propensive / mutatus   0.11.0

Apache License 2.0 Website GitHub

Lightweight API for working with cloud data

Scala versions: 2.12 2.11


Mutatus is an experimental library for working with cloud-based data stores. It currently provides an ORM layer for the Google Cloud Platform Datastore.


To use Mutatus, you should first set up a GCP account, and grant appropriate access rights to a service account, as described here. Mutatus uses the Java API provided by Google to handle the underlying communication to the GCP. This library expects to read the environment variable GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS, pointing to a local file containing those credentials, as a JSON file (which is downloadable through the GCP user interface).

Currently if any issues relating to credentials occur, an exception will be thrown by the Google API.

If that has been completed succesfully, that is the most difficult part of the instructions completed, and everything from now on is trivial.

To get started, first import the mutatus package,

import mutatus._

and create a case class you would like to store, for example,

case class Person(email: String, name: String, age: Int)

and use an implicit Id typeclass instance to choose a primary key for this data type. Picking a unique field should be adequate, for example,

implicit val personId: Id[Person] =

Note that the above concise syntax is only possible using SAM types in Scala 2.12.

You are now ready to save a value, which is as simple as calling .save() on a case class instance, like so,

Person("[email protected]", "Jon Pretty", 35).save()

If the save was successful, the value should now be in the GCP Datastore, with the "kind" (in GCP terminology, though this is really a "type") Person.

We can fetch all Persons from the Datastore by calling,


which returns an Iterator of Persons.

Serialization and Deserialization

Saving a case class value will use Magnolia to try to generate an Encoder for that type. This will be possible only if all of its parameters can be serialized. All Java primitive types and strings are supported.

Additionally, any nested case class instances can also be serialized, provided they meet the same conditions.

It will make most sense sometimes to compose datatypes directly inside others. But other times, it will be most useful to refer to values stored elsewhere. This can be done with Refs, which can also be included in a case class structure, and are serializable.

A Ref can only exist for a value which has already been saved into the Datastore, and it is indeed the return type of the save() method.

A Ref is not the datatype itself; it is merely a reference to it, and can be easily dereferenced by calling its' apply() method.

Here is an example using two case classes,

case class Company(id: String, name: String)
case class Person(id: String, name: String, company: Ref[Company])

where we may want to have several Persons all referring to the same Company. As usual, we need to ensure both types have IDs,

implicit val companyId: Id[Company] =
implicit val personId: Id[Person] =

We can now create and link some data, like so,

val company: Company = Company("propensive", "Propensive Ltd")
val companyRef: Ref[Company] =
val person: Person = Person("jonpretty", "Jon Pretty", companyRef)

and to access the Company value, via the Person, we would just call


This is very experimental software, and should not be considered production-ready.


There is currently no website for Mutatus.


Mutatus is made available under the Apache 2.0 license.