Android MVVM Design Pattern

Published on August 3, 2022

Anupam Chugh

Android MVVM Design Pattern

In this tutorial, we’ll be discussing and implementing the Android MVVM Architectural Pattern in our Android Application. We’ve previously discussed the Android MVP Pattern.

Why do we need these patterns? Adding everything in a Single Activity or Fragment would lead to problems in testing and refactoring the code. Hence, the use of separation of code and clean architecture is recommended.

Android MVVM

MVVM stands for Model, View, ViewModel.

  • Model: This holds the data of the application. It cannot directly talk to the View. Generally, it’s recommended to expose the data to the ViewModel through Observables.
  • View: It represents the UI of the application devoid of any Application Logic. It observes the ViewModel.
  • ViewModel: It acts as a link between the Model and the View. It’s responsible for transforming the data from the Model. It provides data streams to the View. It also uses hooks or callbacks to update the View. It’ll ask for the data from the Model.

The following flow illustrates the core MVVM Pattern. android mvvm pattern How does this differ from MVP?

  • ViewModel replaces the Presenter in the Middle Layer.
  • The Presenter holds references to the View. The ViewModel doesn’t.
  • The Presenter updates the View using the classical way (triggering methods).
  • The ViewModel sends data streams.
  • The Presenter and View are in a 1 to 1 relationship.
  • The View and the ViewModel are in a 1 to many relationship.
  • The ViewModel does not know that the View is listening to it.

There are two ways to implement MVVM in Android:

  • Data Binding
  • RXJava

In this tutorial, we’ll be using Data Binding only. Data Binding Library was introduced by Google in order to bind data directly in the xml layout. For more info on Data Binding, refer this tutorial. We’ll be creating a simple Login Page Example Application that asks for user inputs. We’ll see how the ViewModel notifies the View when to show a Toast Message without keeping a reference of the View.

How is it possible to notify some class without having a reference of it? It can be done in three different ways:

  • Using Two Way Data Binding
  • Using Live Data
  • Using RxJava

Two Way Data Binding

Two-way Data Binding is a technique of binding your objects to your XML layouts such that the Object and the layout can both send data to each other. In our case, the ViewModel can send data to the layout and also observe changes. For this, we need a BindingAdapter and custom attribute defined in the XML. The Binding Adapter would listen to changes in the attribute property. We’ll learn more about Two-way Data Binding through our example below.

Android MVVM Example Project Structure

Adding the Data Binding Library

Add the following code to your app’s build.gradle file:

android {

    dataBinding {
        enabled = true

This enables Data Binding in your Application.

Adding the Dependencies

Add the following dependencies in your build.gradle file :

implementation 'android.arch.lifecycle:extensions:1.1.0'


The Model would hold the user’s email and password. The following User.java class does it:

package com.journaldev.androidmvvmbasics.model;

public class User {
    private String email;
    private String password;

    public User(String email, String password) {
        this.email = email;
        this.password = password;

    public void setEmail(String email) {
        this.email = email;

    public String getEmail() {
        return email;

    public void setPassword(String password) {
        this.password = password;

    public String getPassword() {
        return password;


Two-way Data Binding allows us to bind objects in the XML layouts such that the object can send data to the layout, and vice versa. The Syntax for two way data binding is @={variable}


The code for the activity_main.xml is given below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<layout xmlns:android="https://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"


            type="com.journaldev.androidmvvmbasics.viewmodels.LoginViewModel" />



                android:text="@={viewModel.userEmail}" />

                android:text="@={viewModel.userPassword}" />

                android:onClick="@{()-> viewModel.onLoginClicked()}"
                bind:toastMessage="@{viewModel.toastMessage}" />




Data Binding requires us to set the layout tag at the top. Here our ViewModel binds the data to the View. ()-> viewModel.onLoginClicked() invokes the Button click listener lambda defined in our ViewModel. The EditText updates the values in the Model (via View Model). bind:toastMessage="@{viewModel.toastMessage}" is a custom attribute we’ve created for two-way data binding. Based on changes in the toastMessage in the ViewModel the BindingAdapter would get triggered in the View.


The code for the LoginViewModel.java is given below:

package com.journaldev.androidmvvmbasics.viewmodels;

import android.databinding.BaseObservable;
import android.databinding.Bindable;
import android.text.TextUtils;
import android.util.Patterns;

import com.android.databinding.library.baseAdapters.BR;
import com.journaldev.androidmvvmbasics.model.User;

public class LoginViewModel extends BaseObservable {
    private User user;

    private String successMessage = "Login was successful";
    private String errorMessage = "Email or Password not valid";

    private String toastMessage = null;

    public String getToastMessage() {
        return toastMessage;

    private void setToastMessage(String toastMessage) {

        this.toastMessage = toastMessage;

    public void setUserEmail(String email) {

    public String getUserEmail() {
        return user.getEmail();

    public String getUserPassword() {
        return user.getPassword();

    public void setUserPassword(String password) {

    public LoginViewModel() {
        user = new User("","");

    public void onLoginClicked() {
        if (isInputDataValid())

    public boolean isInputDataValid() {
        return !TextUtils.isEmpty(getUserEmail()) && Patterns.EMAIL_ADDRESS.matcher(getUserEmail()).matches() && getUserPassword().length() > 5;

The methods were called in the layout are implemented in the above code with the same signature. If the XML counterpart of the method doesn’t exist, we need to change the attribute to app:. The above class can also extend ViewModel. But we need BaseObservable since it converts the data into streams and notifies when the toastMessage property is changed. We need to define the getter and setter for the toastMessage custom attribute defined in the XML. Inside the setter, we notify the observer (which will be the View in our application) that the data has changed. The View(Our activity) can define the appropriate action.

BR class is auto-generated from data binding when you rebuild the project

The code for the MainActivity.java class is given below:

package com.journaldev.androidmvvmbasics.views;

import android.databinding.BindingAdapter;
import android.databinding.DataBindingUtil;
import android.support.v7.app.AppCompatActivity;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.view.View;
import android.widget.Toast;

import com.journaldev.androidmvvmbasics.R;
import com.journaldev.androidmvvmbasics.databinding.ActivityMainBinding;
import com.journaldev.androidmvvmbasics.viewmodels.LoginViewModel;

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity {

    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        ActivityMainBinding activityMainBinding = DataBindingUtil.setContentView(this, R.layout.activity_main);
        activityMainBinding.setViewModel(new LoginViewModel());


    public static void runMe(View view, String message) {
        if (message != null)
            Toast.makeText(view.getContext(), message, Toast.LENGTH_SHORT).show();

Thanks to DataBinding, the ActivityMainBinding class is auto-generated from the layout. The @BindingAdapter method gets triggered whenever toastMessage attribute defined on the Button is changed. It must use the same attribute as defined in the XML and in the ViewModel. So in the above application, the ViewModel updates the Model by listening to the changes in the View. Also, the Model can update the view via the ViewModel using the notifyPropertyChanged The output of the above application in action is given below: android mvvm data binding demo This brings an end to this tutorial on Android MVVM Using DataBinding. You can download the project from the link given below.


Github Project Link

Thanks for learning with the DigitalOcean Community. Check out our offerings for compute, storage, networking, and managed databases.

Learn more about our products

About the authors
Default avatar
Anupam Chugh


While we believe that this content benefits our community, we have not yet thoroughly reviewed it. If you have any suggestions for improvements, please let us know by clicking the “report an issue“ button at the bottom of the tutorial.

Still looking for an answer?

Ask a questionSearch for more help

Was this helpful?
DigitalOcean Employee
DigitalOcean Employee badge
April 29, 2021

Sir how can i start a new activity after click login button plz reply.Im new in mvvm

- sitansu

    DigitalOcean Employee
    DigitalOcean Employee badge
    April 1, 2021

    Hello, How can I show the toast message from the string file?(like R.string.xx) I can not find in anywhere for one week. I am about to crazy:( Can you help me please??

    - esra didem

      DigitalOcean Employee
      DigitalOcean Employee badge
      March 23, 2021

      How did you create a package view under the main package with MainActivity in it ???

      - Pragyanshree Das

        DigitalOcean Employee
        DigitalOcean Employee badge
        June 4, 2020

        It is really clear to understand. And work with me, a new guy tries to learn MVVM. Thanks a lot

        - Allen

          DigitalOcean Employee
          DigitalOcean Employee badge
          March 13, 2020

          Horrible waste of time. All of the imports are outdated. Then, when that was finally fixed I get an error in the ActivityMainBinding build file. The project name is hardcoded in and the file cannot be edited. Unable to write the project on my own.

          - Joe

            DigitalOcean Employee
            DigitalOcean Employee badge
            December 16, 2019

            import com.android.databinding.library.baseAdapters.BR; is showing unused import statement. and in line notifyPropertyChanged(BR.toastMessage); BR > showing errror “Can not resolve symbol BR” Please look after this.

            - Navneet Kumar Gupta

              DigitalOcean Employee
              DigitalOcean Employee badge
              December 12, 2019

              when I google MVVM android, this web always displays the first one. It shows that your tutorial is good. Keep up making a good tutorial.

              - Muhammad Zawawi Bin Manja

                DigitalOcean Employee
                DigitalOcean Employee badge
                October 24, 2019

                Hi, Thanks for this tutorial… I have implemented this and i got it… But i have a doubt. How can i go to another activity on success?

                - Devu Mani

                  DigitalOcean Employee
                  DigitalOcean Employee badge
                  September 6, 2019

                  I have implemented the same code using Kotlin. I am not understanding why the toast message is shown initially while opening the app. I want to show the toast only on the click of the login button. How to achieve this?

                  - Keerthi Prasad B V

                    DigitalOcean Employee
                    DigitalOcean Employee badge
                    September 1, 2019

                    Does BR.userEmail inside setUserEmail(String email) method generated for you? Becuse there is no such property called userEmail defined inside LoginViewModel. Can you please explain?

                    - Satyasarathi

                      Try DigitalOcean for free

                      Click below to sign up and get $200 of credit to try our products over 60 days!

                      Sign up

                      Join the Tech Talk
                      Success! Thank you! Please check your email for further details.

                      Please complete your information!

                      Featured on Community

                      Get our biweekly newsletter

                      Sign up for Infrastructure as a Newsletter.

                      Hollie's Hub for Good

                      Working on improving health and education, reducing inequality, and spurring economic growth? We'd like to help.

                      Become a contributor

                      Get paid to write technical tutorials and select a tech-focused charity to receive a matching donation.

                      Welcome to the developer cloud

                      DigitalOcean makes it simple to launch in the cloud and scale up as you grow — whether you're running one virtual machine or ten thousand.

                      Learn more
                      DigitalOcean Cloud Control Panel