Cassandra PHP-based client library for managing and querying your Cassandra cluster
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Cassandra PHP Client Library

Cassandra PHP Client Library logo

Cassandra PHP Client Library or CPCL for short allows for managing and querying your Cassandra cluster. It's a high-level library performing all the rather complex low-level heavy lifting and provides a simple to learn and use interface.


  • simple and intuitive interface
  • well covered with unit tests (> 90%)
  • support for multiple server pools using named singletons
  • requires including a single file
  • uses reasonable defaults through-out
  • powerful syntax for querying data
  • enables managing keyspaces and column-families
  • automatic packing of datatypes using column metadata
  • retries failed queries using back-off strategy
  • built with performance in mind (caches schema description etc)
  • well documented API and a working example

Class diagram

CPCL class diagram

The library uses the very permissive MIT licence which means you can do pretty much anything you like with it.


The following example covers most of what you need to know to use this library. It should work out-of-box on a machine with default cassandra setup running. The example file is contained in the download.

Click here for prettier code.


// show all the errors

// the only file that needs including into your project
require_once 'Cassandra.php';

// list of seed servers to randomly connect to
// all the parameters are optional and default to given values
$servers = array(
		'host' => '',
		'port' => 9160,
		'use-framed-transport' => true,
		'send-timeout-ms' => 1000,
		'receive-timeout-ms' => 1000

// create a named singleton, the second parameter name defaults to "main"
// you can have several named singletons with different server pools
$cassandra = Cassandra::createInstance($servers);

// at any point in code, you can get the named singleton instance, the name
// again defaults to "main" so no need to define it if using single instance
$cassandra2 = Cassandra::getInstance();

// drop the example keyspace and ignore errors should it not exist
try {
} catch (Exception $e) {}

// create a new keyspace, accepts extra parameters for replication options
// normally you don't do it every time

// start using the created keyspace

// if a request fails, it will be retried for this many times, each time backing
// down for a bit longer period to prevent floods; defaults to 5

// create a standard column family with given column metadata
	'CassandraExample', // keyspace name
	'user',             // the column-family name
	array(              // list of columns with metadata
			'name' => 'name',
			'type' => Cassandra::TYPE_UTF8,
			'index-type' => Cassandra::INDEX_KEYS, // create secondary index
			'index-name' => 'NameIdx'
			'name' => 'email',
			'type' => Cassandra::TYPE_UTF8
			'name' => 'age',
			'type' => Cassandra::TYPE_INTEGER,
			'index-type' => Cassandra::INDEX_KEYS,
			'index-name' => 'AgeIdx'
	// actually accepts more parameters with reasonable defaults

// create a super column family
			'name' => 'population',
			'type' => Cassandra::TYPE_INTEGER
			'name' => 'comment',
			'type' => Cassandra::TYPE_UTF8
	// see the definition for these additional optional parameters
	'Capitals supercolumn test',

// lets fetch and display the schema of created keyspace
$schema = $cassandra->getKeyspaceSchema('CassandraExample');
echo 'Schema: <pre>'.print_r($schema, true).'</pre><hr/>';
// should we need to, we can access the low-level client directly
$version = $cassandra->getConnection()->getClient()->describe_version();
echo 'Version directly: <pre>'.print_r($version, true).'</pre><hr/>';
// if implemented, use the wrapped methods as these are smarter - can retry etc
$version = $cassandra->getVersion();
echo 'Version through wrapper: <pre>'.print_r($version, true).'</pre><hr/>';

// cluster is a pool of connections
$cluster = $cassandra->getCluster();
echo 'Cluster: <pre>'.print_r($cluster, true).'</pre><hr/>';

// you can ask the cluster for a connection to a random seed server from pool
$connection = $cluster->getConnection();
echo 'Connection: <pre>'.print_r($connection, true).'</pre><hr/>';

// access column family, using the singleton syntax
// there is shorter "cf" methid that is an alias to "columnFamily"
$userColumnFamily = Cassandra::getInstance()->columnFamily('user');
echo 'Column family "user": <pre>'.print_r($userColumnFamily, true).'</pre><hr/>';

// lets insert some test data using the convinience method "set" of Cassandra
		'email' => '',
		'name' => 'John Smith',
		'age' => 34

// when inserting data, it's ok if key name contains ".", no need to escape them
		'email' => '',
		'name' => 'Jane Doe',
		'age' => 24

// longer way of inserting data, first getting the column family
	'chuck', // key name
	array(   // column names and values
		'email' => '',
		'name' => 'Chuck Norris',
		'age' => 24
	Cassandra::CONSISTENCY_QUORUM // optional consistency to use
	// also accepts optional custom timestamp and time to live

// lets fetch all the information about user john
$john = $cassandra->get('user.john');
echo 'User "john": <pre>'.print_r($john, true).'</pre><hr/>';

// since the jane key "jane.doe" includes a ".", we have to escape it
$jane = $cassandra->get('user.'.Cassandra::escape('jane.doe'));
echo 'User "jane.doe": <pre>'.print_r($jane, true).'</pre><hr/>';

// there is some syntatic sugar on the query of Cassandra::get() allowing you
// to fetch specific columns, ranges of them, limit amount etc. for example,
// lets only fetch columns name and age
$chuck = $cassandra->get('user.chuck:name,age');
echo 'User "chuck", name and age: <pre>'.print_r($chuck, true).'</pre><hr/>';

// fetch all solumns from age to name (gets all columns in-between too)
$chuck2 = $cassandra->get('user.chuck:age-name');
echo 'User "chuck", columns ago to name: <pre>'.print_r($chuck2, true).'</pre><hr/>';

// the range columns do not need to exist, we can get character ranges
$chuck3 = $cassandra->get('user.chuck:a-z');
echo 'User "chuck", columns a-z: <pre>'.print_r($chuck3, true).'</pre><hr/>';

// when performing range queries, we can also limit the number of columns
// returned (2); also the method accepts consistency level as second parameter
$chuck4 = $cassandra->get('user.chuck:a-z|2', Cassandra::CONSISTENCY_ALL);
echo 'User "chuck", columns a-z, limited to 2 columns: <pre>'.print_r($chuck4, true).'</pre><hr/>';

// the Cassandra::get() is a convinience method proxying to lower level
// CassandraColumnFamily::get(), no need to worry about escaping with this.
// column family has additional methods getAll(), getColumns(), getColumnRange()
// that all map to lower level get() calls with more appopriate parameters
$jane2 = $cassandra->cf('user')->get('jane.doe');
echo 'User "jane.doe", lower level api: <pre>'.print_r($jane2, true).'</pre><hr/>';

// we defined a secondary index on "age" column of "user" column family so we
// can use CassandraColumnFamily::getWhere() to fetch users of specific age.
// this returns an iterator that you can go over with foreach or use the
// getAll() method that fetches all the data and returns an array
$aged24 = $cassandra->cf('user')->getWhere(array('age' => 24));
echo 'Users at age 24: <pre>'.print_r($aged24->getAll(), true).'</pre><hr/>';

// if we know we are going to need to values of several keys, we can request
// them in a single query for better performance
$chuckAndJohn = $cassandra->cf('user')->getMultiple(array('chuck', 'john'));
echo 'Users "chuck" and "john": <pre>'.print_r($chuckAndJohn, true).'</pre><hr/>';

/* Uncomment this when using order preserving partitioner
// we can fetch a range of keys but this is predictable only if using an
// order preserving partitioner, Cassandra defaults to random one
// again as there may be more results than it's reasonable to fetch in a single
// query, an iterator is returned that can make several smaller range queries
// as the data is iterated
$usersAZ = $cassandra->cf('user')->getKeyRange('a', 'z');
echo 'Users with keys in range a-z: <pre>'.print_r($usersAZ->getAll(), true).'</pre><hr/>';

// find the number of columns a key has, we could also request for ranges
$chuckColumnCount = $cassandra->cf('user')->getColumnCount('chuck');
echo 'User "chuck" column count: <pre>'.print_r($chuckColumnCount, true).'</pre><hr/>';

// we can find column counts for several keys at once
$chuckJaneColumnCounts = $cassandra->cf('user')->getColumnCounts(array('chuck', 'jane.doe'));
echo 'User "chuck" and "jane.doe" column counts: <pre>'.print_r($chuckJaneColumnCounts, true).'</pre><hr/>';

// setting supercolumn values is similar to normal column families
		'Tallinn' => array(
			'population' => '411980',
			'comment' => 'Capital of Estonia',
			'size' => 'big'
		'Tartu' => array(
			'population' => '98589',
			'comment' => 'City of good thoughts',
			'size' => 'medium'

// fetch all columns of Tartu in Estonia of cities
$tartu = $cassandra->cf('cities')->getAll('Estonia', 'Tartu');
echo 'Super-column cities.Estonia.Tartu: <pre>'.print_r($tartu, true).'</pre><hr/>';

// we could also use the higher level Cassandra::get() to fetch supercolumn info
// we can still use the additional filters of columns
$tallinn = $cassandra->get('cities.Estonia.Tallinn:population,size');
echo 'Super-column cities.Estonia.Tallinn: <pre>'.print_r($tallinn, true).'</pre><hr/>';

// you can delete all the data in a column family using "truncate"

// you may choose to drop an entire keyspace