Rest.li to Avro conversions

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Sometimes it is necessary to convert between Avro and Rest.li formats. That is, either converting schemas (Rest.li DataSchemas to Avro Schemas and vice versa) or converting data (Rest.li DataMaps to Avro GenericRecords and vice versa). Rest.li provides ways to do this using the data-avro module.

Converting Schemas

The key class for converting schemas is the SchemaTranslator class.

Converting Avro to Rest.li

To convert from Avro to Rest.li, you will use the avroToDataSchema methods in SchemaTranslator. The default method takes in only the Avro schema you wish to convert as input:

com.linkedin.data.avro.SchemaTranslator.avroToDataSchema(avroSchema);

This schema can either be a stringified version of the Schema or an org.apache.avro.Schema.

There is also a similar method that also accepts an AvroToDataSchemaTranslationMode. Generally, this method doesn’t need to be used. However, if you have embedded your rest.li schema within your Avro schema, and you can use this with the AvroToDataSchemaTranslationMode to speed up the translation process. This is normally done when translating from Rest.li format to Avro format. See the section for converting from Rest.li to Avro to learn more about this.

Converting Rest.li to Avro

To convert from Rest.li to Avro, you will use the dataToAvroSchema methods in SchemaTranslator. Like the avroToDataSchema method, it can take in either a stringified restli schema, or a DataSchema, and, optionally, a DataToAvroSchemaTranslationOptions

com.linkedin.data.avro.SchemaTranslator.dataToAvroSchema(dataSchema);
com.linkedin.data.avro.SchemaTranslator.dataToAvroSchema(dataSchema, translationOptions);

DataToAvroSchemaTranslationOptions has three parts: the translation mode OptionalDefaultMode, the JSON style JsonBuilder.Pretty, and the schema embedding mode EmbedSchemaMode.

OptionalDefaultMode determines how defaults are translated into Rest.li format. Since Avro requires that a union’s default value always be of the same type as the first member type of the union, if a type is not consistently initialized with a single default type, translations may encounter problems. By default this value is set to TRANSLATE_DEFAULT, but if your translations are encountering issues around default values, you may wish to set this to TRANSLATE_TO_NULL, which will cause all optional fields with a default value to have their default value set to null in the Avro translation.

JsonBuilder.Pretty simply sets the format of the output JSON. By default, this is set to COMPACT.

EmbedSchemaMode determines whether or not to embed the original Rest.li schema into the resulting Avro schema. This can speed translation back (or make a translation back more accurate) to Rest.li format with the correct settings passed to the avroToDataSchema method. By default, this is set to NONE.

Converting Data

The key class for converting data is the DataTranslator class.

Converting Avro to Rest.li

To convert from Avro to Rest.li, you will use the genericRecordToDataMap method in DataTranslator. You’ll need the Avro GenericRecord you are converting, the Avro Schema the GenericRecord conforms to, and the Rest.li RecordDataSchema of the Rest.li type you are converting to:

com.linkedin.data.avro.DataTranslator.genericRecordToDataMap(genericRecord, recordDataSchema, avroSchema);

There are no versions of this method that accept any special options.

Converting Rest.li to Avro

To convert from Rest.li to Avro, you will use the dataMapToGenericRecord methods in DataTranslator. You will need the Rest.li DataMap you are converting, the RecordDataTemplate your DataMap conforms to, and, optionally, the Avro Schema you are converting your data to. If you do not pass in an Avro Schema, then the schema translator will be used to convert your passed in RecordDataSchema to an Avro Schema, using default settings.

com.linkedin.data.avro.DataTranslator(dataMap, dataSchema);
com.linkedin.data.avro.DataTranslator(dataMap, dataSchema, avroSchema);

Automatically generating avro schemas as part of a build

Rest.li will generate avro schemas for all your pegasus schemas (.pdsc files) automatically if the build is configured to enable this.

See Gradle generateAvroSchema Task for details on how to enable.

FAQ

How do I get the RecordDataSchema of a particular Record type?

The RecordDataSchema field of generated Record classes are private, so you cannot get them directly. However, there is a helper method in com.linkedin.data.template.DataTemplateUtil called getSchema that can help you get the Schema. Simply pass in the class of the Record and it will return a basic DataSchema. If you know this Schema is a RecordDataSchema, you can safely cast the result to RecordDataSchema.

(RecordDataSchema)com.linkedin.data.template.DataTemplateUtil.getSchema(MyRecord.class);