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NetworkResponse Retrofit adapter

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A call adapter that handles errors as a part of state

This library provides a Retrofit call adapter for wrapping your API responses in a NetworkResponse class using Coroutines.

Network Response

NetworkResponse<S, E> is a Kotlin sealed class with the following states:

  1. Success: Represents successful responses (2xx response codes)
  2. ServerError: Represents Server errors
  3. NetworkError: Represents connectivity errors
  4. UnknownError: Represents every other kind of error which can not be classified as an API error or a network problem (eg JSON deserialization exceptions)

It is generic on two types: a response (S), and an error (E). The response type is your Java/Kotlin representation of the API response, while the error type represents the error response sent by the API.


  • Suppose you have an API that returns the following response if the request is successful:

    Successful Response

      "name": "John doe",
      "age": 21
  • And here's the response when the request was unsuccessful:

    Error Response

      "message": "The requested person was not found"
  • You can create two data classes to model the these responses:

    data class PersonResponse(val name: String, val age: Int)
    data class ErrorResponse(val message: String)
  • You may then write your API service as:

    // APIService.kt
    fun getPerson(): Deferred<NetworkResponse<PersonResponse, ErrorResponse>>
    // or if you want to use Suspending functions
    suspend fun getPerson(): NetworkResponse<PersonResponse, ErrorResponse>>
  • Make sure to add this call adapter factory when building your Retrofit instance:

  • Then consume the API:

    // Repository.kt
    suspend fun getPerson() {
        val person = apiService.getPerson().await()
        // or if you use suspending functions,
        val person = apiService.getPerson()
        when (person) {
            is NetworkResponse.Success -> {
                // Handle successful response
            is NetworkResponse.Error -> {
                // Handle error
        // If you care about what type of error
        when (person) {
            is NetworkResponse.Success -> {
                // Handle successful response
            is NetworkResponse.ServerError -> {
                // Handle server error
            is NetworkResponse.NetworkError -> {
                // Handle network error
            is NetworkResponse.UnknownError -> {
                // Handle other errors
  • You can also use the included utility function executeWithRetry to automatically retry your network requests if they result in NetworkResponse.NetworkError

    suspend fun getPerson() {
        val response = executeWithRetry(times = 5) {
        // or with suspending functions
        val response = executeWithRetry(times = 5) {
        // Then handle the response
  • There's also an overloaded invoke operator on the NetworkResponse class which returns the success body if the request was successful, or null otherwise

    val usersResponse = usersRepo.getUsers().await()
    println(usersResponse() ?: "No users were found")
  • Some API responses convey information through headers only, and contain empty bodies. Such endpoints must be used with Unit as their success type.

    suspend fun getEmptyBodyResponse(): NetworkResponse<Unit, ErrorType>


Modelling errors as a part of your state is a recommended practice. This library helps you deal with scenarios where you can successfully recover from errors, and extract meaningful information from them too!

  • NetworkResponseAdapter provides a much cleaner solution than Retrofit's built in Call type for dealing with errors.Call throws an exception on any kind of an error, leaving it up to you to catch it and parse it manually to figure out what went wrong. NetworkResponseAdapter does all of that for you and returns the result in an easily consumable NetworkResponse subtype.

  • The RxJava retrofit adapter treats non 2xx response codes as errors, which seems silly in the context of Rx where errors terminate streams. Also, just like the Call<T> type, it makes you deal with all types of errors in an onError callback, where you have to manually parse it to find out exactly what went wrong.

  • Using the Response class provided by Retrofit is cumbersome, as you have to manually parse error bodies with it.


Add the Jitpack repository to your list of repositories:

allprojects {
  repositories {
    maven { url '' }

And then add the dependency in your gradle file:

dependencies {
  implementation "com.github.haroldadmin:NetworkResponseAdapter:(latest-version)"

This library uses OkHttp 4, which requires Android API version 21+ and Java 8+



Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.

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