Build a To-Do Application with React and Firebase

Read Time:26 Minute, 32 Second

To-do applications are one of the ways you can use to manage a set of tasks. As developers, learning how to build a to-do application will also help to understand certain concepts one of which includes an understanding of how to build an application with a database.

In this article, you will learn how to build a to-do web app by making use of React.js and Firebase Database.

Table of Contents

Watch the video version of this article below, or on my YouTube channel

Prerequisites

To install the npm packages needed for this React application such as Firebase, you need to have Node.js downloaded.

Visual Studio code serves as the code editor we will use to build this project.

The Firebase Console serves as the backend as a service database that helps us to store and manage our data, through the use of the Cloud Firestore.

How to Setup the Firebase Project

To set up firebase, you head to the firebase console website and create a new project by using your Google account. Once you are logged into firebase you will see an existing project, you can click on the add project button, as seen below.

Firebase project page
Firebase console dashboard

After clicking on the add project button, we get navigated to a new page which requires 3 steps before the firebase project is created:

  • The first step requires us to name the firebase project, which we will call todo.

  • The second step asks if we want to enable Google Analytics, you should disable it by using the toggle button.

  • Finally, we can now click on the create project button.

Once the project is created, we click on the continue button which navigates us to the next screen, which is now our default firebase project dashboard.

Firebase project dashboard
Firebase dashboard

We have now completed the creation of a new Firebase project.

Creating the Firestore Database

Inside the firebase dashboard, on the left-hand panel we take the following steps:

• Click on the Build dropdown.

• Within the Build dropdown, select Firestore Database, this displays a page where we can click on the Create database button.

• Next, a modal pops up asking if we want Production mode or Test mode. You can choose Test mode since the app is currently in the development stage.

• The next step asks for where we want our Cloud Firestore to be located, you can choose the location closest to your area due to the possibility of latency.

Once we click on enable, we get redirected to the Cloud Firestore page which will currently have an empty Collection.

How to Create the React Project

We are going to create a new React project by making use of CRA (Create-React-App). Since we have node.js installed, we can run the following commands:

 npm i create-react-app
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Once the installation of CRA is complete, we can now create a new React project with the following command below:

 npm init react-app todo cd todo code .
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We have now created a new React project called todo, navigated into the project directory, and opened the project in Visual Studio Code.

We can now begin the set up of the React application.

Setting up the Project Structure

To set up the architecture of our React project, you can implement the steps below:

  • In the src directory, create two folders named components and services.

  • The components folder will contain two new document files. The first js file is called Todo.js, while the second file is called EditTodo.js.

  • In the services folder, create a js file called firebase.config.js. This file will contain the configuration of the firebase which we can export to different components.

  • Finally, still within the src directory, we head to the App.js file. Here, we clear the boilerplate inside of the div with the className of App and then import the Todo.js component as seen in the following lines of code:

 import './App.css'; import Todo from './components/Todo'; function App() { return ( <div className="App"> <Todo /> </div>
 ); } export default App;
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With the above, we now have the basic structure of our React project set up.

How to Integrate Firebase in React

To add the firebase web SDK to our new app, the first thing we need to do is run the following command inside our terminal:

npm install firebase

Next, you open up the firebase.config.js file inside of the services folder and then use the following imports to configure firebase into the React app:

 import { initializeApp } from "firebase/app"; import { getFirestore } from "firebase/firestore";
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Furthermore, you need to grab the project configuration settings from the firebase dashboard. On the left-hand panel of the dashboard, click on project overview and select project settings.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the web icon as shown below:

Web icon for firebase project settings
Web icon for firebase project settings

Once the web icon gets selected, a new page shows up asking you to give the app a nickname. You can proceed to call it todo or any other word you prefer, then click on register app. Firebase will now generate the firebase configuration settings, which contains the apikey, storage bucket, auth domain, project id, app id, e.t.c as seen below:

Firebase config settings
Firebase config settings

We can now grab this and paste it inside our firebase.config.js file:

 import { initializeApp } from "firebase/app"; import { getFirestore } from "firebase/firestore"; // Your web app's Firebase configuration const firebaseConfig = { apiKey: "AIzaSyC5u80wO6iaPl8E9auM0IRXliYGKyDQHfU", authDomain: "todo-b74fc.firebaseapp.com", projectId: "todo-b74fc", storageBucket: "todo-b74fc.appspot.com", messagingSenderId: "872116099545", appId: "1:872116099545:web:9bb66d12ca15f2f39521c8" };
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The final step needed to complete the firebase configuration is to initialize firebase by making use of the config variable and then export it so it becomes available in all our components, as seen in the following lines of code:

 import { initializeApp } from "firebase/app"; import { getFirestore } from "firebase/firestore"; // Your web app's Firebase configuration const config = { apiKey: "AIzaSyC5u80wO6iaPl8E9auM0IRXliYGKyDQHfU", authDomain: "todo-b74fc.firebaseapp.com", projectId: "todo-b74fc", storageBucket: "todo-b74fc.appspot.com", messagingSenderId: "872116099545", appId: "1:872116099545:web:9bb66d12ca15f2f39521c8" }; const app = initializeApp(config); export const db = getFirestore(app);
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With this, our firebase configuration is successfully created and we do not need to make use of any other firebase services.

Integrate Bootstrap 5 into React

To integrate Bootstrap 5 you will need to head over to the Bootstrap 5 website and grab the CDN link for both the CSS and JavaScript. You can then head back to the React project in VS Code, open the public directory, and proceed to select the index.html file.

In the index.html file, we can paste the CDN links for both the CSS and JavaScript within the head section. With that we should have the result below:

 <link href="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/[email protected]/dist/css/bootstrap.min.css" rel="stylesheet" integrity="sha384-EVSTQN3/azprG1Anm3QDgpJLIm9Nao0Yz1ztcQTwFspd3yD65VohhpuuCOmLASjC" crossorigin="anonymous"> <script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/[email protected]/dist/js/bootstrap.bundle.min.js" integrity="sha384-MrcW6ZMFYlzcLA8Nl+NtUVF0sA7MsXsP1UyJoMp4YLEuNSfAP+JcXn/tWtIaxVXM" crossorigin="anonymous"> </script>
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Now we have access to all Bootstrap 5 classes across our components.

Designing the User Interface

To implement the design for the React project you will start by clearing the boilerplate code inside of the App.css file. You can now proceed to open the index.css file and then paste the following styles:

 body{ margin-top:20px; background: #f8f8f8; } .todo-list { margin: 10px 0 } .todo-list .todo-item { padding: 15px; margin: 5px 0; border-radius: 0; } div.checker { width: 18px; height: 18px } div.checker input{ width: 18px; height: 18px } div.checker { display: inline-block; vertical-align: middle; } .done { text-decoration: line-through; }
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Above, what we did was ensure all the elements that will be displayed on the browser are properly arranged.

Next, proceed to the Todo.js file and paste the code below within the return statement of the jsx:

 import React from 'react' const Todo = () => { return ( <> <div className="container"> <div className="row"> <div className="col-md-12"> <div className="card card-white"> <div className="card-body"> <button data-bs-toggle="modal" data-bs-target="#addModal" type="button" className="btn btn-info">Add Todo </button>
 <div className="todo-list"> <div className="todo-item"> <hr /> <span> <div className="checker" > <span className="" > <input type="checkbox" /> </span>
 </div>
 &nbsp; Go hard or Go Home<br /> <i>10/11/2022</i>
 </span>
 <span className=" float-end mx-3"> <EditTodo /></span>
 <button type="button" className="btn btn-danger float-end" >Delete</button>
 </div>
 </div>
 </div>
 </div>
 </div>
 </div>
 </div>
 {/* Modal */} <div className="modal fade" id="addModal" tabIndex="-1" aria-labelledby="addModalLabel" aria-hidden="true"> <div className="modal-dialog"> <form className="d-flex"> <div className="modal-content"> <div className="modal-header"> <h5 className="modal-title" id="addModalLabel"> Add Todo </h5>
 <button type="button" className="btn-close" data-bs-dismiss="modal" aria-label="Close"> </button>
 </div>
 <div className="modal-body"> <input type="text" className="form-control" placeholder="Add a Todo" /> </div>
 <div className="modal-footer"> <button className="btn btn-secondary" data-bs-dismiss="modal">Close </button>
 <button className="btn btn-primary">Create Todo</button>
 </div>
 </div>
 </form>
 </div>
 </div>
 </>
 ) } export default Todo
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In the above code:

  • The div with the className of .container displays the card that contains all items in our Todo list, while the div with the id of addModal contains the modal where all the todo can be created using the save button called Add todo.

The final part of our design is in the EditTodo.js file. The EditTodo.js file will only contain the modal that allows us to edit each todo list item. The code can be seen below:

 import React from 'react' const EditTodo = () => { return ( <> <button type="button" className="btn btn-primary" data-bs-toggle="modal" data-bs-target="#exampleModal" > Edit Todo </button>
 <div className="modal fade" id="exampleModal" tabIndex="-1" aria-labelledby="editLabel" aria-hidden="true"> <div className="modal-dialog"> <div className="modal-content"> <div className="modal-header"> <h5 className="modal-title" id="editLabel"> Update Todo Details </h5>
 <button type="button" className="btn-close" data-bs-dismiss="modal" aria-label="Close"> </button>
 </div>
 <div className="modal-body"> <form className="d-flex"> <input type="text" className="form-control" /> </form>
 </div>
 <div className="modal-footer"> <button type="button" className="btn btn-secondary" data-bs-dismiss="modal">Close </button>
 <button type="button" className="btn btn-primary" >Update Todo</button>
 </div>
 </div>
 </div>
 </div>
 </>
 ) } export default EditTodo
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The design for the application is now complete. If you run the command npm start in the terminal and the code compiles, you should see the result below in the browser:

Complete page design
Complete page design

Adding Data to the Firestore in React

To implement the Add data functionality in our todo application, we start by importing some modules from firebase/firestore which can be seen below:

 import { collection, addDoc, serverTimestamp } from 'firebase/firestore'
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• A Collection is a folder that contains Documents and Data. All the data saved on our Todo application will be saved in a Collection called Todos, which we will create soon.

addDoc is a high-level method used to add data to a Collection.

• The serverTimestamp contains the values of both time and date values for each Document in a Collection.

We then need to import the firebase.config.js file in our Todo.js file to allow us to have access to the firebase methods:

 import { db } from '../services/firebase.config'
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Using the import from our firebase.config.js file, we can now instantiate a reference to our Collection:

 const collectionRef = collection(db, 'todo');
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  • As seen in the code above, we created a variable called collectionRef. The collectionRef variable takes in the collection method. This method has two arguments. The first argument called db references the firebase service, while the second argument will create a new Collection called todo, which will contain all necessary Documents created.

Next, we create two variables using the useState hook:

 const [createTodo, setCreateTodo] = useState("")
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  • The first thing we did here is to import the useState hook in React:
    import React, { useState } from 'react'

  • Then we created a getter and a setter called createTodo and setCreateTodo respectively.

To proceed, we move to the modal created within the JSX and implement the next couple of things:

  • Within the form tag, we create an onSubmit event handler called submitTodo.
    <form className="d-flex" onSubmit={submitTodo}>

  • In the input tag within the form tag, we create an onChange event handler that allows us to get the value typed inside of the form:

 onChange={(e) => setCreateTodo(e.target.value)}`
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The final implementation we need to make before adding data to the database becomes functional is to configure the onSubmit event handler previously created. The code for this can be seen below:

 //Add Todo Handler const submitTodo = async (e) => { e.preventDefault(); try { await addDoc(collectionRef, { todo: createTodo, isChecked: false, timestamp: serverTimestamp() }) window.location.reload(); } catch (err) { console.log(err); } }
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  • Above, we made the submitTodo variable asynchronous by making use of the async/await keyword in JavaScript.

  • We then created a parameter in the arrow function called e, which serves as an event. This ensures we are able to make use of the e.preventDefault() method which prevents the form from reloading after submission.

  • Next within the try/catch block, we call the addDoc method which takes two arguments. The first argument is the collectionRef variable we created previously, while the second argument contains the object to be passed into the firestore database.

These objects include the todo values inside of the input field, the checkbox value which is currently set as false, and then the timestamp in which the todo was created in the database.

  • We then make use of the window.location.reload() function in JavaScript to refresh the form upon successful submission, while making use of catch to handle the error.

With this, we can now create a new todo and view it in our database.

Creating the Todo
Creating the Todo

Fetching Data from the Firestore in React

To fetch the data from the Firestore in Firebase, we need to make two importation in our Todo.js file. These include the useEffect hook in React and the getDocs from firebase/firestore:

 import React, { useState, useEffect } from 'react' import { collection, addDoc, serverTimestamp, getDocs } from 'firebase/firestore'
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We then need to create the setter(setTodo) and getter(todos) variables to help us access the data from the Firestore:

 const [todos, setTodo] = useState([])
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The data can now be fetched inside of the useEffect hook:

 useEffect(() => { const getTodo = async () => { await getDocs(collectionRef).then((todo) => { let todoData = todo.docs.map((doc) => ({ ...doc.data(), id: doc.id })) setTodo(todoData) }).catch((err) => { console.log(err); }) } getTodo() }, [])
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  • Inside the useEffect hook, we created a variable called getTodo that takes in an asynchronous arrow function.

  • Then we called the getDocs method from Firebase. The getDocs method requires an argument, so we pass in the collectionRef.The getDocs returns a promise which we need to chain to using .then.

  • The promise returns an array that we need to map through to access the required data from the database, which are the todo list items as well as the id.

  • The todoData variable holds the data coming from the database. To have access to the data in our JSX, we will then put the todoData as an argument in our setter which is called setTodo.

  • We then proceed to handle the error in case there is any using the catch keyword before we finally call the getTodo function to initialize it on page load.

Now that we have access to our data from the database, we need to make it visible on the page. The data we have comes in form of an array and we need to loop through it in the HTML file. This will be done within the div with the className of todo-list as seen below:

 {todos.map(({ todo, id }) => <div className="todo-list" key={id}> <div className="todo-item"> <hr /> <span> <div className="checker" > <span className="" > <input type="checkbox" /> </span>
 </div>
 &nbsp;{todo}<br /> <i>10/11/2022</i>
 </span>
 <span className=" float-end mx-3"> <EditTodo /> </span>
 <button type="button" className="btn btn-danger float-end" >Delete </button>
 </div>
 </div>
 )}
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• In the code above, we call the todos getter that contains our data which comes in an array format.

• Next, we make use of the map array method to loop through the data, restructured the data by making use of curly brackets {}, and then extract the todos as well as the id.

• Finally, we called the key attribute in React, pass in the id so as enable React to track the data loaded on the page. The static text beside the &nbsp; also gets cleared before replacing it with the todo data.

We can now proceed to save our changes.

Deleting Data from the Firestore in React

To implement the delete functionality, we need to import two firestore functions which are doc, deleteDoc.

 import { collection, addDoc, serverTimestamp, getDocs, doc, deleteDoc } from 'firebase/firestore'
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Next, we create a function called deleteTodo:

 //Delete Handler const deleteTodo = async (id) => { try { window.confirm("Are you sure you want to delete this Todo?") const documentRef = doc(db, "todo", id); await deleteDoc(documentRef) window.location.reload(); } catch (err) { console.log(err); } } 
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  • Within the try block, we start by displaying a prompt to the user if they want to proceed to delete the Todo.

  • We then create a new variable called documentRef. We then call the doc method which requires 3 arguments which are the firebase service, the collection name as well as the todo id that we want to delete.

  • Next, we call the deleteDoc method from firestore and then pass in the documentRef as an argument. This will enable the specific todo to be deleted from the database. Once this is done, we refresh the page by calling the window.location.reload(); function.

  • We then use the catch block to handle any possible error by login into the console.

Now that our delete function is ready, all we have to do is to initialize it inside our delete button as seen below:

 <button type="button" className="btn btn-danger float-end" onClick={() => deleteTodo(id)} >Delete </button>
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  • All we did was make use of the onClick event handler to call the deleteTodo() function anytime a specific todo is deleted. It should also be noted that the id parameter passed inside of the function was made accessible to us in the documentRef variable we created earlier.

Updating Data in the Firestore in React

To implement the functionality to update data, we need to pass the data coming from the database as props to our EditTodo.js component:

 {todos.map(({ todo, id }) => <div className="todo-list" key={id}> <div className="todo-item"> <hr /> <span> <div className="checker" > <span className="" > <input type="checkbox" /> </span>
 </div>
 &nbsp;{todo}<br /> <i>10/11/2022</i>
 </span>
 <span className=" float-end mx-3"> <EditTodo todo={todo} id={id} />
 </span>
 <button type="button" className="btn btn-danger float-end" onClick={() => deleteTodo(id)} >Delete </button>
 </div>
 </div>
 )}
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We passed both the todo data as well as the id as props and it now becomes accessible in the EditTodo.js file.

Inside the EditTodo.js, we extract the data by making use of curly brackets {}:

 const EditTodo = ({ todo, id }) => {
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We then make the necessary imports required to update the data, which include the following React and firebase terms:

  • useState (React Hook)

  • db (The Firebase Service instance)

  • doc (The Firestore Document reference)

  • updateDoc (Used to update a Document inside of a Collection)

The extracted data can now be set in state using the useState hook:

 const [todos, setTodos] = useState([todo])
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  • As seen above, we created new variables called todos, setTodos, and then set the initial value in the useState to the todo data coming from the database.

Next, we create the function that implements the update todo:

 const updateTodo = async (e) => { e.preventDefault() try { const todoDocument = doc(db, "todo", id); await updateDoc(todoDocument, { todo: todos }); window.location.reload(); } catch (err) { console.log(err); } }
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  • Above, we created a variable called updateTodo, which holds the asynchronous arrow function.

  • Next, we called the e.preventDefault(), to prevent the form from reloading.

  • Then we create a try/catch block. Within the try block, we create a variable called todoDocument. This variable holds document reference which requires 3 arguments(db, todo, id). With this, we are able to update a specific todo from the firebase database using its id.

  • In the next line, we call the updateDoc method that updates data in the firestore. This method takes two arguments. The first argument is the todoDocument, while the second is the updated todos text value which was the getter that was created earlier in the useState hook.

  • Lastly, we refresh the page when the request is successful or display an error on the console if one occurs.

There are two implementations left to do. One is making the modal dynamic, while the other is calling our update data function in the JSX.

To make the modal dynamic, we need to change the values of the id in the JSX, so we add the following code:

 <button type="button" className="btn btn-primary" data-bs-toggle="modal" data-bs-target={`#id${id}`} > Edit Todo </button>
 <div className="modal fade" id={`id${id}`} tabIndex="-1" aria-labelledby="editLabel" aria-hidden="true"> <div className="modal-dialog"> <div className="modal-content"> <div className="modal-header"> <h5 className="modal-title" id="editLabel">Update Todo Details</h5>
 <button type="button" className="btn-close" data-bs-dismiss="modal" aria-label="Close"> </button>
 </div>
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  • We begin by replacing the static text in the data-bs-target attribute called #exampleModal, with the dynamic id coming from the firestore.

  • Within our modal, we replace the static id called id="exampleModal", with the id from our firestore. The modal is now dynamic.

Next, to update the data, we need to call the setTodos setter inside the input field using the onChange event handler in React:

 <input type="text" className="form-control" defaultValue={todo} onChange={e => setTodos(e.target.value)} />
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  • The defaultValue helps to refill the form with the existing todo in the database.

  • The onChange event handler helps to get the values of the input field and save it into the setTodos setter.

Finally, we can call the updateTodo function inside our submit button:

 <div className="modal-footer"> <button type="button" className="btn btn-secondary" data-bs-dismiss="modal"> Close </button>
 <button type="button" className="btn btn-primary" onClick={e => updateTodo(e)} >Update Todo </button>
 </div>
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  • As seen above, we can now successfully update a specific todo using the onClick event handler in React.

How to Integrate the Checkbox Functionality

To begin the checkbox implementation, we will create a variable using the useState hook:

 const [checked, setChecked] = useState([]);
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Next, we pass the data from the firestore into the setter called setChecked inside of the useEffect:

 useEffect(() => { const getTodo = async () => { await getDocs(collectionRef).then((todo) => { let todoData = todo.docs.map((doc) => ({ ...doc.data(), id: doc.id })) setTodo(todoData) setChecked(todoData) }).catch((err) => { console.log(err); }) } getTodo() }, [])
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In the JSX, we will extract the isChecked value in the database and use it to conditionally set the CSS class used to line-through a specific todo which signifies the todo is done as seen below:

 {todos.map(({ todo, id, isChecked }) => <div className="todo-list" key={id}> <div className="todo-item"> <hr /> <span className={`${isChecked === true ? 'done' : ''}`}>
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We proceed to configure the input field used for our checkbox by using the following code:

 <input type="checkbox" defaultChecked={isChecked} name={id} onChange={(event) => checkHandler(event, todo)} />
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  • Above we use the defaultChecked attribute to set the default value of the checkbox coming from the firestore which is a Boolean.

  • Next, we pass in the id into the name attribute.

  • Using the onChange event handler, we set the event and the todo data into a function called checkHandler, which we will create and configure below:

 //Checkbox Handler const checkHandler = async (event, todo) => { setChecked(state => { const indexToUpdate = state.findIndex(checkBox => checkBox.id.toString() === event.target.name); let newState = state.slice() newState.splice(indexToUpdate, 1, { ...state[indexToUpdate], isChecked: !state[indexToUpdate].isChecked, }) setTodo(newState) return newState });
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  • The summary of the above function helps to track the state of a specific checkbox when checked and unchecked by using the findIndex method in JavaScript.

  • We then create a variable called newState. This variable makes use of the slice() and splice() methods in JavaScript. The slice() method helps us to return the selected checkbox(s) in the array, as a new array, while the splice() method helps us to save only elements that were checked into the array.

  • Next, we then save the newly modified array into the setTodo setter before we return data using the return keyword.

The final step we need to take is to save the selected checkbox values in the database. We will do this by, making use of the runTransaction method in JavaScript. The runTransaction method will be called within the checkHandler function:

 // Persisting the checked value try { const docRef = doc(db, "todo", event.target.name); await runTransaction(db, async (transaction) => { const todoDoc = await transaction.get(docRef); if (!todoDoc.exists()) { throw "Document does not exist!"; } const newValue = !todoDoc.data().isChecked; transaction.update(docRef, { isChecked: newValue }); }); console.log("Transaction successfully committed!"); } catch (error) { console.log("Transaction failed: ", error); }
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  • The first thing we need to do is import runTransaction from firebase/firestore.

  • We then checked the database if the particular document being queried exists or not. If it doesn’t exist we throw a message that says “Document does not exist!“.

  • If the document exists, we call the transaction.update method and then pass in the value of the isChecked variable which then updates it in the firestore database.

Gif showing runTransaction in action
Gif showing runTransaction in action

How to order Data by Timestamp in Firebase

To order the data in our firestore database, the first thing to do is to clear all the current data we currently have by deleting the entire collection on the Firebase Database. This will allow the newly created documents to get ordered correctly.

We then need to import two methods from firebase/firestore called orderBy and query by using the following imports:

 import { collection, addDoc, serverTimestamp, getDocs, doc, deleteDoc, runTransaction, orderBy, query } from 'firebase/firestore'
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  • The orderBy method helps to sort the data coming from the database in either ascending, descending, or timestamp in which the data was created. In our case, we will be making use of the latter, while the query method as the name implies allows us to query data from the database.

Next, within the useEffect, we will remove the collectionRef we passed as a parameter into the getDocs method and replace it with a newly created query variable as seen below:

 const q = query(collectionRef, orderBy('timestamp')) await getDocs(q).then((todo) =>{
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  • Above, we create a variable called q, which uses the orderBy method to sort the data by the in which they were created. We then pass this variable to the getDocs method that gets the data from the Database.

To conclude this project, we will display the date and time on which the todo was created on the browser:

 {todos.map(({ todo, id, isChecked, timestamp }) =>
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  • We begin by extracting the timestamp value from the database.

We then need to clear the static date value inside of the italics(<li></li>) tag:

 <i>{new Date(timestamp.seconds * 1000).toLocaleString()}</i>
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  • We created a Date object and then get the seconds from the timestamp while multiplying it by 1000. This is because JavaScript works with time in milliseconds. We then proceed to use the toLocaleString() method to return the date object as a string.

With this, we have the result below:

Results showing the todo by timestamp as well as the dates created
Results showing the todo by timestamp as well as the dates created

Conclusion

You have now completed the tutorial! You now know the basics of how to create a todo application using React and Firebase Database. Now you can proceed to build your own web app from scratch and then integrate additional functionalities like firebase login and sign-in, Firebase tools, firebase deploy, and other firebase services into your React application.

Also, the link to the complete source code of this article can be found on this Github repository.

Source: https://dev.to/dev-academy/build-a-to-do-application-with-react-and-firebase-2nad

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