Data Types

CassDataType objects are useful for describing the different values that can be stored in Cassandra, from primitive types to more complex composite types such as UDTs, tuples and collections. Data types can be retrieved from existing metadata found in schema, results, values or prepared statements or they can be constructed programmatically.

The following code snippets use the following type schema:

CREATE TYPE person (name text,
                    // Street address, zip code, state/province, and country
                    address frozen<tuple<text, int, text, text>>,
                    // Type and number
                    phone_numbers frozen<map<text, int>>);

Retrieving an Existing Data Type

Important: Any const [CassDataType]* object doesn’t need to be freed. Its lifetime is bound to the object it came from.

UDT data types can be retrieved using a CassSchemaMeta object. The resulting data type object can be used to construct a new [CassUserType] object using cass_user_type_new_from_data_type().

/* Get schema object (this should be cached) */
const CassSchemaMeta* schema_meta = cass_session_get_schema_meta(session);

/* Get the keyspace for the user defined type. It doesn't need to be freed */
const CassKeyspaceMeta* keyspace_meta =

/* This data type object doesn't need to be freed */
const DataType* person_data_type =
  cass_keyspace_meta_user_type_by_name(keyspace_meta, "person");

/* ... */

/* Schema object must be freed */

Data types can also be retrieved from CassResult, CassPrepared, and CassValue objects.

Programmatically Building a Data Type

Data types can also be programmatically constructed. This is useful for application that may have disabled schema metatdata.

CassDataType* person_data_type = cass_data_type_new_udt(3);
CassDataType* address_data_type = cass_data_type_new_type(4);
CassDataType* phone_numbers_data_type =

/* Street address, zip code, state/province, and country */
cass_data_type_add_sub_value_type(address_data_type, CASS_VALUE_TYPE_TEXT);
cass_data_type_add_sub_value_type(address_data_type, CASS_VALUE_TYPE_INT);
cass_data_type_add_sub_value_type(address_data_type, CASS_VALUE_TYPE_TEXT);
cass_data_type_add_sub_value_type(address_data_type, CASS_VALUE_TYPE_TEXT);

/* Phone type and number*/
cass_data_type_add_sub_value_type(phone_numbers_data_type, CASS_VALUE_TYPE_TEXT);
cass_data_type_add_sub_value_type(phone_numbers_data_type, CASS_VALUE_TYPE_INT);

/* Add fields to the person data type */
cass_data_type_add_sub_value_type_by_name(data_type, "name", CASS_VALUE_TYPE_TEXT);
cass_data_type_add_sub_data_type_by_name(data_type, "address", address_data_type);
cass_data_type_add_sub_value_type_by_name(data_type, "phone_numbers", phone_numbers_data_type);

/* ... */

/* Data types must be freed */

Creating UDTs, Tuples and Collections Using Data Types

Once the user type object has be retrieved or created manually it can be used to construct composite data types. The sub-types of a data type can be used to construct other nested types.

/* Construct a new UDT from a data type */
CassUserType* person = cass_user_type_new_from_data_type(person_data_type);

/* ... */

/* Construct a new tuple from a nested data type */
CassTuple* address =
     cass_data_type_sub_data_type_by_name(person_data_type, "address"));

/* ... */

/* Construct a new map collection from a nested data type */
CassCollection* phone_numbers =
    cass_data_type_sub_data_type_by_name(person_data_type, "phone_numbers"));

/* ... */

/* Add fields to the UDT */
cass_user_type_set_string_byte_by_name(person, "name", "Bob");
cass_user_type_set_user_type_by_name(person, "address", address);
cass_user_type_set_collection_by_name(person, "phone_numbers", phone_numbers);

/* ... */

/* UDT, tuple, and collection objects must be freed */