Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time


A Clojure library for using Ragtime to migrate an ArangoDB database. It's named after the ragtime pianist Fats Waller. While ArangoDB requires less migration efforts than a traditional SQL DB, you still need to efficiently create databases, collections and execute arbitrary AQL. This library lets you do that.

The Core Concepts

This project assumes that you are familiar with the basics of ragtime. Please see for details.

From the time of this README update, waller targets the 0.4.0 family over the 0.3.0 family. If you need the older version, use tag 0.6.0. That tag is no longer supported.

EDN Based Migration Snippets

At the center of the migration scheme is the migration DSL. It has the following form.

{:action [:create | :drop | :modify],
 :collection-name "a-collection-name",
 :aql "String of AQL",
 :fn ns.somwhere/no-arg-fn}

You must provide the :action keys. After that, the DSL provides the context for behavior. :collection-name specifies which collection you want to create or delete. :action will create, drop or execute aql (:modify).

Database URL

ArangoDB uses plain old HTTP to communicate. So you only have to have http://some-server:port when dealing with most drivers. In order to work with ragtime, the protocol string is a little different. You must specify the server, credentials (optional), port and database to migrate like this


If you connect to ArangoDB via HTTPS, then change the scheme to arangos.


Migration Mechanics

When the migration starts, it will create a database at "/db-name" if it doesn't exists already. Inside that database, it will create a new collection named "migrations". This collection tracks migrations executed over the life time of the application.

The credentials within the database URL must have rights to the create a database and add a collection. These credentials will also go into the users collection when creating the database.

Programatic Useage

If you're like me, you use Component. Fairly high up in your component chaining you'll want to migrate the database. This is fairly easy.

(ns user
  (require [ragtime.main :as rmain]))
  (rmain/migrate {:database "arango://tester1:pass@arangodb:8529/testing-db" 
                  :migrations "waller.files/migrations"})


Creating a DB

Say you want to create a database named nsa-clone, you would create a file named 2015-04-18-1-database.edn. The contents would look like:

{:up { :action :create},
 :down {:action :drop}}

The library will use the credentials supplied on the URL to create a default user as part of the database creation process. (A future enhancement will add a key :users for use during the db creation process.

Now that your database exists, you'll want to have some collections.

Creating a Collection

To create a document collection just specify the :db, :collection-name and :action :create.

{:collection-name "emails",
 :action :create}

Let's name that migration 001-adds-emails-collection.edn.

{:up {:collection-name "emails", :action :create},
 :down {:action :drop :collection-name}}

Deleting a DB

To delete a database just specify :action :drop. Be careful with this feature. The migration system doesn't stop to make sure you really want to drop the database. Everything will go with the it.

{:action :drop}

Drop a Collection

To delete a collection specify the :action :drop :collection-name "a-collection".

{:action :drop,
 :collection-name "a-collection"}

Executing AQL

Let's say you want to add a new attribute to all of your docs as part of a migration. The below will do it for you. You can even have multi-line AQL strings. The system doesn't support variable bindings since you're going to make execute a static call.

{:action :modify,
 :aql "FOR u in `testing-aql`
         UPDATE u WITH {status : 'new'} IN `testing-aql`"}

To undo adding an attribute, use a migration like so.

{:action :modify,
 :aql "FOR t in `testing-aql`
         LET t1 = UNSET(t, 'status')
         REPLACE t1 IN `testing-aql`"}

Basic Graphs

To create a graph, copy the EDN below. The collections in the :from and :to must exist prior to the migration for the graph.

{:action :create,
 :graph {:name "my-graph",
         :edge-definitions [ {:collection "allname",
                              :from ["profile"],
                              :to ["vertex1"]

Dropping a graph is much easier. Collections remain; only the logical graph is destroyed.

{:action :drop,
 :graph "my-graph"}

Manipulating Indexes

The base of the edn is the following map. The rest of the map varies by the type of map.

{:action :create,
 :collection-name "name of collection",
 :index :hash | :cap | :skip | :geo | :text}

To create a hash index add to the above map

{:unique true | false,
 :fields ["paths" "of" "attributes"]}

To create a cap constraints index you must specify either a maximum number of documents per collection, or a maximum number of bytes for a collection. If you specify both values, Arango will evict documents based on the first met criteria.

{:size 4,
 :byte-size 16384}

To create a skiplist add to the base map the following values.

{:unique true | false,
 :fields ["paths" "of" "attributes"],
 :sparse true | false}

To create a geo index, you only have to add fields vector

{:fields [geoJsonField] | [lat,long]}

A geo index field can either be one field that's vector of two elements or two fields that comprise the lat long, in that order.

To create a full text index add the following to the base map.

{:fields ["attrA", "attrB"],
 :min-length 5}

:min-length defines the minimum length a word needs to be indexed. If leftout, the server sets the default.

Creating arbitrary AQL

While there are time where modifying a bulk collections is what you want, which the :aql option supports, there are times where you'll need to access the environment to create the AQL. For example, you need to create documents in your user table for your system accounts. You don't want to include their credentials in the the source control.

That's where this feature comes in. The :fn key points to a function that takes no arguments and returns an AQL statement.

{:action :modify

The function itself creates AQL in the following way.

(defn add-web-user! []
  (str "INSERT {groups: ['web'], username: '" 
       (env :webusername) "', password: '" 
       (env :webpassword) "'} IN accounts"))

The password store in the environment variable is pre-hashed.


There are three known limitaitons. The first is a migration to delete a database entirely. Since the collection tracking migrations is in the database being migrated, the database will always be created. Secondly, graphs are not fully supported. You may create and drop a graph, but you can't yet use Waller to modify it. Finally, the collections are currently created with their default settings. If enough people want to have collection meta-configurations like log sizes, we'll add it.

Road Map

Add user support. Add migration down support for indexes.


Distributed under the Eclipse Public License, the same as Clojure.

Copyright © 2015 DeusDat Solutions.