Since Dexie 3.0, there is a new API superior to this hooks API: DBCore. There is NO PLAN to deprecate this hooks API though, but we may extract this API to an add-on in the future.


db.[tableName].hook('creating', function (primKey, obj, transaction) {
    // You may do additional database operations using given transaction object.
    // You may also modify given obj
    // You may set this.onsuccess = function (primKey){}. Called when autoincremented key is known.
    // You may set this.onerror = callback if create operation fails.
    // If returning any value other than undefined, the returned value will be used as primary key


primKey The primary key of the object being added, or undefined when the primary key is created by the system.
obj Object that is about to be created. Modification of obj will affect what will be added to the database.
transaction Transaction instance.
<this context> Possibility to be notified when the create operation succeeds or fails. Done by setting this.onsuccess = function(){} or this.onerror = function(){}

Return Value

If the return value of a given subscriber is other than undefined, then the return value will be used as the primary key. Implementers may use this to provide extended methods of auto-generation primary keys other than the built-in autoIncrement (++) method. The return value is only handled when the given primKey was undefined. If primKey was set, then any return value will be ignored since it is not allowed.

To Unsubscribe


yourListenerFunction refers to the same function instance that you passed to Table.hook(‘creating’). If you need to unsubscribe, then you can’t inline that function as we do in the main sample. Instead keep a reference to it in a closure or on a class property.

function listenerFunction (primKey, obj, transaction) {
  // Do your stuff...

// Subscribe:
db.[tableName].hook('creating', listenerFunction);

// Unsubscribe:


This event is called whenever an object is being added to the database irrespective of which method is used. When calling Table.add(), it will always be called. But when calling Table.put(), it will only be called if the operation results in object creation. If it results in replacing an existing object, then hook(‘updating’) will be triggered.

A subscriber may use the given transaction object to do additional operations on the database. The chain of operations can be considered atomic since the subscriber can work on the same transaction which is being used to create the object. If any exception or database error event occurs, then the entire transaction will abort.

Error Handling

If a subscriber throws an exception, then the create operation will fail and the caller of the create operation will get the failure as a Promise rejection that may be caught/handled or not. If the caller of the create operation does not catch the exception using Promise.catch(), then the transaction will be aborted.

If a database operation initiated by the subscriber results in a failure, then the transaction will be aborted irrespective of whether the original caller of the create operation calls catch() or not. However, the original caller will receive your error if catching transaction failures, but then the transaction has already aborted. If you as the implementer of the subscriber want to ignore errors resulting from your operations, then you may catch() your database operations to prohibit the transaction from being aborted. However, it is normally better to let the transaction abort in case a failure of your database operation impinges upon database consistency.

If setting this.onsuccess or this.onerror, then those callback functions are responsible for not throwing any exception. Any code within those callbacks must either be bullet proof or surrounded by try/catch.

Use Cases of the CRUD events

Dexie CRUD events can be used to implement several add-ons to Dexie such as:

  • Server Synchronization
  • Automatic primary key generation
  • Full-text search or other custom ways of indexing properties
  • Manipulation of returned objects

The add-ons Dexie.Observable.js and Dexie.Syncable.js use hook('creating'), hook('updating') and hook('deleting') to make the database locally observable as well as syncable with a remote server.

The hook('reading') is used internally by Dexie.js by the methods Table.defineClass() and Table.mapToClass() in order to make all objects retrieved from the database inherit a given class using prototypal inheritance.

This example is a simple implementation of full-text search index based on multi-valued indexes and Dexie hooks.

var db = new Dexie("FullTextSample");

  emails: "++id,subject,from,*to,*cc,*bcc,message,*messageWords"

// Add hooks that will index "message" for full-text search:
db.emails.hook("creating", function (primKey, obj, trans) {
    if (typeof obj.message == 'string') obj.messageWords = getAllWords(obj.message);

db.emails.hook("updating", function (mods, primKey, obj, trans) {
  if (mods.hasOwnProperty("message")) {
    // "message" property is being updated
    if (typeof mods.message == 'string') {
        // "message" property was updated to another valid value.
        // Re-index messageWords:
        return { messageWords: getAllWords(mods.message) };
    } else {
        // "message" property was deleted (typeof mods.message === 'undefined') or
        // changed to an unknown type. Remove indexes:
        return { messageWords: [] };

function getAllWords(text) {
  /// <param name="text" type="String"></param>
  var allWordsIncludingDups = text.split(' ');
  var wordSet = allWordsIncludingDups.reduce(function (prev, current) {
      prev[current] = true;
      return prev;
  }, {});
  return Object.keys(wordSet);

// Open database to allow application code using it.;

// Application code

db.transaction('rw', db.emails, function () {
  // Add an email:
      subject: "Testing full-text search",
      from: "",
      to: [""],
      message: "Here is my very long message that I want to write"

  // Search for emails:
    .toArray(function (a) {
      alert("Found " + a.length + " emails containing a word starting with 'v'");
}).catch(function (e) {
  alert(e.stack || e);


Multi-valued indexes are only supported in Opera, Firefox, and Chrome. They do not work with IE so far. However, it is also possible to implement it using custom views, which is implemented in FullTextSearch2.js.

Sample Source Locations:

See Also





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