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React to Changes - C++ SDK

On this page

  • Register an Object Change Listener
  • Register a Collection Change Listener
  • Register a Results Collection Change Listener
  • Stop Watching for Changes
  • Change Notification Limits

All Realm objects are live objects, which means they automatically update whenever they're modified. Realm emits a notification event whenever any property changes. You can register a notification handler to listen for these notification events, and update your UI with the latest data.

You can register a notification handler on a specific object within a realm. Realm notifies your handler:

  • When the object is deleted.

  • When any of the object's properties change.

auto token = object.observe([&](auto&& change) { ... }

The handler receives an object_change object that contains information about the changes, such as whether the object was deleted. It may include a list of PropertyChange objects that contain information about what fields changed, the new values of those fields (except on List properties), and potentially the old values of the fields.

if (change.error) {
rethrow_exception(change.error);
}
if (change.is_deleted) {
std::cout << "The object was deleted.\n";
} else {
for (auto& propertyChange : change.property_changes) {
std::cout << "The object's " << propertyChange.name
<< " property has changed.\n";
auto newPropertyValue =
std::get<std::string>(*propertyChange.new_value);
std::cout << "The new value is " << newPropertyValue << "\n";
}
}

When you make changes, refresh() the realm to emit a notification.

auto config = realm::db_config();
auto realm = realm::db(std::move(config));
// Create an object and move it into the database.
auto dog = realm::Dog{.name = "Max"};
realm.write([&] { realm.add(std::move(dog)); });
auto dogs = realm.objects<realm::Dog>();
auto specificDog = dogs[0];
// Set up the listener & observe object notifications.
auto token = specificDog.observe([&](auto&& change) {
try {
if (change.error) {
rethrow_exception(change.error);
}
if (change.is_deleted) {
std::cout << "The object was deleted.\n";
} else {
for (auto& propertyChange : change.property_changes) {
std::cout << "The object's " << propertyChange.name
<< " property has changed.\n";
auto newPropertyValue =
std::get<std::string>(*propertyChange.new_value);
std::cout << "The new value is " << newPropertyValue << "\n";
}
}
} catch (std::exception const& e) {
std::cerr << "Error: " << e.what() << "\n";
}
});
// Update the dog's name to see the effect.
realm.write([&] { specificDog.name = "Wolfie"; });
// Deleting the object triggers a delete notification.
realm.write([&] { realm.remove(specificDog); });
// Refresh the database after the change to trigger the notification.
realm.refresh();
// Unregister the token when done observing.
token.unregister();

You can register a notification handler on a collection. A collection is a list, map, or set property that can contain any supported data type, including primitives or other objects.

Realm notifies your handler whenever a write transaction removes, adds, or changes objects in the collection.

Notifications describe the changes since the prior notification with three lists of indices: the indices of the objects that were removed, inserted, and modified.

Important

Order Matters

In collection notification handlers, always apply changes in the following order: deletions, insertions, then modifications. Handling insertions before deletions may result in unexpected behavior.

Collection notifications provide a collection_change struct that reports the index of the objects that are removed, added, or modified. It can also notify you if the collection was deleted.

In this example, the Person object has a list of Dog objects as a property:

struct Person {
std::string name;
std::vector<Dog*> dogs;
};
REALM_SCHEMA(Person, name, dogs)

Removing a dog, adding a new dog, or modifying a dog triggers the notification handler:

// Set up the listener & observe a collection.
auto token = person.dogs.observe([&](auto&& changes) {
if (changes.collection_root_was_deleted) {
std::cout << "The collection was deleted.\n";
} else {
// Handle deletions, then insertions, then modifications.
for (auto& collectionChange : changes.deletions) {
std::cout << "The object at index " << std::to_string(collectionChange)
<< " was removed\n";
}
for (auto& collectionChange : changes.insertions) {
std::cout << "The object at index " << std::to_string(collectionChange)
<< " was inserted\n";
}
for (auto& collectionChange : changes.modifications) {
std::cout << "The object at index " << std::to_string(collectionChange)
<< " was modified\n";
}
}
});
// Remove an object from the collection, and then add an object to see
// deletions and insertions.
realm.write([&] {
person.dogs.clear();
person.dogs.push_back(&dog2);
});
// Modify an object to see a modification.
realm.write([&] { dog2.age = 2; });
// Refresh the realm after the change to trigger the notification.
realm.refresh();
// Unregister the token when done observing.
token.unregister();

You can register a notification handler on a results collection.

Realm notifies your handler whenever a write transaction removes, adds, or changes objects in the collection.

Notifications describe the changes since the prior notification with three lists of indices: the indices of the objects that were deleted, inserted, and modified.

Important

Order Matters

In collection notification handlers, always apply changes in the following order: deletions, insertions, then modifications. Handling insertions before deletions may result in unexpected behavior.

Results collection notifications provide a results_change struct that reports the index of the objects that are deleted, added, or modified. It can also notify you if the collection was deleted.

// Get a results collection to observe
auto dogs = realm.objects<realm::Dog>();
// Set up the listener & observe results notifications.
auto token = dogs.observe([&](auto&& changes) {
try {
if (changes.collection_root_was_deleted) {
std::cout << "The collection was deleted.\n";
} else {
// Handle deletions, then insertions, then modifications.
for (auto& resultsChange : changes.deletions) {
std::cout << "The object at index " << std::to_string(resultsChange)
<< " was deleted\n";
}
for (auto& resultsChange : changes.insertions) {
std::cout << "The object at index " << std::to_string(resultsChange)
<< " was inserted\n";
}
for (auto& resultsChange : changes.modifications) {
std::cout << "The object at index " << std::to_string(resultsChange)
<< " was modified\n";
}
}
} catch (std::exception const& e) {
std::cerr << "Error: " << e.what() << "\n";
}
});
// Delete and then add an object to see deletions and insertions.
realm.write([&] {
realm.remove(firstDog);
realm.add(std::move(dog2));
});
// Modify an object to see a modification.
realm.write([&] { dog2.age = 2; });
// Refresh the database after the change to trigger the notification.
realm.refresh();
// Unregister the token when done observing.
token.unregister();

Observation stops when the token returned by an observe call becomes invalid. You can explicitly invalidate a token by calling its unregister() member function.

// Unregister the token when done observing.
token.unregister();

Important

Retain Tokens as Long as You Want to Observe

Notifications stop when the token's destructor is called. For example, if the token is in a local variable that goes out of scope. You can use std::move to transfer the token to a variable in a different scope.

Changes in nested documents deeper than four levels down do not trigger change notifications.

If you have a data structure where you need to listen for changes five levels down or deeper, workarounds include:

  • Refactor the schema to reduce nesting.

  • Add something like "push-to-refresh" to enable users to manually refresh data.

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