RxDB Quickstart

Welcome to the RxDB Quickstart. In a few minutes you will be shown how to create a simple realtime TODO-app with RxDB.


RxDB is distributed via npm and can be installed with the command:

npm install rxdb

RxDB uses the rxjs library as peerDependency which must also be installed:

npm install rxjs

Enable dev-mode

When you use RxDB in development mode, you should enable the dev-mode plugin which adds helpful checks and validations to RxDB and tells you if you do something wrong.

import { addRxPlugin } from 'rxdb';
import { RxDBDevModePlugin } from 'rxdb/plugins/dev-mode';

Create a RxDatabase

Choose a RxStorage

RxDB can be used in different JavaScript runtimes which have different methods to store persistend data. Depending on the runtime, a different RxStorage must be used. For browser applications it is recommended to start with the Dexie.js RxStorage which comes directly with the RxDB npm package.

import { getRxStorageDexie } from 'rxdb/plugins/storage-dexie';

Create the RxDatabase

With the storage and a picked database name, you can now create the RxDatabase instance:

import { createRxDatabase } from 'rxdb';
import { getRxStorageDexie } from 'rxdb/plugins/storage-dexie';

const myDatabase = await createRxDatabase({
  name: 'mydatabase',
  storage: getRxStorageDexie()

Create a RxCollection

On top of the RxDatabase, you can add any amount of collections. A RxCollection can then be used to store and query the actual documents.

Create a schema for a collection

RxDB requires a json schema for each collection that defines how the stored documents of that collection look like. For the example app, we create a simple schema that stores todo-document:

const mySchema = {
    version: 0,
    primaryKey: 'id',
    type: 'object',
    properties: {
        id: {
            type: 'string',
            maxLength: 100 // <- the primary key must have set maxLength
        name: {
            type: 'string'
        done: {
            type: 'boolean'
        timestamp: {
            type: 'date-time'
    required: ['id', 'name', 'done', 'timestamp']

Add a RxCollection to the RxDatabase

With that schema we can now add the todos collection to the database:

await myDatabase.addCollections({
  todos: {
    schema: mySchema

Write Operations

Now that we have a RxCollection, we can store some documents in it.

Insert a document

const myDocument = await myDatabase.todos.insert({
    id: 'todo1',
    name: 'Learn RxDB',
    done: false,
    timestamp: new Date().toISOString()

Update a document

There are multiple ways to update a RxDocument. The simplest one is the modify method that takes a plain JavaScript function which mutates the document state and returns the mutated version.

await myDocument.modify(docData => {
    docData.done = true;
    return docData;

For the other methods to change a documents data, see here

Delete a document

Delete a RxDocument by calling myDocument.remove(). This will set the documents state to DELETED which ensures that it will be no longer found in query results. RxDB stores even deleted documents so that it is able to sync the deleted state to other instances during replication. The deleted document will be purged in a later point in time with the cleanup plugin.

Query Operations

Normal Query

Like many NoSQL databases, RxDB uses the Mango syntax for query operations. To run a query, you first create an RxQuery object with myCollection.find() and then call .exec() on that object to fetch the query results.

const foundDocuments = await myDatabase.todos.find({
    selector: {
        done: {
            $eq: false

Other examples for the Mango Query syntax can be found here. In addition to the .find() RxQuery, RxDB has additional query objects that can be used to find the desired documents:

Observing data

When you build a modern realtime application with RxDB, you do not only need data once, but instead you might want to subscribe to the data so that your UI is always up-to-date with the data stored on disc. RxDB allows to subscribe to data which is then updated even when it was changed in an other part of your application, an other browser tab or by the replication.

Observing queries

To observe a query, instead of calling .exec() you get the observable of the RxQuery object via .$ and then subscribe to it.

const observable = myDatabase.todos.find({
    selector: {
        done: {
            $eq: false
observable.subscribe(allNonDoneTodos => {
    console.log('Currently have ' + allNonDoneTodos.length + 'things to do');

Subscribe to a document value

In addition to queries, you can also subscribe to the fields of a single RxDocument. Therefore you add the $ sign to the desired field and then subscribe to the returned observable.

myDocument.done$.subscribe(isDone => {
    console.log('done: ' + isDone);

Follow Up

You are now prepared to dive deeper into RxDB. If you have any questions, you can ask the community at the RxDB Chat. Also do not forget to leave a star at the RxDB github repository.

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