Getting Realtime Updates with Cloud Firestore

You can listen to a document with the onSnapshot() method. An initial call using the callback you provide creates a document snapshot immediately with the current contents of the single document. Then, each time the contents change, another call updates the document snapshot.

Web
db.collection("cities").doc("SF")
    .onSnapshot(function(doc) {
        console.log("Current data: ", doc.data());
    });
Swift
db.collection("cities").document("SF")
    .addSnapshotListener { documentSnapshot, error in
      guard let document = documentSnapshot else {
        print("Error fetching document: \(error!)")
        return
      }
      print("Current data: \(document.data())")
    }
Objective-C
[[[self.db collectionWithPath:@"cities"] documentWithPath:@"SF"]
    addSnapshotListener:^(FIRDocumentSnapshot *snapshot, NSError *error) {
      if (snapshot == nil) {
        NSLog(@"Error fetching document: %@", error);
        return;
      }
      NSLog(@"Current data: %@", snapshot.data);
    }];
  
Android
final DocumentReference docRef = db.collection("cities").document("SF");
docRef.addSnapshotListener(new EventListener<DocumentSnapshot>() {
    @Override
    public void onEvent(@Nullable DocumentSnapshot snapshot,
                        @Nullable FirebaseFirestoreException e) {
        if (e != null) {
            Log.w(TAG, "Listen failed.", e);
            return;
        }

        if (snapshot != null && snapshot.exists()) {
            Log.d(TAG, "Current data: " + snapshot.getData());
        } else {
            Log.d(TAG, "Current data: null");
        }
    }
});
Java
DocumentReference docRef = db.collection("cities").document("SF");
docRef.addSnapshotListener(new EventListener<DocumentSnapshot>() {
  @Override
  public void onEvent(@Nullable DocumentSnapshot snapshot,
                      @Nullable FirestoreException e) {
    if (e != null) {
      System.err.println("Listen failed: " + e);
      return;
    }

    if (snapshot != null && snapshot.exists()) {
      System.out.println("Current data: " + snapshot.getData());
    } else {
      System.out.print("Current data: null");
    }
  }
});
Python
// Not yet supported in Python client library
Node.js
var doc = db.collection('cities').doc('SF');

var observer = doc.onSnapshot(docSnapshot => {
  console.log(`Received doc snapshot: ${docSnapshot}`);
  // ...
}, err => {
  console.log(`Encountered error: ${err}`);
});
Go
// Not yet supported in Go client library
PHP
// Not yet supported in PHP client library
C#
// Not yet supported in C# client library
Ruby
// Not yet supported in Ruby client library

Events for local changes

Local writes in your app will invoke snapshot listeners immediately. This is because of an important feature called "latency compensation." When you perform a write, your listeners will be notified with the new data before the data is sent to the backend.

Retrieved documents have a metadata.hasPendingWrites property that indicates whether the document has local changes that haven't been written to the backend yet. You can use this property to determine the source of events received by your snapshot listener:

Web
db.collection("cities").doc("SF")
    .onSnapshot(function(doc) {
        var source = doc.metadata.hasPendingWrites ? "Local" : "Server";
        console.log(source, " data: ", doc.data());
    });
Swift
db.collection("cities").document("SF")
    .addSnapshotListener { documentSnapshot, error in
        guard let document = documentSnapshot else {
            print("Error fetching document: \(error!)")
            return
        }
        let source = document.metadata.hasPendingWrites ? "Local" : "Server"
        print("\(source) data: \(document.data())")
    }
Objective-C
[[[self.db collectionWithPath:@"cities"] documentWithPath:@"SF"]
    addSnapshotListener:^(FIRDocumentSnapshot *snapshot, NSError *error) {
      if (snapshot == nil) {
        NSLog(@"Error fetching document: %@", error);
        return;
      }
      NSString *source = snapshot.metadata.hasPendingWrites ? @"Local" : @"Server";
      NSLog(@"%@ data: %@", source, snapshot.data);
    }];
  
Android
final DocumentReference docRef = db.collection("cities").document("SF");
docRef.addSnapshotListener(new EventListener<DocumentSnapshot>() {
    @Override
    public void onEvent(@Nullable DocumentSnapshot snapshot,
                        @Nullable FirebaseFirestoreException e) {
        if (e != null) {
            Log.w(TAG, "Listen failed.", e);
            return;
        }

        String source = snapshot != null && snapshot.getMetadata().hasPendingWrites()
                ? "Local" : "Server";

        if (snapshot != null && snapshot.exists()) {
            Log.d(TAG, source + " data: " + snapshot.getData());
        } else {
            Log.d(TAG, source + " data: null");
        }
    }
});
Java
# Not yet supported in the Java client library
Python
// Not yet supported in Python client library
Node.js
// Not yet supported in the Node.js client library
Go
// Not yet supported in Go client library
PHP
// Not yet supported in PHP client library
C#
// Not yet supported in C# client library
Ruby
// Not yet supported in Ruby client library

Events for metadata changes

When listening for changes to a document, collection, or query, you can pass options to control the granularity of events that your listener will receive.

By default, listeners are not notified of changes that only affect metadata. Consider what happens when your app writes a new document:

  1. A change event is immediately fired with the new data. The document has not yet been written to the backend so so the "pending writes" flag is true.
  2. The document is written to the backend.
  3. The backend notifies the client of the successful write. There is no change to the document data, but there is a metadata change because the "pending writes" flag is now false.

If you want to receive snapshot events when the document or query metadata changes, pass a listen options object when attaching your listener:

Web
db.collection("cities").doc("SF")
    .onSnapshot({
        // Listen for document metadata changes
        includeMetadataChanges: true
    }, function(doc) {
        // ...
    });
Swift
// Listen to document metadata.
db.collection("cities").document("SF")
    .addSnapshotListener(includeMetadataChanges: true) { documentSnapshot, error in
        // ...
    }
Objective-C
  // Listen for metadata changes.
//  FIRDocumentListenOptions *options = [[FIRDocumentListenOptions init] includeMetadataChanges:true]

  [[[self.db collectionWithPath:@"cities"] documentWithPath:@"SF"]
      addSnapshotListenerWithIncludeMetadataChanges:YES
                                           listener:^(FIRDocumentSnapshot *snapshot, NSError *error) {
     // ...
  }];
Android
// Listen for metadata changes to the document.
DocumentReference docRef = db.collection("cities").document("SF");
docRef.addSnapshotListener(MetadataChanges.INCLUDE, new EventListener<DocumentSnapshot>() {
    @Override
    public void onEvent(@Nullable DocumentSnapshot snapshot,
                        @Nullable FirebaseFirestoreException e) {
        // ...
    }
});
Java
// Not yet supported in the Java client library
Python
// Not yet supported in Python client library
Node.js
// Not yet supported the Node.js client library
Go
// Not yet supported in Go client library
PHP
// Not yet supported in PHP client library
C#
// Not yet supported in C# client library
Ruby
// Not yet supported in Ruby client library

Listen to multiple documents in a collection

As with documents, you can use onSnapshot() instead of get() to listen to the results of a query. This creates a query snapshot. For example, to listen to the documents with state CA:

Web
db.collection("cities").where("state", "==", "CA")
    .onSnapshot(function(querySnapshot) {
        var cities = [];
        querySnapshot.forEach(function(doc) {
            cities.push(doc.data().name);
        });
        console.log("Current cities in CA: ", cities.join(", "));
    });
Swift
db.collection("cities").whereField("state", isEqualTo: "CA")
    .addSnapshotListener { querySnapshot, error in
        guard let documents = querySnapshot?.documents else {
            print("Error fetching documents: \(error!)")
            return
        }
        let cities = documents.map { $0["name"]! }
        print("Current cities in CA: \(cities)")
    }
Objective-C
[[[self.db collectionWithPath:@"cities"] queryWhereField:@"state" isEqualTo:@"CA"]
    addSnapshotListener:^(FIRQuerySnapshot *snapshot, NSError *error) {
      if (snapshot == nil) {
        NSLog(@"Error fetching documents: %@", error);
        return;
      }
      NSMutableArray *cities = [NSMutableArray array];
      for (FIRDocumentSnapshot *document in snapshot.documents) {
        [cities addObject:document.data[@"name"]];
      }
      NSLog(@"Current cities in CA: %@", cities);
    }];
  
Android
db.collection("cities")
        .whereEqualTo("state", "CA")
        .addSnapshotListener(new EventListener<QuerySnapshot>() {
            @Override
            public void onEvent(@Nullable QuerySnapshot value,
                                @Nullable FirebaseFirestoreException e) {
                if (e != null) {
                    Log.w(TAG, "Listen failed.", e);
                    return;
                }

                List<String> cities = new ArrayList<>();
                for (QueryDocumentSnapshot doc : value) {
                    if (doc.get("name") != null) {
                        cities.add(doc.getString("name"));
                    }
                }
                Log.d(TAG, "Current cites in CA: " + cities);
            }
        });
Java
db.collection("cities")
    .whereEqualTo("state", "CA")
    .addSnapshotListener(new EventListener<QuerySnapshot>() {
      @Override
      public void onEvent(@Nullable QuerySnapshot snapshots,
                          @Nullable FirestoreException e) {
        if (e != null) {
          System.err.println("Listen failed:" + e);
          return;
        }

        List<String> cities = new ArrayList<>();
        for (DocumentSnapshot doc : snapshots) {
          if (doc.get("name") != null) {
            cities.add(doc.getString("name"));
          }
        }
        System.out.println("Current cites in CA: " + cities);
      }
    });
Python
// Not yet supported in Python client library
Node.js
var query = db.collection('cities').where('state', '==', 'CA');

var observer = query.onSnapshot(querySnapshot => {
  console.log(`Received query snapshot of size ${querySnapshot.size}`);
  // ...
}, err => {
  console.log(`Encountered error: ${err}`);
});
Go
// Not yet supported in Go client library
PHP
// Not yet supported in PHP client library
C#
// Not yet supported in C# client library
Ruby
// Not yet supported in Ruby client library

The snapshot handler will receive a new query snapshot every time the query results change (that is, when a document is added, removed, or modified).

View changes between snapshots

It is often useful to see the actual changes to query results between query snapshots, instead of simply using the entire query snapshot. For example, you may want to maintain a cache as individual documents are added, removed, and modified.

Web
db.collection("cities").where("state", "==", "CA")
    .onSnapshot(function(snapshot) {
        snapshot.docChanges().forEach(function(change) {
            if (change.type === "added") {
                console.log("New city: ", change.doc.data());
            }
            if (change.type === "modified") {
                console.log("Modified city: ", change.doc.data());
            }
            if (change.type === "removed") {
                console.log("Removed city: ", change.doc.data());
            }
        });
    });
Swift
db.collection("cities").whereField("state", isEqualTo: "CA")
    .addSnapshotListener { querySnapshot, error in
        guard let snapshot = querySnapshot else {
            print("Error fetching snapshots: \(error!)")
            return
        }
        snapshot.documentChanges.forEach { diff in
            if (diff.type == .added) {
                print("New city: \(diff.document.data())")
            }
            if (diff.type == .modified) {
                print("Modified city: \(diff.document.data())")
            }
            if (diff.type == .removed) {
                print("Removed city: \(diff.document.data())")
            }
        }
    }
Objective-C
[[[self.db collectionWithPath:@"cities"] queryWhereField:@"state" isEqualTo:@"CA"]
    addSnapshotListener:^(FIRQuerySnapshot *snapshot, NSError *error) {
      if (snapshot == nil) {
        NSLog(@"Error fetching documents: %@", error);
        return;
      }
      for (FIRDocumentChange *diff in snapshot.documentChanges) {
        if (diff.type == FIRDocumentChangeTypeAdded) {
          NSLog(@"New city: %@", diff.document.data);
        }
        if (diff.type == FIRDocumentChangeTypeModified) {
          NSLog(@"Modified city: %@", diff.document.data);
        }
        if (diff.type == FIRDocumentChangeTypeRemoved) {
          NSLog(@"Removed city: %@", diff.document.data);
        }
      }
    }];
  
Android
db.collection("cities")
        .whereEqualTo("state", "CA")
        .addSnapshotListener(new EventListener<QuerySnapshot>() {
            @Override
            public void onEvent(@Nullable QuerySnapshot snapshots,
                                @Nullable FirebaseFirestoreException e) {
                if (e != null) {
                    Log.w(TAG, "listen:error", e);
                    return;
                }

                for (DocumentChange dc : snapshots.getDocumentChanges()) {
                    switch (dc.getType()) {
                        case ADDED:
                            Log.d(TAG, "New city: " + dc.getDocument().getData());
                            break;
                        case MODIFIED:
                            Log.d(TAG, "Modified city: " + dc.getDocument().getData());
                            break;
                        case REMOVED:
                            Log.d(TAG, "Removed city: " + dc.getDocument().getData());
                            break;
                    }
                }

            }
        });
Java
db.collection("cities")
    .whereEqualTo("state", "CA")
    .addSnapshotListener(new EventListener<QuerySnapshot>() {
      @Override
      public void onEvent(@Nullable QuerySnapshot snapshots,
                          @Nullable FirestoreException e) {
        if (e != null) {
          System.err.println("Listen failed: " + e);
          return;
        }

        for (DocumentChange dc : snapshots.getDocumentChanges()) {
          switch (dc.getType()) {
            case ADDED:
              System.out.println("New city: " + dc.getDocument().getData());
              break;
            case MODIFIED:
              System.out.println("Modified city: " + dc.getDocument().getData());
              break;
            case REMOVED:
              System.out.println("Removed city: " + dc.getDocument().getData());
              break;
            default:
              break;
          }
        }
      }
    });
Python
// Not yet supported in the Python client library
Node.js
// Not yet supported in the Node.js client library
Go
// Not yet supported in Go client library
PHP
// Not yet supported in PHP client library
C#
// Not yet supported in C# client library
Ruby
// Not yet supported in Ruby client library

The initial state can come from the server directly, or from a local cache. If there is state available in a local cache, the query snapshot will be initially populated with the cached data, then updated with the server's data when the client has caught up with the server's state.

Detach a listener

When you are no longer interested in listening to your data, you must detach your listener so that your event callbacks stop getting called. This allows the client to stop using bandwidth to receive updates. You can use the unsubscribe function on onSnapshot() to stop listening to updates.

Web
var unsubscribe = db.collection("cities")
    .onSnapshot(function () {});
// ...
// Stop listening to changes
unsubscribe();
Swift
let listener = db.collection("cities").addSnapshotListener { querySnapshot, error in
    // ...
}

// ...

// Stop listening to changes
listener.remove()
Objective-C
id<FIRListenerRegistration> listener = [[self.db collectionWithPath:@"cities"]
    addSnapshotListener:^(FIRQuerySnapshot *snapshot, NSError *error) {
      // ...
}];

// ...

// Stop listening to changes
[listener remove];
  
Android
Query query = db.collection("cities");
ListenerRegistration registration = query.addSnapshotListener(
        new EventListener<QuerySnapshot>() {
            // ...
        });

// ...

// Stop listening to changes
registration.remove();
Java
Query query = db.collection("cities");
ListenerRegistration registration = query.addSnapshotListener(
    new EventListener<QuerySnapshot>() {
      // ...
    });

// ...

// Stop listening to changes
registration.remove();
Python
// Not yet supported in the Python client library
Node.js
var unsub = db.collection('cities').onSnapshot(() => {});

// ...

// Stop listening for changes
unsub();
Go
// Not yet supported in Go client library
PHP
// Not yet supported in PHP client library
C#
// Not yet supported in C# client library
Ruby
// Not yet supported in Ruby client library

Handle listen errors

A listen may occasionally fail — for example, due to security permissions, or if you tried to listen on an invalid query. (Learn more about valid and invalid queries.) To handle these failures, you can provide an error callback when you attach your snapshot listener. After an error, the listener will not receive any more events, and there is no need to detach your listener.

Web
db.collection("cities")
    .onSnapshot(function(snapshot) {
        //...
    }, function(error) {
        //...
    });
Swift
db.collection("cities")
    .addSnapshotListener { querySnapshot, error in
        if let error = error {
            print("Error retreiving collection: \(error)")
        }
    }
Objective-C
[[self.db collectionWithPath:@"cities"]
    addSnapshotListener:^(FIRQuerySnapshot *snapshot, NSError *error) {
      if (error != nil) {
        NSLog(@"Error retreving collection: %@", error);
      }
    }];
  
Android
db.collection("cities")
        .addSnapshotListener(new EventListener<QuerySnapshot>() {
            @Override
            public void onEvent(@Nullable QuerySnapshot snapshots,
                                @Nullable FirebaseFirestoreException e) {
                if (e != null) {
                    Log.w(TAG, "listen:error", e);
                    return;
                }

                for (DocumentChange dc : snapshots.getDocumentChanges()) {
                    if (dc.getType() == Type.ADDED) {
                        Log.d(TAG, "New city: " + dc.getDocument().getData());
                    }
                }

            }
        });
Java
db.collection("cities")
    .addSnapshotListener(new EventListener<QuerySnapshot>() {
      @Override
      public void onEvent(@Nullable QuerySnapshot snapshots,
                          @Nullable FirestoreException e) {
        if (e != null) {
          System.err.println("Listen failed: " + e);
          return;
        }

        for (DocumentChange dc : snapshots.getDocumentChanges()) {
          if (dc.getType() == Type.ADDED) {
            System.out.println("New city: " + dc.getDocument().getData());
          }
        }
      }
    });
Python
// Not yet supported in the Python client library
Node.js
db.collection('cities')
    .onSnapshot((snapshot) => {
      //...
    }, (error) => {
      //...
    });
Go
// Not yet supported in Go client library
PHP
// Not yet supported in PHP client library
C#
// Not yet supported in C# client library
Ruby
// Not yet supported in Ruby client library
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