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From osishkin osishkin <>
Subject Re: Multi-type column values in single CF
Date Mon, 04 Jul 2011 09:08:30 GMT
I appreciate both your answers.
I'll use them soon.


On Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 11:48 AM, Silvère Lestang
<> wrote:
> We do pretty much the same thing here, dynamic column with a timestamp for
> column name and a different value type for each row. We use the
> serialization/deserialization classes provided with Hector and store the
> type of the value in the key of the row. Example of row key:
> "b6c8a1e7281761e62230ea76daa3d841#INT" => every values are Integer
> "7f30a6a2bbb1b921afc8216d8c5d9257#DOUBLE" => every values are Double
> ....
> If I'll have to do it again, I'll try to use (Dynamic)CompositeType for
> value or an equivalent mechanism as suggested by Roland.
> On 3 July 2011 15:07, Roland Gude <> wrote:
>> You could do the serialization for all your supported datatypes yourself
>> (many libraries for serialization are available and a pretty thorough
>> benchmarking for them can be found here:
>> and prepend the serialized
>> bytes with an identifier for your datatype.
>> This would not avoid casting though but would still be better performing
>> then serializing to strings as it is done in your example.
>> Prepending the values with the id seems to be better to me, because you
>> can be sure that a new insertion to some field overwrites the correct column
>> even if it changed the type.
>> -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
>> Von: osishkin osishkin []
>> Gesendet: Sonntag, 3. Juli 2011 13:52
>> An:
>> Betreff: Multi-type column values in single CF
>> Hi all,
>> I need to store column values that are of various data types in a
>> single column family, i.e I have column values that are integers,
>> others that are strings, and maybe more later. All column names are
>> strings (no comparator problem for me).
>> The thing is I need to store unstructured data - I do not have fixed
>> and known-in-advacne column names, so I can not use a fixed static map
>> for casting the values back to their original type on retrieval from
>> cassandra.
>> My immediate naive thought is to simply prefix every column name with
>> the type the value needs to be cast back to.
>> For example i'll do the follwing conversion to the columns of some key -
>> {'attr1': 'val1','attr2': 100}  ~> {'str_attr1' : 'val1', 'int_attr2' :
>> '100'}
>> and only then send it to cassandra. This way I know to what should I
>> cast it back.
>> But all this casting back and forth on the client side seems to me to
>> be very bad for performance.
>> Another option is to split the columns on dedicated column families
>> with mathcing validation types - a column family for integer values,
>> one for string, one for timestamp etc.
>> But that does not seem very efficient either (and worse for any
>> rollback mechanism), since now I have to perform several get calls on
>> multiple CFs where once I had only one.
>> I thought perhaps someone has encountered a similar situation in the
>> past, and can offer some advice on the best course of action.
>> Thank you,
>> Osi

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