Hodur is a domain modeling approach and collection of libraries to Clojure. By using Hodur you can define your domain model as data, parse and validate it, and then either consume your model via an API or use one of the many plugins to help you achieve mechanical results faster and in a purely functional manner.

clojure, data, database, datomic, modeling, schema


Hodur Datomic Schema

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Hodur is a descriptive domain modeling approach and related collection of libraries for Clojure.

By using Hodur you can define your domain model as data, parse and validate it, and then either consume your model via an API making your apps respond to the defined model or use one of the many plugins to help you achieve mechanical, repetitive results faster and in a purely functional manner.


For a deeper insight into the motivations behind Hodur, check the motivation doc.

Getting Started

Hodur has a highly modular architecture. Hodur Engine is always required as it provides the meta-database functions and APIs consumed by plugins.

Therefore, refer the Hodur Engine’s Getting Started first and then return here for Datomic-specific setup.

After having set up hodur-engine as described above, we also need to add hodur/datomic-schema, a plugin that creates Datomic Schemas out of your model to the deps.edn file:

{:deps {hodur/engine         {:mvn/version "0.1.2"}
        hodur/datomic-schema {:mvn/version "0.1.0"}}}

You should require it any way you see fit:

(require '[hodur-datomic-schema.core :as hodur-datomic])

Let’s expand our Person model above by “tagging” the Person entity for Datomic. You can read more about the concept of tagging for plugins in the sessions below but, in short, this is the way we, model designers, use to specify which entities we want to be exposed to which plugins.

(def meta-db (hodur/init-schema
              '[^{:datomic/tag-recursive true}
                [^String first-name
                 ^String last-name]]))

The hodur-datomic-schema plugin exposes a function called schema that generates your model as a Datomic schema payload:

(def datomic-schema (hodur-datomic/schema meta-db))

When you inspect datomic-schema, this is what you have:

[{:db/ident       :person/first-name
  :db/valueType   :db.type/string
  :db/cardinality :db.cardinality/one}
 {:db/ident       :person/last-name
  :db/valueType   :db.type/string
  :db/cardinality :db.cardinality/one}]

Assuming the Datomic client API is bound to datomic, and your connection to the Database cluster is bound to db-conn, you can simply transact your schema like this:

(datomic/transact db-conn {:tx-data datomic-schema})

Model Definition

All Hodur plugins follow the Model Definition as described on Hodur Engine’s documentation.

Attribute Naming Convention

Datomic’s foundational modeling unit is the atom. An atom is the relationship between an Entity, an Attribute, its Value, and the Time at which the combination was valid.

With such an approach, Datomic attributes become central to the modeling effort and Hodur takes advantage of that.

A Datomic attribute such as :person/name will be defined in Hodur as the name attribute of the Person entity:

 [^String name]]

In the example above we are describing the Datomic attribute :person/name a little more than just by giving its name. By tagging it as a String, the schema generator understands the above as:

[{:db/ident :person/name
  :db/valueType :db.type/string
  :db/cardinality :db.cardinality/one}]

All naming conversions by this plugin are for a kebab-cased approach.

Attribute Properties

Datomic attributes can have a series of properties. In order to utilize them simple mark the Hodur attribute as described in the table below:

You can find more details about each of these on the Datomic documentation. Do be aware that the modeling options are slightly different between Datomic Cloud and Datomic On-Prem.

Hodur marker Datomic equivalent Notes
:datomic/unique :db/unique :db.unique/identity or :db.unique/value
:datomic/index :db/index true or false (default)
:datomic/fulltext :db/fulltext true or false (default)
:datomic/isComponent :db/isComponent true or false (default)
:datomic/noHistory :db/noHistory true or false (default)

Scalar Types and Finer Grained Control

The table below shows how Hodur’s primitive scalar types are mapped by default to Datomic scalar types:

If you need to have access to specific types you can override Hodur’s automatic behavior by using the marker :datomic/type:

Hodur Scalar Datomic Scalar
String :db.type/string
Float :db.type/float
Integer :db.type/long
Boolean :db.type/boolean
DateTime :db.type/instant
ID :db.type/uuid
 [^{:datomic/type :db.type/keyword}
  ^{:datomic/type :db.type/uri}
  ^{:datomic/type :db.type/double}
  ^{:datomic/type :db.type/bigdec}

Each of the attributes above are now using Datomic-specific scalars. The schema below is a result of the definition above:

[{:db/ident       :example-entity/bigdec-type
  :db/valueType   :db.type/bigdec
  :db/cardinality :db.cardinality/one}
 {:db/ident       :example-entity/double-type
  :db/valueType   :db.type/double,
  :db/cardinality :db.cardinality/one}
 {:db/ident       :example-entity/keyword-type
  :db/valueType   :db.type/keyword
  :db/cardinality :db.cardinality/one}
 {:db/ident       :example-entity/uri-type
  :db/valueType   :db.type/uri
  :db/cardinality :db.cardinality/one}]


The :cardinality marker is respected by Hodur Datomic Schema in relation to one vs. many. Datomic does not have the finer control that Hodur has so the plugin simply converts cardinalities to either :db.cardinality/one or :db.cardinality/many.

In the example below the attribute supervisor has a cardinality of 1 to an Employee while the attribute co-workers has a complex cardinality of 0 to n to potentially many Employee:

 [^String name
  ^Employee supervisor
  ^{:type Employee
    :cardinality [0 n]}

Hodur will infer that:

  • :employee/supervisor is a :db.type/ref of :db.cardinality/one
  • :employee/co-workers is a :db.type/ref of :db.cardinality/many

    The above definition leads to:

[{:db/ident       :employee/co-workers,
  :db/valueType   :db.type/ref,
  :db/cardinality :db.cardinality/many}
 {:db/ident       :employee/name,
  :db/valueType   :db.type/string,
  :db/cardinality :db.cardinality/one}
 {:db/ident       :employee/supervisor,
  :db/valueType   :db.type/ref,
  :db/cardinality :db.cardinality/one}]

Special Treatments

Interfaces and Unions

Interfaces proper do not exist in Datomic so they are ignored in Hodur’s Datomic plugin.

Unions are also do not exist in Datomic per se. Hodur’s Datomic plugin also ignores them. However, they can be emulated by the resulting Datomic schema. Datomic’s :db.type/ref will be used if you specify a union. Therefore, it is possible to relate that attribute to any kind of Datomic entity. Of course, this wouldn’t respect the boundaries of the union you specified but, if you really need unions, that’s a way to go about it.


The traditional way to use enums in Datomic is to create one :db/ident for each option.

This is the route that Hodur takes then. Example:

 [^String name
  ^Gender gender]


This is also a good example of how naming conventions are used:

[{:db/ident :gender/female}
 {:db/ident :gender/male}
 {:db/ident :gender/prefer-not-to-report}
 {:db/ident :person/gender
  :db/valueType :db.type/ref
  :db/cardinality :db.cardinality/one}
 {:db/ident :person/name
  :db/valueType :db.type/string
  :db/cardinality :db.cardinality/one}]


Field parameters do not exist on Datomic so they are ignored.

Documentation and Deprecation

Because of Datomic’s central modeling around attributes, only field documentation and deprecation is parsed. Enum entries can also be documented/deprecated as they are considered fields in Hodur.

All fields marked with :doc will immediately get a :db/doc entry in their Datomic schema definition.

If a field is marked as deprecated with :deprecation a deprecation note is added to Datomic’s :db/doc entry.


If you find a bug, submit a GitHub issue.


This project is looking for team members who can help this project succeed! If you are interested in becoming a team member please open an issue.


Copyright © 2018 Tiago Luchini

Distributed under the MIT License (see LICENSE).