Room Database with Kotlin Flow

  • Amit Shekhar
    Amit Shekhar
    Published on
Room Database with Kotlin Flow

I am Amit Shekhar, a mentor helping developers in getting high-paying tech jobs.

In this blog, we will learn how to use Room Database with Kotlin Flow in Android. We will learn to write the code inside the ViewModel with Kotlin Flow that follows a basic MVVM Architecture.

I will be using the following project for the implementation part. The project follows a basic MVVM Architecture for simplicity. You can find the complete code for the implementation mentioned in this blog in the project itself.

GitHub Project: Learn Kotlin Flow

First, we need to set up our dependencies for the Room Database as below:

implementation ""
kapt ""
implementation ""

Note: Always check for the latest available version.

Do not forget to add the Kotlin plugin for Annotation Processing in your app-level gradle file.

plugins {
    id 'kotlin-kapt'

Now, create the entity data class User as below:

data class User(
    @PrimaryKey val id: Int,
    @ColumnInfo(name = "name") val name: String?,
    @ColumnInfo(name = "email") val email: String?,
    @ColumnInfo(name = "avatar") val avatar: String?

For this User entity class, we need to create Dao required for Room Database, which we will name as UserDao.

interface UserDao {

    @Query("SELECT * FROM user")
    fun getAll(): List<User>

    fun insertAll(users: List<User>)

    fun delete(user: User)


Now, we need to create a class AppDatabase that extends RoomDatabase.

@Database(entities = [User::class], version = 1)
abstract class AppDatabase : RoomDatabase() {

    abstract fun userDao(): UserDao


After this, we will be needing a class DatabaseBuilder which will be a Singleton.

object DatabaseBuilder {

    private var INSTANCE: AppDatabase? = null

    fun getInstance(context: Context): AppDatabase {
        if (INSTANCE == null) {
            synchronized(AppDatabase::class) {
                if (INSTANCE == null) {
                    INSTANCE = buildRoomDB(context)
        return INSTANCE!!

    private fun buildRoomDB(context: Context) =


Then, we will create a DatabaseHelper interface.

interface DatabaseHelper {

    fun getUsers(): Flow<List<User>>

    fun insertAll(users: List<User>): Flow<Unit>


After that, we will create a class DatabaseHelperImpl that implements the DatabaseHelper interface.

class DatabaseHelperImpl(private val appDatabase: AppDatabase) : DatabaseHelper {

    override fun getUsers(): Flow<List<User>> = flow {

    override fun insertAll(users: List<User>): Flow<Unit> = flow {


Here, we must understand that the return type is Flow. Also, we are using a flow builder and emitting the item as per the requirement.

Once we've done that, we can create the instance of DatabaseHelper as below:

val dbHelper = DatabaseHelperImpl(DatabaseBuilder.getInstance(applicationContext))

Finally, we can pass this instance wherever required, for example to the ViewModel, and make the query to get the users from the database as below:

class RoomDBViewModel(private val apiHelper: ApiHelper, private val dbHelper: DatabaseHelper) : ViewModel() {

    init {

    private fun fetchUsers() {
        viewModelScope.launch {
                .catch { e ->
                    // handle exception
                .collect {
                    // list of users from the database


This way, we are able to query the database using Kotlin Flow in Android.

This is how we can use Room Database with Kotlin Flow in Android.

Master Kotlin Coroutines from here: Mastering Kotlin Coroutines

That's it for now.


Amit Shekhar

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