Live Preview

Here, you’ll find more about Live Preview’s functionalities.


Live Preview is a visualization resource that helps with layout development. It allows the screens in development to be rendered and you don’t have to run your backend server to alter the layout, which reduces a screen’s development time.

In other words, when a developer edits a code defining a screen, he can use the plugin so that the updates are communicated to the client and it renders them. This way, it’s possible to view the change without running a back-end server.


To use Live Preview, you must:

  • Use Beagle SDK in your BFF ;
  • Install BeaglePreview plugin;

BFF Configuration

You must have a configured BFF with Beagle to use Live Preview. In case you haven’t done it, click here to download an initial project. As an alternative, follow our tutorial on how to implement a Beagle configured backend.

IntelliJ plugin installation

To install BeaglePreview, See Live Preview plugin for IntelliJ.

Live Preview Use

Step 1: Backend’s Configuration

The following steps allow you to view a screen defined in the backend using Live Preview:

  1. You will create a declarative screen to test. The code ahead will return a simple screen as an example.
  2. You will create a function that returns the screen to be viewed through the plugin.
  3. Finally, you must annotate this function with@BeaglePreview.

After this, Live Preview will be capable of receiving the developed screen to be rendered. Some interesting points on the example below:

  • Notice the screen itself is defined in the ScreenBeagleBuilder class.
  • The buildPreview function is annotated with @BeaglePreview and, therefore, the sender of the screen to be rendered by the plugin.
fun buildPreview() = ScreenBeagleBuilder()

class ScreenBeagleBuilder: ScreenBuilder {
    override fun build() = Screen(
        child = Container(
            children = listOf(
                Text("Live Preview!!!")

If your function is recognized by the plugin, Beagle’s logo will appear as a button to the left of the function. When clicking this button, BeaglePreview will push the layout to the client (frontend application), allowing it to update your layout instantly! See the example below:

After running the plugin on some function, you only need to save the changes done in your layout so that the Live Preview updates the screen being rendered by the frontend. It does this by compiling your modified code and verifying if there is some change and, if there is, push your new layout to the client.

Step 2: iOS and Android’s Frontend configuration

Once you have configured your backend, the next step is to configure the frontend’s application emulator for a Beagle Android or iOS project.

Step 1: Installing the submodule

To make this installation, your gradle file must contain the following fragment:

The latest Beagle’s version: Maven Central

// Add in your plugins
apply plugin: 'kotlin-kapt'

// Add in your app level dependency
ext.beagle_version = "${beagle_version}"

dependencies {
    implementation "$beagle_version"
    kapt "$beagle_version"

    debugImplementation "$beagle_version"

On ext.beagle_version = "${beagle_version}", insert the Beagle’s release version on the place of ${beagle.version}. That means that you put the Beagle’s version indicated on the blue badge, but without the v character.

For example: undefined-ext.beagle.version = "1.8.0"

Once you made it, you can update your dependencies.

Step 2: Create a Preview Activity

First of all, it’s necessary to state a PreviewActivity on your application’s manifest to show a preview:

Copy and paste the Activity below on your AndroidManifest:


As well as in BeagleActivity, you must inform onPreviewActivity state that the theme has not the ActionBar, because Beagle already coordinates this component.

Visualize screens through Android Studio’s Emulator

After you finished the previous configurations, you must start the IntelliJ plugin by clicking on Beagle’s symbol next to the function that notes @BeaglePreview and opensPreviewActivity to receive the updates sent from BFF to be automatically rendered.

  • To start the PreviewActivity through intent, you just have to call the intent below to see the emulator’s screen:

However, if you prefer to start through ADB, just call the method:

adb shell am start -n applicationpackagename/

Visualize screens through Android Device

You can also view the screen you’re creating by an Android device. To do so, it’s necessary to inform your network’s IP on the intent that calls the Live Preview screen.

  • To start a PreviewActivity through device, you just have to call the intent below so you can see the screen on your device:
            endpoint = "http://myIP:9721"

Step 1: Install the submodule

To make the installation, your pod file must contain the following fragments:

pod 'BeagleUI', :git => ''
pod 'BeagleUI/Preview', :git => ''

After that, you can update your dependencies:

$ pod install

Step 2: Use

The user must present the preview’s controller of any visible UIViewController with BeaglePreview.present(in:self) code.

Once you made it, the preview controller will connect to a plugin and start to listen the received messages about layout change.

On the hypothetical example below, you can see how the UIViewController must be shown:

import BeagleUI

class ViewController: UIViewController {

    override func viewDidLoad() {

    override func viewDidAppear(_ animated: Bool) {

        BeaglePreview.present(in: self)



When using Live Preview, there are two important points to keep in mind:

  1. The Live Preview client can render any change using the elements available to it when it was started. Custom elements added afterward require a client to rebuild and restart.
  2. The @BeaglePreview annotation works with public methods with no parameters outside any class or in a public class that has a constructor with no parameters. See the snippets below.
class UnsupportedConstructor(thing: Any) {
    fun preview() = Text(":(")

class SupportedPrimaryConstructor {
    fun preview() = Text(":)")

class SupportedBySecondaryConstructor(thing: Any) {
    constructor() : this("solved")

    fun preview() = Text(":)")

class MethodSupport {
    fun supportedMethod() = Text(":)")

    fun unsupportedMethod(thing: Any) = Text(":(")

fun unsupportedFunction(thing: Any) = Text(":(")

fun supportedFunction() = Text(":)")

Last modified June 2, 2021: adjust tutorial android (#600) (ef14f808)