Android push notification tutorial: C2DM 3rd party Application server implementation

26 05 2012

Here is how to implement C2DM server part in java for Google C2DM service using apache http-client and http-implĀ apache libs for REST webservice calls:

Server Authentication in C2DM Service

In order to send message to C2DM Server, first you have to authenticate your server with valid google account. Here is how to do it.


private static final String PARAM_VALUE_SERVICE = "ac2dm";
private static final String PARAM_AUTH_SERVICE = "service";
private static final String PARAM_VALUE_ACCOUNT_TYPE = "GOOGLE";
private static final String PARAM_AUTH_ACCOUNT_TYPE = "accountType";
private static final String PARAM_AUTH_PASSWD = "Passwd";
private static final String PARAM_AUTH_EMAIL = "Email";
private static final String PARAM_AUTH_SOURCE = "source";

Authentication method (try-catch omitted):

public static String getAuthToken(String email, String password){
	HttpClient httpClient = new DefaultHttpClient();
	HttpPost httppost = new HttpPost("");
	// Add your data
	List<NameValuePair> nameValuePairs = new ArrayList<NameValuePair>(2);
	nameValuePairs.add(new BasicNameValuePair(PARAM_AUTH_EMAIL, email));
	nameValuePairs.add(new BasicNameValuePair(PARAM_AUTH_PASSWD, password));
	nameValuePairs.add(new BasicNameValuePair(PARAM_AUTH_ACCOUNT_TYPE, PARAM_VALUE_ACCOUNT_TYPE));
	nameValuePairs.add(new BasicNameValuePair(PARAM_AUTH_SOURCE, "your-app-name"));
	nameValuePairs.add(new BasicNameValuePair(PARAM_AUTH_SERVICE, PARAM_VALUE_SERVICE));

	httppost.setEntity(new UrlEncodedFormEntity(nameValuePairs));
	httppost.setHeader("Content-Type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded");

	// Execute HTTP Post Request
	HttpResponse response = httpClient.execute(httppost);

	// Read the response
	BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader(
			new InputStreamReader((response.getEntity().getContent())));
	String line = null;
	String auth_key = null;
	while ((line = reader.readLine()) != null) {
		if (line.startsWith("Auth=")) {
			auth_key = line.substring(5);

Authentication method call:

String auth_token = AuthenticationUtil.getAuthToken(ConstantsC2dm.C2DM_SENDER_EMAIL, ConstantsC2dm.C2DM_SENDER_EMAIL_PASSWORD);

Sending message to C2DM Server

To send push notification to C2DM Server you just need to make Http Post REST request to given URL. Some parameters are necessary to add (specified here):

public static final String PARAM_REGISTRATION_ID = "registration_id";
public static final String PARAM_DELAY_WHILE_IDLE = "delay_while_idle";
public static final String PARAM_COLLAPSE_KEY = "collapse_key";
private static final String DATA_PREFIX = "data.";

Here is the message sender method code. In my message I pass two parameters: questionId and validUntil. App reads questionId and performs further actions (download data from App server based on given questionId. Note that Google C2DM service does not take part in further downloads. It just triggers an app to perform some action):

public static int sendMessage(String auth_token, String registrationId,
		String questionId, String validUntil) throws ClientProtocolException, IOException{
	// Create a new HttpClient and Post Header
	HttpClient httpClient = new DefaultHttpClient();
	HttpPost httppost = new HttpPost("");

	// Add your data
	List<NameValuePair> nameValuePairs = new ArrayList<NameValuePair>(2);
	nameValuePairs.add(new BasicNameValuePair(PARAM_REGISTRATION_ID, registrationId));
	nameValuePairs.add(new BasicNameValuePair(PARAM_COLLAPSE_KEY, "0"));
	nameValuePairs.add(new BasicNameValuePair(DATA_PREFIX + ConstantsC2dm.PARAM_QUESTION_ID, questionId));
	nameValuePairs.add(new BasicNameValuePair(DATA_PREFIX + ConstantsC2dm.PARAM_VALID_UNTIL, validUntil));

	httppost.setEntity(new UrlEncodedFormEntity(nameValuePairs));
	httppost.addHeader("Content-Type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded;charset=UTF-8");
	httppost.addHeader("Authorization", "GoogleLogin auth="+ auth_token);

	// Execute HTTP Post Request
	HttpResponse response = httpClient.execute(httppost);

	return response.getStatusLine().getStatusCode();

Hope that helps.


This code can be used as a servlet, standalone java application, in jsp page or in Bean. Message sender can be triggered by some event (like incoming email in GMail) or by hand (after clicking a button on a webpage).

If any more help is needed – do not hesitate to ask.

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