Android Architecture Components: Building Robust and Maintainable Apps

If you’re here, chances are you’re interested in creating robust and maintainable apps. And guess what? I have some exciting news for you! Android Architecture Components can help you achieve exactly that.

In this article, we will dive deep into the world of Android Architecture Components and explore how they can empower you to build high-quality apps. We’ll discuss the advantages of using these components, the core components you’ll encounter, and how to implement the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) pattern.

But first, let’s answer the fundamental question:

Understanding Android Architecture Components

What are Android Architecture Components?

Android Architecture Components are a set of libraries and guidelines provided by Google for building robust and maintainable Android apps. These components help developers follow best practices and design patterns, such as the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) pattern, to separate concerns and make their code more modular and testable.

The main goal of Android Architecture Components is to simplify the development process and make it easier to build high-quality apps. These components provide a clear structure for your app, making it easier to understand and maintain over time.

Advantages of Using Android Architecture Components

There are several advantages to using Android Architecture Components in your app development:

  • Modularity: By following the guidelines provided by Android Architecture Components, you can separate your app’s logic into different layers, making it easier to understand and maintain.
  • Testability: The architecture components promote test-driven development by making it easier to write unit tests for your app’s components.
  • Code reusability: The components are designed to be independent and reusable, allowing you to easily incorporate them into other projects or reuse them across different screens of your app.
  • Lifecycle management: The architecture components handle the Android lifecycle events, such as rotating the screen or pausing the app, automatically. This saves you from writing boilerplate code to handle these events manually.
  • Data persistence: Android Architecture Components provide a library called Room that simplifies the process of working with SQLite databases, making it easier to store and retrieve data in your app.

By using Android Architecture Components, you can build apps that are more maintainable, testable, and scalable, and save time and effort in the development process.

“Android Architecture Components provide a clear structure for your app, making it easier to understand and maintain over time.”

“By using Android Architecture Components, you can build apps that are more maintainable, testable, and scalable.”

Setting up Your Android Development Environment

To get started with Android development and harness the power of Android Architecture Components, you need to set up your development environment. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get everything up and running smoothly.

Installing Android Studio

Android Studio is the official integrated development environment (IDE) for Android app development. Follow these steps to install it:

  1. Download Android Studio: Head over to the Android Studio website and click on the “Download” button. Choose the correct version for your operating system.
  2. Run the Installer: Once the download is complete, run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions. Android Studio will guide you through the installation process.
  3. Install SDK Packages: After installing Android Studio, you’ll need to set up the Android Software Development Kit (SDK). Launch Android Studio and go to Preferences (on macOS) or Settings (on Windows). Navigate to the Appearance & Behavior tab and select System Settings, then click on Android SDK. Here, you can select the required SDK packages and install them.

Configuring Project Dependencies

To start building apps using Android Architecture Components, you need to configure the project dependencies in your application’s build.gradle file. Follow these steps to make sure you have the necessary dependencies installed:

  1. Open the build.gradle File: In Android Studio, navigate to the Project view on the left side of the IDE. Expand your project’s root directory and find the build.gradle file for your app module.
  2. Add the Required Dependencies: Within the dependencies block of the build.gradle file, add the following lines:
implementation "androidx.lifecycle:lifecycle-viewmodel:2.2.0"
implementation "androidx.lifecycle:lifecycle-runtime:2.2.0"
implementation "androidx.lifecycle:lifecycle-extensions:2.2.0"
implementation ""
annotationProcessor ""
implementation ""

These dependencies include the necessary components for working with Android Architecture Components, such as ViewModel, LiveData, and Room for local persistence.

  1. Sync the Project: After adding the dependencies, click on the Sync Now button in the toolbar at the top of the IDE. This will sync your project with the new dependencies and make them available for use in your code.

That’s it! You’ve successfully set up your Android development environment to start using Android Architecture Components. Now, let’s explore the core components in the next section.

Pro Tip: If you encounter any issues during the installation or configuration process, refer to the official Android documentation or seek help from the vast online community of Android developers. Development environments can sometimes be tricky to set up, but with a little patience, you’ll be up and running in no time!

Exploring the Core Components

When it comes to building robust and maintainable Android apps, it is essential to understand the core components of the Android Architecture Components. These components provide a solid foundation for creating well-structured and efficient applications. In this section, we will explore the key components that make up the Android Architecture Components.

Activity and Fragment

Activities and fragments are fundamental building blocks of any Android app. They are responsible for handling user interaction and managing the user interface. The Android Architecture Components provide enhanced versions of these components that simplify their lifecycle management and improve their overall performance.


The ViewModel component serves as a communication hub between the user interface and the underlying data. It holds the data required by the user interface and provides methods for updating and retrieving that data. The ViewModel is independent of any specific view, making it easier to test and reuse across multiple screens.


LiveData is an observable data holder class that simplifies the process of updating the user interface in response to changes in data. It ensures that the UI stays up to date with the latest data from the ViewModel. LiveData automatically updates the UI when the data changes and handles configuration changes, such as screen rotations, without any additional effort from the developer.


Room is a powerful database abstraction layer provided by the Android Architecture Components. It simplifies the process of working with SQLite databases and provides type-safe queries at compile time. Room also handles common database operations such as data persistence and retrieval, eliminating the need for boilerplate code.

“These core components form the backbone of the Android Architecture Components and enable developers to build efficient, scalable, and maintainable apps.”

Implementing MVVM Pattern with Android Architecture Components

In this section, we will dive into how to implement the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) pattern using Android Architecture Components. MVVM is a popular architectural pattern that helps in separating the concerns of your app, making it easier to manage and maintain. With Android Architecture Components, implementing the MVVM pattern becomes even simpler and more efficient.

MVVM Overview

Before we get into the implementation details, let’s have a quick overview of the MVVM pattern. MVVM separates your app’s logic into three main components:

  • Model: The model represents the data and business logic of your app. It encapsulates the data, performs data manipulation, and communicates with data sources such as databases or network APIs.
  • View: The view represents the UI of your app. It is responsible for displaying data and handling user interactions. In Android, views are typically represented by Activities or Fragments.
  • ViewModel: The ViewModel acts as a bridge between the view and the model. It provides data to the view and handles user actions from the view. It also holds the state of the UI, making it independent of the lifecycle of the view.

The main benefit of using the MVVM pattern is that it promotes separation of concerns, making your code more modular and easier to test.

Connecting View and ViewModel

In Android Architecture Components, the connection between the view and the view model is established using LiveData and Data Binding.

  • LiveData: LiveData is a data holder class that allows you to observe changes in the data and automatically update the UI whenever the data changes. It ensures that the UI always displays the most up-to-date data. LiveData is typically used in conjunction with observables, such as RxJava or Kotlin’s Flow.
  • Data Binding: Data Binding is a powerful feature that allows you to bind UI components directly to data. It eliminates the need for manual view updating and simplifies the process of keeping the UI in sync with the data. With data binding, you can directly bind data from your ViewModel to the UI components, reducing boilerplate code.

Handling Data with LiveData

To handle data in your ViewModel and make it accessible to the view, you can use LiveData. LiveData is an observable data holder class that can be observed by multiple observers. It ensures that observers (i.e., the UI components) are notified whenever the data changes.

Here’s an example of how to use LiveData in your ViewModel:

class MyViewModel : ViewModel() {
    private val _data = MutableLiveData<String>()
    val data: LiveData<String>
        get() = _data
    fun fetchData() {
        // Fetch data from your data source
        // Update _data value using _data.postValue()

In the above example, _data is a private MutableLiveData object, while data is a public LiveData object. Any changes made to _data will be automatically propagated to data. In your view, you can observe the data LiveData and update the UI accordingly.

Using Room for Local Persistence

Another key component of Android Architecture Components is Room, which is a SQLite database abstraction layer. Room provides an easy way to perform database operations and simplifies the process of handling local persistence in your app.

To use Room in your app, you need to define entities, data access objects (DAOs), and a database class.

  • Entities: Entities represent the tables in your database. Each entity class corresponds to a table, and each instance of the class represents a row in that table.
  • Data Access Objects (DAOs): DAOs are responsible for defining the methods to interact with the database. They provide a high-level API for performing CRUD operations (Create, Read, Update, Delete).
  • Database class: The database class holds the instances of your DAOs and provides the necessary methods to access the database.

You can use Room together with LiveData to easily fetch data from the database and observe changes in the data.

Implementing the MVVM pattern with Android Architecture Components brings numerous benefits to your app development process. It promotes separation of concerns, simplifies the management of UI state, and enhances code maintainability. By using LiveData and Room, you can handle data in a reactive manner and provide reliable local persistence. Start integrating Android Architecture Components into your app and experience the power of MVVM today!

Unit Testing and Debugging

When it comes to developing Android apps, unit testing and debugging are crucial steps in ensuring the quality and reliability of your code. Android Architecture Components provide a solid foundation for implementing these processes efficiently and effectively. Let’s dive into the world of unit testing and debugging with Android Architecture Components!

Writing Unit Tests for ViewModel

One of the key benefits of using Android Architecture Components is the ease of writing unit tests for your app’s ViewModel. By following the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) pattern, you can separate your business logic from the UI, making it easier to test each component independently.

Here are a few tips for writing effective unit tests for your ViewModel:

  1. Isolate Dependencies: Mock or stub any external dependencies, such as repositories or API services, to ensure that your tests focus solely on the ViewModel’s behavior.
  2. Test Public Methods: Write tests to verify the expected behavior of public methods in your ViewModel. Ensure that the ViewModel correctly updates its state and notifies observers when necessary.
  3. Test LiveData: LiveData is a core component of Android Architecture Components, and it’s crucial to test its functionality. Write tests to verify that LiveData emits the correct values when observed and handles edge cases gracefully.
  4. Test Error Handling: It’s important to cover error scenarios in your unit tests. Test how the ViewModel handles errors, such as network failures or invalid inputs, and verify that it communicates the appropriate error state to the UI.

Debugging and Profiling

While unit tests help catch bugs early in the development process, debugging is still an essential tool for identifying and fixing issues in your app. Android Architecture Components offer several features that aid in the debugging and profiling of your code.

  1. Android Profiler: Android Studio’s built-in Android Profiler allows you to monitor your app’s CPU, memory, and network usage, giving you valuable insights into potential performance bottlenecks.
  2. LiveData Observers: The observability of LiveData makes it easier to debug your app’s state changes. By observing LiveData objects and using log statements or breakpoints, you can track the flow of data and identify any unexpected behavior.
  3. Logging: Implementing proper logging throughout your codebase is an effective way to track down bugs. Utilize Android’s logging framework, such as Log.d() or Timber, to log relevant information about the state and flow of your app.
  4. Breakpoints: Android Studio’s debugging tools allow you to set breakpoints in your code, pause execution, and inspect variables and their values. This powerful feature enables you to step through your code and analyze its behavior in real-time.

With these unit testing and debugging practices in place, you can ensure that your app is running smoothly and free from any hidden bugs or performance issues. Embrace the power of Android Architecture Components to streamline your testing and debugging workflow!

“Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it.” – Brian W. Kernighan

Building Robust and Maintainable Apps

When it comes to developing apps for Android, one of the most crucial aspects is building them in a way that ensures robustness and maintainability. As apps grow in complexity, it becomes imperative to adopt architectural patterns that make development easier, code more organized, and maintenance a breeze.

In today’s fast-paced world, app development demands a high level of efficiency and scalability. This is where Android Architecture Components come into play. These components provide a set of guidelines and tools that help developers build robust and maintainable apps with ease.

Here, we will delve into the world of Android Architecture Components and explore how they contribute to building apps that stand the test of time.

Separation of Concerns

One of the key principles of building robust and maintainable apps is the separation of concerns. Android Architecture Components promote a clear separation between different parts of your app, ensuring that each component has a specific responsibility and does its job well.

By separating concerns, you make your codebase easier to understand, modify, and test. This reduces the risk of introducing bugs and makes it easier to identify the source of any issues that arise.

Simplifying Complexities

App development can quickly become complex, especially as the requirements and features grow. Android Architecture Components help simplify these complexities by providing clear guidelines on how to structure your app’s architecture.

With a well-organized architecture, each component has a specific purpose, making it easier to reason about the flow of data, handle user interactions, and manage the app’s state. This simplification allows developers to focus more on the app’s logic and functionality, rather than getting lost in a tangled mess of code.

Ensuring Code Reusability

Code reusability is a crucial aspect of building maintainable apps. It allows developers to write code once and reuse it in multiple parts of the app. This saves time and effort, reduces code duplication, and ensures consistency across different parts of the app.

Android Architecture Components, particularly the ViewModel component, facilitate code reusability by providing a separate layer for managing and storing the app’s data. This allows the same ViewModel to be shared across multiple screens or fragments, eliminating the need to duplicate code and ensuring consistency in data presentation and manipulation.

Best Practices and Common Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to using Android Architecture Components, there are some best practices you should follow to ensure smooth development and to avoid any common mistakes. Let’s take a look at these best practices and pitfalls to avoid:

Using Architecture Components Wisely

  • Avoid overusing LiveData: LiveData is great for handling state changes, but avoid using it for everything. Use it only when it makes sense and adds value to your app architecture.
  • Keep ViewModel simple: The ViewModel should focus on providing data to the UI and handling user interactions. Avoid adding complex logic in the ViewModel; instead, delegate it to other classes.
  • Use the right lifecycle-aware component: Understand the lifecycle of your components and choose the appropriate lifecycle-aware component for your needs. For example, use ViewModel when you need to retain data during configuration changes, and use LiveData when you need to observe data changes in the UI.

Avoiding Overengineering

  • Don’t overcomplicate the architecture: While Android Architecture Components provide a solid foundation for building robust apps, avoid overengineering your architecture. Keep it simple and modular to ensure maintainability.
  • Avoid premature optimization: It’s natural to want to optimize your code, but don’t optimize prematurely. Focus on building a functional app first, then analyze and optimize based on actual performance bottlenecks.

Testing and Documentation

  • Write unit tests for ViewModel: Unit testing is crucial for ensuring the correctness of your code. Write unit tests for your ViewModels to verify their behavior and make future modifications easier.
  • Document your code: Document your code to make it easier for other developers (or even future you) to understand and maintain the codebase. Clearly document the purpose, inputs, and outputs of your classes and methods.

Remember, using Android Architecture Components is not a one-size-fits-all solution. You should carefully consider your app’s requirements and choose the right components and architectural patterns accordingly.

“Architecture is about making complex things structured. Good architecture will make a complex app simple to understand, develop, and maintain.” – Erifili Efthimiou

By following these best practices and avoiding common mistakes, you can build robust, maintainable, and scalable apps using Android Architecture Components.


In conclusion, Android Architecture Components offer a powerful and efficient way to build robust and maintainable apps. By following these best practices and utilizing the core components of Activity and Fragment, ViewModel, LiveData, and Room, you can create apps that are more scalable, modular, and easier to test and debug.

Implementing the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) pattern with Android Architecture Components allows for better separation of concerns and helps to simplify complex app logic. By connecting the View and the ViewModel and handling data with LiveData, you can ensure that your app is responsive and updates in real-time. Additionally, using Room for local persistence enables seamless storage and retrieval of data, enhancing the overall user experience.

By writing unit tests for your ViewModels and utilizing debugging and profiling tools, you can ensure that your app is free of bugs and performs optimally. Building robust and maintainable apps is essential for the success of any app, and Android Architecture Components provide the necessary tools and structure to achieve this.

Remember to follow best practices when using Architecture Components, avoid overengineering, and prioritize testing and documentation. These practices will not only make your code more maintainable but also make it easier for other developers to understand and contribute to your project.

By implementing Android Architecture Components and following these guidelines, you can build high-quality apps that are easier to develop, maintain, and scale. So, get started with Android Architecture Components and take your app development skills to the next level!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are Android Architecture Components?
    Android Architecture Components are a collection of libraries provided by Google that help developers design robust and maintainable apps by following best practices of software architecture.
  2. Which components are included in Android Architecture Components?
    Android Architecture Components include LiveData, ViewModel, Room, and Data Binding. LiveData provides data observation and eliminates memory leaks, ViewModel stores and manages UI-related data, Room is a SQLite object mapping library, and Data Binding allows for efficient UI updates.
  3. Why should I use Android Architecture Components in my app development?
    Using Android Architecture Components can greatly improve the overall quality of your app. They promote separation of concerns, better code organization, easier testing, and facilitate the adoption of architectural patterns like MVVM (Model-View-ViewModel).
  4. Is it necessary to use all the components together?
    No, it is not necessary to use all the components together. Android Architecture Components are designed to be modular, so you can choose to implement only the components that best fit your app’s requirements.
  5. Are Android Architecture Components backward compatible?
    Yes, Android Architecture Components are backward compatible. They are available as part of the Android Jetpack library and provide support for Android devices running Android 4.0 (API level 14) and above.
Share on:
Vijaygopal Balasa

Vijaygopal Balasa is a blogger with a passion for writing about a variety of topics and Founder/CEO of Androidstrike. In addition to blogging, he is also a Full-stack blockchain engineer by profession and a tech enthusiast. He has a strong interest in new technologies and is always looking for ways to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.