# Responding to Events

Firemodel has two related concepts of events and dispatch; at a summary level they are:

  • Events - an asynchronous means of signalling change in either the database (aka, CRUD events) or the state of Firemodel (aka, non-CRUD events)
  • Dispatch - a way of plugging into the event stream produced by Firemodel, so that your application can respond to events

In the following two sections we will explore both in more detail.

# Events

Let us first explore the events which we may be encountering when using FireModel.

# CRUD Events

When it comes to CRUD based events, there are two primary categories of events/mutations you'll get from a Watcher:

Locally Originated Server Confirm Server Originated

How you encounter these events will depend on whether the frontend app is originating the state change or it is passively receiving an event from some other actor.

# Origination Flow

For example sake, imagine that our frontend app has just executed the following:

await Record.add(Person, { name: "bob", age: 45 });

In this example we are originating an record being added; the event flow would look like this:

graph LR;Event("RECORD_ADDED_LOCALLY")-->Outcome{"success on DB?"}; Outcome-->|yes|Confirmation["RECORD_ADDED_CONFIRMATION"]; Outcome-->|no|Rollback["RECORD_ADDED_ROLLBACK"]; style Rollback stroke: red,stroke-width:2;

This is a classic example of a "two phased commit". As soon as we execute the command the local update is sent out. When the server responds we either accept the local change or roll it back.

It is important to understand that both phases of this two phase commit are provided by Firemodel CRUD operators like Record.add(), Record.remove(), etc. That means even with NO watchers setup you will get these events (so long as you've hooked up the dispatch function).

# External Event Flow

Alternatively, in the case of an event which was triggered from an external agent/actor, the event flow is just a singular event. There is no local event and there would never be a case of a rollback or confirmation either. The watching app would simply get notification of changes which have happened to paths you are watching on.

graph TB;Event("External Event")-->ADD["RECORD_ADDED"];Event-->Change["RECORD_CHANGED"];Event-->Remove["RECORD_REMOVED"]; Event-->Moved["RECORD_MOVED"]

# Non CRUD Events

While the CRUD events are typically of greatest interest there are also some lifecycle events which are broadcast as well:

LifeCycle Events Description
WATCHER_STARTED a new watcher has been added to local app
WATCHER_STOPPED a watcher established locally has been stopped
WATCHER_STOPPED_ALL all locally watched events have been stopped
FIREBASE_CONNECTED the firebase database has been connected
FIREBASE_DISCONNECTED the firebase database has been disconnected

The lifecycle events are quite "meta" in that they will not have much of a direct impact on local state but rather just help to trace the sequence of events.

# Enumerating Events

If you are using TypeScript you can import the FMEvents enumeration for easy access to each event type:

import { FMEvents } from 'firemodel';

if (event.type === FMEvents.WATCHER_STOPPED) { ... }

# Event Payload

All events are:

  • structured as a dictionary/hash
  • has a type property to indicate what event has been fired
  • has a value property which indicates the payload of the event
  • has a transactionId which is assigned to all related events (this helps in two phase commits)
  • if the CRUD event is an "update" then there will be the following properties:
    • changed which indicates the properties which have changed
    • and priorValues which indicates the prior values

An attempt is made to match every event to a Watcher (or Watchers plural if appropriate) and if it is able to then the watcher's ID and source (e.g., 'list', 'record') will be added to the payload too (watcherId and watcherSource). This additional detail may be important for a generalized handling of events in your frontend state management solution (see Frontend State Mgmt section).

Note: when the event is being sent directly to a watcher it will always be associated to a watcher but locally originated CRUD events need to be explicitly matched to watchers.

For a complete reference of the properties included in an event refer to the IFmEvent interface.

# Dispatch

Last Updated: 10/2/2019, 3:31:55 PM