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Relationships & Embedded Objects - Node.js SDK

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  • To-One Relationship
  • To-Many Relationship
  • Inverse Relationship
  • Dynamically Obtain an Inversely Linked Object
  • Embedded Objects
  • Realm Object Models
  • JSON Schema

A to-one relationship means that an object is related to no more than one other object in an object schema. To define a to-one relationship, specify the property type as the related Realm object type.

Example

An application could use the following object schemas to indicate that a Manufacturer may make a single Car:

A to-many relationship means that an object is related in a specific way to multiple objects. To define a to-many relationship, specify a property where the type is a list or array of the related Realm object type in its object schema.

Example

An application could use the following object schemas to indicate that a Manufacturer may make many Car models:

An inverse relationship links an object back to any other objects that refer to it in a defined to-one or to-many relationship. Relationship definitions are unidirectional by default. You must explicitly define a property in the object's model as an inverse relationship.

For example, the to-many relationship "Manufacturer has many Cars" does not automatically create the inverse relationship "Car belongs to Manufacturer". If you don't specify the inverse relationship in the object model, you need to run a separate query to look up the manufacturer who makes a car.

To define an inverse relationship, define a linkingObjects property in your object model. linkingObjects specifies the object type and property name of the relationship that it inverts.

You cannot manually set the value of an inverse relationship property. Realm automatically updates implicit relationships whenever you add or remove a related object.

Example

An application could use the following object schemas to indicate:

  1. A Manufacturer may make many Car models.

  2. Each Car should automatically link back to the Manufacturer who makes it.

The Manufacturer object's cars property is defined as a to-many relationship with a Realm.List of Car objects. It contains all of a given manufacturer's cars.

The Car object's manufacturer property inverts this relationship. The manufacturer property automatically updates to refer back to any Manufacturer object that contains the Car in its cars property.

You can dynamically retrieve an object with an inverse relationship without defining a linkingObjects type in its schema. Remove the linkingObjects type from your schema, so your schemas look like a standard to-many relationship. When you need to retrieve the linked object, call the Realm.Object.linkingObjects() query.

Example

In the following continuation from the inverse relationship example, we have removed the manufacturer field with type 'linkingObjects' from the Car schema. An application developer creates several manufacturers and car objects, and the application pushes the newly-created cars into a manufacturer's cars field.

To find the manufacturer who makes a specific car object, call .linkingObjects() and pass the "Manufacturer" class name and "cars" field as parameters.

The .linkingObjects() method returns a Results collection of objects whose property inverts the relationship. In this example, only one manufacturer makes the Sentra car model, so we can expect that manufacturer to be named Nissan.

An embedded object is a special type of Realm object that models complex data. They also map more naturally to the MongoDB document model. Embedded objects are similar to relationships, but provide additional constraints.

Realm treats each embedded object as nested data inside of a parent object. An embedded object inherits the lifecycle of its parent object. It cannot exist as an independent Realm object. This means that embedded objects cannot have a primary key. Realm also automatically deletes embedded objects if their parent object is deleted.

Tip

Embedded object types are reusable and composable

You can use the same embedded object type in multiple parent object types. You can also embed objects inside of other embedded objects. You can even recursively reference an embedded object type as an optional property in its own definition.

To specify that a Realm object model defines an embedded object, set embedded to true. Reference an embedded object type from parent object types as you would define a relationship:

Embedded objects map to embedded documents in the parent type's schema. This behavior differs from regular Realm objects, which map to their own MongoDB collection.

{
"title": "Contact",
"bsonType": "object",
"required": ["_id"],
"properties": {
"_id": { "bsonType": "objectId" },
"name": { "bsonType": "string" },
"address": {
"title": "Address",
"bsonType": "object",
"properties": {
"street": { "bsonType": "string" },
"city": { "bsonType": "string" },
"country": { "bsonType": "string" },
"postalCode": { "bsonType": "string" }
}
}
}
}
{
"title": "Business",
"bsonType": "object",
"required": ["_id", "name"],
"properties": {
"_id": { "bsonType": "objectId" },
"name": { "bsonType": "string" },
"addresses": {
"bsonType": "array",
"items": {
"title": "Address",
"bsonType": "object",
"properties": {
"street": { "bsonType": "string" },
"city": { "bsonType": "string" },
"country": { "bsonType": "string" },
"postalCode": { "bsonType": "string" }
}
}
}
}
}
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