Android: Managing different server URL for development and release-ThrowExceptions

Exception or error:

I am developing an Android application that interacts with server via REST APIs. Obviously I need to use different URL for development and release builds. Commenting and un-commenting code is very tedious and error pron.

Which is the best way to handle this situation? Using different build types in gradle file is one which could automate the process, but I am not sure if this is the right way to go.

There is also a possibility of increase in number of build types viz. test, internal-release etc.

How to solve:

If you are using Android Studio, use buildConfigField to add custom fields to your BuildConfig class.

buildTypes {
        debug {
          buildConfigField "String", "SERVER_URL", '""'

        release {
          buildConfigField "String", "SERVER_URL", '""'


        mezzanine {
            buildConfigField "String", "SERVER_URL", '""'

Here, I have three build types: the standard debug and release, plus a custom mezzanine one. Each defines a SERVER_URL field on BuildConfig.

Then, in Java code, you just refer to BuildConfig.SERVER_URL. That field will have a value based on what build type you used to build that particular edition of the app.


It can be managed by using ProductFlavours in app build.gradle. ProductFlavours will manage different URL ie. development and release.

Please have a look it on medium.
It involves detailed explanation.


I had a similar issue and I solved it using

if (BuildConfig.DEBUG) { } 

You will need to import

import com.commandsoftware.androidbookingapp.BuildConfig;


I had a similar problem with writing to logcat. I wanted to write all the messages if the app was signed with the debug key, otherwise write almost none of them. I solved the problem with this line of code:

boolean showAllMessages = ((getApplicationInfo().flags & ApplicationInfo.FLAG_DEBUGGABLE) != 0);

then using that boolean in my log writer. You should be able to do something similar when you initialize the URIs.

I am using Eclipse. I can’t say with certainty that this will work in other IDE environments. This answer implies that it might be an Eclipse-only feature

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