I’m pleased to announce the release of a new library for Onyx: onyx-local-rt. onyx-local-rt is an alternate runtime for Onyx that is pure and deterministic. This runtime, as the name suggests, differs from the distributed runtime in that it only runs locally. onyx-local-rt has no dependencies aside from Onyx itself, supports nearly the full functional API, and is capable of running in ClojureScript.

Backing up for a moment, we can break Onyx down into two pieces: a programming model, and a runtime. The programming model (workflows, catalogs, lifecycles, flow conditions, windows, and triggers) is itself an information model. That is, the means by which Onyx programs communicate their instructions are solely through data structures. Onyx’s programming model, by consequence, makes it easy to execute jobs on any platform that adheres to the published information model.

For most users, the distributed runtime works fine. The majority of developers that are using Onyx require a solution that is very high performance, resilient to faults, and widely extensible to other databases and storage engines. However, we are increasingly seeing larger number of users who would like to use Onyx’s programming model without engaging it in a distributed context. For use cases where fault tolerance isn’t requirement, onyx-local-rt offers a very simple way to run Onyx programs as easily as any other Clojure program.

One particularly interesting use case for onyx-local-rt is testing. Executing a test with set up and tear down on the distributed, in-memory Onyx components takes ~800 milliseconds on my MacBook Pro. Executing that same test takes under 15 milliseconds with onyx-local-rt. In some sense, onyx-local-rt is the ultimate repl tool. Iterate on your Onyx programs for functional correctness using the local runtime, then switch to the distributed runtime when you’re ready to tune parallelism and integrate with distributed storage.

onyx-local-rt is dead easy to use. Call init with an Onyx job. Add new segments to an input with add-segment. Transition the runtime step-by-step into the future by calling tick, or as a convenience, invoke drain, which will call tick on your behalf until all inflight messages have completed their path through the job. Using new-segment in conjunction with drain allows for integrating with custom, user-implemented fault handling. Call tick or drain as frequently (or infrequently) as you’d like - thus giving you maximum control of resource consumption for performance.

Try it out (Can I say it again? It works in ClojureScript, too!):

(:require [onyx-local-rt.api :as api])

;; ^:export the function if using in ClojureScript.
(defn ^:export my-inc [segment]
  (update-in segment [:n] inc))

(def job
  {:workflow [[:in :inc] [:inc :out]]
   :catalog [{:onyx/name :in
              :onyx/type :input
              :onyx/batch-size 20}
             {:onyx/name :inc
              :onyx/type :function
              :onyx/fn ::my-inc
              :onyx/batch-size 20}
             {:onyx/name :out
              :onyx/type :output
              :onyx/batch-size 20}]
   :lifecycles []})

 (-> (api/init job)
     (api/new-segment :in {:n 41})
     (api/new-segment :in {:n 84})

;; =>
;; {:next-action :lifecycle/start-task?,
;;  :tasks
;;  {:in {:inbox []},
;;   :inc {:inbox []},
;;   :out {:inbox [], :outputs [{:n 42} {:n 85}]}}}

We hope that onyx-local-rt will serve as a fundamental tool for developing Onyx programs in the future. Keep rocking!