Better Riak Client (better-riak-client)

better-riak-client is an improved version of riak-ruby-client, the official Ruby client/toolkit for Riak, Basho's distributed database that contains a basic wrapper around typical operations, including bucket manipulation, object CRUD, link-walking, and map-reduce.

Improvements vs. riak-ruby-client

To date, the improvements include:

  • Produce a much smaller .gem file. (84KiB instead of 17MiB!)
  • Allow you to verify that the SSL certificate received from Riak is not simply valid but is in fact the expected certificate. (This functionality exists in riak-ruby-client but is broken.)

We will be tracking upstream changes, and including them as appropriate.

Release 1.0.5 corresponds to riak-ruby-client v.1.0.4, plus changes on master as of 2012-10-09. See for details.


better-riak-client requires i18n, builder, beefcake, and multi_json. For higher performance on HTTP requests, install the excon gem. The cache store implementation requires ActiveSupport 3 or later.

Development dependencies are handled with bundler. Install bundler (gem install bundler) and run this command in each sub-project to get started:

$ bundle install

Run the RSpec suite using bundle exec:

$ bundle exec rake

Basic Example

require 'riak'

# Create a client interface
client =

# Create a client interface that uses Excon
client = => :Excon)

# Create a client that uses Protocol Buffers
client = => "pbc")

# Automatically balance between multiple nodes
client = => [
  {:host => ''},
  {:host => '', :pb_port => 1234},
  {:host => '', :http_port => 5678}

# Retrieve a bucket
bucket = client.bucket("doc")  # a Riak::Bucket

# Get an object from the bucket
object = bucket.get_or_new("index.html")   # a Riak::RObject

# Change the object's data and save
object.raw_data = "<html><body>Hello, world!</body></html>"
object.content_type = "text/html"

# Reload an object you already have
object.reload                  # Works if you have the key and vclock, using conditional GET
object.reload :force => true   # Reloads whether you have the vclock or not

# Access more like a hash, client[bucket][key]
client['doc']['index.html']   # the Riak::RObject

# Create a new object
new_one =, "application.js")
new_one.content_type = "application/javascript" # You must set the content type.
new_one.raw_data = "alert('Hello, World!')"

Map-Reduce Example

# Assuming you've already instantiated a client, get the album titles for The Beatles
results =
                link(:bucket => "albums").
                map("function(v){ return [JSON.parse(v.values[0].data).title]; }", :keep => true).run

p results # => ["Please Please Me", "With The Beatles", "A Hard Day's Night",
          #     "Beatles For Sale", "Help!", "Rubber Soul",
          #     "Revolver", "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", "Magical Mystery Tour",
          #     "The Beatles", "Yellow Submarine", "Abbey Road", "Let It Be"]

Riak Search Examples

For more information about Riak Search, see the Basho wiki.

# Create a client, specifying the Solr-compatible endpoint
# When connecting to Riak 0.14 and later, the Solr endpoint configuration option is not necessary.
client = :solr => "/solr"

# Search the default index for documents
result ="title:Yesterday") # Returns a vivified JSON object
                                          # containing 'responseHeaders' and 'response' keys
result['response']['numFound'] # total number of results
result['response']['start']    # offset into the total result set
result['response']['docs']     # the list of indexed documents

# Search the 'users' index for documents"users", "name:Sean")

# Add a document to an index
client.index("users", {:id => "[email protected]", :name => "Sean Cribbs"}) # adds to the 'users' index

client.index({:id => "index.html", :content => "Hello, world!"}) # adds to the default index

client.index({:id => 1, :name => "one"}, {:id => 2, :name => "two"}) # adds multiple docs

# Remove document(s) from an index
client.remove({:id => 1})             # removes the document with ID 1
client.remove({:query => "archived"}) # removes all documents matching query
client.remove({:id => 1}, {:id => 5}) # removes multiple docs

client.remove("users", {:id => "[email protected]"}) # removes from the 'users' index

# Seed MapReduce with search results
        map("Riak.mapValuesJson", :keep => true).

# Detect whether a bucket has auto-indexing

# Enable auto-indexing on a bucket

# Disable auto-indexing on a bucket

How to Contribute

  • Fork the project on Github. If you have already forked, use git pull --rebase to reapply your changes on top of the mainline. Example:

    $ git checkout master
    $ git pull --rebase cloudability master
  • Create a topic branch. If you've already created a topic branch, rebase it on top of changes from the mainline "master" branch. Examples:

    • New branch:

      $ git checkout -b topic
    • Existing branch:

      $ git rebase master
  • Ensure you can run the RSpec suite (see "Getting RSpec Working").

  • Write an RSpec example or set of examples that demonstrate the necessity and validity of your changes. Patches without specs will most often be ignored. Just do it, you'll thank me later. Documentation patches need no specs, of course.

  • Make your feature addition or bug fix. Make your specs and stories pass (green).

  • Run the suite using multiruby or rvm to ensure cross-version compatibility.

  • Cleanup any trailing whitespace in your code (try @[email protected] in Emacs, or "Remove Trailing Spaces in Document" in the "Text" bundle in Textmate). You can use the clean_whitespace Rake task if you like.

  • Commit, do not mess with Rakefile. If related to an existing issue in the tracker, include "Closes #X" in the commit message (where X is the issue number).

  • Send a pull request to the Basho repository.

Getting RSpec Working

  1. Make sure Riak is installed properly.
  2. Create a spec/support/test_server.yml file -- see spec/support/test_server.yml.example for guidance here.

From here, you should be able to run the RSpec suite without issue. Please get in touch with me ([email protected]) if you still have problems.

Copyright ©2010-2012 Sean Cribbs and Basho Technologies, Inc. Improvements Copyright ©2012 Cloudability Inc.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

Auxillary Licenses

The included photo (spec/fixtures/cat.jpg) is Copyright ©2009 Sean Cribbs, and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 license. "Creative Commons"