Persistence

New - released September 2019 with Dash 1.3

Sometimes you want to save things the user has done in your app beyond the
lifetime of the individual affected components. Perhaps you let your users
choose their language, or edit the headers of a table, and they want to see
these same settings every time they load the app. Or perhaps you have a
tabbed app, so a form disappears when you switch to a different tab, and
you want the same settings when the user comes back to that tab, but you
want to reset them if the page is reloaded. There are ways to do this with
dcc.Store components, but the Dash persistence feature dramatically
simplifies these cases.

Persistence is supported by dash-table and all the form-like components
in dash-core-components. If you are a component author, it’s easy to add
it to your component - see the last section below.

Components that support persistence have three new props:
- persistence (boolean | string | number; optional): Any truthy value
will enable persistence for this component. Persistence is keyed to the
combination of component id and this persistence value, so if this
value changes you will see different persisted settings. For example,
perhaps you have dropdowns for country and city, and you know that your
users want to see the same country pre-filled as the last time they
used your app - you can just set persistence=True on the country
dropdown. But for the city they would like to see the same one as the
last time they chose that country - just set persistence=country_name
(where country_name is the value of the chosen country) on the city
dropdown and we’ll save one preferred city for each country.

  • persistence_type (‘local’, ‘session’, or ‘memory’; default ‘local’):
    Where persisted user changes will be stored:
  • memory: only kept in memory, reset on page refresh. This is useful for
    example if you have a tabbed app, that deletes the component when a
    different tab is active, and you want changes persisted as you switch
    tabs but not after reloading the app.
  • local: uses window.localStorage. This is the default, and keeps the
    data indefinitely within that browser on that computer.
  • session: uses window.sessionStorage. Like 'local' the data is kept
    when you reload the page, but cleared when you close the browser or
    open the app in a new browser tab.

  • persisted_props (list of strings; optional): These are the props
    whose values will persist. Typically this defaults to all user-editable
    props, which in many cases is just one (ie 'value'). dash-table has
    many props users can edit, and all of them except 'data' are included
    here by default. Sometimes only a part of a prop is saved; this happens
    with table headers, which are only part of the columns prop.
    The corresponding persisted_props value is 'columns.name'.

In the following example, notice that a callback that depends on persisted
values receives those persisted values, even if the layout initially
provided something else. Also the city is persisted in localStorage so
will be saved indefinitely, but the neighborhood - which remembers a
different value for each city - resets if you open the page in a new tab.

import dash
from dash.dependencies import Input, Output
import dash_core_components as dcc
import dash_html_components as html

CITIES = ['Boston', 'London', 'Montreal']
NEIGHBORHOODS = {
    'Boston': ['Back Bay', 'Fenway', 'Jamaica Plain'],
    'London': ['Canary Wharf', 'Hackney', 'Kensington'],
    'Montreal': ['Le Plateau', 'Mile End', 'Rosemont']
}

app = dash.Dash(__name__)

app.layout = html.Div([
    'Choose a city:',
    dcc.Dropdown(
        id='persisted-city',
        value='Montreal',
        options=[{'label': v, 'value': v} for v in CITIES],
        persistence=True
    ),
    html.Br(),

    'correlated persistence - choose a neighborhood:',
    html.Div(dcc.Dropdown(id='neighborhood'), id='neighborhood-container'),
    html.Br(),
    html.Div(id='persisted-choices')
])


@app.callback(
    Output('neighborhood-container', 'children'),
    [Input('persisted-city', 'value')]
)
def set_neighborhood(city):
    neighborhoods = NEIGHBORHOODS[city]
    return dcc.Dropdown(
        id='neighborhood',
        value=neighborhoods[0],
        options=[{'label': v, 'value': v} for v in neighborhoods],
        persistence_type='session',
        persistence=city
    )


@app.callback(
    Output('persisted-choices', 'children'),
    [Input('persisted-city', 'value'), Input('neighborhood', 'value')]
)
def set_out(city, neighborhood):
    return 'You chose: {}, {}'.format(neighborhood, city)


if __name__ == '__main__':
    app.run_server(debug=True)
Choose a city:

correlated persistence - choose a neighborhood:

Explicitly clearing saved data

Persistence continues (subject to persistence_type) as long as the
component id, the persistence value, and the prop provided by the
server when creating or updating the entire component has the same value
as it had before the user changed it. But if you have a callback whose
Output is the specific persisted prop itself, that takes precedence over
any saved value. This lets you reset user edits, using PreventUpdate or
dash.no_update until you detect the reset condition.

import dash
from dash.dependencies import Input, Output
import dash_core_components as dcc
import dash_html_components as html

INITIAL = '1+1=2'

app = dash.Dash(__name__)

app.layout = html.Div([
    "Remember this important info:",
    html.Br(),
    dcc.Input(id='important-info', value=INITIAL, persistence=True),
    html.Button("Forget it!", id='clear-info')
])


@app.callback(
    Output('important-info', 'value'),
    [Input('clear-info', 'n_clicks')]
)
def clear_persistence(n):
    return INITIAL if n else dash.no_update


if __name__ == '__main__':
    app.run_server(debug=True)
Remember this important info:

For component developers

Supporting persistence in your own components is easy. Just add the three
props: persistence, persistence_type, and persisted_props, and
set the appropriate defaults for persistence_type (normally 'local')
and persisted_props (normally all of them, unless there are some that the
user can change but normally wouldn’t want to save). persistence should
have no default, so that each created component must specifically opt in to
persistence. Check out the PR in dash-core-components“>https://github.com/plotly/dash-core-components/pull/646)
where we added persistence to those components.

The only case where there’s actual code involved is persisting a partial
prop. An example of this is in dash-table, where the columns prop is an
array of objects, with just one property of each item (columns[i].name
for all i) editable by the user. Here is the
PR that added it. The
entry in persisted_props is columns.name, which we call a
“nested prop ID”. It must have the form '<propName>.<piece>' where
propName is the prop that contains this info, and piece may or may not
map to the exact substructure being stored but is meaningful to the user.
In principle, one prop could have several nested pieces; that’s allowed,
though it hasn’t been used (yet?) in any official Plotly components.
If you make use of this feature, let us know in the
community forum!

Partially-persisted props also need to define a class property
(not a React prop) persistenceTransforms, as an object:

{
  [propName]: {
    [piece]: {
       extract: propValue => valueToStore,
       apply: (storedValue, propValue) => newPropValue
     }
  }
}
  • extract turns a prop value into a reduced value to store.
  • apply puts an extracted value back into the prop. Make sure this creates
    a new object rather than mutating propValue, and that if there are
    multiple piece entries for one propName, their apply functions
    commute - which should not be an issue if they extract and apply
    non-intersecting parts of the full prop.

You only need to define these for the props that need them.
It’s important that extract pulls out only the relevant pieces of the
prop, because persistence is only maintained if the extracted value of the
prop before applying persistence is the same as it was before the user’s
changes.

It is also possible to define and use persistenceTransforms on non-nested
props, i.e. propName, in order to apply some transformation to your
persisted prop. An example of this is used in DatePickerSingle and
DatePickerRange to strip the time portion of persisted date, start_date,
and end_date props. You can check out the PR in
dash-core-components
.