My dear friend Martina and I both love cats a lot. One fine day while we were talking about collaborating on something, we came up with a really crazy but interesting idea to create KittyGram - a super-minimal Instagram Clone that allows uploading only Cat Photos. This is what this article about. We'll have a series of articles where we'll create KittyGram.

For the scope of this article, we'll mainly implement Google Sign-In and routing. I actually have a YouTube Playlist that you can refer to regarding Firebase just in case.

This article is intended for an audience with mixed experience levels. I've still added a TL;DR; below as a precautionary measure, in case you're just interested in a specific section.

TL;DR;#

Not a fan of reading?#

Ah! You're just like me. I also find it difficult to understand things just by reading them. Worry not! I've got you covered with a video implementing this App along with the explanation.

Watch this Pair Programming video where Martina and I implement this App while explaining things along the way.

This video is a part of @PairAngular, a super awesome YouTube Channel where @Martina, and I will host more pair programming videos like the one above. Like what you see? Subscribe to the PairAngular YouTube Channel to stay in the loop for more such sessions in the future.

Project Overview#

Since this is a super-minimal Instagram Clone, we'll not really focus on very specific aspects/features of Instagram. We just need a way for the user to be able to:

  • Login via Google and Logout.
  • Post an image of cats - CREATE.
  • See cat images posted by other users and react on them(any number of times they want) - FEED.

Since in this article, we're only focusing on implementing Google Sign-In, we'll just use placeholder images for the CREATE and FEED features.

Once this part is implemented, it should look and react something like this:

The Demo of the App that we're going to build throughtout this article.

As you can clearly see from the video above there are different aspects to the App.

From the UI perspective, we'll need a CreateComponent, a FeedComponent, a HeaderComponent, and a ProfileCardComponent. We'll be using Angular Material as well in here for most of these components.

From the routing perspective, we have a /create route and a /feed route. We also don't want to allow an unauthorized user to access the /create route. So we'll need to guard the /create route.

"How would we implement Google Sign-In thought?" you might ask. Handling OAuth flow, token lifecycle, and integration with Google APIs can be pretty complex.

But don't you worry about managing all those things on your own. Google has black-boxed this whole complexity and exposed it as a service that we can leverage with minimal efforts. The service is called Firebase Authentication and that's what we'll be using for this application. For a quick introduction to Firebase Authentication check out this video.

Alright! So now that we have an overview of the whole application and the parts that it will have, let's start working on building this thing from scratch.

Setting up a Firebase Project#

To use Firebase Authentication, we'll need to set up a Firebase Project. You'll need a Firebase Account for that which you can create by just logging in to Firebase Console with your Google Account.

Follow this short 1ish-minute video to learn how to set up the Firebase Project. You can copy and paste the config that we get somewhere. We'll be using it later.

So now we have a Project Setup let's also now quickly enable Authentication. Check out this video to learn how.

Now that we have completely set up a Firebase Project and enabled Google Sign-In on it, let's now go ahead and set up our Angular app.

Setting up an Angular App#

Let's start by creating a new Angular App. Make sure that you're using the latest version of Angular CLI for this.

Install the latest version of Angular CLI using:

npm i -g @angular/cli@latest

Once it installs, you can verify the version that you have by running ng --version:

Checking version of Angular CLI on your Machine
Check the version of Angular CLI Installed on your machine using ng --version

Sweet! Now let's create a new Angular project by running: ng new KittyGram

Creating a new Angular app using Angular CLI
Create a new Angular Project using ng new KittyGram

Let's navigate to the Project folder that just got created by doing: cd KittyGram(on Windows)

Alright! Now. We can clearly see from the Project Overview section video that we'll be using Angular Material. So let's set up our Angular App to use Angular Material.

Set up AngularMaterial#

Let's set up @angular/material using the following command:

ng add @angular/material

It might ask you things like the theme you want to use, whether to set-up typography and animations or not. Just answer as per the screenshot below.

Setting up Angular Material
Set up AngularMaterial on your Angular Project by running ng add @angular/material

Once that's done, I'll just refactor the code a bit to suit the style that I like to generally use. It's opinionated BTW, and you don't really have to do this.

Migrate Theme paths from angular.json to styles.scss

I don't really like when angular.json is polluted with CSS files considering that we already have a styles.scss file. So we can just import these CSS files in.

Search for the deeppurple-amber.css in angular.json and remove those URLs from there. Remove this URL:

"./node_modules/@angular/material/prebuilt-themes/deeppurple-amber.css",

You should be able to find two occurrences of this URL before the refactor. After the refactor, the styles array in your angular.json should look like this:

{
  "...": "...",
  "projects": {
    "KittyGram": {
      "...": "...",
      "architect": {
        "build": {
          "...": "...",
          "options": {
            ...
            "styles": [
              "src/styles.scss"
            ],
            ...
          },
          ...
        },
        ...
        "test": {
          ...
          "options": {
            ...
            "styles": [
              "src/styles.scss"
            ],
            ...
          }
        },
        ...
      }
    }
  },
  ...
}
angular.json

Now move this URL to styles.scss. After the change your styles.scss should look something like this:

/* You can add global styles to this file, and also import other style files */

html,
body {
  height: 100%;
}
body {
  margin: 0;
  font-family: Roboto, "Helvetica Neue", sans-serif;
}

@import "~@angular/material/prebuilt-themes/deeppurple-amber.css";
styles.scss

Create AppMaterialModule

We've already covered this in one of the past articles. So I won't go into much detail on this. Just one thing I'll do is export the BrowserAnimationsModule as well from here.

So our AppMaterialModule would look something like this:

import { BrowserAnimationsModule } from '@angular/platform-browser/animations';
import { MatButtonModule } from '@angular/material/button';
import { MatDividerModule } from '@angular/material/divider';
import { MatIconModule } from '@angular/material/icon';
import { MatMenuModule } from '@angular/material/menu';
import { MatToolbarModule } from '@angular/material/toolbar';
import { MatTooltipModule } from '@angular/material/tooltip';
import { MatSnackBarModule } from '@angular/material/snack-bar';
import { NgModule } from '@angular/core';

@NgModule({
  exports: [
    BrowserAnimationsModule,
    MatButtonModule,
    MatDividerModule,
    MatIconModule,
    MatMenuModule,
    MatToolbarModule,
    MatTooltipModule,
    MatSnackBarModule,
  ],
})
export class AppMaterialModule {}
app-material.module.ts

Next step would be to setup AngularFire.

Set up AngularFire#

We need to use Firebase in our Angular App to enable Login. Angular has an official Firebase SDK called @angular/fire that we can use for this. So let's do that next. Set up @angular/fire using this command:

ng add @angular/fire

It might ask you things like permissions to collect usage data for analytics, cli-usage, and error reporting information, etc. Apart from that, it might also ask you to paste in your Authorization code for which, it would open up a pop-up screen for you to log in to your Gmail account which you used to register to Firebase.

Then depending on whether you're able to paste in the auth-code successfully or not, it might also ask you to run firebase login --reauth to do that for you.

In a successful scenario, it might ask you to select your Firebase App from the list of Firebase Projects that you've created on the Firebase Console. Something like this:

Setting up Angular Fire
Set up AngularMaterial on your Angular Project by running ng add @angular/fire

Once that's done, we'll add a few things here and there to make it suit the style that I like to generally use. We'll start by creating an AppFirebaseModule

Creating an AppFirebaseModule

I'll run ng g m app-firebase to generate this module. It will be created in a folder of its own. So I'll move it out of the folder and delete the empty folder.

Now when we set up a Firebase Project, we also copied the configuration somewhere. We will need it now. Let's store that config in an object named firebase in our environments.ts and environments.prod.ts files:

export const environment = {
  production: false,
  firebase: {
    apiKey: 'YOUR apiKey HERE',
    authDomain: 'YOUR authDomain HERE',
    databaseURL: 'YOUR databaseURL HERE',
    projectId: 'YOUR projectId HERE',
    storageBucket: 'YOUR storageBucket HERE',
    messagingSenderId: 'YOUR messagingSenderId HERE',
    appId: 'YOUR appId HERE',
    measurementId: 'YOUR measurementId HERE',
  },
};
environment.ts
This config should be kept private and shouldn't be shared publicly.

Now in our AppFirebaseModule, let's set-up the AngularFire modules that we'll need for Google Sign-In.

So we'll need the AngularFireModule which we use to initialize our Firebase Project in our Angular App. And we'll need the AngularFireAuthModule which has all the helpers we'll need to login and logout.

We call the initializeApp method on our AngularFireModule and pass it the configuration stored in the environment const. And then we can expose the AngularFireModule, AngularFireAuthModule from here. In code, this would look something like this:

import { AngularFireAuthModule } from '@angular/fire/auth';
import { AngularFireModule } from '@angular/fire';
import { NgModule } from '@angular/core';

import { environment } from '../environments/environment';

@NgModule({
  imports: [AngularFireModule.initializeApp(environment.firebase)],
  exports: [AngularFireModule, AngularFireAuthModule],
})
export class AppFirebaseModule {}
app-firebase.module.ts

Now that we're done setting up both AngularMaterial and AngularFire, we can now import both AppFirebaseModule and AppMaterialModule module in our AppModule:

...
import { AppFirebaseModule } from './app-firebase.module';
import { AppMaterialModule } from './app-material.module';
...

@NgModule({
  ...
  imports: [
    ...
    AppFirebaseModule,
    AppMaterialModule,
    ...
  ],
  ...
})
export class AppModule {}
app.module.ts

Implementing the Angular App#

Implementing the Angular App is pretty straightforward. For the scope of this article, we'll need four components:

  • The HeaderComponent that would be our Primary Navbar. This will have buttons to log in, create a post, and show the user's profile card. These buttons would be displayed conditionally based on whether the user is logged in or not.
  • The Profile Card Component, that will have some details about the user and a button to logout.
  • The FeedCompoent for the /feed route and a similar CreateComponent for the /feed route.

Let's create them using the following command:

ng g c components/create --module=app && ng g c components/feed --module=app && ng g c components/profile-card --module=app && ng g c components/header --module=app

This command will create these 4 components for us in a folder named components.

We just need placeholder images for CreateComponent and FeedComponent. I downloaded these images from Undraw by Katerina Limpitsouni. We can store them in the assets folder and link them in the Component Templates for:

<img alt="Create Post" class="placeholder-image" src="/assets/create.png" />
create.component.html
<img alt="Feed" class="placeholder-image" src="/assets/feed.png">
feed.component.html

Before we implement the remaining two Components, we need a way to make the user login and logout. AngularFire makes it really easy. It has an AngularFireAuthModule module that exposes the AngularFireAuth service that we can inject as a dependency. We can then call methods on it to login and logout.

Apart from that, this service also exposes an authState Observable that has the state data related to the currently logged-in user. So we can implement a service that exposes methods to help us login and logout, and the user$ Observable. Something as simple as this:

import { AngularFireAuth } from '@angular/fire/auth';
import { auth } from 'firebase/app';
import { BehaviorSubject, Observable, from } from 'rxjs';
import { Injectable } from '@angular/core';
import { switchMap } from 'rxjs/operators';

@Injectable({
  providedIn: 'root',
})
export class AuthService {
  private user: BehaviorSubject<
    Observable<firebase.User>
  > = new BehaviorSubject<Observable<firebase.User>>(null);
  user$ = this.user
    .asObservable()
    .pipe(switchMap((user: Observable<firebase.User>) => user));

  constructor(private afAuth: AngularFireAuth) {
    this.user.next(this.afAuth.authState);
  }

  loginViaGoogle(): Observable<auth.UserCredential> {
    return from(this.afAuth.signInWithPopup(new auth.GoogleAuthProvider()));
  }

  logout(): Observable<void> {
    return from(this.afAuth.signOut());
  }
}
auth.service.ts

The implementation here is pretty straight forward. Please feel free to comment below if something here didn't make sense.

Great. Now we have a service that we can inject as a dependency in our HeaderComponent. The HeaderComponent will be leveraging these methods and the user$ Observable to show the options on the navbar accordingly. We'll also be subscribe ing to the Observables returned from the loginViaGoogle and logout methods to show some alert as snackbars.

And since we're doing that, we'll be using the take operator to do it so that we don't have to unsubscribe manually.

import { catchError, take } from 'rxjs/operators';
import { Component } from '@angular/core';
import { EMPTY, Observable, of } from 'rxjs';
import { MatSnackBar } from '@angular/material/snack-bar';
import { Router } from '@angular/router';

import { AuthService } from '../../services/auth/auth.service';
import { FEED } from './../../consts/routes.const';

@Component({
  selector: 'app-header',
  templateUrl: './header.component.html',
  styleUrls: ['./header.component.scss'],
})
export class HeaderComponent {
  user$: Observable<firebase.User> = this.auth.user$;

  constructor(
    private readonly auth: AuthService,
    private readonly snackBar: MatSnackBar,
    private readonly router: Router,
  ) {}

  login() {
    this.auth
      .loginViaGoogle()
      .pipe(
        take(1),
        catchError((error) => {
          this.snackBar.open(`${error.message} 😒`, 'Close', {
            duration: 4000,
          });
          return EMPTY;
        }),
      )
      .subscribe(
        (response) =>
          response &&
          this.snackBar.open(
            `Oh! You're here. I demand that you feed me, Hooman. 😾`,
            'Close',
            {
              duration: 4000,
            },
          ),
      );
  }

  logout() {
    this.auth
      .logout()
      .pipe(take(1))
      .subscribe((response) => {
        this.router.navigate([`/${FEED}`]);
        this.snackBar.open('Come back soon with treats! 😿', 'Close', {
          duration: 4000,
        });
      });
  }
}
header.component.ts

The implementation is also pretty straightforward. We also explicitly navigate the user to the /feed route once the user logs out.

In a real project, I would also move the snack bar messages to a const file.

For the template, if the user is logged-in, we'll show the ProfileCardComponent and the Create icon. Else we'll show the user a Login Icon.

<mat-toolbar color="primary">
  <mat-toolbar-row>
    <button 
      mat-button 
      routerLink="/feed"
      matTooltip="🐱Gram Home">
      🐱Gram
    </button>
    <span class="spacer"></span>
    <ng-container *ngIf="user$ | async as user; else loginIcon">

      <button 
        mat-icon-button
        routerLink="/create"
        matTooltip="Post a cute 🐱"
        >
        <mat-icon
          aria-hidden="false"
          aria-label="Post a cute 🐱"
          >
          cloud_upload
        </mat-icon>
      </button>

      <app-profile-card 
        [user]="user"
        (logoutClick)="logout()">
      </app-profile-card>

    </ng-container>
    <ng-template #loginIcon>
      <button 
        mat-icon-button
        (click)="login()"
        matTooltip="Login"
        >
        <mat-icon
          aria-hidden="false"
          aria-label="Login"
          >
          fingerprint
        </mat-icon>
      </button>
    </ng-template>
  </mat-toolbar-row>
</mat-toolbar>
header.component.html

As you can clearly see, we're using the ProfileCardComponent as a child component. This is a presentation component that accepts a user as an @Input property and emits an event when the user clicks the logout button as the logoutClick @Output property.

So this is how our ProfileCardComponent would look like:

import { Component, EventEmitter, Input, Output } from '@angular/core';

@Component({
  selector: 'app-profile-card',
  templateUrl: './profile-card.component.html',
  styleUrls: ['./profile-card.component.scss'],
})
export class ProfileCardComponent {
  @Input() user: firebase.User;
  @Output() logoutClick: EventEmitter<null> = new EventEmitter<null>();

  logout() {
    this.logoutClick.emit();
  }
}
profile-card.component.ts

And the template would look something like this:

<button
  mat-mini-fab
  color="primary"
  class="avatar-button"
  [matMenuTriggerFor]="beforeMenu"
>
  <img 
    [alt]="user.displayName"
    [src]="user.photoURL"
    class="avatar" />
</button>
<mat-menu #beforeMenu="matMenu" xPosition="before">
  <div class="profile-card">
    <img 
      [alt]="user.displayName"
      [src]="user.photoURL" 
      class="big-avatar" />
    <h4>{{ user.displayName }}</h4>
    <p>{{ user.email }}</p>
    <mat-divider></mat-divider>
    <button mat-stroked-button (click)="logout()">
      Sign Out
    </button>
    <mat-divider></mat-divider>
    <p class="profile-footer">
      Made with 😻 by <a href="https://twitter.com/SiddAjmera">@SiddAjmera</a>
    </p>
  </div>
</mat-menu>
profile-card.component.html

Now we have all the modules, components, and the service in place. Let's bring it all together via routing.

Bringing it all together with Routing#

So for this, we'll need to set up routing by configuring our AppRoutingModule. We already know that we have two routes:

  • The /feed route would navigate the user to the FeedComponent.
  • The /create route would navigate the user to the CreateComponent.

But the /create route shouldn't be accessible by unauthorized users. In a world without AngularFire, we'd implement a CanActivate Guard to do this. But thanks to @angular/fire, we have an AngularFireAuthGuard guard that we can configure with the redirectUnauthorizedTo helper from it. Configuring this will allow us to tell Angular where to navigate unauthorized users to.

All that in code would look something like this:

import {
  AngularFireAuthGuard,
  redirectUnauthorizedTo,
} from '@angular/fire/auth-guard';
import { NgModule } from '@angular/core';
import { Routes, RouterModule } from '@angular/router';

import { BASE, CREATE, FEED } from './consts/routes.const';
import { CreateComponent } from './components/create/create.component';
import { FeedComponent } from './components/feed/feed.component';

const redirectUnauthorizedToLogin = () => redirectUnauthorizedTo([FEED]);

const routes: Routes = [
  {
    path: BASE,
    redirectTo: `/${FEED}`,
    pathMatch: 'full',
  },
  {
    path: FEED,
    component: FeedComponent,
  },
  {
    path: CREATE,
    component: CreateComponent,
    canActivate: [AngularFireAuthGuard],
    data: { authGuardPipe: redirectUnauthorizedToLogin },
  },
];

@NgModule({
  imports: [RouterModule.forRoot(routes)],
  exports: [RouterModule],
})
export class AppRoutingModule {}
app-routing.module.ts

And that's it. Our Angular app is now ready with google sign-in and routing.

You can find source-code of the project on GitHub.

Next Steps#

KittyGram has a lot of features. And this is just one piece of the whole puzzle. All such greatness has humble beginnings like the one that we just build. In the next article, we'll implement the CreateComponent as a Reactive Form. We'll also implement Firebase Storage in it so that we could upload the images to a Firebase Storage Bucket. Stay tuned for that. I'll update this article once Martina finishes writing it.


And that brings us to the end of this article. Thanks for sticking around. I hope you liked it. A big shout-out to Martina Kraus for proofreading this and collaborating with me on this project. I'm also really grateful to Akhil and Rajat for proofreading this article and providing constructive feedback to make it better.

This article was originally published by me under the Angular Publication on DEV.TO