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aTech Object Store

This tool allows you to easily create a MySQL-backed Object Store for storing file-based objects. If you're setting up something replicated, you can set up MySQL Replication to automatically replicate your data to other MySQL servers without any hassle.

It is designed for storing (very) small files (attachments, documents, images, avatars etc...) in a datastore which can easily be replicated to other environments.


  • We want to be able to replicate small files from our application to other servers.
  • We want the backend system to be simple and easy to deploy.
  • We don't want to store these files on our primary database server.
  • We're not Facebook or Twitter.


To get started, just add the following to your Gemfile.

gem 'objectstore'

Once you have the gem installed, you will need to point it to a MySQL database. Simply pass it a hash of options that will be provided to Mysql2::Client. ObjectStore will create a connection pool and lazily create connections to the database as required.

require 'atech/object_store'
Atech::ObjectStore.backend_options = {:database => 'objectstore', :username => 'user', :password => 'password'}

You will need to create a corresponding MySQL database using the included schema. The database is very simple and just contains a table called files which contains your files and a small amount of metadata.

mysql -p objectstore < schema.sql

Usage Example

Let's imagine you've developed an e-mail platform and you need to store e-mail attachment files. You can store these on your file system but you want to be able to easily replicate these to an offsite location for DR purposes.

Our primary database contains a table of attachments which include links back to their original e-mail but also a key to identify the file in our object store. When the user requests the attachment, the application will serve it from the data store by looking it up and then streaming it as appropriate (after running various authorisation checks).


The following information shows how to carry out a number of tasks using the library. All files which are added to the datastore are addressed using a sequential numeric ID.

The Atech::ObjectStore::File object

When looking up files or adding them to the datastore, you will be provided with an instance of this object. This object allows you to access the file, metadata as well as manipulate the file as necessary.

Accessing Metadata on the object       #=> the filename (for example 'my-filename.txt') as a string
file.size       #=> the size of the file in bytes as an integer
file.blob       #=> the content
file.created_at #=> the time the file was created as a Time object
file.updated_at #=> the time the file was last updated as a Time object

Looking up a an existing file

If you know the ID of a file you wish to lookup, use the method to return an appropriate object. If the file does not exist, the FileNotFound exception will be raised.

file = Atech::ObjectStore::File.find_by_id(123)

Adding a new file to the datastore

If you have some data and wish to add this to your datastore, you can use the add_file method and pass the filename as well as the data you wish to store.

file = Atech::ObjectStore::File.add_file('my-filename.txt', 'Hello World')   #=> 124

Uploading an existing local file into the datastore

You can use the library to upload files from your existing system by passing the path to the file you wish to upload. This will return a file object,

file = Atech::ObjectStore::File.add_file('path/to/new-file.txt')

Renaming a file

If you wish to change the name of a file which already exists, you can use the rename method, for example:


Appending data to an existing file

If you'd like to add additional data to the end of an existing file, you can do so with the append method, for example:

file.blob     #=> "ABC"
file.size     #=> 3
file.blob     #=> "ABCDEF"
file.size     #=> 6

Overwriting data for an existing file

If you'd like to overwrite the data stored for an existing file you can use the overwrite method, for example:

file.blob     #=> "ABC"
file.blob     #=> "DEF"

Deleting a file

If you no longer wish to store a file which exists in the datastore, just use the delete method, for example:


Once you have deleted a file, you will not be able to make any changes to the file. If you attempt to use any modification method, you will receive a CannotEditFrozenFile method.

Copying a file from the datastore to your local disk

If you'd like to copy a file from your datastore to your local disk, you can use the copy method, for example:

file.blob                               #=> "Hello World!"
file.size                               #=> 12
# Look at the local file'path/to/my/localfile.txt')   #=> "Hello World!"
File.size('path/to/my/localfile.txt')   #=> 12


This tool allows you to easily create a MySQL-backed Object Store for storing file-based objects.






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