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Storage - References

Storage Reference#

Your files are stored in a Firebase Storage bucket. The files in this bucket are presented in a hierarchical structure, just like the file system on your local hard disk, or the data in the Firebase Realtime Database.

By creating a reference to a file, your app gains access to it. These references can then be used to upload or download data, get or update metadata or delete the file. A reference can either point to a specific file or to a higher level in the hierarchy.

If you've used the Firebase Realtime Database, these paths should seem very familiar to you. However, your file data is stored in Google Cloud Storage not in the Realtime Database.

Create a Reference#

Create a reference to upload, download, or delete a file, or to get or update its metadata. A reference can be thought of as a pointer to a file in the cloud. References are lightweight, so you can create as many as you need. They are also reusable for multiple operations.

References are created using the FirebaseStorage.service singleton instance and calling either getReference or getReferenceFromUrl.

For example to get a reference to the root of your storage tree:

var rootReference:StorageReference = FirebaseStorage.service.getReference();

Or you can pass a path to get a location lower in the tree:

var reference:StorageReference = FirebaseStorage.service.getReference( "images/test.png" );

Or you can use child to navigate through your tree, the following is the equivalent of the above:

var reference:StorageReference = FirebaseStorage.service.getReference().child( "images/test.png" );

Navigate with References#

You can also use the getParent() and getRoot() methods to navigate up in our file hierarchy. getParent() navigates up one level, while getRoot() navigates all the way to the top.

// Parent allows us to move our reference to point to
// imagesRef now points to 'images'
var parentReference:StorageReference = reference.getParent();
// Root allows us to move all the way back to the top of our bucket
// rootRef now points to the root
var rootReference:StorageReference = reference.getRoot();

Along with child() these can all be chained together:

var earthReference:StorageReference = reference.getParent().child( "earth.jpg" );

Reference Properties#

You can inspect references to better understand the files they point to using the getPath(), getName(), and getBucket() methods. These methods get the file's full path, name and bucket.

// Reference's path is: "images/space.jpg"
// This is analogous to a file path on disk
// Reference's name is the last segment of the full path: "space.jpg"
// This is analogous to the file name
// Reference's bucket is the name of the storage bucket that the files are stored in