Android APIs
java.lang.Object
   ↳ android.provider.ContactsContract.RawContacts

Class Overview

Constants for the raw contacts table, which contains one row of contact information for each person in each synced account. Sync adapters and contact management apps are the primary consumers of this API.

Aggregation

As soon as a raw contact is inserted or whenever its constituent data changes, the provider will check if the raw contact matches other existing raw contacts and if so will aggregate it with those. The aggregation is reflected in the ContactsContract.RawContacts table by the change of the CONTACT_ID field, which is the reference to the aggregate contact.

Changes to the structured name, organization, phone number, email address, or nickname trigger a re-aggregation.

See also ContactsContract.AggregationExceptions for a mechanism to control aggregation programmatically.

Operations

Insert

Raw contacts can be inserted incrementally or in a batch. The incremental method is more traditional but less efficient. It should be used only if no ContactsContract.RawContacts.Data values are available at the time the raw contact is created:

 ContentValues values = new ContentValues();
 values.put(RawContacts.ACCOUNT_TYPE, accountType);
 values.put(RawContacts.ACCOUNT_NAME, accountName);
 Uri rawContactUri = getContentResolver().insert(RawContacts.CONTENT_URI, values);
 long rawContactId = ContentUris.parseId(rawContactUri);
 

Once ContactsContract.RawContacts.Data values become available, insert those. For example, here's how you would insert a name:

 values.clear();
 values.put(Data.RAW_CONTACT_ID, rawContactId);
 values.put(Data.MIMETYPE, StructuredName.CONTENT_ITEM_TYPE);
 values.put(StructuredName.DISPLAY_NAME, "Mike Sullivan");
 getContentResolver().insert(Data.CONTENT_URI, values);
 

The batch method is by far preferred. It inserts the raw contact and its constituent data rows in a single database transaction and causes at most one aggregation pass.

 ArrayList<ContentProviderOperation> ops =
          new ArrayList<ContentProviderOperation>();
 ...
 int rawContactInsertIndex = ops.size();
 ops.add(ContentProviderOperation.newInsert(RawContacts.CONTENT_URI)
          .withValue(RawContacts.ACCOUNT_TYPE, accountType)
          .withValue(RawContacts.ACCOUNT_NAME, accountName)
          .build());

 ops.add(ContentProviderOperation.newInsert(Data.CONTENT_URI)
          .withValueBackReference(Data.RAW_CONTACT_ID, rawContactInsertIndex)
          .withValue(Data.MIMETYPE, StructuredName.CONTENT_ITEM_TYPE)
          .withValue(StructuredName.DISPLAY_NAME, "Mike Sullivan")
          .build());

 getContentResolver().applyBatch(ContactsContract.AUTHORITY, ops);
 

Note the use of withValueBackReference(String, int) to refer to the as-yet-unknown index value of the raw contact inserted in the first operation.

Update

Raw contacts can be updated incrementally or in a batch. Batch mode should be used whenever possible. The procedures and considerations are analogous to those documented above for inserts.

Delete

When a raw contact is deleted, all of its Data rows as well as StatusUpdates, AggregationExceptions, PhoneLookup rows are deleted automatically. When all raw contacts associated with a Contacts row are deleted, the Contacts row itself is also deleted automatically.

The invocation of resolver.delete(...), does not immediately delete a raw contacts row. Instead, it sets the DELETED flag on the raw contact and removes the raw contact from its aggregate contact. The sync adapter then deletes the raw contact from the server and finalizes phone-side deletion by calling resolver.delete(...) again and passing the CALLER_IS_SYNCADAPTER query parameter.

Some sync adapters are read-only, meaning that they only sync server-side changes to the phone, but not the reverse. If one of those raw contacts is marked for deletion, it will remain on the phone. However it will be effectively invisible, because it will not be part of any aggregate contact.

Query

It is easy to find all raw contacts in a Contact:

 Cursor c = getContentResolver().query(RawContacts.CONTENT_URI,
          new String[]{RawContacts._ID},
          RawContacts.CONTACT_ID + "=?",
          new String[]{String.valueOf(contactId)}, null);
 

To find raw contacts within a specific account, you can either put the account name and type in the selection or pass them as query parameters. The latter approach is preferable, especially when you can reuse the URI:

 Uri rawContactUri = RawContacts.CONTENT_URI.buildUpon()
          .appendQueryParameter(RawContacts.ACCOUNT_NAME, accountName)
          .appendQueryParameter(RawContacts.ACCOUNT_TYPE, accountType)
          .build();
 Cursor c1 = getContentResolver().query(rawContactUri,
          RawContacts.STARRED + "<>0", null, null, null);
 ...
 Cursor c2 = getContentResolver().query(rawContactUri,
          RawContacts.DELETED + "<>0", null, null, null);
 

The best way to read a raw contact along with all the data associated with it is by using the ContactsContract.RawContacts.Entity directory. If the raw contact has data rows, the Entity cursor will contain a row for each data row. If the raw contact has no data rows, the cursor will still contain one row with the raw contact-level information.

 Uri rawContactUri = ContentUris.withAppendedId(RawContacts.CONTENT_URI, rawContactId);
 Uri entityUri = Uri.withAppendedPath(rawContactUri, Entity.CONTENT_DIRECTORY);
 Cursor c = getContentResolver().query(entityUri,
          new String[]{RawContacts.SOURCE_ID, Entity.DATA_ID, Entity.MIMETYPE, Entity.DATA1},
          null, null, null);
 try {
     while (c.moveToNext()) {
         String sourceId = c.getString(0);
         if (!c.isNull(1)) {
             String mimeType = c.getString(2);
             String data = c.getString(3);
             ...
         }
     }
 } finally {
     c.close();
 }
 

Columns

RawContacts
long _ID read-only Row ID. Sync adapters should try to preserve row IDs during updates. In other words, it is much better for a sync adapter to update a raw contact rather than to delete and re-insert it.
long CONTACT_ID read-only The ID of the row in the ContactsContract.Contacts table that this raw contact belongs to. Raw contacts are linked to contacts by the aggregation process, which can be controlled by the AGGREGATION_MODE field and ContactsContract.AggregationExceptions.
int AGGREGATION_MODE read/write A mechanism that allows programmatic control of the aggregation process. The allowed values are AGGREGATION_MODE_DEFAULT, AGGREGATION_MODE_DISABLED and AGGREGATION_MODE_SUSPENDED. See also ContactsContract.AggregationExceptions.
int DELETED read/write The "deleted" flag: "0" by default, "1" if the row has been marked for deletion. When delete(Uri, String, String[]) is called on a raw contact, it is marked for deletion and removed from its aggregate contact. The sync adaptor deletes the raw contact on the server and then calls ContactResolver.delete once more, this time passing the CALLER_IS_SYNCADAPTER query parameter to finalize the data removal.
int TIMES_CONTACTED read/write The number of times the contact has been contacted. To have an effect on the corresponding value of the aggregate contact, this field should be set at the time the raw contact is inserted. After that, this value is typically updated via markAsContacted(ContentResolver, long).
long LAST_TIME_CONTACTED read/write The timestamp of the last time the contact was contacted. To have an effect on the corresponding value of the aggregate contact, this field should be set at the time the raw contact is inserted. After that, this value is typically updated via markAsContacted(ContentResolver, long).
int STARRED read/write An indicator for favorite contacts: '1' if favorite, '0' otherwise. Changing this field immediately affects the corresponding aggregate contact: if any raw contacts in that aggregate contact are starred, then the contact itself is marked as starred.
String CUSTOM_RINGTONE read/write A custom ringtone associated with a raw contact. Typically this is the URI returned by an activity launched with the ACTION_RINGTONE_PICKER intent. To have an effect on the corresponding value of the aggregate contact, this field should be set at the time the raw contact is inserted. To set a custom ringtone on a contact, use the field Contacts.CUSTOM_RINGTONE instead.
int SEND_TO_VOICEMAIL read/write An indicator of whether calls from this raw contact should be forwarded directly to voice mail ('1') or not ('0'). To have an effect on the corresponding value of the aggregate contact, this field should be set at the time the raw contact is inserted.
String ACCOUNT_NAME read/write-once The name of the account instance to which this row belongs, which when paired with ACCOUNT_TYPE identifies a specific account. For example, this will be the Gmail address if it is a Google account. It should be set at the time the raw contact is inserted and never changed afterwards.
String ACCOUNT_TYPE read/write-once

The type of account to which this row belongs, which when paired with ACCOUNT_NAME identifies a specific account. It should be set at the time the raw contact is inserted and never changed afterwards.

To ensure uniqueness, new account types should be chosen according to the Java package naming convention. Thus a Google account is of type "com.google".

String DATA_SET read/write-once

The data set within the account that this row belongs to. This allows multiple sync adapters for the same account type to distinguish between each others' data. The combination of ACCOUNT_TYPE, ACCOUNT_NAME, and DATA_SET identifies a set of data that is associated with a single sync adapter.

This is empty by default, and is completely optional. It only needs to be populated if multiple sync adapters are entering distinct data for the same account type and account name.

It should be set at the time the raw contact is inserted and never changed afterwards.

String SOURCE_ID read/write String that uniquely identifies this row to its source account. Typically it is set at the time the raw contact is inserted and never changed afterwards. The one notable exception is a new raw contact: it will have an account name and type (and possibly a data set), but no source id. This indicates to the sync adapter that a new contact needs to be created server-side and its ID stored in the corresponding SOURCE_ID field on the phone.
int VERSION read-only Version number that is updated whenever this row or its related data changes. This field can be used for optimistic locking of a raw contact.
int DIRTY read/write Flag indicating that VERSION has changed, and this row needs to be synchronized by its owning account. The value is set to "1" automatically whenever the raw contact changes, unless the URI has the CALLER_IS_SYNCADAPTER query parameter specified. The sync adapter should always supply this query parameter to prevent unnecessary synchronization: user changes some data on the server, the sync adapter updates the contact on the phone (without the CALLER_IS_SYNCADAPTER flag) flag, which sets the DIRTY flag, which triggers a sync to bring the changes to the server.
String SYNC1 read/write Generic column provided for arbitrary use by sync adapters. The content provider stores this information on behalf of the sync adapter but does not interpret it in any way.
String SYNC2 read/write Generic column for use by sync adapters.
String SYNC3 read/write Generic column for use by sync adapters.
String SYNC4 read/write Generic column for use by sync adapters.

Summary

Nested Classes
class ContactsContract.RawContacts.Data A sub-directory of a single raw contact that contains all of its ContactsContract.Data rows. 
class ContactsContract.RawContacts.DisplayPhoto

A sub-directory of a single raw contact that represents its primary display photo. 

class ContactsContract.RawContacts.Entity

A sub-directory of a single raw contact that contains all of its ContactsContract.Data rows. 

Constants
int AGGREGATION_MODE_DEFAULT Aggregation mode: aggregate immediately after insert or update operation(s) are complete.
int AGGREGATION_MODE_DISABLED

Aggregation mode: never aggregate this raw contact.

int AGGREGATION_MODE_IMMEDIATE This constant was deprecated in API level 11. Aggregation is synchronous, this historic value is a no-op
int AGGREGATION_MODE_SUSPENDED

Aggregation mode: aggregation suspended temporarily, and is likely to be resumed later.

String CONTENT_ITEM_TYPE The MIME type of the results when a raw contact ID is appended to CONTENT_URI, yielding a subdirectory of a single person.
String CONTENT_TYPE The MIME type of the results from CONTENT_URI when a specific ID value is not provided, and multiple raw contacts may be returned.
[Expand]
Inherited Constants
From interface android.provider.BaseColumns
From interface android.provider.ContactsContract.RawContactsColumns
From interface android.provider.ContactsContract.ContactOptionsColumns
From interface android.provider.ContactsContract.ContactNameColumns
From interface android.provider.ContactsContract.SyncColumns
From interface android.provider.ContactsContract.BaseSyncColumns
Fields
public static final Uri CONTENT_URI The content:// style URI for this table, which requests a directory of raw contact rows matching the selection criteria.
Public Methods
static Uri getContactLookupUri(ContentResolver resolver, Uri rawContactUri)
Build a CONTENT_LOOKUP_URI style Uri for the parent ContactsContract.Contacts entry of the given ContactsContract.RawContacts entry.
static EntityIterator newEntityIterator(Cursor cursor)
TODO: javadoc
[Expand]
Inherited Methods
From class java.lang.Object

Constants

public static final int AGGREGATION_MODE_DEFAULT

Added in API level 5

Aggregation mode: aggregate immediately after insert or update operation(s) are complete.

Constant Value: 0 (0x00000000)

public static final int AGGREGATION_MODE_DISABLED

Added in API level 5

Aggregation mode: never aggregate this raw contact. The raw contact will not have a corresponding Contacts aggregate and therefore will not be included in Contacts query results.

For example, this mode can be used for a raw contact that is marked for deletion while waiting for the deletion to occur on the server side.

Constant Value: 3 (0x00000003)

public static final int AGGREGATION_MODE_IMMEDIATE

Added in API level 5

This constant was deprecated in API level 11.
Aggregation is synchronous, this historic value is a no-op

Aggregation mode: aggregate at the time the raw contact is inserted/updated.

Constant Value: 1 (0x00000001)

public static final int AGGREGATION_MODE_SUSPENDED

Added in API level 5

Aggregation mode: aggregation suspended temporarily, and is likely to be resumed later. Changes to the raw contact will update the associated aggregate contact but will not result in any change in how the contact is aggregated. Similar to AGGREGATION_MODE_DISABLED, but maintains a link to the corresponding Contacts aggregate.

This can be used to postpone aggregation until after a series of updates, for better performance and/or user experience.

Note that changing AGGREGATION_MODE from AGGREGATION_MODE_SUSPENDED to AGGREGATION_MODE_DEFAULT does not trigger an aggregation pass, but any subsequent change to the raw contact's data will.

Constant Value: 2 (0x00000002)

public static final String CONTENT_ITEM_TYPE

Added in API level 5

The MIME type of the results when a raw contact ID is appended to CONTENT_URI, yielding a subdirectory of a single person.

Constant Value: "vnd.android.cursor.item/raw_contact"

public static final String CONTENT_TYPE

Added in API level 5

The MIME type of the results from CONTENT_URI when a specific ID value is not provided, and multiple raw contacts may be returned.

Constant Value: "vnd.android.cursor.dir/raw_contact"

Fields

public static final Uri CONTENT_URI

Added in API level 5

The content:// style URI for this table, which requests a directory of raw contact rows matching the selection criteria.

Public Methods

public static Uri getContactLookupUri (ContentResolver resolver, Uri rawContactUri)

Added in API level 5

Build a CONTENT_LOOKUP_URI style Uri for the parent ContactsContract.Contacts entry of the given ContactsContract.RawContacts entry.

Parameters
resolver ContentResolver
rawContactUri Uri
Returns
Uri

public static EntityIterator newEntityIterator (Cursor cursor)

Added in API level 8

TODO: javadoc

Returns
EntityIterator