they are valid.
  4. After you receive the custom token from your authentication server, pass it to signInWithCustomToken to sign in the user:

    Java

    mAuth.signInWithCustomToken(mCustomToken)
            .addOnCompleteListener(this, new OnCompleteListener<AuthResult>() {
                @Override
                public void onComplete(@NonNull Task<AuthResult> task) {
                    if (task.isSuccessful()) {
                        // Sign in success, update UI with the signed-in user's information
                        Log.d(TAG, "signInWithCustomToken:success");
                        FirebaseUser user = mAuth.getCurrentUser();
                        updateUI(user);
                    } else {
                        // If sign in fails, display a message to the user.
                        Log.w(TAG, "signInWithCustomToken:failure", task.getException());
                        Toast.makeText(CustomAuthActivity.this, "Authentication failed.",
                                Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();
                        updateUI(null);
                    }
                }
            });

    Kotlin

    customToken?.let {
        auth.signInWithCustomToken(it)
                .addOnCompleteListener(this) { task ->
                    if (task.isSuccessful) {
                        // Sign in success, update UI with the signed-in user's information
                        Log.d(TAG, "signInWithCustomToken:success")
                        val user = auth.currentUser
                        updateUI(user)
                    } else {
                        // If sign in fails, display a message to the user.
                        Log.w(TAG, "signInWithCustomToken:failure", task.exception)
                        Toast.makeText(baseContext, "Authentication failed.",
                                Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show()
                        updateUI(null)
                    }
                }
    }
    If sign-in succeeds, the AuthStateListener you can use the getCurrentUser method to get the user's account data.

Next steps

After a user signs in for the first time, a new user account is created and linked to the credentials—that is, the user name and password, phone number, or auth provider information—the user signed in with. This new account is stored as part of your Firebase project, and can be used to identify a user across every app in your project, regardless of how the user signs in.

  • In your apps, you can get the user's basic profile information from the FirebaseUser object. See Manage Users.

  • In your Firebase Realtime Database and Cloud Storage Security Rules, you can get the signed-in user's unique user ID from the auth variable, and use it to control what data a user can access.

You can allow users to sign in to your app using multiple authentication providers by linking auth provider credentials to an existing user account.

To sign out a user, call signOut:

Java

FirebaseAuth.getInstance().signOut();

Kotlin

FirebaseAuth.getInstance().signOut()