Subscribing to deleted documents in RavenDB
Subscriptions in RavenDB gives you a great way to handle backend business processing. You can register a query and get notified whenever a document that matches your query is changed. This works if the document actually exists, but what happens if you want to handle a business process relating to document’s deletion ?
I want to explicitly call out that I’m generally against deletion. There are very few business cases for it. But sometimes you got to (GDPR comes to mind) or you have an actual business reason for this.
A key property of deletion is that the data is gone, so how can you process deletions? A subscription will let you know when a document changes, but not when it is gone. Luckily, there is a nice way to handle this. First, you need to enable revisions on the collection in question, like so:
At this point, RavenDB will create revisions for all changed documents, and a revision is created for deletions as well. You can see deleted documents in the Revisions Bin in the Studio, to track deleted documents.
But how does this work with Subscriptions? If you’ll try to run a subscription query at this point, you’ll not find this employee. For that, you have to use versioned subscription, like so:
And now you can subscribe to get notified whenever an employee is deleted.