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Object-Hash Mapping for Redis
Ruby

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README.md

Ohm ॐ

Object-hash mapping library for Redis.

Description

Ohm is a library for storing objects in Redis, a persistent key-value database. It includes an extensible list of validations and has very good performance.

Community

Join the mailing list: http://groups.google.com/group/ohm-ruby

Meet us on IRC: #ohm on freenode.net

Related projects

These are libraries in other languages that were inspired by Ohm.

  • JOhm for Java, created by xetorthio
  • Lohm for Lua, created by slact
  • Nohm for Node.js, created by maritz
  • Redisco for Python, created by iamteem

Articles and Presentations

Getting started

Install Redis. On most platforms it's as easy as grabbing the sources, running make and then putting the redis-server binary in the PATH.

Once you have it installed, you can execute redis-server and it will run on localhost:6379 by default. Check the redis.conf file that comes with the sources if you want to change some settings.

If you don't have Ohm, try this:

$ [sudo] gem install ohm

Or you can grab the code from http://github.com/soveran/ohm.

Now, in an irb session you can test the Redis adapter directly:

>> require "ohm"
=> true
>> Ohm.connect
=> []
>> Ohm.redis.set "Foo", "Bar"
=> "OK"
>> Ohm.redis.get "Foo"
=> "Bar"

Connecting to the Redis database

There are a couple of different strategies for connecting to your Redis database. The first is to explicitly set the :host, :port, :db and :timeout options. You can also set only a few of them, and let the other options fall back to the default.

The other noteworthy style of connecting is by just doing Ohm.connect and set the environment variable REDIS_URL.

Here are the options for {Ohm.connect} in detail:

:url (recommended)

A Redis URL of the form redis://:<passwd>@<host>:<port>/<db>. Note that if you specify a URL and one of the other options at the same time, the other options will take precedence. Also, if you try and do Ohm.connect without any arguments, it will check if ENV["REDIS_URL"] is set, and will use it as the argument for :url.

:host

Host where the Redis server is running, defaults to "127.0.0.1".

:port

Port number, defaults to 6379.

:db

Database number, defaults to 0.

:password

It is the secret that will be sent to the Redis server. Use it if the server configuration requires it. Defaults to nil.

:timeout

Database timeout in seconds, defaults to 0.

:thread_safe

Initializes the client with a monitor. It has a small performance penalty, and it's off by default. For thread safety, it is recommended to use a different instance per thread. I you have no choice, then pass :thread_safe => true when connecting.

Models

Ohm's purpose in life is to map objects to a key value datastore. It doesn't need migrations or external schema definitions. Take a look at the example below:

Example

class Event < Ohm::Model
  attribute :name
  reference :venue, :Venue
  set :participants, :Person
  counter :votes

  index :name

  def validate
    assert_present :name
  end
end

class Venue < Ohm::Model
  attribute :name
  collection :events, :Event
end

class Person < Ohm::Model
  attribute :name
end

All models have the id attribute built in, you don't need to declare it.

This is how you interact with IDs:

event = Event.create :name => "Ohm Worldwide Conference 2031"
event.id
# => 1

# Find an event by id
event == Event[1]
# => true

# Trying to find a non existent event
Event[2]
# => nil

# Finding all the events
Event.all
# => [#<Event @values={:id=>1, :name=>"Ohm Worldwide Conference 2031"}>]

This example shows some basic features, like attribute declarations and validations. Keep reading to find out what you can do with models.

Attribute types

Ohm::Model provides four attribute types: {Ohm::Model.attribute attribute}, {Ohm::Model.set set}, {Ohm::Model.list list} and {Ohm::Model.counter counter}; and two meta types: {Ohm::Model.reference reference} and {Ohm::Model.collection collection}.

attribute

An attribute is just any value that can be stored as a string. In the example above, we used this field to store the event's name. You can use it to store numbers, but be aware that Redis will return a string when you retrieve the value.

set

A set in Redis is an unordered list, with an external behavior similar to that of Ruby arrays, but optimized for faster membership lookups. It's used internally by Ohm to keep track of the instances of each model and for generating and maintaining indexes.

list

A list is like an array in Ruby. It's perfectly suited for queues and for keeping elements in order.

counter

A counter is like a regular attribute, but the direct manipulation of the value is not allowed. You can retrieve, increase or decrease the value, but you can not assign it. In the example above, we used a counter attribute for tracking votes. As the incr and decr operations are atomic, you can rest assured a vote won't be counted twice.

reference

It's a special kind of attribute that references another model. Internally, Ohm will keep a pointer to the model (its ID), but you get accessors that give you real instances. You can think of it as the model containing the foreign key to another model.

collection

Provides an accessor to search for all models that reference the current model.

Persistence strategy

The attributes declared with attribute are only persisted after calling save. If the object is in an invalid state, no value is sent to Redis (see the section on Validations below).

Operations on attributes of type list, set and counter are possible only after the object is created (when it has an assigned id). Any operation on these kinds of attributes is performed immediately, without running the object validations. This design yields better performance than running the validations on each operation or buffering the operations and waiting for a call to save.

For most use cases, this pattern doesn't represent a problem. If you need to check for validity before operating on lists, sets or counters, you can use this pattern:

if event.valid?
  event.comments.add(Comment.create(:body => "Great event!"))
end

If you are saving the object, this will suffice:

if event.save
  event.comments.add(Comment.create(:body => "Wonderful event!"))
end

Working with Sets

Given the following model declaration:

class Event < Ohm::Model
  attribute :name
  set :attendees, :Person
end

You can add instances of Person to the set of attendees with the add method:

event.attendees.add(Person.create(:name => "Albert"))

# And now...
event.attendees.each do |person|
  # ...do what you want with this person.
end

Sorting

Since attendees is a {Ohm::Model::Set Set}, it exposes two sorting methods: {Ohm::Model::Collection#sort sort} returns the elements ordered by id, and {Ohm::Model::Collection#sort_by sort_by} receives a parameter with an attribute name, which will determine the sorting order. Both methods receive an options hash which is explained below:

:order

Order direction and strategy. You can pass in any of the following:

  1. ASC
  2. ASC ALPHA (or ALPHA ASC)
  3. DESC
  4. DESC ALPHA (or ALPHA DESC)

It defaults to ASC.

Important Note: Starting with Redis 2.6, ASC and DESC only work with integers or floating point data types. If you need to sort by an alphanumeric field, add the ALPHA keyword.

:limit

The offset and limit from which we should start with. Note that this is 0-indexed. It defaults to 0.

Example:

limit: [0, 10] will get the first 10 entries starting from offset 0.

:by

Key or Hash key with which to sort by. An important distinction with using {Ohm::Model::Collection#sort sort} and {Ohm::Model::Collection#sort_by sort_by} is that sort_by automatically converts the passed argument with the assumption that it is a hash key and it's within the current model you are sorting.

Post.all.sort_by(:title)     # SORT Post:all BY Post:*->title
Post.all.sort(:by => :title) # SORT Post:all BY title

Tip: Unless you absolutely know what you're doing, use sort when you want to sort your models by their id, and use sort_by otherwise.

:get

A key pattern to return, e.g. Post:*->title. As is the case with the :by option, using {Ohm::Model::Collection#sort sort} and {Ohm::Model::Collection#sort_by sort_by} has distinct differences in that sort_by does much of the hand-coding for you.

Post.all.sort_by(:title, :get => :title)
# SORT Post:all BY Post:*->title GET Post:*->title

Post.all.sort(:by => :title, :get => :title)
# SORT Post:all BY title GET title

Associations

Ohm lets you declare references and collections to represent associations.

class Post < Ohm::Model
  attribute :title
  attribute :body
  collection :comments, :Comment
end

class Comment < Ohm::Model
  attribute :body
  reference :post, :Post
end

After this, every time you refer to post.comments you will be talking about instances of the model Comment. If you want to get a list of IDs you can use post.comments.key.smembers.

References explained

Doing a {Ohm::Model.reference reference} is actually just a shortcut for the following:

# Redefining our model above
class Comment < Ohm::Model
  attribute :body
  attribute :post_id
  index :post_id

  def post=(post)
    self.post_id = post.id
  end

  def post
    Post[post_id]
  end
end

The only difference with the actual implementation is that the model is memoized.

The net effect here is we can conveniently set and retrieve Post objects, and also search comments using the post_id index.

Comment.find(:post_id => 1)

Collections explained

The reason a {Ohm::Model.reference reference} and a {Ohm::Model.collection collection} go hand in hand, is that a collection is just a macro that defines a finder for you, and we know that to find a model by a field requires an {Ohm::Model.index index} to be defined for the field you want to search.

# Redefining our post above
class Post < Ohm::Model
  attribute :title
  attribute :body

  def comments
    Comment.find(:post_id => self.id)
  end
end

The only "magic" happening is with the inference of the index that was used in the other model. The following all produce the same effect:

# easiest, with the basic assumption that the index is `:post_id`
collection :comments, :Comment

# we can explicitly declare this as follows too:
collection :comments, :Comment, :post

# finally, we can use the default argument for the third parameter which
# is `to_reference`.
collection :comments, :Comment, to_reference

# exploring `to_reference` reveals a very interesting and simple concept:
Post.to_reference == :post
# => true

Indices

An {Ohm::Model.index index} is a set that's handled automatically by Ohm. For any index declared, Ohm maintains different sets of objects IDs for quick lookups.

In the Event example, the index on the name attribute will allow for searches like Event.find(:name => "some value").

Note that the methods {Ohm::Model::Set#find find} and {Ohm::Model::Set#except except} need a corresponding index in order to work.

Finding records

You can find a collection of records with the find method:

# This returns a collection of users with the username "Albert"
User.find(:username => "Albert")

Filtering results

# Find all users from Argentina
User.find(:country => "Argentina")

# Find all activated users from Argentina
User.find(:country => "Argentina", :status => "activated")

# Find all users from Argentina, except those with a suspended account.
User.find(:country => "Argentina").except(:status => "suspended")

# Find all users both from Argentina and Uruguay
User.find(:country => "Argentina").union(:country => "Uruguay")

Note that calling these methods results in new sets being created on the fly. This is important so that you can perform further operations before reading the items to the client.

For more information, see SINTERSTORE, SDIFFSTORE and SUNIONSTORE

Uniques

Uniques are similar to indices except that there can only be one record per entry. The canonical example of course would be the email of your user, e.g.

class User < Ohm::Model
  attribute :email
  unique :email
end

u = User.create(email: "foo@bar.com")
u == User.with(:email, "foo@bar.com")
# => true

User.create(email: "foo@bar.com")
# => raises Ohm::UniqueIndexViolation

Validations

Before every save, the validate method is called by Ohm. In the method definition you can use assertions that will determine if the attributes are valid. Nesting assertions is a good practice, and you are also encouraged to create your own assertions. You can trigger validations at any point by calling valid? on a model instance.

Assertions

Ohm ships with some basic assertions. Check Ohm::Validations to see the method definitions.

assert

The assert method is used by all the other assertions. It pushes the second parameter to the list of errors if the first parameter evaluates to false.

def assert(value, error)
  value or errors.push(error) && false
end

assert_present

Checks that the given field is not nil or empty. The error code for this assertion is :not_present.

assert_present :name

assert_format

Checks that the given field matches the provided format. The error code for this assertion is :format.

assert_format :username, /^\w+$/

assert_numeric

Checks that the given field holds a number as a Fixnum or as a string representation. The error code for this assertion is :not_numeric.

assert_numeric :votes

assert_url

Provides a pretty general URL regular expression match. An important point to make is that this assumes that the URL should start with http:// or https://. The error code for this assertion is :not_url.

assert_email

In this current day and age, almost all web applications need to validate an email address. This pretty much matches 99% of the emails out there. The error code for this assertion is :not_email.

assert_member

Checks that a given field is contained within a set of values (i.e. like an ENUM).

def validate
  assert_member :state, %w{pending paid delivered}
end

The error code for this assertion is :not_valid

assert_length

Checks that a given field's length falls under a specified range.

def validate
  assert_length :username, 3..20
end

The error code for this assertion is :not_in_range.

assert_decimal

Checks that a given field looks like a number in the human sense of the word. Valid numbers are: 0.1, .1, 1, 1.1, 3.14159, etc.

The error code for this assertion is :not_decimal.

Errors

When an assertion fails, the error report is added to the errors array. Each error report contains two elements: the field where the assertion was issued and the error code.

Validation example

Given the following example:

def validate
  assert_present :foo
  assert_numeric :bar
  assert_format :baz, /^\d{2}$/
end

If all the assertions fail, the following errors will be present:

obj.errors
# => { foo: [:not_present], bar: [:not_numeric], baz: [:format] }

Ohm Extensions

Ohm is rather small and can be extended in many ways.

A lot of amazing contributions are available at Ohm Contrib make sure to check them if you need to extend Ohm's functionality.

Upgrading

The changes in Ohm 1 break the compatibility with previous versions. We will do our best to provide a script to ease the pain of upgrading. In the meantime, it's recommended that you use the new version only for new projects.

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