Send work requests to the background service

The Create a background service guide shows you how to create an IntentService class. This guide builds further upon the concept, showing you how to trigger the IntentService to run an operation by sending it an Intent. This Intent can optionally contain data for the IntentService to process. You can send an Intent to an IntentService from any point in an Activity or Fragment.

Create and send a work request to an intent service

To create a work request and send it to an IntentService, create an explicit Intent, add work request data to it, and send it to IntentService by calling startService().

The following code snippets demonstrate this process:

  1. Create a new, explicit Intent for the IntentService called RSSPullService.
     * Creates a new Intent to start the RSSPullService
     * IntentService. Passes a URI in the
     * Intent's "data" field.
    mServiceIntent = new Intent(getActivity(), RSSPullService.class);
  2. Call startService().
    // Starts the IntentService

Notice that you can send the work request from anywhere in an Activity or Fragment. For example, if you need to get user input first, you can send the request from a callback that responds to a button click or similar gesture.

Once you call startService(), the IntentService does the work defined in its onHandleIntent() method, and then stops itself.

The next step is to report the results of the work request back to the originating Activity or Fragment. The next lesson shows you how to do this with a BroadcastReceiver.