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The examples below will be updated with your app ID.


Writing data

Instant uses a Firebase-inspired interface for mutations. We call our mutation language InstaML


We use the update action to create entities.

db.transact([tx.goals[id()].update({ title: 'eat' })])

This creates a new goal with the following properties:

  • It's identified by a randomly generated id via the id() function.
  • It has an attribute title with value eat.

Similar to NoSQL, you don't need to use the same schema for each entity in a namespace. After creating the previous goal you can run the following:

    priority: 'none',
    isSecret: true,
    value: 10,
    aList: [1, 2, 3],
    anObject: { foo: 'bar' },

You can store strings, numbers, booleans, arrays, and objects as values. You can also generate values via functions. Below is an example for picking a random goal title.

    title: ['eat', 'sleep', 'hack', 'repeat'][Math.floor(Math.random() * 4)],

The update action is also used for updating entities. Suppose we had created the following goal

const eatId = id()
  tx.goals[eatId].update({ priority: 'top', lastTimeEaten: 'Yesterday' }),

We eat some food and decide to update the goal. We can do that like so:

db.transact([tx.goals[eatId].update({ lastTimeEaten: 'Today' })])

This will only update the value of the lastTimeEaten attribute for entity eat.


The delete action is used for deleting entities.


You can generate an array of delete txs to delete all entities in a namespace

const { isLoading, error, data } = db.useQuery({goals: {}}
const { goals } = data;
db.transact(goals.map(g => tx.goals[g.id].delete()));

Calling delete on an entity also deletes its associations. So no need to worry about cleaning up previously created links.

link is used to create associations.

Suppose we create a goal and a todo.

  tx.todos[workoutId].update({ title: 'Go on a run' }),
  tx.goals[healthId].update({ title: 'Get fit!' }),

We can associate healthId with workoutId like so:

db.transact([tx.goals[healthId].link({ todos: workoutId })])

We could have done all this in one transact too via chaining transaction chunks.

  tx.todos[workoutId].update({ title: 'Go on a run' }),
  tx.goals[healthId].update({ title: 'Get fit!' }).link({ todos: workoutId }),

You can specify multiple ids in one link as well:

  tx.todos[workoutId].update({ title: 'Go on a run' }),
  tx.todos[proteinId].update({ title: 'Drink protein' }),
  tx.todos[sleepId].update({ title: 'Go to bed early' }),
    .update({ title: 'Get fit!' })
    .link({ todos: [workoutId, proteinId, sleepId] }),

Order matters when creating links.

db.transact([tx.goals[healthId].link({ todos: workoutId })])

This creates:

  • A forward link from entity healthId to entity workoutId via goals -> todos
  • A reverse link from entity workoutId to entity healthId via todos -> goals

We can query associations in both directions via these links

const { isLoading, error, data } = db.useQuery({
  goals: { todos: {} },
  todos: { goals: {} },

const { goals, todos } = data
console.log('goals with nested todos', goals)
console.log('todos with nested goals', todos)

Links can be removed via unlink

db.transact([tx.goals[healthId].unlink({ todos: workoutId })])

This removes both:

  • The forward link from entity health to entity workout
  • The reverse link from entity workout to entity health

We can unlink multiple ids too:

  tx.goals[healthId].unlink({ todos: [workoutId, proteinId, sleepId] }),
  tx.goals[workId].unlink({ todos: [standupId, reviewPRsId, focusId] }),

unlink can work in both directions. So this works:

db.transact([tx.goals[healthId].unlink({ todos: workoutId })])

And so does this!

db.transact([tx.todos[workoutId].unlink({ goals: healthId })])


tx is a proxy object which creates transaction chunks to be commited via db.transact. It follows the format

  • NAMESPACE_LABEL refers to the namespace to commit (e.g. goals, todos)
  • GLOBAL_UNIQUE_IDENTIFER is the id to look up in the namespace. This id must be a uuid and unique across all namespaces. You can use the id() function to generate a uuid for convenience.
  • ACTION is one of update, delete, link, unlink
  • ACTION_SPECIFIC_DATA depends on the action
    • update takes in an object of information to commit
    • delete is the only aciton that doesn't take in any data,
    • link and unlink takes an object of label-entity pairs to create/delete associations

More features to come!

Similar to InstaQL, We're actively building more features for InstaML. We love getting requests for new features!