Android Basics – Learn how to use an AsyncTask to create a background thread

Like you have seen earlier the code written in the MainActivity class runs in the main thread. If you run the database related code like insert/update etc. on the MainThread then it will slow the App and can lead to bad user experience.

AsyncTask class helps us to overcome this by creating a background thread. Let’s see how to use this.

An AsyncTask has the following methods

  • onPreExecute() : Runs on the main thread and allows you to do initial setup
  • doInBackground() : Runs on a background thread.
  • onPostExecute() : Runs on the Main Thread after the task completes.

Refer to the code segment below in which an inner AsyncTask has been created.

private class SurveyDBAsyncTask extends AsyncTask<String, Void, Long>{

    ContentValues cv;

    protected void onPreExecute() {
        Log.v(TAG, "Data entered by the user is "+userNameId.getText()+" "+userAgeId.getText()+" "+userEmailId);

        cv = new ContentValues();
        cv.put(SurveyDBHelper.SURVEY_TABLE_NAME_COLUMN, userNameId.getText().toString());
        cv.put(SurveyDBHelper.SURVEY_TABLE_EMAIL_COLUMN, userEmailId.getText().toString());
        cv.put(SurveyDBHelper.SURVEY_TABLE_AGE_COLUMN, userAgeId.getText().toString());


     * Override this method to perform a computation on a background thread. The
     * specified parameters are the parameters passed to {@link #execute}
     * by the caller of this task.
     * <p/>
     * This method can call {@link #publishProgress} to publish updates
     * on the UI thread.
     * @param params The parameters of the task.
     * @return A result, defined by the subclass of this task.
     * @see #onPreExecute()
     * @see #onPostExecute
     * @see #publishProgress
    protected Long doInBackground(String... params) {
        long id = 0;

        try {
            SurveyDBHelper surveyDBHelper = new SurveyDBHelper(MainActivity.this);
            SQLiteDatabase db = surveyDBHelper.getReadableDatabase();

            id = db.insert(SurveyDBHelper.SURVEY_TABLE, null, cv);

        }catch (SQLiteException e){
            Log.v(TAG, "Exception "+e.getMessage());
        return id;

    protected void onPostExecute(Long id) {

You can find the complete source code here.

Author: Ankur

I am Enthusiastic about Learning new things and sharing my Knowledge. I like programming and have a pretty good background in Computer Science.

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