DBFlow provides a flexible way to observe changes on models and tables in this library.

By default, DBFlow supports direct model notification via DirectModelNotifier.

Also, the DBFlowDatabase class provides a TableObserver object, which provides observability backbone for QueryDataSource (Paging extensions), LiveData, and RXJava3 support.

Also with configuration, DBFlow can use the ContentResolver to send changes through the android system. We then can utilize ContentObserver to listen for these changes via the FlowContentObserver

Direct Changes

We must use the shared instance of the DirectModelNotifier since if we do not, your listeners will not receive callbacks.

Next register for changes on the DirectModelNotifier:

DirectModelNotifier.get().registerForModelChanges(User::class, object: ModelChangedListener<User> {
            override fun onModelChanged(model: User, action: ChangeAction) {
                // react to model changes

            override fun onTableChanged(action: ChangeAction) {
              // react to table changes.

Then unregister your model change listener when you don't need it anymore (to prevent memory leaks):

DirectModelNotifier.get().unregisterForModelChanges(User::class, modelChangedListener);


The TableObserver is a more efficient mechanism for tracking table-level changes on the DB. It utilizes triggers under the hood to track table changes during operations (but only with active Table observers used). It is useful for providing reactive queries that will autoreload when data changes.

Note: You must execute a db transaction to automatically check for table changes in observers.

// wire up the observer (example uses LiveData)
(select from MyTable::class
  where name.like("Andrew%"))
  .liveData { db, q -> q.queryList(db)
  .observe(lifecycle) { value ->
// perform some transaction
(update<MyTable>() set name.eq("Andrew") where name.eq("Mike"))
  .async(db) { d -> execute(d) }
  .execute { _, result -> 
    Log.w("MyTable", "Updated ${result} rows")

To manually access it (when you need to update it outside of a transaction):



To use a FlowContentObserver instead of direct changes, we override the default ModelNotifier:

                .modelNotifier(ContentResolverNotifier(context, authority))

The content observer converts each model passed to it into Uri format that describes the Action, primary keys, and table of the class that changed.

A model:

@Table(database = AppDatabase.class)
class User(@PrimaryKey var id: Int = 0, @Column var name: String = "")

with data:

User(55, "Andrew Grosner").delete()

converts to:


Then after we register a FlowContentObserver:

val observer = FlowContentObserver()

observer.registerForContentChanges(context, User::class)

// do something here
// unregister when done

Model Changes

It will now receive the Uri for that table. Once we have that, we can register for model changes on that content:

observer.addModelChangeListener(object : OnModelStateChangedListener {
  override fun onModelStateChanged(table: Class<*>?, 
        action: ChangeAction,
        primaryKeyValues: Array<SQLOperator>) {
    // do something here

The method will return the Action which is one of:

1. SAVE (will call INSERT or UPDATE as well if that operation was used)




The SQLOperator[] passed back specify the primary column and value pairs that were changed for the model.

If we want to get less granular and just get notifications when generally a table changes, read on.

Register for Table Changes

Table change events are similar to OnModelStateChangedListener, except that they only specify the table and action taken. These get called for any action on a table, including granular model changes. We recommend batching those events together, which we describe in the next section.

addOnTableChangedListener(object : OnTableChangedListener {
    override fun onTableChanged(tableChanged: Class<*>?, action: ChangeAction) {
        // perform an action. May get called many times! Use batch transactions to combine them.

Batch Up Many Events

Sometimes we're modifying tens or hundreds of items at the same time and we do not wish to get notified for every one but only once for each kind of change that occurs.

To batch up the notifications so that they fire all at once, we use batch transactions:

val observer = FlowContentObserver()
observer.registerForContentChanges(context, User::class.java)

    .execute(ready = { observer.beginTransaction() },
    completion = { observer.endTransactionAndNotify() })

Batch interactions will store up all unique Uri for each action (these include @Primary key of the Model changed). When endTransactionAndNotify() is called, all those Uri are called in the onChange() method from the FlowContentObserver as expected.

If we are using OnTableChangedListener callbacks, then by default we will receive one callback per Action per table. If we wish to only receive a single callback, set setNotifyAllUris(false), which will make the Uri all only specify CHANGE.

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