redis-schema: Typed, schema-based, composable Redis library

[ bsd3, database, library ] [ Propose Tags ]

Typed, schema-based, composable Redis library

[Skip to Readme]


Maintainer's Corner

Package maintainers

For package maintainers and hackage trustees


Versions [RSS] 0.1.0
Change log
Dependencies base (>=4.7 && <5), binary, bytestring, containers, exceptions, hedis, mtl, numeric-limits, random, text, time, uuid [details]
License BSD-3-Clause
Copyright 2022 Chordify B.V.
Author Chordify B.V.
Category Database
Home page
Bug tracker
Source repo head: git clone
Uploaded by swamp_agr at 2022-09-01T14:07:27Z
Distributions NixOS:0.1.0
Downloads 30 total (5 in the last 30 days)
Rating (no votes yet) [estimated by Bayesian average]
Your Rating
  • λ
  • λ
  • λ
Status Docs uploaded by user
Build status unknown [no reports yet]

Readme for redis-schema-0.1.0

[back to package description]


A typed, schema-based, composable Redis library. It strives to provide a solid layer on top of which you can correctly build your application or another library.

Table of contents

Why redis-schema

Statically typed schema


The most common Redis library seems to be Hedis, and redis-schema builds on top of it. However, consider the type of get in Hedis:

    :: (RedisCtx m f)
    => ByteString -- ^ key
    -> m (f (Maybe ByteString))

For most use cases, it would be nice if:

  • the value could be decoded from a ByteString automatically
    • provides convenience but also type safety
  • the key could imply the type of the value
    • provides type safety
    • guides programmer, documents structures, etc. -- everything we love about static types
    • it's also immediately clear which instance to use for decoding


In redis-schema, the type of get is:

get :: Ref ref => ref -> RedisM (RefInstance ref) (Maybe (ValueType ref))

and it makes use of user-supplied declarations:

data NumberOfVisitors = NumberOfVisitors Date

instance Ref NumberOfVisitors where
  type ValueType NumberOfVisitors = Integer
  toIdentifier (NumberOfVisitors date) =
    SviTopLevel $ Redis.colonSep ["number-of-visitors", BS.pack (show date)]

The differences are:

  • Instead of ByteStrings, redis-schema uses references that are usually bespoke ADTs, such as NumberOfVisitors.
  • Bespoke reference types eliminate string operations scattered across the code: you write get (NumberOfVisitors today) instead of get ("number-of-visitors:" <> BS.pack (show today)). ByteString concatenation of course needs to be done somewhere but it's implemented only once: in the toIdentifier method.
  • References are more abstract than bytestring keys, which improves composability. For example, meta-records use this abstractness, as a meta-record consists of multiple Redis keys, and thus there's no single bytestring that could reasonably identify it.
  • The Ref instance of that data type determines that the reference stores Integers. This can be seen in the associated type family ValueType.

More complex data structures, like records, work similarly.


A major goal of redis-schema is to provide typed primitives, on top of which one can safely and conveniently build further typed libraries, such as Database.Redis.Schema.Lock or Database.Redis.Schema.RemoteJob. Meta-records are another example of how low-level primitives compose into higher-level "primitives" of the same kind.

The focus at composability is reflected in the design decisions of various typeclasses, and in the design and use of Redis transactions to ensure that composability is not broken by race conditions.

Tutorial by example

Imagine you want to use Redis to count the number of the visitors on your website. This is how you would do it with redis-schema.

Simple variables

(For demonstration purposes, the following example also includes some basic operations you might not do while counting visitors, too. :) )

-- This module is generally intended to be imported qualified.
import qualified Database.Redis.Schema as Redis

-- The type of references to the number of visitors.
-- Since we want only one number of visitors, this type is a singleton.
-- Later on, we'll see more interesting types of references.
data NumberOfVisitors = NumberOfVisitors

-- We define that NumberOfVisitors is indeed a Redis reference.
instance Redis.Ref NumberOfVisitors where
  -- The type of the value that NumberOfVisitors refers to is Int.
  type ValueType NumberOfVisitors = Int

  -- The location of the value that NumberOfVisitors refers to is "visitors:number".
  toIdentifier NumberOfVisitors = "visitors:number"

f :: Redis.Pool -> IO ()
f pool = pool $ do
  -- write to the reference
  set NumberOfVisitors 42
  setTTL NumberOfVisitors (24 * Redis.hour)

  -- atomically increment the number of visitors
  incrementBy NumberOfVisitors 1

  -- atomically read and clear (zero) the reference
  -- useful for transactional moves of data
  n2 <- take NumberOfVisitors
  liftIO $ print n2

  -- read the value of the reference
  n <- get NumberOfVisitors
  liftIO $ print n  -- this prints "Just 0", assuming no writes from other threads

Parameterised references

If you want a separate counter for every day, you define a slightly more interesting reference type.

-- Note that the type constructor is still nullary (no parameters)
-- but the data constructor takes the 'Date' in question.
data DailyVisitors = DailyVisitors Date

instance Redis.Ref DailyVisitors where
  -- Again, the reference points to an 'Int'.
  -- We're talking about the type of the reference so no date is present here.
  type ValueType DailyVisitors = Int

  -- The location does depend on the value of the reference,
  -- so it can depend on the date. We include the date in the Redis path.
  toIdentifier (DailyVisitors date) =
    Redis.colonSep ["visitors", "daily", ByteString.pack (show date)]

f :: Redis.Pool -> Date -> IO ()
f pool today = pool $ do
  -- atomically bump the number of visitors
  incrementBy (DailyVisitors today) 1

  -- (other threads may modify the value here)

  -- read and print the reference
  n <- get (DailyVisitors today)
  liftIO $ print n

With composite keys, it's sometimes useful to use Redis.colonSep, which builds a single colon-separated ByteString from the provided components.

Lists, Sets, Hashes, etc.

What we've read/written so far were SimpleValues: data items that can be encoded as ByteStrings and used without restrictions. However, Redis also provides richer data structures, including lists, sets, and maps/hashes.

The advantage is that Redis provides operations to manipulate these data structures directly. You can insert elements, delete elements, etc., without reading a ByteString-encoded structure and writing its modified version back.

The disadvantage is that Redis does not support nesting them.

That does not mean there's absolutely no way to put sets in sets -- if you encode the inner sets into ByteString, you can nest them however you want. However, you will not be able to use native Redis functions like sInsert or sDelete to modify the inner sets; you'd have to read, modify, and write back the entire inner value to do it -- and that, besides being inconvenient and inefficient, cannot be done atomically in Redis.

This is reflected in redis-schema by the fact that the SimpleValue instance is not defined for Set a, Map k v and [a], which prevents nesting them directly.

On the other hand, redis-schema defines additional functions specific to these data structures, such as the above mentioned sInsert, which is used to insert elements into a Redis set.

-- The set of visitor IDs for the given date.
data DailyVisitorSet = DailyVisitorSet Date

instance Redis.Ref DailyVisitorSet where
  -- This reference points to a set of visitor IDs.
  type ValueType DailyVisitorSet = Set VisitorId

  -- The Redis location of the value.
  toIdentifier (DailyVisitorSet date) =
    Redis.colonSep ["visitor_set", "daily", ByteString.pack (show date)]

f :: Redis.Pool -> Date -> VisitorId -> IO ()
f pool today vid = pool $ do
  -- insert the visitor ID
  sInsert (DailyVisitorSet today) vid

  -- get the size of the updated set
  -- (and print it)
  liftIO . print =<< sSize (DailyVisitorSet today)

  -- atomically get and clear the visitor set
  -- (and print it)
  liftIO . print =<< take (DailyVisitorSet today)

There is a number of functions available for these structures, refer to the reference documentation / source code for a complete list.

Also, we add functions when we need them, so it's quite possible that the function that you require has not been added yet. Pull requests are welcome.


There is a special operator (:/) to access the items of a hash, as if they were individual Redis Refs. Here's our running example with website visitors, except that now instead of just the count of visits, or just the set of visitors, we will store exactly how many times each visitor has visited us.

data Visitors = Visitors Date

instance Redis.Ref Visitors where
  -- Each daily visitor structure is a map from visitor ID to the number of visits.
  type ValueType Visitors = Map VisitorId Int

  toIdentifier (Visitors date) =
    Redis.colonSep ["visitors", ByteString.pack (show date)]

f :: Redis.Pool -> Date -> VisitorId -> IO ()
f pool today visitorId = do
  -- increment one specific counter inside the hash
  incrementBy (Visitors today :/ visitorId) 1

  -- print all visitors
  allVisitors <- get (Visitors today)
  print allVisitors

Using operator (:/), we could write Visitors today :/ visitorId to reference a single field of a hash. However, we can also retrieve and print the whole hash if we choose to.

Aside: Hashes vs. composite keys

In the previous example, the reference Visitors date points to a Map VisitorId Int. This is one realisation of a mapping (Date, VisitorId) -> Int but not the only possible one. Another way would be including the VisitorId in the key like this:

data VisitCount = VisitCount Date VisitorId

instance Redis.Ref VisitCount where
  type ValueType VisitCount = Int

  toIdentifier (VisitCount date visitorId) =
      [ "visitors"
      , ByteString.pack (show date)
      , ByteString.pack (show visitorId)

This way, every date-visitor combination gets its own full key-value entry in Redis. There are advantages and disadvantages to either representation.

  • With hashes, you also implicitly get a list of visitor IDs for each day. With composite keys, you have to use the SCAN or KEYS Redis command.

  • It's easy to get, set or take whole hashes (atomically). With separate keys, you have to use an explicit transaction, and code up these operations manually.

  • Hashes take less space than the same number of values in separate keys.

  • You cannot set the TTL of items in a hash separately: only the whole hash has a TTL. With separate keys, you can set TTL individually.

  • You cannot have complex data types (Redis sets, Redis hashes, etc.) nested inside hashes without encoding them as ByteStrings first. (See Lists, sets, hashes, etc.) There are no such restrictions for separate keys.

Hence the encoding depends on your use case. If you're caching a set of related things for a certain visitor, which you want to read as a whole and expire as a whole, it makes sense to put them in a hash.

If your items are rather separate, you want to expire them separately, or you want to store structures like hashes inside, you have to put them in separate keys. Fields like date should probably generally go in the (possibly composite) key because they will likely affect the required expiration time.


We have just seen how to use Redis hashes to store values of type Map k v. The number of items in the map is unlimited but all keys and values must have the same type.

There's another (major) use case for Redis hashes: records. Records are structures which contain a fixed number of named values, where each value can have a different type. It is therefore a natural way of clustering related data together.

Here's an example showing how records are modelled in redis-schema.

-- First, we use GADTs to describe the available fields and their types.
-- Here, 'Email' has type 'Text', 'DateOfBirth' has type 'Date',
-- and 'Visits' and 'Clicks' have type 'Int'.
data VisitorField :: * -> * where
  Email :: VisitorField Text
  DateOfBirth :: VisitorField Date
  Visits :: VisitorField Int
  Clicks :: VisitorField Int

-- We define how to translate record keys to strings
-- that will be used to key the Redis hash.
instance Redis.RecordField VisitorField where
  rfToBS Email = "email"
  rfToBS DateOfBirth = "date-of-birth"
  rfToBS Visits = "visits"
  rfToBS Clicks = "clicks"

-- Then we define the type of references pointing to the visitor statistics
-- for any given visitor ID.
data VisitorStats = VisitorStats VisitorId

-- Finally, we declare that the type of references is indeed a Redis reference.
instance Redis.Ref VisitorStats where
  -- The type pointed to is 'Redis.Record VisitorField', which means
  -- a record with the fields defined by 'VisitorField'.
  type ValueType VisitorStats = Redis.Record VisitorField

  -- As usual, this defines what key in Redis this reference points to.
  toIdentifier (VisitorStats visitorId) =
    Redis.colonSep ["visitors", "statistics", Redis.toBS visitorId]

This example is a bit silly because if you know DateOfBirth about your unregistered visitors, there's something very wrong. However, for demonstrational purposes, it'll suffice.

Now we can get references to the individual fields with the specialised operator :..

handleClick :: VisitorId -> Redis ()
handleClick visitorId = do
  -- for demonstration purposes, log the email
  email <- Redis.get (VisitorStats visitorId :. Email)
  liftIO $ print email

  -- atomically increase the counter of clicks
  Redis.incrementBy (VisitorStats visitorId :. Clicks) 1

In the current implementation, Records cannot be read or written as a whole. (However, they can be deleted and their TTL can be set.) There is no special reason for that, except that it would be too much type-level code that we currently do not need, so we keep it simple.

However, see Meta-records for the next best solution.

Aside: non-fixed record fields

The number of fields in a record is not really fixed. Consider the following declaration.

data VisitorField :: * -> * where
  Visits :: Date -> VisitorField Int

instance Redis.RecordField VisitorField where
  rfToBS (Visits date) = Redis.colonSep ["visits", Redis.toBS date]

This creates a record with a separate field for every date:

handleVisit :: VisitorId -> Date -> Redis ()
handleVisit visitorId today = do
  Redis.incrementBy (VisitorStats visitorId :. Visits today) 1


Redis does support transactions and redis-schema supports them, but they are not like SQL transactions, which you may be accustomed to. A more suggestive name for Redis transactions might be "mostly atomic operation batches".

The main difference between SQL-like transactions and batched Redis transactions is that in SQL, you can start a transaction, run a query, receive its output, and then run another query in the same transaction. Sending queries and receiving their outputs can be interleaved in the same transaction, and later queries can depend on the output of previous queries, while the database takes care of the ACIDity of the transaction.

With Redis-style batched transactions, on the other hand, you can batch up multiple operations but the atomicity of a transaction ends at the moment you receive the output of those operations. Anything you do with the output is not enclosed in that transaction anymore, and other clients could have modified the data in the meantime. In other words, later operations in a batched transaction cannot depend on the output of the previous operations, as that output is not available yet.

While the structure of SQL-like transactions is captured by the Monad typeclass, Redis-style fixed-effects transactions are described by Applicative functors -- and this is exactly the interface that redis-schema provides for Redis transactions.

The Tx functor

redis-schema defines the Tx functor for transactional computations.

newtype Tx inst a
instance Functor (Tx inst)
instance Applicative (Tx inst)
instance Alternative (Tx inst)

atomically :: Tx inst a -> RedisM inst a
txThrow :: RedisException -> Tx inst a

The type parameter inst is explained in section Redis instances, but can be ignored for now.

Redis transactions are run using the combinator called atomically. A failing operation (or using txThrow) in a transaction will not prevent any other side effects from taking place; only the exception will be re-thrown in the RedisM monad instead of returning the output of the transaction. The Alternative instance of Tx can be used to address exceptions.

Working with transactions

Most functions, like get, set or take, have a sibling that can be used in a transaction, usually prefixed with tx:

get   :: Ref ref => ref -> RedisM (RefInstance ref) (Maybe (ValueType ref))
txGet :: Ref ref => ref -> Tx     (RefInstance ref) (Maybe (ValueType ref))

With ApplicativeDo, these transactional functions can be used as conveniently as their non-transactional counterparts. For example, the function take, which atomically reads and deletes a Redis value, could be (re-)implemented as follows:

{-# LANGUAGE ApplicativeDo #-}

take :: Ref ref => ref -> RedisM (RefInstance ref) (Maybe (ValueType ref))
take ref = atomically $ do
  value <- txGet ref
  txDelete_ ref
  pure value

What Redis transactions cannot do

One might try to attempt an alternative implementation of txIncrementBy:

import Data.Maybe (fromMaybe)

txIncrementBy' :: (SimpleRef ref, Num (ValueType ref))
  => ref -> Integer -> Tx (RefInstance ref) (ValueType ref)
txIncrementBy' ref incr = do
  oldValue <- fromMaybe 0 <$> txGet ref        -- COMPILER ERROR
  let newValue = oldValue + fromInteger incr
  txSet ref newValue
  pure newValue

The compiler complains

• Could not deduce (Monad (Tx (RefInstance ref)))
    arising from a do statement

because oldValue is used non-trivially in the do block, but Tx implements only Applicative and not Monad.

This error is exactly a goal of the design: it indicates at compile time that Redis does not support this usage pattern.

Errors in transactions

Beware that Redis won't roll back failed transactions, which means they are not atomic in that sense, and may be carried out incompletely. A Redis transaction that fails in the middle will keep going and retain all effects except for any failed operations. See the Redis documentation for details and rationale.

Monads vs applicative functors

The underlying library of redis-schema, Hedis, provides a monad RedisTx to describe Redis transactions. Since monads would be too powerful, Hedis uses an opaque wrapper for Queued results to prevent the users from accessing values that are not available yet. We believe that using an applicative functor instead is a perfect match for this use case: it allows exactly the right operations, and all wrapping/unwrapping can be done entirely transparently. Tx also propagates exceptions from transactions transparently.


The type of exceptions in redis-schema is RedisException, and they are thrown using throwIO under the hood. These arise mostly from internal error conditions, such as connection errors, decoding errors, etc., but library users can nevertheless still throw them manually using throw :: RedisException -> RedisM inst a.

Unlike hedis, redis-schema does support throwing exceptions in transactions. Exceptions do not abort transactions -- all effects of a transaction will persist even if an exception has been thrown -- but RedisExceptions thrown using txThrow are transparently propagated out of the transaction and thrown at the RedisM level instead of returning the result of the transaction.

Custom data types

Every type that can be stored in Redis using redis-schema comes with a Value instance that describes how to read, write, and perform other operations on values of that type in Redis.

There are two kinds of Redis Values: simple values and non-simple values. Simple values are those that encode/decode to/from a ByteString, and thus have no restrictions on how they can be used in Redis. They can be stored in top-level keys, as well as in Redis lists, Redis sets, Redis hashes, etc. Simple values include integers, floats, text, bytestrings, etc.

Non-simple values are all values that are more complicated than a bytestring, and thus will come with restrictions. For example, Redis lists are not simple values.

Let's start by discussing simple values.

Simple values

The easiest case of declaring Redis instances for custom data types are newtypes of types that already have Redis instances. For example, if your user IDs are textual but you would still like to keep them apart from other Text data, you could use the following declarations.

{-# LANGUAGE DerivingStrategies #-}

newtype UserId = UserId Text
  deriving newtype (Redis.Serializable)

instance Redis.Value inst UserId
instance Redis.SimpleValue inst UserId

Thanks to deriving newtype, we did not have to write any wrapping/unwrapping boilerplate, and thanks to the default implementations of Value methods, we did not have to write those, either.

The class SimpleValue does not have any methods, and it mostly only stands for the list of constraints in its declaration (primarily, for the Serializable constraint). SimpleValue is a typeclass rather than a constraint alias because you may want to have a Serializable instance for a non-simple Value. Thus a SimpleValue instance also represents the intentional declaration that the type in question should be regarded as a simple value.

For other types, we need to supply a Serializable instance, which is, however, often not too hard.

data Color = Red | Green | Blue

instance Redis.Serializable Color where
  fromBS = Redis.readBS
  toBS   = Redis.showBS

-- Convenience functions available:
-- Redis.readBS :: Read val => ByteString -> Maybe val
-- Redis.showBS :: Show val => val -> ByteString

instance Redis.Value inst Color
instance Redis.SimpleValue inst Color

The typeclass Serializable is separate from Show, Read, and Binary because:

  • Show and Read quote strings, and we need the ability to avoid doing it
  • Binary does not produce human-readable output and would thus affect the usability of tools like redis-cli

Since redis-schema is intended to be imported qualified as Redis, Redis.Serializable is an accurate name for the typeclass.

Non-simple values

Non-simple values have instances only for Value. The default implementations of methods of Value require a SimpleValue instance, thus relieving us from defining them whenever a SimpleValue instance exists. For non-simple values, we have to implement the methods of Value manually.

Not all methods of Value may make sense for all data types, or not all methods may be practically implementable. In such cases, it's acceptable to fill the definition with an error message.

For example, the Record type defined by redis-schema does not support reading/writing whole records because that would require more type-level machinery than we needed at the time.

Another example is the fact that setTTL does not make (a lot of) sense for values represented by SviHash, i.e. for values that exist inside a Redis hash, as TTL can be set only for the whole hash. Pragmatically, redis-schema resorts to silently changing the TTL for the whole hash.

Yet another example are the PubSub channels, where the operations of get and set do not make sense.

In all these cases, the "correct" solution would be splitting the Value typeclass into smaller classes per supported feature so that the availability of the individual operations is declared at the type level. We decided to keep things simple (if perhaps a bit crude) and use a single Value typeclass. This may be revisited in the future.

Redis instances

In section Simple Variables, we have seen that a Redis.Ref determines a "path to a variable" in Redis. But what if you run more Redis servers? You might want that to use different key eviction policies and different memory limits for different purposes.

The definition of Redis.Ref includes an extra associated type family called RefInstance, which identifies the server, representing the hitherto missing part of the "path to the variable". This type family has a default value DefaultInstance, which is why we have not needed to deal with it so far. Here's what it looks like:

-- | The kind of Redis instances. Ideally, this would be a user-defined DataKind,
--   but since Haskell does not have implicit arguments,
--   that would require that we index everything with it explicitly,
--   which would create a lot of syntactic noise.
--   (Ab)using the * kind for instances is a compromise.
type Instance = *

-- | We also define a default instance.
--   This is convenient for code bases using only one Redis instance,
--   since 'RefInstance' defaults to this. (See the 'Ref' typeclass below.)
data DefaultInstance

-- | The Redis monad related to the default instance.
type Redis = RedisM DefaultInstance

class Value (RefInstance ref) (ValueType ref) => Ref ref where
  -- | Type of the value that this ref points to.
  type ValueType ref :: *

  -- | RedisM instance this ref points into, with a default.
  type RefInstance ref :: Instance
  type RefInstance ref = DefaultInstance

  -- | How to convert the ref to an identifier that its value accepts.
  toIdentifier :: ref -> Identifier (ValueType ref)

A Redis instance can be added by declaring an empty tag type, for example as follows:

-- For data that should not get lost
type InstReliable = Redis.DefaultInstance

-- For throwaway data to speed things up
data InstCacheLRU

Then a Redis.Ref can be placed in the appropriate Redis instance:

data VisitorCount = VisitorCount

instance Redis.Ref VisitorCount where
  type ValueType VisitorCount = Integer
  type RefInstance VisitorCount = InstReliable  -- reliable
  toIdentifier VisitorCount = "visitor_count"

data CachedFile = CachedFile FilePath

instance Redis.Ref CachedFile where
  type ValueType CachedFile = ByteString
  type RefInstance CachedFile = InstCacheLRU  -- evicted as necessary
  toIdentifier (CachedFile path) = Redis.colonSep ["cached_files", BS.pack path]

Finally, all connections and the Redis monad are tagged by the Redis instance, best illustrated by this type signature:

run :: MonadIO m => Pool inst -> RedisM inst a -> m a

There are two consequences. First, all operations in a RedisM computation must work with the same instance. Second, it is practical to have a wrapper function around run that automatically selects the right connection Pool from the environment, based on the Redis instance specified in the type of the RedisM computation.


In Haskell, records can be nested arbitrarily. You can have a record that contains some fields alongside another couple of records, which themselves contain arbitrarily nested maps and lists of further records.

Redis does not support such arbitrary nesting while being able to access and manipulate the inner structures like you would a top-level one (e.g. increment a counter deep in the structure). However, we can often work around this limitation by distributing the datastructure over a number of separate Redis keys. For example, consider a case where each visitor should be associated with the number of visits, the number of clicks, and the set of their favourite songs. Here we can keep the visits+clicks in one record reference per visitor, and the set of favourites in another reference, again per visitor. However, we still need to read the visits+clicks separately from the favourites. This is not just an impediment to convenience: two separate reads may lead to a race condition, unless we run them in a transaction.

Since redis-schema encourages compositionality, it is possible to make data structures that gather (or scatter) all their data across Redis automatically, without having to manipulate every component separately every time. Here's an example.

-- VisitorFields are visits and clicks.
data VisitorField :: * -> * where
  Visits :: VisitorField Int
  Clicks :: VisitorField Int

-- VisitorStats is a record with VisitorFields
data VisitorStats = VisitorStats VisitorId
instance Redis.Ref VisitorStats where
  type ValueType VisitorStats = Redis.Record VisitorField
  toIdentifier = {- ...omitted... -}

-- A separate reference to the favourite songs.
data FavouriteSongs = FavouriteSongs VisitorId
instance Redis.Ref FavouriteSongs where
  type ValueType FavouriteSongs = Set SongId
  toIdentifier = {- ...omitted... -}

-- Finally, here's our composite record that we want to read/write atomically.
data VisitorInfo = VisitorInfo
  { viVisits :: Int
  , viClicks :: Int
  , viFavouriteSongs :: Set SongId

instance Redis.Value Redis.DefaultInstance VisitorInfo where
  type Identifier VisitorInfo = VisitorId

  txValGet visitorId = do
    visits <- fromMaybe 0 <$> Redis.txGet (VisitorStats visitorId :. Visits)
    clicks <- fromMaybe 0 <$> Redis.txGet (VisitorStats visitorId :. Clicks)
    favourites <- fromMaybe Set.empty <$> Redis.txGet (FavouriteSongs visitorId)
    return $ Just VisitorInfo
      { viVisits = visits
      , viClicks = clicks
      , viFavourites = favourites

  txValSet visitorId vi = do
    Redis.txSet (VisitorStats visitorId :. Visits) (viVisits vi)
    Redis.txSet (VisitorStats visitorId :. Clicks) (viClicks vi)
    Redis.txSet (FavouriteSongs visitorId) (viFavourites vi)

  txValDelete visitorId = do
    Redis.txDelete (VisitorStats visitorId)
    Redis.txDelete (FavouriteSongs visitorId)

  {- etc. -}

It's a bit of a boilerplate, but now all the scatter/gather code is packed in the Value instance, it's safe and it composes. Moreover, using let-bound shorthand functions for common expressions, the repetition can be greatly minimised.

Aside: references

A reference to VisitorInfo would look as follows.

data VisitorInfoRef = VisitorInfoFor VisitorId

instance Redis.Ref VisitorInfoRef where
  type ValueType VisitorInfoRef = VisitorInfo
  toIdentifier (VisitorInfoFor visitorId) = visitorId

Meta-records demonstrate why reference ADTs are more flexible than bytestring keys. Since VisitorInfo is identified by VisitorId, as determined by the associated type family Identifier, it would be impractical to extract VisitorId from a ByteString reference.

More fundamentally, a meta-record is not associated with any single key in Redis so there is no bytestring key to speak of -- and that's why we used VisitorId to identify the meta-record above instead.

We could approach the bytestring as the prefix of all keys that constitute the meta-record but that's less flexible than the ADT approach, which lets us extract the components of the key and rearrange them as we see fit. The optimal arrangement of data in Redis may not coincide with a single fixed bytestring key prefix.

Aside: instances

Looking back at this instance head:

instance Redis.Value Redis.DefaultInstance VisitorInfo where

We see that unlike in the usual case, this Value instance has been declared specifically for DefaultInstance. The reason is that the definition of the Value instance for VisitorInfo accesses Redis refs VisitorStats and FavouriteSongs, and these refs are linked to DefaultInstance.

Since every Redis Ref must be linked to a specific Redis instance, and cannot be polymorphic in the instance (its purpose is to give a path to the variable, as discussed), all meta-records that access them under the hood must be declared for that particular instance. Consequently, all Refs that make up a meta-record must be linked to the same Redis instance.



Locks are implemented in Database.Redis.Schema.Lock. The basic type is the exclusive lock; the shared lock is implemented using an exclusive lock. Hence the shared lock is also slower, and it's sometimes better to use an exclusive lock, even though a shared lock would be sufficient.

The library does not export much API; the main points of interest are functions withExclusiveLock and withShareableLock, which bracket a synchronised operation.

withExclusiveLock ::
  ( MonadCatch m, MonadThrow m, MonadMask m, MonadIO m
  , Redis.Ref ref, Redis.ValueType ref ~ ExclusiveLock
  => Redis.Pool (Redis.RefInstance ref)
  -> LockParams  -- ^ Params of the lock, such as timeouts or TTL.
  -> ref         -- ^ Lock ref
  -> m a         -- ^ The action to perform under lock
  -> m a

Another purpose of Database.Redis.Schema.Lock is to demonstrate how a library can be implemented on top of Database.Redis.Schema.

Remote jobs

Sadly, this library has not been published yet. We'd like to, though.

Future work

  • Reading numeric types in Redis never returns Nothing; they'll return Just 0 instead. Perhaps the return types could reflect that somehow.

  • Different Redis Values sometimes support different operations, as briefly discussed at non-simple values. We may want to split Value into multiple type classes, depending on the supported operations.

  • Records cannot be read/written as a whole. The only reason is that we did not need it, and thus opted to avoid all the type-level machinery coming with extensible records. However, adopting an established library like vinyl as an optional dependency might be worth it.


BSD 3-clause.