franz: Append-only database

[ bsd3, database, library, program ] [ Propose Tags ]
Versions [RSS] 0.2.1, 0.3,, 0.4, 0.5, 0.5.1, 0.5.2, 0.5.3 (info)
Change log
Dependencies base (>=4.13 && <5), bytestring, cereal, concurrent-resource-map (>=0.2 && <0.3), containers, cpu, deepseq, directory, exceptions, fast-builder (>= && <0.2), filepath, franz, fsnotify, hashable, mtl, network, optparse-applicative, process, retry, sendfile, stm, stm-delay, temporary, text, transformers, unboxed-ref, unordered-containers, vector [details]
License BSD-3-Clause
Copyright Copyright (c) 2022 Fumiaki Kinoshita
Author Fumiaki Kinoshita
Category Database
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Source repo head: git clone
Uploaded by FumiakiKinoshita at 2022-01-14T04:01:14Z
Distributions NixOS:0.5.3
Executables franzd, franz
Downloads 814 total (5 in the last 30 days)
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Status Docs available [build log]
Last success reported on 2022-01-14 [all 1 reports]

Readme for franz-0.5.3

[back to package description]


Haskell CI

Franz is an append-only container format, forked from liszt.

Each stream is stored as a pair of concatenated payloads with an array of their byte offsets.

Design requirements

  • The writer must be integrated so that no server failure blocks the application.
  • There's a way to archive streams into one file.
  • There's a way to fetch data in a period of time efficiently.
    • In particular, the server should be able to search by timestamps, rather than performing binary search by the client.
  • The server must not take too long to restart.


  • Instances of franzd are running on a remote server and a local gateway.
  • The application produces franz files locally using the writer API.
  • On the local gateway, a proxy connects to the remote server and downsamples the file.
  • Clients can connect to the gateway. When needed, they may also connect directly to the remote server.

Format details

The on-disk representation of a franz stream comprises the following files:

  • payloads: concatenated payloads
  • offsets: A sequence of N-tuples of 64-bit little endian integers representing
    • 0th: byte offsets of payloads
    • nth, n ∈ [1..N]: the value of nth index, where N is the number of index names
  • indices: Line-separated list of index names. An index represents a 64 bit little-endian integer attached to a payload.

A stream is stored as a directory containing the files above.

The Franz reader also supports a squashfs image, provided that the content is a valid franz stream.


franzd is a read-only server which follows franz files and gives access on wire. Where to look for streams can be specified as a command-line argument, separately for live streams and squashfs images.

Each stream is stored as a pair of concatenated payloads with an array of their byte offsets.

franzd --live /path/to/live --archive /path/to/archive

Why not Kafka

  • None of us want to debug/contribute to kafka.
  • Trying to read from a stream creates the stream (this is a problem due to the way we name our streams and rely on latest)
  • Can't delete a stream as long as there is a reader existing
  • Lack of understanding of it (but there is a lot of good documentation out there. recommended)
  • Kafka takes a long time to start up after an abnormal shutdown on the server side
  • Supports clustering but sometimes makes the reliability of the whole system worse

Client API

Database.Franz.Client exposes the client API.

You can obtain a Connection to a remote franz file with withConnection. It tries to mount a squashfs image at path. This is shared between connections, and unmounts when the last client closes the connection.

toFranzPath :: String -> Either String FranzPath

withConnection :: (MonadIO m, MonadMask m)
  => FranzPath
  -> (Connection -> m r) -> m r
data RequestType = AllItems | LastItem deriving (Show, Generic)

data ItemRef = BySeqNum !Int -- ^ sequential number
  | ByIndex !IndexName Int -- ^ index name and value

data Query = Query
  { reqStream :: !StreamName
  , reqFrom :: !ItemRef -- ^ name of the index to search
  , reqTo :: !ItemRef -- ^ name of the index to search
  , reqType :: !RequestType
  } deriving (Show, Generic)

-- | When it is 'Right', it blocks until the content is available on the server.
type Response = Either Contents (STM Contents)

fetch :: Connection
  -> Query
  -> (STM Response -> IO r)
  -- ^ running the STM action blocks until the response arrives
  -> IO r

Contents is a datatype containing triples of sequential numbers, indices and payloads. It is recommended to import Database.Franz.Contents qualified.

data Contents

data Item = Item
  { seqNo :: !Int
  , indices :: !(U.Vector Int64)
  , payload :: !B.ByteString
  } deriving (Show, Eq)

toList :: Contents -> [Item]

Writer API

Database.Franz.Writer provides the writer interface.

withWriter :: Foldable f
  => f String
  -> FilePath
  -> (WriterHandle f -> IO a)
  -> IO a

withWriter acquires a handle. The f String parameter represents a list of index names.

write :: Foldable f
  => WriterHandle f
  -> f Int64 -- ^ index values
  -> Builder -- ^ payload
  -> IO Int
flush :: WriterHandle f -> IO ()

write appends a payload to the stream. f Int64 is the list of index values, and it has to have the same length as the one you specified in withWriter. Changes will be written to disk whenever the buffer gets full or you call flush.

If you don't need the index mechanism, you can use Database.Franz.Writer.Simple instead.