Object Models & Schemas - Android SDK¶
An object schema is a configuration object that defines the fields and relationships of a Realm object type. Android Realm applications define object schemas with Java or Kotlin classes using Realm Object Models.
Object schemas specify constraints on object fields such as the data type of each field, whether a field is required, and default field values. Schemas can also define relationships between object types in a realm.
Modifying your application's Realm Object Model requires you to migrate data from older versions of your Realm Object Model to the new version.
Every Realm app has a Realm Schema composed of a list of object schemas for each type of object that the realms in that application may contain.
MongoDB Realm guarantees that all objects in a realm conform to the schema for their object type and validates objects whenever they're created, modified, or deleted.
Realm apps that take advantage of Realm Sync can define schemas in two ways:
New in version Since: version 10.6.0, Realm Database automatically indexes primary keys.
Realm treats fields marked with the @PrimaryKey annotation as primary keys for their corresponding object schema. Primary keys are subject to the following limitations:
- You can define only one primary key per object schema.
- Primary key values must be unique across all instances of an object in a realm. Attempting to insert a duplicate primary key value results in a RealmPrimaryKeyConstraintException.
- Primary key values are immutable. To change the primary key value of an object, you must delete the original object and insert a new object with a different primary key value.
- Embedded objects cannot define a primary key.
You can create a primary key with any of the following types:
String as a primary key implicitly
indexes the field.
Non-primitive types can contain a value of
null as a primary key
value, but only for one object of a particular type, since each primary
key value must be unique. Attempting to insert an object with an existing
primary key into a realm will result in a
Realm Database automatically indexes primary key fields, which allows you to efficiently read and modify objects based on their primary key.
You cannot change the primary key field for an object type after adding any object of that type to a realm. If you are using Realm Sync, you cannot change the primary key field for an object after defining the primary key in your backend Realm Schema.
Embedded objects cannot contain primary keys.
You can make a field required to disallow
null values in a field.
Fields marked with Java object types and Kotlin nullable types
?) are nullable by default. All other types
(primitives, non-nullable Kotlin object types) are required by default.
You can mark a nullable field with the @Required
annotation to prevent that field from holding a null value.
RealmLists are never nullable, but
you can use the
@Required annotation to prevent objects in a list
from holding a null value, even if the base type would otherwise allow it.
You cannot mark a
RealmObject subtypes as required.
You can make any of the following types required:
Primitive types such as
int and the
RealmList type are
implicitly required. Fields with the
RealmObject type are always
nullable, and cannot be made required.
In Kotlin, types are non-nullable by default unless you explicitly
? suffix to the type. You can only annotate
nullable types. Using the
@Required annotation on non-nullable types will fail compilation.
You can model one-to-one relationships in realm with
You can model one-to-many and many-to-one relationships
Inverse relationships are the opposite end of a one-to-many or
You can make inverse relationships traversable with the
annotation on a RealmResults
field. In an instance of a
RealmObject, inverse relationship fields
contain the set of Realm objects that point to that object
instance through the described relationship. You can find the same set
of Realm objects with a manual query, but the inverse
relationship field reduces boilerplate query code and capacity for error.
Indexes support the efficient execution of queries in Realm Database. Without indexes, Realm Database must perform a collection scan, i.e. scan every document in a collection, to select those documents that match a query. If an appropriate index exists for a query, Realm Database can use the index to limit the number of documents that it must inspect.
Indexes are special data structures that store a small portion of a realm's data in an easy to traverse form. The index stores the value of a specific field ordered by the value of the field. The ordering of the index entries supports efficient equality matches and range-based query operations.
Adding an index to a field makes writing slightly slower, but makes certain queries faster. Indexes require space in your realm file, so adding an index to a field will increase disk space consumed by your realm file.
You can index fields with the following types:
Realm creates indexes for fields annotated with @Index. Indexes speed up some queries, but have a negative impact on insert and update operation speed. Indexes also consume additional space on disk.
Realm Modules describe the set of Realm objects that can be stored in a realm. By default, Realm automatically creates a Realm Module that contains all Realm objects defined in your application. You can define a RealmModule to restrict a realm to a subset of classes defined in an application. If you produce a library that uses Realm, you can use a Realm Module to explicitly include only the Realm objects defined in your library in your realm. This allows applications that include your library to also use Realm without managing object name conflicts and migrations with your library's defined Realm objects.
Unlike normal Java objects, which contain their own data, a Realm object doesn’t contain data. Instead, Realm objects read and write properties directly to Realm Database.
Instances of Realm objects can be either managed or unmanaged.
Managed objects are:
- persisted in Realm Database
- always up to date
- generally more lightweight than the unmanaged version, as they take up less space on the Java heap.
- Unmanaged objects are just like ordinary Java objects, since they are not persisted and never update automatically. You can move unmanaged objects freely across threads.
RealmProxy classes are the Realm SDK's way of
ensuring that Realm objects don't contain any data
themselves. Instead, each class's
RealmProxy accesses data directly
in the database.
For every model class in your project, the Realm annotation
processor generates a corresponding
RealmProxy class. This class
extends your model class and is returned when you call
Realm.createObject(). In your code, this object works just like your
Realm Object Limitations¶
- cannot contain fields that use the
volatilemodifiers (except for inverse relationship fields).
- cannot extend any object other than
- must contain an empty constructor (if your class does not include any constructor, the automatically generated empty constructor will suffice)
- Class names cannot exceed 57 characters.
- Class names must be unique within realm modules
- Field names cannot exceed 63 characters.
bytefields cannot exceed 16 MB.
- Because Realm objects are live and can change at any time,
hashCode()value can change over time. As a result, you should not use
RealmObjectinstances as a key in any map or set.
The bytecode transformer used by Realm supports incremental builds, but your application requires a full rebuild when adding or removing the following from a Realm object field:
You can perform a full rebuild with Build > Clean Project and Build > Rebuild Project in these cases.
- Realm objects are of a type defined as you would any other class.
- The Realm object's schema defines the fields of the object and which fields are optional, which fields have a default value, and which fields are indexed.
- You can define to-one, to-many, and inverse relationships in your schema. Inverse relationships automatically form backlinks.