What is Remote Settings?

Basically, Remote Settings consists of two components: a remote server (REST API) powered by Kinto and a client (Gecko API).

Everything is done via a collection of records that is kept in sync between the client local database and the remote data.

Why is it better than building my own?

Out of the box you get for free:

  • Multi-signoff
  • Syncing of data - real time push based updates
  • Content signing - your data is signed server side and verified on the client side transparently
  • File attachment support
  • Target filtering (JEXL a-la Normandy)
  • Telemetry

What does the workflow look like?

Once your collection is setup, a typical workflow would be:

  1. Connect to the UI on the VPN
  2. Make some changes
  3. Request a review (with an optional comment)

The people designated as reviewers will receive a notification email.

  1. As a reviewer, you can preview the changes in a real browser
  2. Once you verified that the changes have the expected effects, you can approve (or reject) the changes from the Admin UI
  3. Changes will then be pulled by every Firefox clients on their next synchronization

What does the client API look like?

On the client side, listen for changes via an event listener:

const { RemoteSettings } = ChromeUtils.import("resource://services-settings/remote-settings.js", {});

RemoteSettings("my-collection")
  .on("sync", (e) => {
    const { created, updated, deleted } = e.data;
    /*
      updated == [

        {
          old: {label: "Yahoo",  enabled: true,  weight: 10, id: "d0782d8d", last_modified: 1522764475905},
          new: {label: "Google", enabled: true,  weight: 20, id: "8883955f", last_modified: 1521539068414},
        },
      ]
     */
  });

Or get the current list of local records:

const records = await RemoteSettings("my-collection").get();
/*
  records == [
    {label: "Yahoo",  enabled: true,  weight: 10, id: "d0782d8d", last_modified: 1522764475905},
    {label: "Google", enabled: true,  weight: 20, id: "8883955f", last_modified: 1521539068414},
    {label: "Ecosia", enabled: false, weight: 5,  id: "337c865d", last_modified: 1520527480321},
  ]
*/

What does the server side API look like?

If you want, like our Web UI, to rely on the REST API for your integration, the multi-signoff tutorial gives a good overview.

Basically, creating a record would look like this:

curl -X POST ${SERVER}/buckets/main-workspace/collections/${COLLECTION}/records \
     -H 'Content-Type:application/json' \
     -d "{\"data\": {\"property\": $i}}" \
     -u us3r:p455w0rd

Requesting review:

curl -X PATCH ${SERVER}/buckets/main-workspace/collections/${COLLECTION} \
     -H 'Content-Type:application/json' \
     -d '{"data": {"status": "to-review"}}' \
     -u us3r:p455w0rd

Approving changes:

curl -X PATCH ${SERVER}/buckets/main-workspace/collections/${COLLECTION} \
     -H 'Content-Type:application/json' \
     -d '{"data": {"status": "to-sign"}}' \
     -u us3r:p455w0rd

And the record is now published:

curl ${SERVER}/buckets/main-workspace/collections/${COLLECTION}/records

Awesome! How do I get started?

You’ll find out in the next chapter!