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Live Queries

Couchbase Lite database data querying concepts — live queries

Activating a Live Query

A live query is a query that, once activated, remains active and monitors the database for changes; refreshing the result set whenever a change occurs. As such, it is a great way to build reactive user interfaces — especially table/list views — that keep themselves up to date.

So, a simple use case may be: A replicator running and pulling new data from a server, whilst a live-query-driven UI automatically updates to show the data without the user having to manually refresh. This helps your app feel quick and responsive.

To activate a live query, just add a change listener to the query statement. It will be immediately active. When a change is detected the query automatically runs, and posts the new query result to any observers (change listeners).

Example 1. Starting a Live Query

val query = QueryBuilder

// Adds a query change listener.
// Changes will be posted on the main queue.
val token = query.addChangeListener { change ->
    change.results?.let { rs ->
        rs.forEach {
            println("results: ${it.keys}")
            /* Update UI */
  1. Build the query statements.
  2. Activate the live query by attaching a listener. Save the token in order to detach the listener and stop the query later — see Example 2.

Example 2. Stop a Live Query


Here we use the change lister token from Example 1 to remove the listener. Doing so stops the live query.

Using Kotlin Flows

Kotlin developers also have the option of using Flows to feed query changes to the UI.

Define a live query as a Flow and activate a collector in the view creation function.

fun watchQuery(query: Query): Flow<List<Result>> {
    return query.queryChangeFlow()
        .mapNotNull { change ->
            val err = change.error
            if (err != null) {
               throw err