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A project skeleton for running scalding jobs against avro datafiles.


We feel that it's desirable to use the serialization format that you bet on across all of the tools in your Hadoop environment— even if it's not entirely obvious how to do so.

Utilizing the cascading.avro and scalding.avro projects, we wanted to build out a project structure that was turn-key and would give users the ability to script scalding jobs against avro datafiles without worrying about the glue between it all.


Clone the repository and initialize the required submodules:

git clone && cd scalding-avro-integration
git submodule update --init

Project structure

This project consists of three submodules which are tuned specifically for scalding-avro-integration.

The skeleton's example jobs—and any scalding jobs you plan on scripting—are to be placed under the first-party directory.

Specific vs. Generic

Two different ways to work with avro datafiles are covered by this project's examples.

The SpecificExample job requires an avro datafile's SpecificRecord sources to be present on the classpath, while the GenericExample job works with avro datafiles wherein the contained records' compiled sources are not on the classpath.

As you'll see in the examples, users of the generic-style sacrifice type-safety for versatility.

Running jobs

Jobs can be run interactively through sbt or from an assembled jar file.

To run a job via sbt, issue the following commands from the project's root directory:

> project first-party
> run jobs.YourJob --hdfs --input /path/to/your/datafile.avro

Note that, by default, we are running this job against the local filesystem.

cascading.avro and scalding.avro currently do not support the --local command line argument.

When running locally, if no --input argument is passed to the example jobs, the jobs will load example data from the project classpath.

To run a job against your Hadoop cluster, first assemble the fat jar of your jobs and their dependencies:

> project first-party
> assembly

The sbt assembly task will place the jar file in the project's target directory.

Proceed to run the job against your cluster:

hadoop jar /path/to/YourJob.jar jobs.YourJob --hdfs --input /path/to/your/datafile.avro --output /path/to/desired/output/dir

When running against your cluster, --input and --output arguments are required for the example jobs.

Data for the example jobs can be found in the first-party/src/main/resources/data directory.



The SpecificExample job that ships with this repository is an example of a scalding job that reads avro datafiles using SpecificRecord semantics.

The Java source files for the type of record to be processed must exist on the job's classpath.

The SpecificExample's datafiles contain records of type Document.

A Document is comprised of a set of circular Targets and a set of Sessions. A Session contains a history of clicks, which are represented as Cartesian coordinates.

Refer to the first-party/src/main/resources directory for the avro IDL of the Document type.

Refer to the first-party/src/main/java/types directory for the generated source files.

The SpecificExample enumerates the listing of session clicks that occur within a Document's targets, sorted by the nearest distance to the target.

While the nature of the example is contrived, it is solely meant to illustrate the usefulness of using SpecificRecords to analyze and process complex, nested avro structures.

Issue the following commands to run the SpecificExample job locally in an interactive sbt session:

> project first-party
> run jobs.SpecificExample --hdfs


The GenericExample reads from avro datafiles and implements its logic using the org.apache.avro.generic API, wherein the parsed GenericRecords are encapsulated by cascading.tuple.Tuple instances.

The GenericExample requires that the Java sources for its datafiles must not appear on the job's classpath.

While the schema for the GenericExample exists on the classpath, it is not required to run the job.

We demonstrate the generic-style API with the following example:

Given a series of Image records, calculate the frequency of occurrence of opaque colors

Refer to the first-party/src/main/resources directory for the avro IDL of the Image type.

Issue the following commands to run the GenericExample job locally in an interactive sbt session:

> project first-party
> run jobs.GenericExample --hdfs

Source Code Generation

An sbt task exists to generate Java sources for any avro schemas you place in first-party/src/main/resources.

The task is named generate-specifics and is available from the root project.

It takes the basenames of the avro schema or IDL files you want to generate Java sources for as its CLI arguments.

As an example, the Java sources for the SpecificExample would be compiled from the following interactive sbt session:

> generate_specifics specific_example.avdl

The generate-specifics task will execute the script located in the bin directory.

Refer to bin/ for more information.

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