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“For on one side lay Scylla and on the other divine Charybdis terribly sucked down the salt water of the sea. Verily whenever she belched it forth, like a cauldron on a great fire she would seethe and bubble in utter turmoil, and high over head the spray would fall on the tops of both the cliffs.” -Homer


The charybdis package provides a range of features to simplify and enhance the developer experience when working with Scylla in Go. It provides an opinionated, generics-enabled API that automatically performs table structure management and provides supporting functions for simple runtime access to data. If you want to just write structs and forget about managing the keyspaces by hand, and use features like expiry, lightweight transactions together – charybdis might be what you’re looking for.

Please note: This package API should be considered unstable at this time. Once we stablize the API’s, we’ll mark it as v1.

Key Features

  • Simple queries by partition key, full key, indexes over tables with typed return objects.
  • Automatic management of database structure for simple (add column) scenarios.
  • Support for advanced features (conditional updates, TTL’s)
  • Can configure using objects or by reflecting over structures.
  • Support for querying from materialized views (as well as auto-creation)

About ZeroFlucs

ZeroFlucs is a B2B provider of pricing technology for Sportsbooks/wagering service providers globally. We use Open-Source software through our platform stack. This, along with other projects is made available through our zeroflucs-given Github profile on MIT licensing. To learn more you can visit:

Why Does this Exist?

At ZeroFlucs we use ScyllaDB as the backbone of our Go based microservices platform. However, it was something of a love-hate relationship early on. We started with gocql and gocqlx packages (ScyllaDB forks), but the problems we encountered were a mix of general tooling availability, as well as trying to get features from the packages to work cohesively. Our big pains were:

  • Lack of mature tooling to handle schema evolution, for basic additive scenarios (new tables, extra columns)
  • Large amounts of boilerplate for querying slices of objects, or common SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE scenarios.
  • Management of complex projections/alternate representations of data consistently.
  • Can’t use features like LWTs, TTLs or other common scenarios in a fluid way with struct-based queries.

To address this, we created charybdis – a friend for Scylla. Charybdis is a Go package that provides a range of lightweight low-code wrappers for interacting with ScyllaDB, as well as easy access to complex concepts such as LWTs, indexes and some other features. In most use scenarios, this allows a developer to avoid writing DDL directly, and instead focus on writing application code.

We love gocql and gocqlx, they’re both under the hood still – however we just prefer to keep our services more isolated from the nuts-and-bolts for common use cases.


Package Structure

There are the following sub-packages of

Sub-Package Role
generator Creates ScyllaDB compatible DDL statements from charybdis metadata objects.
mapping Reflects over structures to create metadata objects, for use with other areas of the package.
metadata Metadata objects and model structure detail.
tables A table-management helper for simplified working with tables in other programs.


Our currently supported verisons are:

  • ScyllaDB 4.5.x onward
  • Golang 1.18 onward (as we use generics)

Installing Package

To install:

go get -u


The definitions of your ScyllaDB tables are represented in the metadata objects. You can either create these through reflecting over a type (i.e. Struct to definition generation) or by hand-specifying a TableSpecification.

Once you’ve got a definition, you can use the tables package to create a TableManager[T] that will provide the various helper methods for most commonly used operations.

If you want to have automatic schema management, the generator package contains code that will generate DDL statements, as well as a tables integration that lets you automatically initialize the keyspace and table definitins.

Example Usage


import (


Define Structure

Now we can define a struct that uses chardybris:

type Record struct {
	UserID    string `cql:"user_id" cqlpartitioning:"1"`         // User ID - Partition key
	FirstName string `cql:"first_name" cqlindex:"by_first_name"` // Name, indeexed
	Visits    int    `cql:"visits"`                              // Our value

Create Table-Manager

The code below combines lots of features together:

  • Provides a TableManager[T] that provides typed Get, Delete, Upsert, Update, Count, Scan operations.
  • Automatically creates the keyspace, if needed
  • Automatically creates the table and/or adds any missing columns
  • Creates any indexes referenced in the structure tags

You can alternatively omit the DDL management helpers, and specify a pre-built metadata.TableSpecification with WithTableSpecification option.

	hosts := []string{""}

	ctx := context.TODO() // Replace with your app contexts
	cluster := gocql.NewCluster(hosts...)
	log, _ := zap.NewDevelopment()

	// Example Part 1 - Creating a table manager with automatic DDL management
	manager, err := tables.NewTableManager[Record](ctx,
		tables.WithCluster(cluster),                               		// Used to create connections
		tables.WithLogger(log),                                    		// Use a custom logger
		tables.WithKeyspace("examples"),                           		// The keyspace the table belongs to
		mapping.WithAutomaticTableSpecification[Record]("user_visits"), // Extract metadata from [Record] type
		generator.WithSimpleKeyspaceManagement(log, cluster, 1),   		// Simple keyspace with RF1 (create if needed)
		generator.WithAutomaticTableManagement(log, cluster),      		// Create the table if needed
	if err != nil {

Inserting Data

This record is inserted with a 1 minute TTL. For more information see the below r/e options that can be passed.

		errUpsert := manager.Insert(ctx, &Record{
			UserID:    fmt.Sprintf("test-user-%d", i),
			FirstName: fmt.Sprintf("User %d", i),
			Visits:    0,
		}, tables.WithTTL(time.Minute))

Package: Tables

The most common usage of the package will be focused around tables, which uses Go 1.18+’s generics in order to provide single-line operations for most CRUD scenarios, such as creating or selecting a record from a table.


Inserts are semantically similar to updates/upserts, except with the enforcement of the WithNotExists option, preventing data overwriting existing records with the same key. If data can be safely blindly overwritten, the Upsert operation should be used.

Insert Option: WithTTL

The tables.WithTTL(duration) option sets the TTL for all cells written in this operation. This option can be specified for inserts, updates or upserts.


Updates are upserts with the predicate enforced that a record must previously exist. This carries a small cost penalty, however ensures that an update can only follow an insert.

Update Option: WithTTL

The tables.WithTTL(duration) option sets the TTL for all cells written in this operation. This option can be specified for inserts, updates or upserts.

Update Option: WithSimpleIf

The tables.WithSimpleIf(column, val) option enforces that when updating a record, a specific column must have a value that matches the expectation value.

Update Option: WithConditionalUpdate

You can use tables.WithConditionalUpdate(cmp, payload) as an option input to pass a predicate that must be satisfied by the existing data in order for an operation to succeed. This allows for the construction of arbitrary complex conditions.


Upserts are operations that can either insert or update data. They’re essentially an update but does not enforce the existing-data requirement. This allows for fire-and-forget data writing, where you don’t want to read existing data first. This generally should be used in scenarios where the consequences of writing data over the top of existing data has no material consequence and no secutity implications.

Upsert Option: WithTTL

The tables.WithTTL(duration) option sets the TTL for all cells written in this operation. This option can be specified for inserts, updates or upserts.


The package supports views, with ViewManager[T] operating in a similar fashion to TableManager[T]. The file examples/views/main.go shows using views with the framework.


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