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.

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 persistence_props, and set the appropriate defaults for persistence_type (normally 'local') and persistence_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 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 persistence_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
     }
  }
}

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.