Storage engine for JSON documents using Redis. It allows fast find operations (index) by any field of the JSON document (ala MongoDB)
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JOR is the acronym for JSON over Redis.

The project provides storage for JSON documents that uses Redis as the backend data-store. JOR also provides a MongoDB-like query language for fast retrieval. JOR is heavily inspired by the API of MongoDB.

JOR aims to only offer:

  • CRUD for JSON documents, and
  • a JSON based query language to find the documents matching the constrains of the query document

For instance, the document

doc = {
    "_id" => 42,
    "name" => "bon menjar",
    "stars" => 3,
    "cuisine" => ["asian", "japanese"],
    "address" => {
                   "address" => "Main St 100",
                   "city"    => "Ann Arbor",
                   "zipcode" => "08104"
    "description" => "very long description that we might not want to index",
    "wines" => [
                 "name" => "wine1",
                 "year" => 1998,
                 "type" => ["garnatxa", "merlot"]
                  "name" => "wine2",
                  "year" => 2009,
                  "type" => ["syrah", "merlot"]

can be inserted like this:


and retrieved by using a query (that is also a document). For instance:


will return all documents in the restaurants collection.

jor.restaurants.find({"_id" => 42})

will return all documents whose _id is 42. The query document can be arbitrarily complex:

	"stars" => {"$gte" => 3}, 
	"wines" => {"type" => 
			{"$in" => ["garnatxa", "syrah"]}}

the find will return restaurants with 3 or more stars that also have wines of type garnatxa or syrah.

Getting Started


From rubygems

gem install jor

From source

git clone
build jor.gemspec
gem install 


You can pass the your own redis handler on instantiation…

require 'jor'
redis = => :hiredis)
jor =

if you don't, JOR will create a redis connection against redis' default (localhost, port 6379).

We advise using hiredis to improve performance.

JOR is not thread-safe at the current version.

How to


JOR allows to have multiple collections. A collections is a container of documents that are mean to be group together. The operations insert, delete and find are scoped by a collection.

To create a collection:


Number of documents in collection:

Id of the last document inserted in the collection, zero if empty

Delete a collection with all its documents:


Delete all collections:


Collections can be created to have auto_incremental ids

jor.create_collection("events", :auto_increment => true)

A collection is either auto_incremental or not, cannot be both types at the same time. The default type is not auto-incremental.

Auto-incremental collections expect documents without the field _id, which will be assigned automatically upon insertion.


To insert documents to a collection just do insert. The parameters can be either a Hash (will be stored as JSON encoded string), or an Array of Hash objects[doc1, doc2, …, docN])

There is marginal benefits to use bulk insertion, it's mostly for convenience.

Every document stored in JOR has an field called ´_id´ that is unique within a collection. Trying to insert a document with an _id that already exists will raise an exception.

The _id must be a natural number (>=0), remember that you only need to define the field _id when dealing with collections that are not auto-incremental (the default case).

By the way, field names cannot start with ' or with $. These characters are reserved.

There are two other special fields:

  • _created_at: it is set when inserting a document, and should not changed ever again. The field is indexed by default.
  • _updated_at: it is set every time the document is updated. Also indexed by default.

Both times are unix epoch time in milli-seconds (the decimal part).



If you know that you will never do a search for a field you might want to exclude it from the indexes. By default all fields are indexes. Adding fields to be excluded improves the efficiency of the insert.

For instance, if you want to exclude the field description from the index:, 
  	{:excluded_fields_to_index => {"description" => true}})

Excluding fields is something to consider because the performance of the insert in linear with the number of fields of the document O(#fields). An excluded fields will not affect the content of the document, it will just make it not "findable".

We advise to exclude any fields that is a string that does not serve as a symbol or tag since strings fields can only be found by a exact match.

You can also exclude fields that are objects, for instance, if you do not want to index the types of wines:, 
  	{:excluded_fields_to_index => {"wines" => {"type" => true}}})

Exclusion is per document based, it will only affect the document being inserted.

The field _id cannot be excluded.

Note that if you exclude a field from the index you will not be able to use that field on find operations. Search is only done over indexed fields. Unless explicitly stated all fields of the documents are indexed.


To retrieve the stored documents you only need to define a query document (also a Hash). The interface is inspired on the MongoDB query language, so if you are familiar with it will be straight forward.{})

will find all restaurants in the collection. The query document is all {}.

The query document {"_id" => 42} will only return one (or zero) restaurant documents. The one whose field _id has value 42.

The query document is a subset of the original stored document. For the fields defined, it will match the value. For those who are not defined, it will act as a wildcard.

Some operators are also available:

  • For comparisons:

    • $gt: greater than (>)
    • $gte: greater than or equal (>=)
    • $lt: lower than (<)
    • $lte: lower than or equal (<=)
  • For sets:

    • $in: the value must be in the defined set
    • $all: all values must be in the defined set

The syntax to use the operators also follows a hash

	"stars" => {"$gte" => 3}, 
	"wines" => {
		"year" => 2008,
		"type" => {
		  "$all" => ["garnatxa", "syrah"]

The query document will return all documents that match all 3 conditions:

The field start must be greater or equal than 3, they have at least one wine that is from year 2008 and the type of wine contains both garnatxa and syrah (turns out that wines can be mixed)

The following find returns all documents whose _id is on the list

jor.restaurants.find({"_id" => {"$in" => [1, 3, 5, 7, 11]}})

The result of the find in an Array of the documents (as Hash objects). The documents are returned by ascending _id.


find accepts the following options that you can override:

  • :max_documents, the maximum number of documents to be returned, by default 1000.
  • :only_ids, return only the ids instead of the Hash, by default false. This is useful for joins.
  • :raw, returns only the document as JSON encoded strings, you save JOR to do the final parsing of the JSON encoded string. By default false.
  • :reversed, returns the documents sorted by descendant _id. Default if false.


Deleting a document is basically like doing a find with the exception that all documents that meet the query document will be deleted.

jor.restaurants.find({"_id" => 42})

Deletes the document with _id 42 (only one document by definition).

jor.restaurants.delete({"address" => {"zipcode" => "08104"}})

Deletes any document that the zipcode on its address is "08104".


Updating a document is also doing a find and doing a deep merge of the documents found and the source doc. For instance,

jor.restaurants.update({"_id" => 42}, {"address" => {"zipcode" => "08105"}})

Updates (or add if did not exist) the address => zipcode of the document with _id 42.

jor.restaurants.update({"address" => {"zipcode" => "08105"}} , {"address" => {"zipcode" => "08106"}})

Updates all documents with zipcode "08105" to "08106". Updates are not limited to a single document. The update applies to all the documents that match the first argument of the update operation.

Indexes are managed in the same way than an insert operations, so that you can use :exclude_fields_to_index as options.

If the update is a removal of a field, you must do it like this:

jor.restaurants.update({"_id" => 42}, {"address" => nil)

Note that this will remove all the fields that hang from address, whether it is a value, array or a hash.

Misc Operations

You can find which document fields are indexed by doing,


This operation will return all fields that are indexed, but not all the indexes there are. Numeric fields, for instance, have two indexes.

Also, you can get sysadmin related info,


The thing is quite fast (thanks to Redis).

With a commodity laptop (macbook air) we can get between 300~400 documents inserts per second for the restaurant example used in this README.

The complexity of an insert and find operations depend on the number of fields of the document and the query document respectively. For the case of the restaurant document there are 16 fields.

Real benchmarks are more than welcomed.

## To Do

  • normalize indexed strings (downcase, trimmed, something else) so that at least the == on a string is case insensitive. Tokenizing a string is easy to do, but can affect performance O(#fields + #words_on_string_fields). Perhaps as an option.


Fork the project and send pull requests.