Datomic Cheat Sheet Series Getting Started

Get started with the essentials of Datomic from installing Datomic, running a transactor, working with the Datomic console, running the Datomic REPL, creating and restoring a database, creating a schema and furnishing it with data.

The goal of this series is to expose a collection of queries that I find useful that can be conveniently referenced in projects.

Overview (more)

In a nutshell, Datomic is a distributed database and implementation of Datalog, a declarative logic programming language often used as a query language for deductive databases. Datomic has ACID transactions, is immutable, queryable and flexible.

It's important to note that this cheat sheet series focuses on using the Datomic On-Prem solution with the Peer Library and Dev Storage components.

Getting started (more)

  1. Datomic requires the Java 7 or 8 SDK.
  2. Register a My Datomic account.
  3. Download the free version for testing.
  4. Extract the copy to a local path.
  5. Use the license sent to you via email.
cd /path/to/datomic/datomic-pro-0.9.5561

Run a transactor (more)

# Create a properties file from the template
/path/to/dev-transactor.properties config/samples/dev-transactor-templates.properties

# Add the license key sent to you via email
vi /path/to/dev-transactor.properties
license-key=<INSERT HERE>

# Start the transactor with dev storage
# Keep this process running
bin/transactor path/to/dev-transactor.properties

Datomic Console (more)

# New shell
/path/to/datomic/bin/console -p 8080 dev datomic:dev://localhost:4334/

Browse to http://localhost:8080/browse/.

Run the REPL (more)

/path/to/datomic/bin/repl #./repl
# Exit with CTRL + D

For an interactive REPL, create and run a new project.

lein new oxygen
vi oxygen/project.clj # use your favorite editor

:dependencies [[org.clojure/clojure "1.9.0"]
               [com.datomic/datomic-pro "0.9.5703"]]
:repositories [["my.datomic.com" {:url      "https://my.datomic.com/repo"
                                  :username "<username>"
                                  :password "<uuid>"}]]

lein repl
# Exit with CTRL + D

Use pro to access the dev protocol.

Create a database (more)

; Create a connection to an anonymous to an in-memory database
; https://github.com/Datomic/day-of-datomic/blob/master/src/datomic/samples/repl.clj
(require '[datomic.api :as d])
(def db-uri-base "datomic:mem://")
(let [uri (str db-uri-base (d/squuid))]
  (d/delete-database uri)
  (d/create-database uri)
  (d/connect uri)))
; Create a connection to a local storage database
(require '[datomic.api :as d])
(def db-uri "datomic:dev://localhost:4334/oxygen")
(d/create-database db-uri)
(def conn (d/connect db-uri))

Restore a database (more)

Grab a copy of the mbrainz 1968-1973 sample set to follow along with some of the examples throughout the cheat sheet series.

wget http://s3.amazonaws.com/mbrainz/datomic-mbrainz-1968-1973-backup-2014-10-15.tar -O mbrainz.tar
tar -xvf mbrainz.tar
pwd # get path/to/backup
bin/datomic restore-db file:///path/to/backup/mbrainz-1968-1973 datomic:dev://localhost:4334/mbrainz-1968-1973

Create a schema (more)

(require '[datomic.api :as d])
(def db-uri "datomic:dev://localhost:4334/oxygen")
(d/create-database db-uri)
(def conn (d/connect db-uri))

(def schema
  [{:db/ident :movie/reference
    :db/valueType :db.type/uuid
    :db/cardinality :db.cardinality/one
    :db/doc "uuid reference"}

    {:db/ident :movie/title
    :db/valueType :db.type/string
    :db/cardinality :db.cardinality/one
    :db/doc "The title of the movie"}

   {:db/ident :movie/genre
    :db/valueType :db.type/string
    :db/cardinality :db.cardinality/one
    :db/doc "The genre of the movie"}

   {:db/ident :movie/release-year
    :db/valueType :db.type/long
    :db/cardinality :db.cardinality/one
    :db/doc "The year the movie was released in theaters"}])

; Make sure the transactor is running before transacting on a connection.
@(d/transact conn schema)

; Verify the database schema
(def db (d/db conn))
(d/q '[:find ?e ?doc
       :where [?e :db/doc ?doc]] db)

Schema attributes (more)


Attribute Description
:db/ident Unique namespaced keyword <namespace>/<name>
:db/valueType Expressed keyword type value

Type values

Value type Description
:db.type/keyword Value type for keywords. Keywords are used as names, and are interned for efficiency. Keywords map to the native interned-name type in languages that support them.
:db.type/string Value type for strings.
:db.type/boolean Boolean value type.
:db.type/long Fixed integer value type. Same semantics as a Java long: 64 bits wide, two's complement binary representation.
:db.type/bigint Value type for arbitrary precision integers. Maps to java.math.BigInteger on Java platforms.
:db.type/float Floating point value type. Same semantics as a Java float: single-precision 32-bit IEEE 754 floating point.
:db.type/double Floating point value type. Same semantics as a Java double: double-precision 64-bit IEEE 754 floating point.
:db.type/bigdec Value type for arbitrary precision floating point numbers. Maps to java.math.BigDecimal on Java platforms.
:db.type/ref Value type for references. All references from one entity to another are through attributes with this value type.
:db.type/instant Value type for instants in time. Stored internally as a number of milliseconds since midnight, January 1, 1970 UTC. Maps to java.util.Date on Java platforms.
:db.type/uuid Value type for UUIDs. Maps to java.util.UUID on Java platforms.
:db.type/uri Value type for URIs. Maps to java.net.URI on Java platforms.
:db.type/bytes Value type for small binary data. Maps to byte array on Java platforms. See limitations.


Specifies whether an attribute associates a single value or set of values with an entity.

  • :db.cardinality/one
  • :db.cardinality/many

Adding data (more)

(require '[datomic.api :as d])
(def db-uri "datomic:dev://localhost:4334/oxygen")
(def conn (d/connect db-uri))

(def movies [{:movie/reference (d/squuid)
              :movie/title "The Goonies"
              :movie/genre "action/adventure"
              :movie/release-year 1985}

             {:movie/reference (d/squuid)
              :movie/title "Commando"
              :movie/genre "action/adventure"
              :movie/release-year 1985}

             {:movie/reference (d/squuid)
              :movie/title "Repo Man"
              :movie/genre "punk dystopia"
              :movie/release-year 1984}])

(d/transact conn movies)