Get up to 80 % extra points for free! More info:

Lesson 14 - Diary with a database in Kotlin

In the previous lesson, Date and Time in Kotlin- Parsing and comparing, we learned about date and time in Kotlin. In today's Kotlin tutorial, we're going to store objects into the List collection and work with them further.

At first, I was going to have us create a user database, but we've already dealt with users several times in this course. Since we now know how to handle date and time, we're going to make a digital diary. We'll store entries into a database and print today's and tomorrow's entries. This database won't be an "actual" database, we'll cover databases later on. All it will be is a List in computer memory which will allow the user to add entries, search for them by date and remove them by specifying a date and time.

Let's create a new application and name it Journal (don't name it Diary since we'll need that name for our class).


First of all, we'll create a class whose instances we'll store. Let's name it Entry. Diary entries will be related to a certain date and time. They will also contain text, e.g.: January 12, 2016 - Walk the dog. Our class might look something like this:

import java.time.LocalDateTime

class Entry(var dateTime: LocalDateTime, var text: String) {

    override fun toString(): String {
        return "$dateTime $text"

Because we want both properties to be readable and writable, we can just declare them using the constructor parameters and var. We'll introduce other collections in a course dedicated to this topic.

All this class is meant to do is store data, so it has no methods (other than toString()). You may noticed that the toString() method doesn't format the date anyhow. We'll get back to it later.


To make the work with entries easier, we'll use the List collection. Its methods are identical to the Array's but it also allows us to delete the entries.

Since our program will be a bit more complex, we'll separate it into multiple objects to keep things nice and neat. We've already made the Entry class, now let's create a Database object in which our entries will be stored. There will be a private List collection of the Entry data type this time. Our diary will allow us to add, delete, and search entries by date. Let's add the Database class to the project:

class Database {
    private var entries: List<Entry>

    init {
        entries = listOf()

The Database class will only be used for data manipulation. It contains an internal collection of entries which is initialized in the constructor. We could also initialize it directly without a constructor in the field declaration:

class Database {
    private var entries: List<Entry> = listOf()

Now let's add some methods that will add, delete, and search an entry.

Adding an entry is very simple and straightforward:

fun addEntry(dateTime: LocalDateTime, text: String) {
    entries += Entry(dateTime, text)

As for the second method, we'll allow the user to search for entries by day. The method will return a List of found entries since there can be multiple entries per day in the database. We'll be able to search for entries both by date and time or just by date. This way, we can find entries on a particular day no matter the time. We'll specify our search preferences using a byTime boolean parameter. If it's false, our search will be by date only. First, we'll create a List and add entries that match the given date. We'll match either full date and time if the boolean parameter is true, or just the date component of it in case the boolean parameter is false. Lastly, we'll return the list containing all related entries:

fun findEntries(dateTime: LocalDateTime, byTime: Boolean): List<Entry> {
    var found: List<Entry> = listOf()

    for (z in entries) {
        if (((byTime) && (z.dateTime == dateTime)) // filtered by time and date
            (!byTime && z.dateTime.toLocalDate() == dateTime.toLocalDate()) // filtered by date only
                found += z
    return found

We used what we learned in previous lessons. In the case of filtering by date only (without time), we convert dateTime to LocalDate and then just compare using == whether the data is equal.

To make this code perfect, we'd use "high-order functions", however, we don't know those yet.

We'll finish up the class by adding a method that deletes entries based on a given time. We'll use the findEntries() method and remove the found entries from the list using -=. We'll be deleting entries of a specific date and time so the second parameter of the findEntries() method will be true:

fun deleteEntries(dateTime: LocalDateTime) {
    val found = findEntries(dateTime, true)
    entries -= found


Now let's add the last class to our project, which will represent the diary itself. We'll name it Diary to keep things simple and clear. It'll include methods for interacting with the user. Notice how we divide our application and encapsulate its individual parts. The List is encapsulated in the Database class which wraps it in various methods handling its contents safely. Let's create a Database instance in our diary. This way, we separate the data manipulation and application logic from the user communication and other program inputs/outputs. The Diary class is supposed to interact with the user and pass the entered data to the database.

Let's add a private Database instance and initialize it in the constructor:

class Diary {
    private val database = Database()

We'll finish the Diary class in the next lesson, Diary with a database in Kotlin (finishing), when we'll also finish the whole application.


Previous article
Date and Time in Kotlin- Parsing and comparing
All articles in this section
Object-Oriented Programming in Kotlin
Skip article
(not recommended)
Diary with a database in Kotlin (finishing)
Article has been written for you by Samuel Kodytek
User rating:
1 votes
I'm intereseted in JVM languages and Swift