using enums with Realm

Realm is a very sweet object-oriented database engine for various languages. Since I am a .Net developer, I’ll stick to the features and problems we have using it within Xamarin Apps.

Recently we encountered a problem, using enums within a RealmObject. The most challenging thing in using Realm is, the constraint that comes with the Realm Models, they can not inherit each other, and Properties may only be a hand full of types or other RealmObjects (see: Realm: Supported Types). For a complete reference to Realm, feel free to stick to the .Net Tutorial on, it’s pretty neat.

So, as you can imagine from the headline, there is no out-of-the-box support for enums, but it’s pretty easy to achieve a proper solution.

Let’s assume we have Model with some enums:

public class Transaction : RealmObject
public int TransactionId { get; set; }
// this will not compile
public TransactionState State { get; set; }
public string Subject { get; set; }
public double Amount { get; set; }
public enum TransactionState

The problem with this code snippet is, that enums are not supported in Realm, so the compiler (actually Fody) will give us an error, stating it is not a supported type:

Error Fody/Realm: Transaction.State is an ‘AsyncViewModel.Models.TransactionState‘ which is not yet supported. Models\Transaction.cs 12

How to solve this problem? Enums are always backed by another type, usually, it is an int (one can specify other types, but this is normally not the case). How about saving the int to Realm? But we want to keep the actual enum within the model, so we use a pseudo property (since Realm can only save auto-properties, no fields).

public TransactionState State
get { return (TransactionState)StateId; }
set { StateId = (int)value; }
public int StateId { get; set; }

So that’s it. We could also add an [Ignored] Attribute to the State property, but Fody is automatically ignoring non-auto properties.

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