How to CRUD

With the API v2, it is now possible to control all the steps of a Thing’s lifecycle. This how-to shows how to use the methods for creating, updating and deleting a Thing.

For this example, we will think about a blog software having Article objects. Each article is automatically published and updated at Flattr by the blog software. The article is stored in an Article class which implements ThingId and has a property called thingId. There is also a method createSubmission(), which creates a Submission object of its content.

public class Article implements ThingId {
  private String thingId;

  public String getThingId() {
    return thingId;

  public void setThingId(String thingId) {
    this.thingId = thingId;

  // more getters and setters

  public Submission createSubmission() {
    Submission sub = new Submission();
    // The Submission properties are populated here...
    return sub;

With this class, it will be pretty easy to synchronize the article with Flattr.


After publishing a new article, it is only required to create a Submission object, invoke create() and set the Thing ID in the article:

Article article = // article to be created
FlattrService flattr = FlattrFactory.getInstance().createFlattrService(accessToken);

Submission sub = article.createSubmission();
ThingId thingId = flattr.create(sub);

The article is now registered with Flattr, and the Thing ID is stored in the article.


When the article has been changed, the Flattr Thing should be updated to reflect the changes. The easiest way is to fetch the Article from Flattr, invoke merge() to merge the changes, and then update the Thing by invoking update(). Since the Article class implements ThingId, it can just be passed directly to the FlattrService.

Article article = // article to be updated
FlattrService flattr = FlattrFactory.getInstance().createFlattrService(accessToken);

Thing thing = flattr.getThing(article);

Instead of using merge(), it is also possible to invoke the Thing setters individually. However, it is much easier to generate a new Submission object and merge it with the Thing.

Note that the Submission url must be either null, or must exactly match the Thing’s url. If this is uncertain, just create a Submission object, and then set the url to null:

Submission sub = article.createSubmission();


When the article is expired or deleted, it should be deleted from Flattr as well. Since Article implements ThingId, this is very easy, too:

Article article = // article to be deleted
FlattrService flattr = FlattrFactory.getInstance().createFlattrService(accessToken);


That’s all… The Thing has been deleted from the Flattr database, which concludes its lifecycle.