Spring Data Cassandra - Reference Documentation


David Webb, Matthew Adams, John McPeek


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Table of Contents

I. Introduction
1. Requirements
2. Additional Help Resources
2.1. Support
2.1.1. Community Forum
2.1.2. Professional Support
2.2. Following Development
II. Reference Documentation
3. Cassandra support
3.1. Getting Started
3.2. Examples Repository
3.3. Connecting to Cassandra with Spring
3.4. General auditing configuration
3.5. Introduction to CassandraTemplate
3.5. . Instantiating CassandraTemplate
3.6. Saving, Updating, and Removing Rows
3.6.1. How the Composite Primary Key fields are handled in the mapping layer
3.6.2. Type mapping
3.6.3. Methods for saving and inserting rows
3.6.4. Updating rows in a CQL table
3.6.5. Upserting rows in a CQL table
3.6.6. Finding and Upserting rowa in a CQL table
3.6.7. Methods for removing rows
3.7. Querying CQL Tables
3.8. Overriding default mapping with custom converters
3.8.1. Saving using a registered Spring Converter
3.8.2. Reading using a Spring Converter
3.8.3. Registering Spring Converters with the CassandraConverter
3.8.4. Converter disambiguation
3.9. Executing Commands
3.9.1. Methods for executing commands
3.10. Lifecycle Events
3.11. Exception Translation
3.12. Execution callbacks
4. Cassandra repositories
4.1. Introduction
4.2. Usage
4.3. Query methods
4.3.1. Repository delete queries
4.4. Miscellaneous
4.4.1. CDI Integration
5. Mapping
5.1. Convention based Mapping
5.1.1. How the CQL Composite Primary Key fields are handled in the mapping layer
5.1.2. Mapping Configuration
III. Appendix


The Spring Data Cassandra project applies core Spring concepts to the development of solutions using the Cassandra Columnar data store. We provide a "template" as a high-level abstraction for storing and querying documents. You will notice similarities to the JDBC support in the Spring Framework.

Part I. Introduction

This document is the reference guide for Spring Data - Cassandra Support. It explains Cassandra module concepts and semantics and the syntax for various stores namespaces.

This section provides some basic introduction to Spring and the Cassandra database. The rest of the document refers only to Spring Data Cassandra features and assumes the user is familiar with Cassandra as well as Spring concepts.

1 Knowing Spring

Spring Data uses Spring framework's core functionality, such as the IoC container, type conversion system, expression language, JMX integration, and portable DAO exception hierarchy. While it is not important to know the Spring APIs, understanding the concepts behind them is. At a minimum, the idea behind IoC should be familiar for whatever IoC container you choose to use.

The core functionality of the Cassandra support can be used directly, with no need to invoke the IoC services of the Spring Container. This is much like JdbcTemplate which can be used 'standalone' without any other services of the Spring container. To leverage all the features of Spring Data Cassandra, such as the repository support, you will need to configure some parts of the library using Spring.

To learn more about Spring, you can refer to the comprehensive (and sometimes disarming) documentation that explains in detail the Spring Framework. There are a lot of articles, blog entries and books on the matter - take a look at the Spring framework home page for more information.

2 Knowing NoSQL and Cassandra

NoSQL stores have taken the storage world by storm. It is a vast domain with a plethora of solutions, terms and patterns (to make things worth even the term itself has multiple meanings). While some of the principles are common, it is crucial that the user is familiar to some degree with the Cassandra Columnar NoSQL Datastore supported by DATACASS. The best way to get acquainted to this solutions is to read their documentation and follow their examples - it usually doesn't take more then 5-10 minutes to go through them and if you are coming from an RDMBS-only background many times these exercises can be an eye opener.

The jumping off ground for learning about Cassandra is cassandra.apache.org/. Here is a list of other useful resources.

  • The Planet Cassandra site has many valuable resources for Cassandra best practices.

    The DataStax site offers commercial support and many resources.

1. Requirements

Spring Data Cassandra 1.x binaries requires JDK level 6.0 and above, and Spring Framework 3.2.x and above.

Currently we support Cassandra 1.X using the DataStax Java Driver (1.0.6-dse)

2. Additional Help Resources

Learning a new framework is not always straight forward. In this section, we try to provide what we think is an easy to follow guide for starting with Spring Data Cassandra module. However, if you encounter issues or you are just looking for an advice, feel free to use one of the links below:

2.1 Support

There are a few support options available:

2.1.1 Community Forum

The Spring Data forum is a message board for all Spring Data (not just Cassandra) users to share information and help each other. Note that registration is needed only for posting.

2.1.2 Professional Support

Professional, from-the-source support, with guaranteed response time, is available from Prowave Consulting.

2.2 Following Development

For information on the Spring Data Cassandra source code repository, nightly builds and snapshot artifacts please see the Spring Data Cassandra homepage.

You can help make Spring Data best serve the needs of the Spring community by interacting with developers through the Spring Community forums. To follow developer activity look for the mailing list information on the Spring Data Cassandra homepage.

If you encounter a bug or want to suggest an improvement, please create a ticket on the Spring Data issue tracker.

To stay up to date with the latest news and announcements in the Spring eco system, subscribe to the Spring Community Portal.

Part II. Reference Documentation

Document Structure

This part of the reference documentation explains the core functionality offered by Spring Data Cassandra.

??? introduces the Cassandra module feature set.

Chapter 4, Cassandra repositories introduces the repository support for Cassandra.

3. Cassandra support

The Cassandra support contains a wide range of features which are summarized below.

  • Spring configuration support using Java based @Configuration classes or an XML namespace for a Cassandra driver instance and replica sets

  • CassandraTemplate helper class that increases productivity performing common Cassandra operations. Includes integrated object mapping between CQL Tables and POJOs.

  • Exception translation into Spring's portable Data Access Exception hierarchy

  • Feature Rich Object Mapping integrated with Spring's Conversion Service

  • Annotation based mapping metadata but extensible to support other metadata formats

  • Persistence and mapping lifecycle events

  • Java based Query, Criteria, and Update DSLs

  • Automatic implementation of Repository interfaces including support for custom finder methods.

For most tasks you will find yourself using CassandraTemplate or the Repository support that both leverage the rich mapping functionality. CassandraTemplate is the place to look for accessing functionality such as incrementing counters or ad-hoc CRUD operations. CassandraTemplate also provides callback methods so that it is easy for you to get a hold of the low level API artifacts such as com.datastax.driver.core.Session to communicate directly with Cassandra. The goal with naming conventions on various API artifacts is to copy those in the base DataStax Java driver so you can easily map your existing knowledge onto the Spring APIs.

3.1 Getting Started

Spring Cassandra support requires Cassanra 1.1 or higher (but not Cassandra 2.0) and Java SE 6 or higher. The latest commerical release (1.2.X as of this writing) is recommended. An easy way to bootstrap setting up a working environment is to create a Spring based project in STS.

First you need to set up a running Cassandra server.

To create a Spring project in STS go to File -> New -> Spring Template Project -> Simple Spring Utility Project -> press Yes when prompted. Then enter a project and a package name such as org.spring.cassandra.example.

Then add the following to pom.xml dependencies section.


  <!-- other dependency elements omitted -->



Also change the version of Spring in the pom.xml to be


You will also need to add the location of the Spring Milestone repository for maven to your pom.xml which is at the same level of your <dependencies/> element

    <name>Spring Maven MILESTONE Repository</name>

The repository is also browseable here.


3.2 Examples Repository


3.3 Connecting to Cassandra with Spring

3.4 General auditing configuration

Auditing support is not available in the current version.

3.5 Introduction to CassandraTemplate

3.5.  Instantiating CassandraTemplate

3.6 Saving, Updating, and Removing Rows

CassandraTemplate provides a simple way for you to save, update, and delete your domain objects and map those objects to documents stored in Cassandra.

3.6.1 How the Composite Primary Key fields are handled in the mapping layer

Cassandra requires that you have at least 1 Partition Key field for a CQL Table. Alternately, you can have one or more Clustering Key fields.

TODO With Examples

3.6.2 Type mapping

3.6.3 Methods for saving and inserting rows

3.6.4 Updating rows in a CQL table

3.6.5 Upserting rows in a CQL table

3.6.6 Finding and Upserting rowa in a CQL table

3.6.7 Methods for removing rows

3.7 Querying CQL Tables

3.8 Overriding default mapping with custom converters

In order to have more fine grained control over the mapping process you can register Spring converters with the CassandraConverter implementations such as the MappingCassandraConverter.

The MappingCassandraConverter checks to see if there are any Spring converters that can handle a specific class before attempting to map the object itself. To 'hijack' the normal mapping strategies of the MappingCassandraConverter, perhaps for increased performance or other custom mapping needs, you first need to create an implementation of the Spring Converter interface and then register it with the MappingConverter.


For more information on the Spring type conversion service see the reference docs here.

3.8.1 Saving using a registered Spring Converter

3.8.2 Reading using a Spring Converter

3.8.3 Registering Spring Converters with the CassandraConverter

3.8.4 Converter disambiguation

3.9 Executing Commands

3.9.1 Methods for executing commands

3.10 Lifecycle Events

3.11 Exception Translation

The Spring framework provides exception translation for a wide variety of database and mapping technologies. This has traditionally been for JDBC and JPA. The Spring support for Cassandra extends this feature to the Cassandra Database by providing an implementation of the org.springframework.dao.support.PersistenceExceptionTranslator interface.

The motivation behind mapping to Spring's consistent data access exception hierarchy is that you are then able to write portable and descriptive exception handling code without resorting to coding against Cassandra Exceptions. All of Spring's data access exceptions are inherited from the root DataAccessException class so you can be sure that you will be able to catch all database related exception within a single try-catch block.

3.12 Execution callbacks

4. Cassandra repositories

4.1 Introduction

This chapter will point out the specialties for repository support for Cassandra. This builds on the core repository support explained in ???. So make sure you've got a sound understanding of the basic concepts explained there.

4.2 Usage

To access domain entities stored in a Cassandra you can leverage our sophisticated repository support that eases implementing those quite significantly. To do so, simply create an interface for your repository:


4.3 Query methods

4.3.1 Repository delete queries

4.4 Miscellaneous

4.4.1 CDI Integration

The Spring Data Cassandra CDI extension will pick up the CassandraTemplate available as CDI bean and create a proxy for a Spring Data repository whenever an bean of a repository type is requested by the container. Thus obtaining an instance of a Spring Data repository is a matter of declaring an @Inject-ed property:

class RepositoryClient {

  PersonRepository repository;

  public void businessMethod() {

    List<Person> people = repository.findAll();

5. Mapping

Rich mapping support is provided by the CassandraMappingConverter . CassandraMappingConverter has a rich metadata model that provides a full feature set of functionality to map domain objects to CQL Tables. The mapping metadata model is populated using annotations on your domain objects. However, the infrastructure is not limited to using annotations as the only source of metadata information. The CassandraMappingConverter also allows you to map objects to documents without providing any additional metadata, by following a set of conventions.

In this section we will describe the features of the CassandraMappingConverter. How to use conventions for mapping objects to documents and how to override those conventions with annotation based mapping metadata.

5.1 Convention based Mapping

CassandraMappingConverter has a few conventions for mapping objects to CQL Tables when no additional mapping metadata is provided. The conventions are:

  • The short Java class name is mapped to the table name in the following manner. The class ' com.bigbank.SavingsAccount ' maps to ' savings_account ' table name.

  • The converter will use any Spring Converters registered with it to override the default mapping of object properties to document field/values.

  • The fields of an object are used to convert to and from fields in the document. Public JavaBean properties are not used.

5.1.1 How the CQL Composite Primary Key fields are handled in the mapping layer


5.1.2 Mapping Configuration

Unless explicitly configured, an instance of CassandraMappingConverter is created by default when creating a CassandraTemplate . You can create your own instance of the MappingCassandraConverter so as to tell it where to scan the classpath at startup your domain classes in order to extract metadata and construct indexes. Also, by creating your own instance you can register Spring converters to use for mapping specific classes to and from the database.

You can configure the CassandraMappingConverter and CassandraTemplate either using Java or XML based metadata. Here is an example using Spring's Java based configuration

Example 5.1. @Configuration class to configure Cassandra mapping support


Example 5.2. XML schema to configure Cassandra mapping support


Part III. Appendix