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Datastore4s is a scala library for GCP Datastore. Datastore4s hides the complexities of the Datastore API and removes boilerplate code making it simpler and less error-prone to use.

Getting Started

The library is available in the OVO Bintray repository. Add this snippet to your build.sbt to use it.

resolvers += Resolver.bintrayRepo("ovotech", "maven")
libraryDependencies += "com.ovoenergy" %% "datastore4s" % "0.2.2",

A Simple Example

Here is a basic example of using datastore4s to persist and list a case class representing a Person using their first and last name to generate the datastore key.

import com.ovoenergy.datastore4s._

case class Person(firstName: String, lastName: String, age: Int)

object PersonRepository extends DatastoreRepository {

  override def datastoreConfiguration = DatastoreConfiguration("my-project", "my-namespace")

  implicit val personFormat = EntityFormat[Person, String]("person-kind")(p => p.firstName + p.lastName)
  def storePerson(person: Person): Either[DatastoreError, Persisted[Person]] = run(put(person))
  def allPeople: Either[DatastoreError, Seq[Person]] = run(list[Person].sequenced())


To use datastore4s simply extend the DatastoreRepository trait and supply the implicit formats needed to persist entities.

Datastore Operations

Datastore operations do not execute immediately, instead they describe an action to be performed by a DatastoreService. Datastore Operations can also be combined in for comprehensions e.g:

import com.ovoenergy.datastore4s._
import com.ovoenergy.datastore4s.DatastoreService._

case class Person(firstName: String, lastName: String, age: Int)
object ForComprehensionExample {
  val operation: DatastoreOperation[Seq[Person]] = for {
    _ <- put(Person("oli", "boyle", 26))
    oli <- findOne[Person, String]("oliboyle")
    _ <- put(Person("john", "doe", 27))
    twentySevenYearOlds <- list[Person].withPropertyEq("age", 27).sequenced()
  } yield oli.toSeq ++ twentySevenYearOlds

Some simple operations include:

  • put[E](entity: E) which performs an upsert on the entity passed.
  • delete[E, K](key: K) which deletes the entity with the given key if it exists.
  • findOne[E, K](key: K) which returns an Option of the entity with the given key.
  • list[E].sequenced() which returns a Seq of all the entities of the given type.

Operations can then be executed synchronously using run or asynchronously using runAsync. For a full list of operations and interpreters see the Operations documentation.


Entity (de)serialisation is based on three Format traits.

  • EntityFormats which determine how a scala type is turned into a datastore entity. An Entity can have many Fields.
  • FieldFormats which determine how a field of an entity is stored in datastore. A Field can have many Values.
  • ValueFormats which determine the mapping between a scala type and a datastore type.

Entity Formats

To be able to persist and read entities from google datastore simply create your case class and use the EntityFormat macro. The same macro can be used to create EntityFormats for sealed trait hierarchies that only contain case classes. An additional field "type" will be used on the entity to determine which subtype in the hierarchy the entity represents.

To use the macro you need to provide:

  • the type of the entity and the type of the key.
  • a string of the kind under which you want your entities to be stored.
  • a function between the entity type and key type which will be used to create the unique key for that entity.

For example:

EntityFormat[Person, String]("person-kind")(person =>

Warning: Key types cannot be primitive. Out of the box only String and java.lang.Long keys are supported, if you need a custom type then see the Datastore Key Customisation documentation.

Value Formats

ValueFormat[A] is used to determine how to store (and retrieve) a type as a datastore value in both persistence and queries. There are multiple ValueFormat[A]s already implicitly available for:

  • String which is stored as a StringValue
  • Long which is stored as a LongValue
  • Int which is stored as a LongValue
  • Boolean which is stored as a BooleanValue
  • Double which is stored as a DoubleValue
  • Float which is stored as a DoubleValue
  • Option[A] for any [A] for which a format exists, which is stored as a NullValue or the expected value for A
  • Seq[A] for any [A] for which a format exists, which is stored as a ListValue of the expected value for A
  • Set[A] for any [A] for which a format exists, which is stored as a ListValue of the expected value for A

There are also formats available that can be brought into implicit scope (explicitly or by inheriting the DefaultFormats or DefaultDatastoreRepository traits) for:

  • Array[Byte] in the form of ValueFormat.byteArrayValueFormat, which is stored as a
  • BigDecimal in the form of BigDecimalStringValueFormat (or ValueFormat.bigDecimalDoubleValueFormat which is not in the default trait)
  • java.time.Instant in the form of ValueFormat.instantEpochMillisValueFormat, which is stored as a LongValue

These are not implicit by default to allow your own implementations for those types.

There is also an implicit value format available for any E such that for some K there is an instance of EntityFormat[E,K], ToKey[K] and DatastoreService that are implicitly in scope. (NOTE: the DatastoreService must be implicitly in scope otherwise the ValueFormat[E] will not be resolved)

Custom Types

There is a utility function available for creating your own value formats by providing functions to and from a type for which a format already exists in implicit scope:

import com.ovoenergy.datastore4s.ValueFormat

case class CustomString(innerValue: String)

object CustomString {
  implicit val format = ValueFormat.formatFrom(CustomString.apply)(_.innerValue)
  // DatastoreRepository contains an alias function formatFrom

In the case where it is possible the creation of your custom type may fail when passed a value from datastore, simply return an Either[String, A] from your function:

import com.ovoenergy.datastore4s.ValueFormat

class PositiveInteger(val value: Int)

object PositiveInteger { 
  def apply(int: Int): Either[String, PositiveInteger] = 
    if(int <= 0) Left("whoops not positive") else Right(new PositiveInteger(int))
  implicit val format = ValueFormat.failableFormatFrom(PositiveInteger.apply)(_.value)
  // DatastoreRepository contains an alias function failableFormatFrom

Field Formats

When a field only contains one value a FieldFormat will be generated using the ValueFormat. For fields of type Either[L, R] a FieldFormat is generated using ValueFormat[L] and ValueFormat[R] and a value "either_side" of "Left" or "Right" is added.

Case Classes

If you have a field that is a custom case class that is comprised of fields for which FieldFormats are already in implicit scope there is a macro to generate a FieldFormat that will nest the fields of that case class using dots to separate the fields:

import com.ovoenergy.datastore4s.FieldFormat

case class Employee(name: String, age: Int, department: Department)
case class Department(name:String, departmentHead: String)
object Department {
  implicit val format = FieldFormat[Department]

Using the format above an Employee entity would be serialised to have values:

  • name of type String
  • age of type Int
  • of type String
  • department.departmentHead of type String

Sealed Trait Hierarchies

Similarly to create a FieldFormat for a sealed trait hierarchy composed of only case classes and/or objects simply use the same macro, this will store a nested fieldname.type value on the entity to determine what subtype the field is.

For Those Who Hate Macros

If you do not want to use the macros you can create the formats yourself, it is however likely you will end up writing the same code that would have been generated by the macro. For example:

import com.ovoenergy.datastore4s._

case class Person(firstName: String, lastName: String, age: Int, job: Job)
case class Job(title: String, wage: BigDecimal)

object NonMacroExample {

  implicit object JobFormat extends FieldFormat[Job] {
    override def toEntityField(fieldName: String, value: Job): Field = Field(
        s"$fieldName.title" -> toValue(value.title),
        s"$fieldName.wage" -> toValue(value.wage)

    override def fromEntityField(fieldName: String, entity: Entity) = for {
      title <- entity.fieldOfType[String](s"$fieldName.title")
      wage <- entity.fieldOfType[BigDecimal](s"$fieldName.wage")
    } yield Job(title, wage)

  implicit object PersonFormat extends EntityFormat[Person, String] {

    override def toEntityComponents(person: Person, builder: EntityBuilder): EntityComponents[Person, String] = {
      val builderFunction = (builder: EntityBuilder) =>
        builder.add("firstName", person.firstName)
          .add("lastName", person.lastName)
          .add("age", person.age)
          .add("job", person.job)
      new EntityComponents(Kind("person"), person.firstName + person.lastName, builderFunction)

    override def fromEntity(entity: Entity): Either[DatastoreError, Person] = for {
      firstName <- entity.fieldOfType[String]("firstName")
      lastName <- entity.fieldOfType[String]("lastName")
      age <- entity.fieldOfType[Int]("age")
      job <- entity.fieldOfType[Job]("job")
    } yield Person(firstName, lastName, age, job)

The above is the same as:

import com.ovoenergy.datastore4s._

case class Person(firstName: String, lastName: String, age: Int, job: Job)
case class Job(title: String, wage: BigDecimal)

object MacroExample {
  implicit val jobFormat = FieldFormat[Job]
  implicit val personFormat = EntityFormat[Person, String]("person")(person => person.firstName + person.lastName)

Further Documentation


All changes will be documented in the CHANGELOG, efforts will be made to ensure backwards compatability. Where possible an API will be deprecated before it is removed, but in some cases breaking changed will occur, in these cases a migration path will also be documented.

Feedback And Contribution

Feedback, Issues and PR's are welcome.