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Diamond Overview

Diamond is a new data management system for wide-area, reactive applications. Reactive applications give users the illusion of continuous synchronization across mobile devices and the cloud server. Diamond simplifies this task by providing applications with persistent cloud storage, reliable synchronization between storage and mobile devices, and automated execution of application code in response to shared data updates.

Building Diamond for x86

You can compile Diamond on Mac OSX and Linux for x86 using the instructions below. Diamond has language bindings for Java, Android, Objective-C, Python and C++. In order to build the bindings in each case, you'll need to set up different things.

Set up the build environment

Diamond requires a few common tools to compile for various languages, which you can download using your package manager of choice (e.g. apt on Ubuntu/Debian or Macports/Homebrew on OSX):

  • C++ bindings: Install CMake and either gcc or clang. Diamond builds as a C++ shared library by default.
  • Python bindings: Install the Python Boost modules
  • Java bindings: Install Maven and the JDK for compiling the Java bindings

For Ubuntu 14.04, installing the following packages should be sufficient to build Diamond:

$ apt-get install build-essential cmake maven libpython-dev libboost-dev libboost-python-dev libssl-dev libprotobuf-dev protobuf-compiler libevent-dev

Building the source and language bindings

To compile a shared object library and the C++ bindings:

$ cd platform
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake ..
$ make

To compile the Python bindings, uncomment the line reading add_subdirectory(bindings/python) in platform/CMakeLists.txt, and then follow the instructions to compile the shared library and C++ bindings above.

To run tests for the C++ and Python bindings type in the build directory:

$ make test

After you have compiled the C++ shared library, you can compile the Java bindings for those libraries:

$ cd platform/bindings/java
$ mvn package -DskipTests

To test the Java bindings, cd to the Java directory and type:

$ mvn test

Running Diamond servers

The instructions below describe how to launch the Diamond servers and run a sample app that connects to them.

Config files

You'll need several config files: one for the timestamp server, one for each backend shard, and one for each frontend server. These config files all have a common prefix (our example will creatively use prefix as the prefix), and they should all be located in the same directory.

Backend shard config files have names prefix0.config, prefix1.config, etc. Each config file has the following layout:

host <hostname>:<port>
host <hostname>:<port>

where each host line lists a replica's hostname and port.

The TSS config file has the name prefix.tss.config. It has the same format as the backend shard config file.

The frontend config files have names prefix.frontend0.config, prefix.frontend1.config, etc. They have the same format as the backend shard config file, but they only have one host entry.

Example config files with the prefix local can be found in platform/test. These config files specify one frontend server, one backend shard with three replicas, and three timestamp server replicas, all running on localhost.

Running the servers

The server executables can be found in the platform/build directory created during compilation. The backend storeserver and timestamp server executables each take two arguments: -c gives the config file to use and -i specifies the replica number. The frontend server also takes two arguments: -c specifies the config file and -bgives a config prefix used to find the backend storeservers and timestamp servers to connect to.

Using the local config files mentioned above, the commands to start the servers from the platform/build directory would look like this:

$ ./storeserver -c ../test/local0.config -i 0
$ ./storeserver -c ../test/local0.config -i 1
$ ./storeserver -c ../test/local0.config -i 2
$ ./tss -c ../test/local.tss.config -i 0
$ ./tss -c ../test/local.tss.config -i 1
$ ./tss -c ../test/local.tss.config -i 2
$ ./frontserver -c ../test/local.frontend0.config -b ../test/local

The file in the scripts directory gives instructions for using a script that automates the process of starting and stopping servers on remote hosts using rsync and SSH.

Testing the servers with a sample app

To verify that your Diamond servers are working, you can run the 100 Game app mentioned in the paper. The 100 Game can be found in apps/simplegame/cpp (a Python version and an implementation built on Redis are also available in apps/simplegame). To build the app:

$ cd apps/simplegame/cpp
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake ..
$ make

The 100 Game takes three arguments: --config specifies the config file of the frontend server to connect to (without the .config suffix), --key gives the shared key to use when playing with multiple players (i.e., the game name), and --name specifies the player name. To play the 100 Game using the local Diamond servers we created above:

$ ./game --config ../../../../platform/test/local.frontend0 --key MyGameName --name Player1

You can create another process in a different terminal to allow another player to play:

$ ./game --config ../../../../platform/test/local.frontend0 --key MyGameName --name Player2

Cross-compiling Diamond for Android

In order to cross-compile for using Diamond on Android, you need to download the compile tools. Create a toolchains directory in the platform directory of the Diamond source code and keep everything that you downloaded there.


  1. Install either Android Studio or the stand-alone SDK.

  2. Download the Android NDK from here.

  3. Unpack the NDK:

     $ unzip
     $ mv android-ndk-r11-linux-x86_64.tar.bz2 platform/toolchains/android/ndk

    Be sure to use the appropriate '.zip' filename for OSX.

  4. Create a stand-alone toolchain for working with. On Linux:

     $ cd platform/toolchains/android
     $ ./ndk/build/tools/ --toolchain=arm-linux-androideabi-4.9 --arch=arm --platform=android-21 --install-dir=toolchain
  5. Add the toolchain binaries to your path. If $DIAMOND_SRC is the path to the base Diamond source directory, add the following line to your bashrc file:

     $ export PATH=$DIAMOND_SRC/platform/toolchains/android/symlinks:$PATH
  6. Compile libevent for Android:

     $ cd external/libevent
     $ ./
     $ ./configure --target=arm-linux-androideabi --host=arm-linux-androideabi --disable-openssl LDFLAGS=-lgnustl_shared
     $ make
  7. Compile libprotobuf for Android:

     $ cd external/protobuf-2.5.0
     $ ./
     $ ./configure --target=arm-linux-androideabi --host=arm-linux-androideabi LDFLAGS=-lgnustl_shared
     $ make
  8. Compile the C++ Diamond library:

     $ cd platform
     $ mkdir build-arm
     $ cd build-arm
     $ cmake .. -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=../Android.cmake
     $ make
  9. Compile Java bindings for Diamond:

     $ cd platform/bindings/java
     $ mvn package -DskipTests

Running an Android app in Android Studio

The project DiamondAndroidTest in apps/test-apps is an Android Studio project containing a simple Diamond test app for Android. The following instructions describe how to set up and run the app. Replace $DIAMOND_SRC with the path to the base Diamond source directory. These instructions have been tested on Ubuntu 14.04 using an Android SDK with Android 6.0 (API level 23) installed.

  1. Run the script to copy all required shared libraries into the project folder:

     $ cd scripts/build-scripts
     $ ./ $DIAMOND_SRC $DIAMOND_SRC/apps/test-apps/DiamondAndroidTest
  2. In Android Studio, import the DiamondAndroidTest project:

    1. Go to File -> New -> Import Project...
    2. Select $DIAMOND_SRC/apps/test-apps/DiamondAndroidTest as the root directory and click Finish.
  3. Add the Diamond libraries to the project:

    1. Click the Project button on the left-hand border of the window to view the Project pane.
    2. Select the Project view in the drop-down menu at the top of the pane.
    3. Navigate to the app/src/main/libs directory.
    4. Right-click on each library in the folder and select "Add As Library..."
  4. Run the project as an Android application:

    1. Either click the green Run button in the toolbar or select Run -> Run 'app' on the menu.

Running an Android app in Eclipse

Most of the Android apps in this repository have been moved over to Android Studio at this point, but a few older apps may still be Eclipse projects (see the README in the apps directory for details). Here we provide our old instructions on getting an Android app running with Eclipse.

Google no longer supports developing Android apps in Eclipse. The link to the Eclipse Android Development Tools plugin is no longer on the official Android website, although it can be found in a mirror of the old version ( Also, the process of compiling and running Android apps seems to be significantly less flaky in Android Studio than in Eclipse. For these reasons, we recommend using Android Studio to develop Diamond Android apps.

When reading these instructions, replace DiamondAndroidTest with the name of your Eclipse project, and replace $DIAMOND_SRC with the path to the base Diamond source directory and $ANDROID_SDK with the path to the Android SDK folder. These instructions have been tested on Mac and Linux using an Android SDK with Android 5.1.1 (API level 22) installed.

  1. Run the script to copy all required shared libraries into the project folder:

     $ cd scripts/build-scripts
     $ ./ $DIAMOND_SRC $DIAMOND_SRC/apps/test-apps/DiamondAndroidTest
  2. In Eclipse, import the DiamondAndroidTest project:

    1. Go to File -> Import -> General -> Existing Projects into Workspace.
    2. Select $DIAMOND_SRC/apps/test-apps/DiamondAndroidTest as the root directory and click Finish.
  3. Add the Android support v7 appcompat library to the project:

    1. Go to File -> Import -> General -> Existing Projects into Workspace.
    2. Select $ANDROID_SDK/extras/android/support/v7/appcompat as the root directory and click Finish.
    3. Right click on android-support-v7-appcompat in the Package Explorer, then go to Android, and select Android 5.1.1 as the build target.
    4. Go to Project -> Properties -> Android. Under Library, select Add, then select appcompat_v7.
  4. Go to Window (or Eclipse on Mac) -> Preferences -> Android -> Build, and uncheck the option "Force error when external jars contain native libraries."

  5. Refresh, clean, and close and open the project until it builds successfully:

    1. To refresh: right-click on the project in the Package Explorer -> Refresh
    2. To clean: select Project -> Clean
    3. To close and open: right-click on the project -> Close Project (or Open Project)
  6. Run the project as an Android application:

    1. Right click on the project name in the Package Explorer pane.
    2. Select "Run As" -> "Android Application."
    3. Choose a device (either an emulator or a physical device) to run on.


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