Associating Riak CRDT Sets to Buckets / Keys via Erlang Client

Magnus Kessler mkessler at
Thu Nov 17 07:48:10 EST 2016

On 16 November 2016 at 17:40, Vikram Lalit <vikramlalit at> wrote:

> Hi - I am trying to leveraging CRDT sets to store chat messages that my
> distributed Riak infrastructure would store. Given the intrinsic
> conflict-resolution, I thought this might be more beneficial than me
> putting together a merge implementation based on the causal context.
> However, my data model requires each chat message to be associated to
> something like a post, hence I was thinking of having the post reference as
> the bucket, and chat references as keys in that bucket. With of course the
> bucket-type datasource equated to 'set'. Unfortunately though, from the
> documentation, I'm not able to ascertain how to associate a created set
> with an existing bucket and a new key reference if I use the Erlang client.
> This seems possible for other languages but not for Erlang, with the Basho
> doc mentioning  "%% Sets in the Erlang client are opaque data structures
> that collect operations as you mutate them. We will associate the data  structure
> with a bucket type, bucket, and key later on.".
> Subsequent code only seems to fetch the set from the bucket / key but
> where exactly is the allocation happening?
> {ok, SetX} = riakc_pb_socket:fetch_type(Pid, {<<"sets">>,<<"travel">>}, <<
> "cities">>).
> Perhaps I'm missing something, or is there a code snippet that I can
> leverage?
> Thanks!
Hi Vikram,

Please have a look at the following snippet, that shows the complete set of
operations used to update a CRDT set with the Erlang client:

update_crdt_set(Server, BType, Bucket, Key, Val) ->
        T = unicode:characters_to_binary(BType),
        B = unicode:characters_to_binary(Bucket),
        K = unicode:characters_to_binary(Key),

        {ok, Pid} = riakc_pb_socket:start_link(Server, 8087),

        Set = case
                riakc_pb_socket:fetch_type(Pid, {T, B}, K)
                {ok, O} -> O;
                {error, {notfound, set}} -> riakc_set:new()

        Set1 = riakc_set:add_element(unicode:characters_to_binary(Val),

        {ok, {set, Vals, _Adds, _Dels, _Ctx}} = riakc_pb_socket:update_type(
                Pid, {T, B}, K, riakc_set:to_op(Set1), [return_body]),

The set is updated with riakc_set:add_element/2, and sent back to the
server with riakc_pb_socket:update_type/5, which in turn takes an argument
returned from riakc_set:to_op/1.

More information and samples can be found in the Riak documentation [0] and
the Riak Erlang client API docs [1][2].

Please let me know if this answered your question.

Kind Regards,



Magnus Kessler
Client Services Engineer
Basho Technologies Limited

Registered Office - 8 Lincoln’s Inn Fields London WC2A 3BP Reg 07970431
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