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Writing data

Instant uses a Firebase-inspired interface for mutations. We call our mutation language InstaML

Update

We use the update action to create entities.

db.transact([tx.goals[id()].update({ title: 'eat' })])

This creates a new goal with the following properties:

  • It's identified by a randomly generated id via the id() function.
  • It has an attribute title with value eat.

Similar to NoSQL, you don't need to use the same schema for each entity in a namespace. After creating the previous goal you can run the following:

db.transact([
  tx.goals[id()].update({
    priority: 'none',
    isSecret: true,
    value: 10,
    aList: [1, 2, 3],
    anObject: { foo: 'bar' },
  }),
])

You can store strings, numbers, booleans, arrays, and objects as values. You can also generate values via functions. Below is an example for picking a random goal title.

db.transact([
  tx.goals[id()].update({
    title: ['eat', sleepId, 'hack', 'repeat'][Math.floor(Math.random() * 4)],
  }),
])

The update action is also used for updating entities. Suppose we had created the following goal

const eatId = id()
db.transact([
  tx.goals[eatId].update({ priority: 'top', lastTimeEaten: 'Yesterday' }),
])

We eat some food and decide to update the goal. We can do that like so:

db.transact([tx.goals[eatId].update({ lastTimeEaten: 'Today' })])

This will only update the value of the lastTimeEaten attribute for entity eat.

Delete

The delete action is used for deleting entities.

db.transact([tx.goals[eatId].delete()])

You can generate an array of delete txs to delete all entities in a namespace



const { isLoading, error, data } = db.useQuery({goals: {}}
const { goals } = data;
...
db.transact(goals.map(g => tx.goals[g.id].delete()));

Calling delete on an entity also deletes its associations. So no need to worry about cleaning up previously created links.

link is used to create associations.

Suppose we create a goal and a todo.

db.transact([
  tx.todos[workoutId].update({ title: 'Go on a run' }),
  tx.goals[healthId].update({ title: 'Get fit!' }),
])

We can associate healthId with workoutId like so:

db.transact([tx.goals[healthId].link({ todos: workoutId })])

We could have done all this in one transact too via chaining transaction chunks.

db.transact([
  tx.todos[workoutId].update({ title: 'Go on a run' }),
  tx.goals[healthId].update({ title: 'Get fit!' }).link({ todos: workoutId }),
])

You can specify multiple ids in one link as well:

db.transact([
  tx.todos[workoutId].update({ title: 'Go on a run' }),
  tx.todos[proteinId].update({ title: 'Drink protein' }),
  tx.todos[sleepId].update({ title: 'Go to bed early' }),
  tx.goals[healthId]
    .update({ title: 'Get fit!' })
    .link({ todos: [workoutId, proteinId, sleepId] }),
])

Order matters when creating links.

db.transact([tx.goals[healthId].link({ todos: workoutId })])

This creates:

  • A forward link from entity healthId to entity workoutId via goals -> todos
  • A reverse link from entity workoutId to entity healthId via todos -> goals

We can query associations in both directions via these links

const { isLoading, error, data } = db.useQuery({
  goals: { todos: {} },
  todos: { goals: {} },
})

const { goals, todos } = data

Links can be removed via unlink

db.transact([tx.goals[healthId].unlink({ todos: workoutId })])

This removes both:

  • The forward link from entity health to entity workout
  • The reverse link from entity workout to entity health

We can unlink multiple ids too:

db.transact([
  tx.goals[healthId].unlink({ todos: [workoutId, proteinId, sleepId] }),
  tx.goals[workId].unlink({ todos: [standupId, reviewPRsId, focusId] }),
])

unlink can work in both directions. So this works:

db.transact([tx.goals[healthId].unlink({ todos: workoutId })])

And so does this!

db.transact([tx.todos[workoutId].unlink({ goals: healthId })])

tx

tx is a proxy object which creates transaction chunks to be commited via db.transact. It follows the format

tx.NAMESPACE_LABEL[GLOBAL_UNIQUE_IDENTIFER].ACTION(ACTION_SPECIFIC_DATA)
  • NAMESPACE_LABEL refers to the namespace to commit (e.g. goals, todos)
  • GLOBAL_UNIQUE_IDENTIFER is the id to look up in the namespace. This id must be a uuid and unique across all namespaces. You can use the id() function to generate a uuid for convenience.
  • ACTION is one of update, delete, link, unlink
  • ACTION_SPECIFIC_DATA depends on the action
    • update takes in an object of information to commit
    • delete is the only aciton that doesn't take in any data,
    • link and unlink takes an object of label-entity pairs to create/delete associations

More features to come!

Similar to InstaQL, We're actively building more features for InstaML. We love getting requests for new features!

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