Clojure drivers for the ArangoDB vs 2.x+
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Travesedo is a Clojure driver for the ArangoDB data store system. It was inspired by clojure/java.jdbc wrapper library and its ease of configuration passing. The goal of the driver is to provide the most idiomatic Clojure driver while fully leveraging the power of the ArangoDB tools.

I'm personally using the project. As a result, the driver has a bit of a pragmatic approach: getting features that I need out. As I have time, I will extend the driver (presently focused on document interaction) to the larger body of ArangoDB features.

ArangoDB Version

Master works with 2.6. To work with 2.5, see the arangodb_2.5 branch. 2.6 is backwards compatible for existing features. Adds the ability to batch look up and remove by keys.


Every operation requires a database context. At its simplest the context requires a :conn value. There are three possible values:

  • Single Server Mode
    {:type :simple
      :url "http://localhost:8529"
      :uname "example_user"
      :password "secret"}
  • Replica Set
    {:type :replica
      :url "http://masterhost:8529"
      :uname "master_user_name"
      :password "secret"
      :replicas [{:url "http://replica1host:8529"
                        :uname "replica_user_name"
                        :password "replica_password"}]}
      ;; if no uname & password fields are set in the replicas,
      ;;they inherit from the master configuration.
  • Sharded
    {:type :shard
    :uname "common_user_name"
    :password "common_password"
    :coordinators [{:url "http://coord1host:8529"}  ;; Inherits the password
                                                    ;; from the outer config.
                            {:url "http://coord2host:8529"}
                              :uname "replica2_user "
                              :password "replicate2_password"]}

When :type :replica is used the driver will randomly select the replica from which to read. If you want use a different selection algorithm for reads, you can set :conn-select to a function that takes the connection and returns a map with the from {:url :uname :password}.

The following is the simplest context.

  (def context {:conn {:type :simple,
  					   :url "http://locahost:8529",
  					   :uname "dev_user ",
  					   :password "secret"}})

Adding Configuration Nuance

Knowing how to make a valid connection string is great, but you'll want to do more than that. This section covers the process of using the drivers.

Submiting a Payload

The driver will automatically convert a collection into a json format. To pass a payload to ArangoDB you need to add a key to the call context named :payload. The functions for interacting with ArangoDB will tell you what the payload should look like.

Async Communication

By default, operations in ArangoDB are synchronous per connection. For many applications this is perfectly fine, you might want to take advantage of the asynchronous abilities at times. That's where the :async option comes in. There are four possible values.

  • Not set - means the system defaults to :async :false.
  • :false - this means that the system will use regular synchronous communication.
  • :true - indicates that you want a fire and forget approach. If the server has room in the work queue, a success message comes back. Otherwise the driver will throw an exception.
  • :store - means that the server should queue the work, but return a job id for later pickup. The driver will return the job id in the :job-id field of the response map.

Flushing to Disk

Like many largely in-memory databases ArangoDB keeps "commited" items in memory for some time before flushing them to the disk. In the case of a system failure, it is possible to lose these changes. If you need to wait for a flush, set :wait-for-sync :true in the ctx.

Working with Revisions

ArangoDB leverages MVCC for transaction semantics. Depending on the operation, you might want to see if the version in the database matches the version you have in local memory. You might want to check the opposite of that. That's when you can use :if-match and :if-none-match. The driver will throw a 412 exception when :if-none-match is passed and the revision is the same :if-match is passed and the revisions are different. If both are passed, the last one retrieved from the map wins.

Specifying Collection and Database

Most operations need to know on which database they are working: :db "db_name".

Controlling the Http Client.

We depend on clj-http. One of the best reasons to do so its configurability. We pass that power onto you as best we can. If you want to configure the underlying client, all you have to do is add to the ctx configurations that match clj-http. Specify the setting in the key :http-config.

One benefit is that you can override Travesedo's policy of no exceptions. If you prefer to handle Slingshot Stones rather than code/:error checking, add this to your :http-config.

{:http-config {:throw-exceptions false}}

We recommend using the :connection-manager setting. In an unscientific benchmark for our need to load 50k documents, a straight load with "map" took 141297.923483 ms. When we switched to pmap, the system ran out of ports. Using the :connection-manager as per the clj-http documentation with 4 threads cut that number to 50380.825925 ms. That's a 2.8 times improvement with that little change.

If you use, or think about using, Component, you can create the pool in your component that makes the ctx. Then tear it down with the shutdown of the component.

Full Context Example

(def context {:conn {:type :simple
                      :url "http://localhost:8529"
                      :uname "dev_user"
                      :password "secret"}
               :async :stored
               :if-match "123123"
               :conn-select (fun [conn]...)
               :db "example_db"
               :http-config {:socket-timeout 1000,
               			     :conn-timeout 1000}})

Exception Handling

Errors like 404, or 500 are returned as maps. The driver does not throw exceptions. You should check the result's :error to see if everything was fine.

Attempt at Idiomatic Clojure.

The input and top level attributes of the response keys follow idomatic, lowercase names. For example, ArangoDB returns "isSystem" when working with collection meta data as part of its root document. The driver will convert this to :is-system. The driver will not convert keys within a result collection.


Copyright © 2014 DeusDat Solutions.

Distributed under the Eclipse Public License either version 1.0.