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

By default, DBFlow utilizes the ContentResolver to send changes through the android system. We then can utilize ContentObserver to listen for these changes via the FlowContentObserver.

Also, DBFlow also supports direct model notification via a custom ModelNotifier.


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:

FlowContentObserver observer = new 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(new OnModelStateChangedListener() {
  public void onModelStateChanged(@Nullable Class<? extends Model> table, BaseModel.Action action, @NonNull SQLOperator[] primaryKeyValues) {
    // 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(new OnTableChangedListener() {
    public void onTableChanged(@Nullable Class<? extends Model> tableChanged, BaseModel.Action action) {
        // 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:

FlowContentObserver observer = new FlowContentObserver();


// save, modify models here
for(User user: users) {

observer.endTransactionAndNotify(); // callback batched

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.

Direct Changes

DBFlow also supports direct observability on model changes rather than convert those models into Uri and have to decipher what has changed.

To set up direct changes we override the default ModelNotifier:


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, new ModelChangedListener<User>() {
            public void onModelChanged(User model, BaseModel.Action action) {
                // react to model changes

            public void onTableChanged(BaseModel.Action action) {
              // react to table changes.

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

DirectModelNotifier.get().unregisterForModelChanges(Userr.class, modelChangedListener);

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