Example: News Forum

To illustrate these concepts, we will walk through an example of using Readyset for a news forum application inspired by HackerNews.


First we define two tables to keep track of HackerNews stories and votes.

CREATE TABLE stories (id int, author text, title text, url text);

CREATE TABLE votes (user int, story_id int);


Next, we'll write a query that computes the vote count for each story and joins the vote counts with other story metadata such as the author, title, and ID.

SELECT id, author, title, url, vcount 
FROM stories 
JOIN (SELECT story_id, COUNT(*) AS vcount 
            FROM votes GROUP BY story_id)  
AS VoteCount 
ON VoteCount.story_id = WHERE = ?; 

Caching with Readyset

Traditional databases would compute the results of this query from scratch every time it was issued. Readyset takes a different approach and instead precomputes and incrementally maintains the results of this query for commonly read keys. To accomplish this, Readyset creates a streaming dataflow graph, as described in the previous section. At a high level, the dataflow graph would look as follows:

Vote Count

Under the hood, here's what some of the internal state might look like for this graph.

Vote Count Specific

Now, we’ll take a look at what happens when the data changes. Let’s say that we add a record to the Votes table to reflect the fact that Justin voted for the story with ID 2. This update would first be applied to the Votes base table at the root of the graph, and then be propagated through the graph, updating all children nodes along that way. The figure below shows the modified state at each node as the result of this write.

Write Prop

When performing a read (i.e., executing the prepared statement), we're essentially just doing a key-value lookup for the parameter value on the relevant column of the reader node.

prepread prepread2

In this case, we're doing a lookup for key 2 on the ID column of the reader node. These lookups are blazingly fast, since reader nodes are lock-free, in-memory data structures.