In Flight to Apache Cassandra Days

Another flight down to the bay area. Today it was Alaska Air Flight 330 from Seattle to San Jose. It was mostly a clear day at start, with a solid layer of bright cloud cover exiting Washington on the way down to Oregon. As we crossed over that arbitrary human defined line of Oregon and California, nature presented us with even more perfectly glowing bright cloud cover. This is Cascadia after all and it’s basically covered in clouds the majority of the time. On departure I also noted Bremerton has three aircraft carriers in dock along with a normal plethora of other naval vessels. The amount of naval power in the area is always pretty awe inspiring.

Why was I in flight once again? I am heading down to teach with Jeff Carpenter (@jscarp) at the South Bay Cassandra User Group‘s Cassandra Day events. These are single day events, where we cover an introduction to Apache Cassandra, concepts of data-modeling for Apache Cassandra, and then a wrap up of application development with the respective drivers. Now if you aren’t in Santa Clara – or ya know Menlo Park, San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, or well, the surrounding area – there are other days scheduled! We also have days scheduled that aren’t even located in the Bay, so check out the full list of events:

https://www.datastax.com/company/events

NOTE: If you’re interested in Seattle, Portland, or Vancouver BC area events, scroll all the way down to the end of this blog entry I’ve got more details for you!

Introduction to Apache Cassandra

In the introduction to Apache Cassandra we cover an overview of the architecture and features of the distributed database. Starting off with a definition of a distributed hash ring and how this is used in Apache Cassandra to provide data storage across the nodes that make up the Apache Cassandra Database. Moving on we’ll get into the other capabilities, trade offs of data replication between nodes, configuration settings, and a lot more.

Data Modeling

For data modeling we start off with a short review of relational database data modeling to provide something that is more familiar for many people. From this, we then build off of many concepts around denormalization, breaking apart various levels of normalization forms, and then get into the thinking and approach behind modeling an application in a distributed database and go deeper with details around Apache Cassandra.

Application Development

For application development, focusing around the Java language and technology stack, we’ll start with some concepts around how the drivers connect to and work with Apache Cassandra. We’ll open up some code too, get into some code changes and additions, to get more familiar with how the driver works and some of the capabilities of the driver itself.

Most of the code, concepts, and related material in use around Java and the tech stack are directly usable on C#, JavaScript, and even using the community open source Go CQL Library.

Coming soon…

In the coming weeks (ok, maybe a month or two) we’ll be updating this material for Apache Cassandra v4 and additionally, I’m aiming to line up some half day and probably some full day workshops in the Cascadian region: Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver BC. They’ll be almost identical except for a few tweaks, but you’ll have to RSVP to find out the details!

Also, if you’re in between any of those cities and have a stop on the Amtrak Cascades, let me know and we’ll get an RSVP list started for your city and see if we can get the required attendee count to make it official!

My Day @ Seattle Mobile Hackathon (#mobileappSEA) The Morning

I arrived around 8:20am “ish”. @juliaferraioli & cohort were registering people. The @AWSstartups crew was there including @Jeffbarr, also @shanley, @Alex_donn, @JamesPearce, and others were already getting things put together. I decided to happily plunk down in a chair and get going. I had zero plan, but only a single goal. Make a web app that isn’t device proprietary, but is mobile centric, and get it live on the web.

My initial dev machine load that I intended to get this accomplished with I posted yesterday.  So here’s my first push…

First a quick run thru of WebStorm and RubyMine IDEs.

{Edited this part on Apr 20th to provider more information regarding Java Installation} If you’re on Ubuntu, open up the Synaptic Package Manager and search for java6, which should bring up the sun-java6-jre.  Mark it for installation and apply so that the JDK will install with the required components.  If the Java 6 isn’t available in the Synaptic Package Manager open up the Settings -> Repositories, and then the Software Sources Dialog will appear.  Click on the Other Software tab and select Canonical Partners.  Close the dialog and Reload the packages.  When a search is done now, the sun-java6-jdk should be available.

Next edit the profile at /etc/profile by entering the command:

[sourcecode language=”bash”]
sudo gedit /etc/profile
[/sourcecode]

Add the following to the bottom of the file:

[sourcecode language=”bash”]
export JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun
export JDK_HOME=$JAVA_HOME
export RUBYMINE_JDK=$JAVA_HOME
[/sourcecode]

After this is done, restart your X-Windows/Gnome Instance or simply just reboot. I don’t really like to suggest rebooting since it usually isn’t needed with Linux. 😉

Unzip both packages downloaded from Jetbrains.

[sourcecode language=”bash”]
tar -xvzf WebStorm-2.0.1.tar.gz
tar -xvzf RubyMine-3.1.1.tar.gz
[/sourcecode]

You may want to put your new applications into a specific directory. I placed mine in a folder I made within my user folder called apps. Just a little easier to keep up with things that way.

Creating a Launcher
Creating a Launcher

Once these are unzipped right click on your desktop and choose “Create Launcher…”. Click on the Browser to bring up a folder navigation dialog, find the bin directory of the app your creating a launcher for. In my case it is /home/adron/apps/WebStorm-103.243/bin/ which has the WebStorm App Files needed for the Launcher. Find the WebStorm.sh file and select it.

Once the app file is selected then check ok. For a more step by step, check out Tomi’s Blog Entry.  Do the same for both apps.

With both of those apps, simply launch the IDE and enter your key (or select 30 day trial) and you’re up and running.

RubyMine Startup (click for full size image)
RubyMine Startup (click for full size image)

With the awesome Jetbrains IDEs installed I was really ready to dive into something.  Next I went straight for a new project in RubyMine.  File -> New or just click on the Create New Project on the main RubyMine Startup Screen.

New Project Dialog
New Project Dialog

Pick your name, I’ve decided to go for some sushi with a project type of Rails application, and click enter.  The next dialog that comes up asks some standard settings information options.

Rails Settings
Rails Settings

If you click on the ellipsis button to the right of the Rails Version, a prompt will come up to select which rails version you want to use.  Ruby Mine will then install that version if it isn’t installed already.

Install Rails Version
Install Rails Version

I decided to check “Generate RDoc and ri documentation” also, and then clicked on Install.

Installing Rails Version
Installing Rails Version

Once the options and settings are made for the new project, click to create the project.  RubyMine will work for a few seconds, maybe 20 or 30 on slower machines, and eventually the IDE will display with the newly created project.  When I created it the first time I was informed I was missing some gems.

RubyMine Project (Click for larger image)
RubyMine Project (Click for larger image)

I clicked on the More… option near the Install and attach missing gems using bundler… warning to get the additional gems I needed.  This brings up a dialog specific to maintaining the Ruby SDK and Gems.

Settings (Click for larger image)
Settings (Click for larger image)

I clicked on Install Gems and found the the sqllite3 and sqllite3-ruby gems to install.  I clicked on install and then apply and OK (ok, old habit, not sure WHY apply gets put on these dialogs) on the settings screen.  Once done getting those last bits installed click on the Development: SomeSushi (or whatever you’ve named the project) and select Edit Configurations.

Development: SomeSushi
Development: SomeSushi

On the Edit Configurations Dialog screen check Run Browser from the bottom of the options and click on OK.  Then click on run button (the green play button on the button bar) to run the Ruby on Rails Web Application.  Within a second or two you’ll see the default Ruby on Rails + RubyMine Run the site in the browser.

RubyMine Ruby on Rails Default Web App
RubyMine Ruby on Rails Default Web App

At this point in the day I took a break, ate lunch, talked to @AWSstartups crew @rodica & @Jeffbarr.  Introduced myself formally in person to @shanley and chit chatted about our respective efforts with @lazycoder and @juliaferraioli.  The food was great, as in, it was actually really good.  Not some random junk.  Super tender chicken with spaghetti sauce and little round funny shaped pastas (I’m sure there is an appropriate name for em’).  I was honestly impressed by the food brought in.

After lunch I dived back in for the next phase of development.  For that though, I have another blog entry coming…  (stay tuned).