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marco_polo [DEPRECATED]

Marco Polo is a binary OrientDB driver for Elixir.

Documentation is available at


Add MarcoPolo as a dependency of your application inside your mix.exs file:

def deps do
  [{:marco_polo, "~> 0.1"}]

Now run mix deps.get in your shell to fetch and compile MarcoPolo. To play with MarcoPolo, run iex -S mix in your project:

{:ok, conn} = MarcoPolo.start_link(user: "admin",
                                   password: "admin",
                                   connection: {:db, "GratefulDeadConcerts"})

{:ok, %{response: cluster_id}} = MarcoPolo.command(conn, "CREATE CLASS ProgrammingLanguage")
cluster_id #=> 15

query = "INSERT INTO ProgrammingLanguage(name) VALUES (?)"
{:ok, %{response: doc}} = MarcoPolo.command(conn, query, params: ["Elixir"])
doc.rid     #=> #MarcoPolo.RID<#15:0>
doc.version #=> 1
doc.fields  #=> %{"name" => "Elixir"}

query = "SELECT FROM ProgrammingLanguage WHERE name = :name"
{:ok, %{response: [language]}} = MarcoPolo.command(conn, query, params: %{name: "Elixir"})
language == doc #=> true


Some OrientDB types are "more specific" than their Elixir counterparts. For example, OrientDB can represent integers as ints (4 bytes), longs (8 bytes), or shorts (2 bytes). Elixir only knows about integers. For this reason, the OrientDB type can be forced (similarly to a type cast) from Elixir. For example, Elixir integers are encoded as ints (4 bytes) by default, but they can be forced to be encoded as shorts or longs by using a tagged tuple:

332          #=> gets encoded with 4 bytes as the int 332
{:long, 332} #=> gets encoded with 8 bytes as the long 332

The same can be done for other types as well.

The following table shows how Elixir types map to OrientDB types and viceversa. The t

Elixir Encoded as OrientDB type Decoded in Elixir as
true, false boolean same as original
83 or {:int, 83} integer 83
{:short, 21} short 21
{:long, 944} long 944
{:float, 3.14} float 3.14
2.71 or {:double, 2.71} double 2.71 (using Decimal) decimal same as original
"foo", <<1, 2, 3>> string "foo", <<1, 2, 3>>
{:binary, <<7, 2>>} binary <<7, 2>>
%MarcoPolo.Date{year: 2015 month: 7, day: 1} date same as original
%MarcoPolo.DateTime{year: 2015 month: 7, day: 1, hour: 0, min: 37, sec: 14, msec: 0} datetime same as original
%MarcoPolo.Document{} embedded same as original
[1, "foo", {:float, 3.14}] embedded list [1, "foo", 3.14]
#HashSet<[2, 1]> embedded set #HashSet<[2, 1]>
%{"foo" => true} embedded map %{"foo" => true}
%MarcoPolo.RID{cluster_id: 21, position: 3} link %MarcoPolo.RID{cluster_id: 21, position: 3}
{:link_list, [%MarcoPolo.RID{}, ...]} link list {:link_list, [%MarcoPolo.RID{}, ...]}
{:link_set, #HashSet<%MarcoPolo.RID{}, ...>} link set {:link_set, #HashSet<%MarcoPolo.RID{}, ...>}
{:link_map, %{"foo" => %MarcoPolo.RID{}, ...}} link set {:link_map, %{"foo" => %MarcoPolo.RID{}, ...}}


  • embedded maps and link maps only support strings as keys. During encoding, MarcoPolo tries to convert all keys to strings using the to_string/1 function and the information about the original type is lost (so that at decoding, all map keys are strings).
  • encoding and decoding of RidBags is described in the "RidBags" section below.


As of version 0.1, MarcoPolo doesn't support tree RidBags. It only supports embedded RidBags.

Embedded RidBags are represented in Elixir like this:

{:link_bag, [%MarcoPolo.RID, ...]}

Tree-based RidBags will likely be supported in the upcoming versions. In the meantime, if you need to, you can configure the OrientDB server so that it uses only embedded RidBags (up to a number of links). To do this, set the value of the ridBag.embeddedToSbtreeBonsaiThreshold option in the server's XML config to a very high value (e.g. 1 billion), so that embedded RidBags will be used up to that number of links. For example:

  <entry name="ridBag.embeddedToSbtreeBonsaiThreshold" value="1000000000" />

Fetch plans

MarcoPolo supports OrientDB fetch plans. Starting with these data:

{:ok, conn} = MarcoPolo.start_link(user: "root",
                                   password: "root",
                                   connection: {:db, "GratefulDeadConcerts"})

{:ok, %{response: country}} = MarcoPolo.command(conn, "INSERT INTO Country(name) VALUES ('USA')")

query = "INSERT INTO City(name, country) VALUES ('New York', ?)"
{:ok, %{response: city}} = MarcoPolo.command(conn, query, params: [country.rid])

query = "INSERT INTO Street(name, city) VALUES ('5th avenue', ?)"
{:ok, %{response: street}} = MarcoPolo.command(conn, query, params: [city.rid])

we can fetch the city and the country when we fetch the street:

query = "SELECT FROM Street WHERE name = '5th avenue'"
{:ok, %{response: [street], linked_records: linked}} = MarcoPolo.command(conn, query, fetch_plan: "*:-1")

ny = MarcoPolo.FetchPlan.resolve_links!(street.fields["city"], linked)
usa = MarcoPolo.FetchPlan.resolve_links!(ny.fields["country"], linked)

Working with graphs

MarcoPolo supports working with graphs using the same MarcoPolo.command/3 function showed above:

{:ok, conn} = MarcoPolo.start_link(user: "root",
                                   password: "root",
                                   connection: {:db, "GratefulDeadConcerts"})

query = "CREATE VERTEX V SET name = 'Pizza place'"
{:ok, %{response: pizza_place}} = MarcoPolo.command(conn, query)
query = "CREATE VERTEX V SET name = 'Jane'"
{:ok, %{response: jane}} = MarcoPolo.command(conn, query)

query = "CREATE EDGE HasEatenIn FROM ? to ?"
params = [jane.rid, pizza_place.rid]
{:ok, %{response: edge}} = MarcoPolo.command(conn, query, params: params)

edge.fields["in"]  #=> {:link_list, [pizza_place.rid]}
edge.fields["out"] #=> {:link_list, [jane.rid]}

The :graph atom in the MarcoPolo.start_link/1 function shuld reflect how the database was created. If it was created as a graph database, then we use :graph, otherwise we use :document. The differences between graph and document databases are differences in the implementation on the server side; the API is exactly the same between the two types.


OrientDB supports server-side scripting (for example, JavaScript and SQL-batch). MarcoPolo supports this feature through the MarcoPolo.script/4 function:

{:ok, conn} = MarcoPolo.start_link(user: "root",
                                   password: "root",
                                   connection: {:db, "GratefulDeadConcerts"})

{:ok, _} = MarcoPolo.script(conn, "Javascript", """
db.command('CREATE CLASS Number);

for (var i = 1; i <= 10; i++) {
  db.command('INSERT INTO Number(value) VALUES (' + i + ')');


OrientDB supports server-side transactions, meaning transactions that happen only on the server. The clients sends all the operations it wants to perform in the transactions, and the server either performs them all atomically or reverts all of them if there's an error in one of them. To perform a transaction in MarcoPolo:

{:ok, conn} = MarcoPolo.start_link(user: "root",
                                   password: "root",
                                   connection: {:db, "GratefulDeadConcerts"})

{:ok, resp} = MarcoPolo.transaction(conn, [
  {:create, %MarcoPolo.Document{class: "Foo", fields: %{"foo" => "bar"}}},
  {:delete, %MarcoPolo.Document{rid: %MarcoPolo.RID{cluster_id: 10, position: 39}}},

#=> %MarcoPolo.Document{class: "Foo", fields: %{"foo" => "bar"}, rid: %MarcoPolo.RID{...}}

#=> []

To perform transactions with manual rollback (similar to the ones in most relational databases), you have to use server-side scripting. For example, you can perform a transaction by using a SQL script:

{:ok, conn} = MarcoPolo.start_link(user: "root",
                                   password: "root",
                                   connection: {:db, "GratefulDeadConcerts"})

script = """
let account = create vertex Account set name = 'Luke'
let city = select from City where name = 'London' lock record
let edge = create edge Lives from $account to $city
return $edge

MarcoPolo.script(conn, "SQL", script)

Live query

Note: this is an experimental feature in OrientDB, and thus subject to frequent changes. It should be considered experimental in MarcoPolo as well.

Live Queries are OrientDB's take on PubSub. A client starts "watching" a given query, and OrientDB sends messages to that client every time something happens that changes the result of the query. For example, a LIVE SELECT FROM Person query subscribes to the SELECT FROM Person query. If a client adds record to Person, then all clients subscribed to that query get a message that says a new Person has been created. Subscriptions are identified by tokens.

All of this is pretty straightforward in MarcoPolo:

{:ok, conn} = MarcoPolo.start_link(user: "root",
                                   password: "root",
                                   connection: {:db, "GratefulDeadConcerts"})

# Let's keep the token around so that we can unsubscribe later
{:ok, token} = MarcoPolo.live_query(conn, "LIVE SELECT FROM Person", self())

# The third argument to live_query/3 is the pid that will receive messages from
# the live query
MarcoPolo.command(conn, "INSERT INTO Person(name) VALUES ('Olivia Dunham')")
receive do msg -> msg end
#=> {:orientdb_live_query, token, {:create, %MarcoPolo.Document{class: "Person", ...}}}

MarcoPolo.command(conn, "UPDATE Person SET name = 'Fauxlivia Dunham' WHERE name = 'Olivia Dunham'")
receive do msg -> msg end
#=> {:orientdb_live_query, token, {:update, %MarcoPolo.Document{class: "Person", ...}}}

# Ok, enough with Fringe references
:ok = MarcoPolo.live_query_unsubscribe(conn, token)


For more information on how to contribute to MarcoPolo (including how to clone the repository and run tests), have a look at the CONTRIBUTING file.


See the LICENSE file.


Marco Polo is a binary OrientDB driver for Elixir.