anicolaspp / maprdbconnector   1.0.9

MIT License GitHub

An independent MapR-DB Connector for Apache Spark that fully utilizes MapR-DB secondary indexes

Scala versions: 2.11


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An independent MapR-DB Connector for Apache Spark that fully utilizes MapR-DB secondary indexes.

The main idea behind implementing a new MapR-DB Connector for Apache Spark is to overcome the current limitations of the official connector.

libraryDependencies += "com.github.anicolaspp" % "maprdbconnector_2.11" % "X.Y.Z"

MapR-DB Secondary Indexes

MapR-DB automatically indexes the field _id and we can manually add many more indexes that can help to speed up queries that use the defined indexes. Apache Drill, for instance, makes use of the defined indexes for the tables being queried so the underlying computations are greatly speeded up.

When using Apache Spark we are expecting that the same as in Apache Drill applies. However, The official MapR-DB Connector for Apache Spark does not use the secondary indexes defined on the tables. The official connector implements filters and projections push down to reduce the amount of data being transfer between MapR-DB and Apache Spark, still, secondary indexes are just not used.

Our implementation mimics the same API as the official connector. It also supports filters and projections push down and it adds the ability to use secondary indexes if appropriated.

Using Our MapRDBConnector

The following snippet show an example using our MapRDBConnector. Given a schema we can load data from a MapR-DB table. The interesting part in here is that the fields uid is a secondary index in the table /user/mapr/tables/data.

import com.github.anicolaspp.spark.sql.MapRDB._

val schema = StructType(Seq(StructField("_id", StringType), StructField("first_name", StringType), StructField("uid", StringType)))

      .loadFromMapRDB("/user/mapr/tables/data", schema)
      .filter("uid = '101'")
      .select("_id", "first_name")

When running the code above, our MapRDBConnector uses the corresponding MapR-DB secondary index. We can examine the output of the underlying OJAI object to make sure that, in fact, it uses the secondary index. Notice the "indexName":"uid_idx" which indicates that the index uid is being used when running the query.

QUERY PLAN: {"QueryPlan":[

Giving Index Hints

Sometimes we know the filter(s) involved in the query and it will be good if we could help OJAI a little bit by given hints about the known index(es).

The following code shows how to add index hints

    .loadFromMapRDB("/user/mapr/tables/from_parquet", schema, "idx_2")
    .filter("_2 = 'n2078258460719121947'")

Projections and Filters Push Down

Our MapRDBConnector is able to push every projection down. In other worlds, if we run the following query, our MapRDBConnector makes sure that only the projected columns are read from MapR-DB reducing the amount of data being transferred.

Only _id and first_name are extracted from MapR-DB. The field uid is only used for the filter, but its value is not transfer between MapR-DB and Spark.

val schema = StructType(Seq(StructField("_id", StringType), StructField("first_name", StringType), StructField("uid", StringType)))

      .loadFromMapRDB("/user/mapr/tables/data", schema)
      .filter("uid = '101'")
      .select("_id", "first_name")

In the same way we can push filters down to MapR-DB. It is import to notice (our main feature) that is the column being used for the filter is a secondary index, then it will be used to narrow in a very performant way the rows required.

Reading Parallelism and Data Locality

Our MapRDBConnector is able to read the Table information and it launches a task for each Table region.

In addition to this, our MapRDBConnector hints Spark so that Spark puts the reading task as close as possible to where the corresponding Table region lives in the cluster. In other words, if region 1 lives in node, our library passes this information to Spark so that when Spark launches the reading task for region 1 it puts it on an executor running on the same node This is up to Spark and the resources availability, but we provide all information Spark needs to successfully maintain data locality.

Transaction Support

When writing to MapR Database, we can add transaction support to ensure that all data is written or none does. In reality, this is a best effort since the problem is quite complicated. Read the following link to find out more about how this is implemented, uses cases, and what to expect.

Transaction Support

This feature, has been introduced in Experimental mode so we can try it out and decide if it is worth having.


joinWithMapRDBTable offers a way to join any DataFrame, no matter how it was constructed, with a MapR Database table. What separates this function from a regular DataFrame.join is that is tries to use secondary indexes when loading the MapR Database table based on the field being joint, so only those rows that are part of the joint table will be fetch from the MapR Database table.

This function pushes the projections specified on the schema down so it fetches only the columns we required. This is a second optimization to reduce the amount of data being fetched.

val rdd = sparkSession.sparkContext.parallelize(1 to 1000000).map(n => Row(n.toString))

val df = sparkSession.createDataFrame(rdd, new StructType().add("value", StringType))

val joint = df.joinWithMapRDBTable(
  new StructType().add("payload", StringType), 

 |-- value: string (nullable = true)
 |-- payload: string (nullable = true)

Hadoop FS Patterns Support

When loading tables, we can define patterns and load multiple tables into a single union table. For example, if we have the following MFS structure.


If we want to query or process the data across multiple clients, we can use loadFromMapRDB to read all client's tables into a single union table.

val clientsData = spark.loadFromMapRDB("/clients/*/*")

Or we can load only certain clients.

val someClientsData = spark.loadFromMapRDB("/clients/client[1-10]/*")

If we have additional files place in these folder within MFS, the library will ignore them and only use those that reference MapR-DB tables.

Related Blog Posts

Speed Comparison

In the image below, RED is the official connector, BLUE ours. Less is better since it measures the execution time of the query.