Download files with Cloud Storage for C++

Cloud Storage for Firebase allows you to quickly and easily download files from a Cloud Storage bucket provided and managed by Firebase.

Create a Reference

To download a file, first create a Cloud Storage reference to the file you want to download.

You can create a reference by appending child paths to the root of your Cloud Storage bucket, or you can create a reference from an existing gs:// or https:// URL referencing an object in Cloud Storage.

// Create a reference with an initial file path and name
StorageReference path_reference = storage->GetReference("images/stars.jpg");

// Create a reference from a Cloud Storage URI
StorageReference gs_reference = storage->GetReferenceFromUrl("gs://bucket/images/stars.jpg");

// Create a reference from an HTTPS URL
// Note that in the URL, characters are URL escaped!
StorageReference https_reference = storage->GetReferenceFromUrl("");

Download Files

Once you have a reference, you can download files from Cloud Storage in three ways:

  1. Download to a buffer in memory
  2. Download to an specific path on the device
  3. Generate an string URL representing the file online

Download in memory

Download the file to a byte buffer in memory using the GetBytes() method. This is the easiest way to quickly download a file, but it must load entire contents of your file into memory. If you request a file larger than your app's available memory, your app will crash. To protect against memory issues, make sure to set the max size to something you know your app can handle, or use another download method.

// Create a reference to the file you want to download
StorageReference island_ref = storage_ref.Child("images/island.jpg");

// Download in memory with a maximum allowed size of 1MB (1 * 1024 * 1024 bytes)
const size_t kMaxAllowedSize = 1 * 1024 * 1024
int8_t byte_buffer[kMaxAllowedSize];
firebase::Future future = island_ref.GetBytes(byte_buffer, kMaxAllowedSize);

At the point the request has been made but we have to wait for the Future to complete before we can read the file. Since games typically run in a loop, and are less callback driven than other applications, you'll typically poll for completion.

// In the game loop that polls for the result...

if (future.status() != firebase::kFutureStatusPending) {
  if (future.status() != firebase::kFutureStatusComplete) {
    LogMessage("ERROR: GetBytes() returned an invalid future.");
    // Handle the error...
  } else if (future.Error() != firebase::storage::kErrorNone) {
    LogMessage("ERROR: GetBytes() returned error %d: %s", future.Error(),
    // Handle the error...
  } else {
    // byte_buffer is now populated with data for "images/island.jpg"

Download to a local file

The GetFile() method downloads a file directly to a local device. Use this if your users want to have access to the file while offline or to share in a different app.

// Create a reference to the file you want to download
StorageReference islandRef = storage_ref.Child("images/island.jpg"];

// Create local filesystem URL
const char* local_url = "file:///local/images/island.jpg";

// Download to the local filesystem
Future future = islandRef.GetFile(local_url);

// Wait for Future to complete...

if (future.Error() != firebase::storage::kErrorNone) {
  // Uh-oh, an error occurred!
} else {
  // The file has been downloaded to local file URL "images/island.jpg"

GetFile() takes an optional Controller argument which you can use to manage your download. See Manage Downloads for more information.

Generate a download URL

If you already have download infrastructure based around URLs, or just want a URL to share, you can get the download URL for a file by calling the GetDownloadUrl() method on a Cloud Storage reference.

// Create a reference to the file you want to download
StorageReference stars_ref = storage_ref.Child("images/stars.jpg");

// Fetch the download URL
firebase::Future future = stars_ref.GetDownloadUrl();

// Wait for Future to complete...

if (future.Error() != firebase::storage::kErrorNone) {
  // Uh-oh, an error occurred!
} else {
  // Get the download URL for 'images/stars.jpg'
  std::string download_url = future.Result();

Manage Downloads

In addition to starting downloads, you can pause, resume, and cancel downloads using the Pause(), Resume(), and Cancel() methods on Controller, which you may optionally pass to the GetBytes() or GetFile() methods.

// Start downloading a file
Controller controller;
storage_ref.Child("images/mountains.jpg").GetFile(local_file, nullptr, &controller);

// Pause the download

// Resume the download

// Cancel the download

Monitor Download Progress

You can attach listeners to downloads in order to monitor the progress of the download.

class MyListener : public firebase::storage::Listener {
  virtual void OnProgress(firebase::storage::Controller* controller) {
    // A progress event occurred

  // Start uploading a file
  MyEventListener my_listener;
  storage_ref.Child("images/mountains.jpg").GetFile(local_file, my_listener);

Handle Errors

There are a number of reasons why errors may occur on download, including the file not existing, or the user not having permission to access the desired file. More information on errors can be found in the Handle Errors section of the docs.

Next Steps

You can also get and update metadata for files that are stored in Cloud Storage.