How to define SQL views as Dart classes

It is also possible to define SQL views as Dart classes. To do so, write an abstract class extending View. This example declares a view reading the amount of todo-items added to a category in the schema from the example:

abstract class CategoryTodoCount extends View {
  // Getters define the tables that this view is reading from.
  Todos get todos;
  Categories get categories;

  // Custom expressions can be given a name by defining them as a getter:.
  Expression<int> get itemCount =>;

  Query as() =>
      // Views can select columns defined as expression getters on the class, or
      // they can reference columns from other tables.
      select([categories.description, itemCount])
          .join([innerJoin(todos, todos.category.equalsExp(]);

Inside a Dart view, use

  • abstract getters to declare tables that you'll read from (e.g. TodosTable get todos).

  • Expression getters to add columns: (e.g. itemCount =>

  • the overridden as method to define the select statement backing the view. The columns referenced in select may refer to two kinds of columns:

    • Columns defined on the view itself (like itemCount in the example above).
    • Columns defined on referenced tables (like categories.description in the example). For these references, advanced drift features like type converters used in the column's definition from the table are also applied to the view's column.

    Both kind of columns will be added to the data class for the view when selected.

Finally, a view needs to be added to a database or accessor by including it in the views parameter:

@DriftDatabase(tables: [Todos, Categories], views: [CategoryTodoCount])
class MyDatabase extends _$MyDatabase {

Nullability of columns in a view

For a Dart-defined views, expressions defined as an Expression getter are always nullable. This behavior matches, the method used to read results from a complex select statement with custom columns.

Columns that reference another table's column are nullable if the referenced column is nullable, or if the selected table does not come from an inner join (because the whole table could be null in that case).

Considering the view from the example above,

  • the itemCount column is nullable because it is defined as a complex Expression
  • the description column, referencing categories.description, is non-nullable. This is because it references categories, the primary table of the view's select statement.