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A fast persistent nosql database with a HTTP/JSON interface, not only for geographical data.

tree: 911ef73cd5
README.markdown

Pincaster

Pincaster is an in-memory, persistent data store for geographic data and key/value pairs, with a HTTP/JSON interface.

Client libraries

Schema overview

  • A Pincaster database contains a set of independent layers.
  • A layer is a namespace and a geographic space (flat or spherical). Each layer stores dynamic records.
  • A record is uniquely identified by a name and can hold either:

    1. No related value (void type).
    2. A set of key/value pairs (properties, or hash type). Values are binary-safe and can be freely and atomically updated and deleted.
    3. A geographic location (point type) defined by a latitude and a longitude.
    4. A set of key/value pairs and a geographic location (point+hash type).

    A layer can store records of arbitrary sizes and types.

    Records can automatically expire.

Installation

./configure
make install

Review the pincaster.conf configuration file and run:

pincaster /path/to/pincaster.conf

Layers

  • Registering a new layer:

    Method: POST

    URI: http://$HOST:4269/api/1.0/layers/(layer name).json

  • Deleting a layer:

    Method: DELETE

    URI: http://$HOST:4269/api/1.0/layers/(layer name).json

  • Retrieving registered layers:

    Method: GET

    URI: http://$HOST:4269/api/1.0/layers/index.json

Records

  • Creating or updating a record:

    Method: PUT

    URI: http://$HOST:4269/api/1.0/records/(layer name)/(record name).json

    This PUT request can contain application/x-www-form-urlencoded data, in order to create/update arbitrary properties.

    Property names starting with an underscore are reserved. In particular:

    • _delete:(property name)=1 removes a property of the record,
    • _delete_all=1 removes the whole properties set of the record, downgrading its type to void or point,
      • _add_int:(property name)=(value) atomically adds (value) to the property named (property name), creating it if necessary,
      • _loc:(latitude),(longitude) adds or updates a geographic position associated with the record.
      • _expires_at=(unix timestamp) have the record automatically expire at this date. If you later want to remove the expiration of a record, just use _expires_at= (empty value) or _expires_at=0.

    A single request can create/change/delete any number of properties.

  • Retrieving a record:

    Method: GET

    URI: http://$HOST:4269/api/1.0/records/(layer name)/(record name).json

  • Deleting a record:

    Method: DELETE

    URI: http://$HOST:4269/api/1.0/records/(layer name)/(record name).json

Geographic search

  • Finding records whose location is within a radius:

    Method: GET

    URI: http://$HOST:4269/api/1.0/search/(layer name)/nearby/(center point).json?radius=(radius, in meters)

    The center point is defined as latitude,longitude.

    Additional arguments can be added to this query:

    • limit=(max number of results that once reached, will return an overflow)
    • properties=(0 or 1) in order to include properties or not in the reply.
  • Finding records whose location is within a rectangle:

    Method: GET

    URI: http://$HOST:4269/api/1.0/search/(layer name)/in_rect/(l0,L0,l1,L1).json

    Additional arguments can be added to this query:

    • limit=(max number of results that once reached, will return an overflow)
    • properties=(0 or 1) in order to include properties or not in the reply.

Range queries

Keys are indexed with a RB-tree, and they are always pre-sorted in lexical order.

Hence, retrieving keys matching a prefix is a very fast operation.

  • Finding keys matching a prefix:

    Method: GET

    URI: http://$HOST:4269/api/1.0/search/(layer name)/keys/(prefix)*.json

    This retrieves every key starting with (prefix). If the final * character is omitted, an exact matching is performed instead of a prefix matching.

    Additional arguments can be added to this query:

    • limit=(max number of results) - please note that the default limit is 250 in order to avoid returning kazillions objects in case of an erroneous query. If you need to retrieve more, don't forget to explicitly set this argument.
    • content=(0 or 1) in order to retrieve only a list of keys, or full objects.
    • properties=(0 or 1) in order to include properties or not in the reply.

Relations through symbolic links

Relations between records can be stored as properties whose key name starts with $link: and whose value is the key of another record.

While retrieving a specific record, and in geographical and range queries, adding links=1 will automatically traverse links and recursively retrieve every linked record.

The server will take care of avoiding loops and duplicate records.

Results contain an additional property named $links containing found symlinked records.

Serving documents

Pincaster can also act like a web server and directly serve documents stored in keys.

In order to be accesible this way, a key:

  • must have a $content property whose value holds the content that has to be served
  • may have a $content_type property with the Content-Type.

The default Content-Type currently is text/plain.

  • Public data from layer (layer name) and key (key) is reachable at:

    Method: GET

    URI: http://$HOST:4269/public/(layer name)/(key)

Having a HTTP proxy between Pincaster and untrusted users is highly recommended in order to serve public data.

Misc

  • Ping:

    Method: any

    URI: http://$HOST:4269/api/1.0/system/ping.json

  • Shutting the server down:

    Method: POST

    URI: http://$HOST:4269/api/1.0/system/shutdown.json

  • Compacting the journal:

    The on-disk journal is an append-only file that logs every transaction that creates or changes data.

    In order to save disk space and to speed up the server start up, a new and optimized journal can be written by a background process. Once this operation is complete, the new journal will automatically replace the previous file.

    This is something you might want to run as a cron job.

    Method: POST

    URI: http://$HOST:4269/api/1.0/system/rewrite.json

Example

Command-line example with curl:

Register a new layer called "restaurants":

$ curl -dx http://diz:4269/api/1.0/layers/restaurants.json
{
    "tid": 1,
    "status": "created"
}

Check the list of active layers:

$ curl http://diz:4269/api/1.0/layers/index.json
{
    "tid": 2,
    "layers": [
        {
            "name": "restaurants",
            "records": 0,
            "geo_records": 0,
            "type": "geoidal",
            "distance_accuracy": "fast",
            "latitude_accuracy": 0.0001,
            "longitude_accuracy": 0.0001,
            "bounds": [
                -180,
                -180,
                180,
                180
            ]
        }
    ]
}

Now let's add a hash record called "info". Just a set of key/values with no geographic data:

$ curl -XPUT -d'secret_key=supersecret&last_update=2001/07/08' http://diz:4269/api/1.0/records/restaurants/info.json
{
    "tid": 3,
    "status": "stored"
}

What does the record look like?

$ curl http://diz:4269/api/1.0/records/restaurants/info.json
{
    "tid": 4,
    "key": "info",
    "type": "hash",
    "properties": {
        "secret_key": "supersecret",
        "last_update": "2001/07/08"
    }
}

Let's add a McDonald's, just with geographic data:

$ curl -XPUT -d'_loc=48.512,2.243' http://diz:4269/api/1.0/records/restaurants/abcd.json
{
    "tid": 5,
    "status": "stored"
}

What does the "abcd" record of the "restaurants" layer look like?

$ curl http://diz:4269/api/1.0/records/restaurants/abcd.json
{
    "tid": 6,
    "key": "abcd",
    "type": "point",
    "latitude": 48.512,
    "longitude": 2.243
}

Let's add some properties to this record, like a name, the fact that it's currently closed, an address and an initial number of visits:

$ curl -XPUT -d'name=MacDonalds&closed=1&address=blabla&visits=100000' http://diz:4269/api/1.0/records/restaurants/abcd.json
{
    "tid": 7,
    "status": "stored"
}

Let's check it:

$ curl http://diz:4269/api/1.0/records/restaurants/abcd.json
{
    "tid": 8,
    "key": "abcd",
    "type": "point+hash",
    "latitude": 48.512,
    "longitude": 2.243,
    "properties": {
        "name": "MacDonalds",
        "closed": "1",
        "address": "blabla",
        "visits": "100000"
    }
}

Atomically delete the "closed" property from this record and add 127 visits:

$ curl -XPUT -d'_delete:closed=1&_add_int:visits=127' http://diz:4269/api/1.0/records/restaurants/abcd.json
{
    "tid": 9,
    "status": "stored"
}

Now let's look for records whose location is near N 48.510 E 2.240, within a 7 kilometers radius:

$ curl http://diz:4269/api/1.0/search/restaurants/nearby/48.510,2.240.json?radius=7000
{
    "tid": 10,
    "matches": [
        {
            "distance": 313.502,
            "key": "abcd",
            "type": "point+hash",
            "latitude": 48.512,
            "longitude": 2.243,
            "properties": {
                "name": "MacDonalds",
                "address": "blabla",
                "visits": "100127"
            }
        }
    ]
}

And what's in a rectangle, without properties?

$ curl http://diz:4269/api/1.0/search/restaurants/in_rect/48.000,2.000,49.000,3.000.json?properties=0
{
    "tid": 11,
    "matches": [
        {
            "distance": 20254.9,
            "key": "abcd",
            "type": "point+hash",
            "latitude": 48.512,
            "longitude": 2.243
        }
    ]
}

What about adding a HTML document to the abcd record?

$ curl -XPUT -d'$content=%3Chtml%3E%3Cbody%3E%3Ch1%3EHello+world%3C%2Fh1%3E%3C%2Fbody%3E%3C%2Fhtml%3E&$content_type=text/html' http://diz:4269/api/1.0/records/restaurants/abcd.json

(feel free to replace $ with %24 if you feel pedantic. These examples use the unencoded character for the sake of being easily readable).

Now point your web browser to:

http://diz:4269/public/restaurants/abcd

And enjoy the web page!

Now, what about storing a record about Donald Duck, whose favorite restaurant is this very Mac Donald's:

curl -XPUT -d'first_name=Donald&last_name=Duck&$link:favorite_restaurant=abcd' http://diz:4269/api/1.0/records/restaurants/donald.json

As expected, Donald's record looks like:

$ curl http://diz:4269/api/1.0/records/restaurants/donald.json
{
    "tid": 21,
    "key": "donald",
    "type": "hash",
    "properties": {
        "first_name": "Donald",
        "last_name": "Duck",
        "$link:favorite_restaurant": "abcd"
    }
}

Here's the same query, with a twist: links traversal. Properties starting with $link are resolved, retrieved and send back with the query result as a $links property:

$ curl http://diz:4269/api/1.0/records/restaurants/donald.json?links=1
{
    "tid": 22,
    "key": "donald",
    "type": "hash",
    "properties": {
        "first_name": "Donald",
        "last_name": "Duck",
        "$link:favorite_restaurant": "abcd"
    },
    "$links": {
        "abcd": {
            "key": "abcd",
            "type": "point+hash",
            "latitude": 48.512,
            "longitude": 2.243,
            "properties": {
                "name": "MacDonalds",
                "address": "blabla",
                "visits": "100127",
                "$content": "<html><body><h1>Hello world</h1></body></html>",
                "$content_type": "text/html"
            }
        }
    }
}

Let's delete the Mac Donald's record:

$ curl -XDELETE http://diz:4269/api/1.0/records/restaurants/abcd.json
{
    "tid": 12,
    "status": "deleted"
}

And shut the server down:

$ curl -XPOST http://diz:4269/api/1.0/system/shutdown.json

But can it ping?

$ curl http://diz:4269/api/1.0/system/ping.json

No, it can't any more, boo-ooh!

Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.