This is a great option when you want to test database queries to Firebase databases quickly without using a browser or any user interface.
- Install Node.js & NPM
- Create A Project Folder
- Install Firebase NPM Package
- Get Firebase SDK Code Snippet
- Access A Specific Firebase Product
1 Install Node.js & NPM
The first step is to install the Node JS and NPM package on the computer.
Go to nodejs.dev and you can see the Node LTS button in the middle of the page.
The current version is v18.15.2, you may see a later version depending on when you are reading this tutorial.
Click to download and you can see I’ve the .pkg file downloaded in my downloads folder.
Double-click it to install, which will open up the Node JS installer, then click continue…continue…and agree, click install which may ask you for the admin password.
Once I entered the password, it started the installation process.
Once it’s done, it shows “The installation was completed successfully” and then hit close.
Then it asks me what to do with the installer, because I’ve installed Node and I no longer need the installer, I’m going to move it to the Trash folder.
The good news is that when you install Node JS, the NPM (node package manager) is also installed successfully.
Now I’m going to quickly test it to make sure both Node and NPM have been installed properly.
To check that, go to Finder in MAC → Application → Utilities → Terminal
Then type node -v which gives the version I’ve currently installed.
To check the NPM version, you’ve guessed it right… type npm -v.
At this stage, I’ve successfully installed Node & NPM on my computer.
2 Create A Project Folder
Then go to Visual Studio Code Editor and choose File → Open Folder and select the folder
3 Install Firebase via NPM Package
To install it, I’ll have to use a Terminal or command prompt application. Luckily Visual Studio Code has an in-built terminal/command prompt.
To open up the terminal window inside the Visual Studio Code Editor, go to the menu bar at the top and choose Terminal → New Terminal which will open up the terminal window at the bottom.
It also takes me straight to the project folder as you can see here…
Now all I have to do is type the npm install firebase command to install the Firebase NPM package to the project.
Once it’s done, you can see two files called package.json and package-lock.json as well as a folder called node_modules.
You most likely won’t be touching anything inside the node_modules folder or the package-lock.json file.
But one thing worth pointing out here is that I can check the version of the Firebase module that I’ve just installed inside package.json.
In my case version 9.17.2 at the time of this recording.
4 Get Firebase SDK Code Snippet
To do that, I’ll need to get a Firebase SDK code snippet from the Firebase Dashboard that I want to connect to.
So go to the firebase dashboard and project overview → project settings and scroll down. Under the SDK setup and configuration title…make sure npm is selected.
As you know I’ve already installed Firebase using the first line of command.
Now all I have to do is just copy the second part of the code snippet.
And you can see I’ve got an error: which says:
Warning: To load an ES module, set “type”: “module” in the package.json or use the .mjs extension.
What that means is, in order to use the import statement of the Firebase SDK code snippet inside the index.js file, I need to add a property called type=”module” inside package.json file.
So go to the package.json file. Right inside the first curly braces, add “type”:”module”,
Run the index.js file inside the terminal by using the node index.js command and you can see the Firebase app object console logged in the terminal window.
6 Access A Specific Firebase Product
Firebase 9 is a modular-based approach, unlike its previous version, so you only import or include the Firebase products that you intend to use which makes the app not only lighter but also faster.
Let’s say I want to connect the Firebase Cloud Firestore database to my project.
The first step is to import Cloud Firestore inside my project in order to use it
Go to Firebase Libraries page, In there you can see all the Firebase services available for the web
Click on Cloud Firestore for web
Go to the Initialize Cloud Firestore section and make sure that you’re inside the Firebase version 9 tab then.
Copy the import statement for Firestore and paste it at the top inside index.js file
The second line of code that we need is a reference to the Cloud Firestore database.
Copy the last line from the Firebase website and paste it inside index.js, right below the app object at the bottom.
Change the app to db inside console.log
Run the app again so inside the terminal… node index.js
And you can see the firebase cloud firestore database object that we can create queries on.