Android Room Use Nullable Variable for Embeded

September 30, 2018

One of the nice feature of Room is the ability to use an Embedded (store multiple fields as single class variable).

@Entity(tableName = "pin")
class Pin (
        @ColumnInfo(name = "id") @Json(name = "id") var id: String = "",
        // Must @Embedded be nullable?
        // If somehow the underlying/saved value (@ColumnInfo) is null, loading/fetch will cause
        // IllegalArgumentException: Parameter specified as non-null is null: method kotlin.jvm.internal.Intrinsics.checkParameterIsNotNull
        // @NonNull doesn't work
        @Embedded @Json(name = "geo") var location: LocationType? = null
        ) {
class LocationType(
        @ColumnInfo(name = "lat") @Transient var lat: Double? = null,
        @ColumnInfo(name = "lng") @Transient var lng: Double? = null) {

    fun isNull(): Boolean {
        return lat == null || lng == null || (lat == 0.0 && lng == 0.0)

Original, I define LocationType as non nullable value to make checking of null or zero value easier.

@Embedded @Json(name = "geo") var location: LocationType? = null
if (!pin.location.isNull()) { // pin.location != null && !pin.location.isNull()
    // do something

Problem arise when the underlying database value of lat and lng is null, where LocationType cannot be initialized and set as null by the generated code, causing IllegalArgumentException: Parameter specified as non-null is null: method kotlin.jvm.internal.Intrinsics.checkParameterIsNotNull.

I could probably write a converter to convert null to 0 when saving to database, but I doubt this is an good solution.

I decide to make LocationType nullable instead and assume 0,0 is a valid coordinate (and I won’t stupidly convert null to 0 in some unknown cases).

if (pin.location != null) {
  // do something
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