Android Development 101 – Part 3:Introduction to Databases

In this tutorial we will be pivoting from our last tutorial on Graphical Elements to start focusing on databases in Android development. The android platform uses SQLite databases in its applications and is one of five data storage options in android development. We will only be focusing on SQLite development in android because it is key to the construction of a workable/functional program. After this tutorial you should be able to implement a SQLite database that you are then able to insert and select items from tables in the database.

For this project we will be creating a Random Quote generator that has you enter quotes or sayings in a textbox and press a button to insert them into the database. We will issue a confirmation toast that allows us to see if the data was entered into the database successfully and the textbox will be blank. If a second button is pressed, the database will be accessed and told to select a random quote from the database to show in a toast on the screen.

To start off we will make a new project called RandomQuotes. In part one of the series we stepped through making a new project so we wont walk through all of the steps again but instead I will just give you the information you need. The information to get this project up and running bare bones is as follows:

  • Project Name: RandomQuotes
  • Build Target: Android 1.5
  • Application Name: RandomQuotes
  • Package Name: com.gregjacobs.randomquotes
  • Create Activity: QuotesMain
  • Min SDK Version: 3

After inserting these values and you have pressed Finish we will start by making a class file in our com.gregjacobs.randomquotes package. To do this we will right click on the package and navigate to New then to Class. When the new window pops up the only data we will enter is the Name section filling it with DBAdapter. After this is done we press Finish and are presented with a bare bones class file that we will quickly start to modify. This tutorial will be like the last in the sense that code will be posted and I will explain the important parts and what functions are doing. The only difference from the previous tutorial code will be that I include text files as well as documenting the code here so you are able to download and compare. We will start off with the DBAdapter.java file:

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