AngularFire / Firebase - GET'ing a single element from $firebaseArray in order to use in DOM / $remove


I am having some trouble using AngularFire / Firebase to get an individual record from a collection (and then, after I have it, $remove'ing it from the collection). I believe I'm following proper documentation located here:

NOTE: a lot of documentation / blogs / answers I have found appear to use the deprecated $firebase service (with the $asArray method) - however, more recent docs identify that $firebaseArray is the correct service to use, FYI.

For some reason, even though I can accurately pull my polls collection, I cannot extract an individual element (although the official docs appear to have the same syntax I'm using).

Docs for $remove (

## official docs ##

Remove a record from Firebase and from the local data. This method returns 
a promise that resolves after the record is deleted at the server. It will 
contain a Firebase reference to the deleted record. It accepts either an 
array index or a reference to an item that exists in the array.

var list = $firebaseArray(ref);
var item = list[2];
list.$remove(item).then(function(ref) {
  ref.key() === item.$id; // true

My code (see console.log's below):

.service('pollsData', function($firebaseArray){
    var fireRef = new Firebase('<-my-firebase-ref-url>');
    var polls = $firebaseArray(fireRef.child('polls'));
    var service = this;

    this.clearPolls = clearPolls;
    this.setInitialPolls = setInitialPolls;
    this.getPolls = getPolls;

    function clearPolls() {
      console.log("length: ", polls.length);  <--- I get a length of 0
      console.log(polls);  <-- I get a $firebaseArray object including the methods in the API docs
      console.log(polls[0], polls[1], polls[2]); <--- all 3 are undefined even though I can see several in the firebase data dashboard

      var poll = polls[1];
      console.log("poll?: ", poll);

    function getPolls() {
      polls = polls || $firebaseArray(fireRef.child('polls'));
      return polls;  <-- I can successfully ng-repeat over this returned selection in the template

    function setInitialPolls() {
        one: {
          name: "fantastic pollllllls",
          selection_one: {
            name: "pizza",
            count: 0
          selection_two: {
            name: "fries",
            count: 0
        two: {
          name: "mediocre poll",
          selection_one: {
            name: "blue",
            count: 0
          selection_two: {
            name: "green",
            count: 0


Any insights as to why the brackets [] notation to pull out a record from the $firebaseArray would not work as expected per the AngularFire documentation?

Updated: the responses provided were still helpful since this appeared to be in conflict with my understanding of the newer documentation for $firebaseArray and the example given for the $remove section in the API docs. Understand this is still fundamentally an async concern, but since the $firebase service was deprecated and I was referencing the updated docs, this updated Question/Solution felt necessary.

Problem courtesy of: DigV


There are three methods to retrieve a record out of the $firebaseArray object.

  1. $getRecord(key)
  2. $keyAt(recordOrIndex)
  3. $indexFor(key)

I would look more closely at the documentation on each of these, but from what you have described, you probably want to use $keyAt. Keep in mind, though, that $firebaseArray is not a strict array, and the available methods provide more options/flexibility than what you would be used to having in 'just an array'.

Also, as mentioned in the comments, you want to work inside of a promise method to handle the three way data bind for you.

var arrayRef = new Firebase(firebase_location).child(child_location);
var theList = $firebase(arrayRef).$asArray();
theList.$loaded(function (list) {
  var x = list.$keyAt(list[target_position]);

  //use other methods for the $firebaseArray object
Solution courtesy of: getglad


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