Lightweight Golang driver for ArangoDB


Arangolite Build Status Coverage Status Code Climate GoDoc

Arangolite is a lightweight ArangoDB driver for Go.

It focuses on pure AQL querying. See AranGO for a more ORM-like experience.

IMPORTANT: Looking for maintainers

I don't have as much time as I used to have and I am not as a frequent user of ArangoDB as I used to be. This project would definitely benefit from some new maintainers. Any PR is greatly appreciated.


To install Arangolite:

go get -u

Basic Usage

package main

import (


type Node struct {

func main() {
  ctx := context.Background()

  // We declare the database definition.
  db := arangolite.NewDatabase(
    arangolite.OptBasicAuth("root", "rootPassword"),

  // The Connect method does two things:
  // - Initializes the connection if needed (JWT authentication).
  // - Checks the database connectivity.
  if err := db.Connect(ctx); err != nil {

  // We create a new database.
  err := db.Run(ctx, nil, &requests.CreateDatabase{
    Name: "testDB",
    Users: []map[string]interface{}{
      {"username": "root", "passwd": "rootPassword"},
      {"username": "user", "passwd": "password"},
  if err != nil {

  // We sign in as the new created user on the new database.
  // We could eventually rerun a "db.Connect()" to confirm the connectivity.
    arangolite.OptBasicAuth("user", "password"),

  // We create a new "nodes" collection.
  if err := db.Run(ctx, nil, &requests.CreateCollection{Name: "nodes"}); err != nil {

  // We declare a new AQL query with options and bind parameters.
  key := "48765564346"
  r := requests.NewAQL(`
    FOR n
    IN nodes
    FILTER n._key == @key
    RETURN n
  `, key).
    Bind("key", key).
    BatchSize(500) // The caching feature is unavailable prior to ArangoDB 2.7

  // The Run method returns all the query results of every pages
  // available in the cursor and unmarshal it into the given struct.
  // Cancelling the context cancels every running request. 
  nodes := []Node{}
  if err := db.Run(ctx, &nodes, r); err != nil {

  // The Send method gives more control to the user and doesn't follow an eventual cursor.
  // It returns a raw result object.
  result, err := db.Send(ctx, r)
  if err != nil {
  nodes = []Node{}

  for result.HasMore() {
    result, err = db.Send(ctx, &requests.FollowCursor{Cursor: result.Cursor()})
    if err != nil {
    tmp := []Node{}

    nodes = append(nodes, tmp...)


Document and Edge

// Document represents a basic ArangoDB document
type Document struct {
  // The document handle. Format: ':collection/:key'
  ID string `json:"_id,omitempty"`
  // The document's revision token. Changes at each update.
  Rev string `json:"_rev,omitempty"`
  // The document's unique key.
  Key string `json:"_key,omitempty"`

// Edge represents a basic ArangoDB edge
type Edge struct {
  // Reference to another document. Format: ':collection/:key'
  From string `json:"_from,omitempty"`
  // Reference to another document. Format: ':collection/:key'
  To string `json:"_to,omitempty"`



Arangolite provides an abstraction layer to the Javascript ArangoDB transactions.

The only limitation is that no Javascript processing can be manually added inside the transaction. The queries can be connected using the Go templating conventions.


t := requests.NewTransaction([]string{"nodes"}, nil).
  AddAQL("nodes", `
    FOR n
    IN nodes
    RETURN n
  AddAQL("ids", `
    FOR n
    IN {{.nodes}}
    RETURN n._id

ids := []string{}
if err := db.Run(ctx, ids, t); err != nil {



AQL may be used for querying graph data. But to manage graphs, Arangolite offers a few specific requests:

  • CreateGraph to create a graph.
  • ListGraphs to list available graphs.
  • GetGraph to get an existing graph.
  • DropGraph to delete a graph.


// Check graph existence.
if err := db.Run(ctx, nil, &requests.GetGraph{Name: "graphName"}); err != nil {
  switch {
  case arangolite.IsErrNotFound(err):
    // If graph does not exist, create a new one.
    edgeDefinitions := []requests.EdgeDefinition{
        Collection: "edgeCollectionName",
        From:       []string{"firstCollectionName"},
        To:         []string{"secondCollectionName"},
    db.Run(ctx, nil, &requests.CreateGraph{Name: "graphName", EdgeDefinitions: edgeDefinitions})

// List existing graphs.
list := &requests.GraphList{}
db.Run(ctx, list, &requests.ListGraphs{})
fmt.Printf("Graph list: %v\n", list)

// Destroy the graph we just created, and the related collections.
db.Run(ctx, nil, &requests.DropGraph{Name: "graphName", DropCollections: true})

Error Handling

Errors can be handled using the provided basic testers:

// IsErrInvalidRequest returns true when the database returns a 400.
func IsErrInvalidRequest(err error) bool {
  return HasStatusCode(err, 400)

// IsErrUnauthorized returns true when the database returns a 401.
func IsErrUnauthorized(err error) bool {
  return HasStatusCode(err, 401)

// IsErrForbidden returns true when the database returns a 403.
func IsErrForbidden(err error) bool {
  return HasStatusCode(err, 403)

// IsErrUnique returns true when the error num is a 1210 - ERROR_ARANGO_UNIQUE_CONSTRAINT_VIOLATED.
func IsErrUnique(err error) bool {
  return HasErrorNum(err, 1210)

// IsErrNotFound returns true when the database returns a 404 or when the error num is:
func IsErrNotFound(err error) bool {
  return HasStatusCode(err, 404) || HasErrorNum(err, 1202, 1203)

Or manually via the HasStatusCode and HasErrorNum methods.


Currently, very few methods of the ArangoDB HTTP API are implemented in Arangolite. Fortunately, it is really easy to add your own by implementing the Runnable interface. You can then use the regular Run and Send methods.

// Runnable defines requests runnable by the Run and Send methods.
// A Runnable library is located in the 'requests' package.
type Runnable interface {
  // The body of the request.
  Generate() []byte
  // The path where to send the request.
  Path() string
  // The HTTP method to use.
  Method() string

Please pull request when you implement some new features so everybody can use it.



  • Add AQL function requests

    Add AQL function requests

    Adds support for /_api/aqlfunction requests for manipulating AQL user functions (

    GET /_api/aqlfunction for some reason returns an array instead of the usual wrapper object, so I added a check in senders.go to prevent it from trying to unmarshal the raw response when it's an array (raw[0] != '[' seems like a bit of a hack, but I don't feel like it will cause any problems in practice).

    opened by stephanwilliams 9
  • Adding new commands

    Adding new commands

    I will extend the driver. I already started with an edge creation feature. But something worries me: in your readme you suggest to add everything in requests.go. So this file could become very long... I believe the code should be organised by around the business domain, and not the technical notions. By example the create edge request definition should be in edge.go. Do you agree with this?

    opened by PascalLeMerrer 9
  • Add Logger interface as input for OptLogging

    Add Logger interface as input for OptLogging

    By having an interface with the Print method only, it's possible to mock or redirect the output.

    Also, add LogNone constant is it's now necessary to pass an integer that is neither 0 or 1.

    opened by bendikro 8
  • Basic example error

    Basic example error


    In the basic example, in the readme, I believe you should switch these 2 lines:

    _, _ := db.Run(&arangolite.CreateCollection{Name: "nodes"})

    db.SwitchDatabase("testDB").SwitchUser("user", "password")

    Otherwise you create the collection in the wrong database

    opened by PascalLeMerrer 5
  • Quote in json value breaks the queries

    Quote in json value breaks the queries

    Hi Fabien

    When inserting a struct represeting a user, if any field of this user contains a simple quote, the resulting AQL query is invalid:

    My code is the following one

    userJsonBytes, err := json.Marshal(user)
    	if err != nil {
    		return err
    	userJson := string(userJsonBytes)
    	query := requests.NewAQL(` UPSERT { "id":"%s" } INSERT %s UPDATE %s IN %s `, user.ID, userJson, userJson, CollectionName)

    I probably could find a workaround by creating a dedicated json marshaller; but shouldn't the driver prevent this issue?

    opened by PascalLeMerrer 3
  • database.Run() response result (parsedResponse.Result) always empty

    database.Run() response result (parsedResponse.Result) always empty

    The response object returned by database.Send() is passed to database.followCursor() in the database.Run() function.

    When the response object is created in senders.Send(), the response's parsed (parsedResponse) attribute is unmarshalled.

    It seem the parsedResponse.Result attribute is never populated, and is simply an empty array.

    The problem then occurs in database.followCursor() where the call to r.RawResult() always returns an empty array, and hence, the result is not unmarshalled into the v input argument.

    I'm I doing something wrong?

    opened by bendikro 3
  • Support cursors without goroutines

    Support cursors without goroutines

    Creating something like pagination seems expensive with this way.

    Say I run a query like FOR n IN nodes LIMIT 1000 RETURN 20, by using Run, all 1000 results if found in the DB are returned, and no cursor key to manage the request.

    Using RunAsync means having a goroutine followCursor created everytime there is more results in the cursor, and I am forced to get everything by checking if there is more just not to have hanging goroutine(s) in the background, or close the channel(meaning I have to begin going through the cursor again).

    If I had multiple clients in an application running the same query, I have to keep these goroutines even though none of them might be interested in going through the list of results.

    I propose we return the result.ID and let the user(developer) decide a proper method for getting the results.

    opened by cmeon 3
  • Requests produce no result

    Requests produce no result

    When running the example below (derived from the readme example), I have two problems:

    • The node collection is not created.
    • the async request returns an empty array
    package main
    import (
    type Node struct {
    type MyNode struct {
      // The document handle. Format: ':collection/:key'
      ID string `json:"_id,omitempty"`
      // The document's revision token. Changes at each update.
      Rev string `json:"_rev,omitempty"`
      // The document's unique key.
      Key string `json:"_key,omitempty"`
    func main() {
      db := arangolite.New().
        LoggerOptions(false, false, false).
        Connect("http://localhost:8529", "_system", "root", "")
            Name: "testDB",
            Users: []map[string]interface{}{
                {"username": "root", "passwd": ""},
                {"username": "user", "passwd": ""},
      db.SwitchDatabase("testDB").SwitchUser("user", "")
      db.Run(&arangolite.CreateCollection{Name: "nodes"})
      // The Run method returns all the query results of every batches
      // available in the cursor as a slice of byte.
      key1 := "48765564346"
      key2 := "48765564347"
      _, err := remove(db, key1)
      _, err = remove(db, key2)
      _, err = insert(db, key1)
      _, err = insert(db, key2)
      if (err != nil) {
      q := arangolite.NewQuery(`
        FOR n
        IN nodes
        FILTER n._key == "%s"
        LIMIT 1
        RETURN n
      `, key1)
      async, asyncErr := db.RunAsync(q)
      if(asyncErr != nil){
        fmt.Printf("asyncErr %v", asyncErr)
      nodes := []Node{}
      decoder := json.NewDecoder(async.Buffer())
      for async.HasMore() {
        batch := []Node{}
        fmt.Printf("%v", decoder)
        nodes = append(nodes, batch...)
      fmt.Printf("%v", nodes)
    func remove(db *arangolite.DB, key string) ([]byte, error) {
      removeQuery := arangolite.NewQuery(`
          REMOVE  { _key: '%s' }  IN nodes
        `, key)
      res, err := db.Run(removeQuery)
      if(err != nil) {
        fmt.Printf("Remove error %v", err)
      return res, err
    func insert(db *arangolite.DB, key string) ([]byte, error) {
      node := MyNode{
         ID: "nodes/" + key,
         Rev: key,
         Key: key,
      value, marshallErr := json.Marshal(node)
      if(marshallErr != nil) {
        fmt.Printf("Insertion error %v. Cannot convert %v to JSON", marshallErr, value)
        return nil, marshallErr
      insertQuery := arangolite.NewQuery(`
          INSERT %s
          IN nodes
        `, value)
      insertResult, err := db.Run(insertQuery)
      if (err != nil) {
        fmt.Printf("Insertion error %v", err)
      return insertResult, err

    What did I get wrong?

    opened by PascalLeMerrer 3
  • Possibility to get []byte instead of umarshaled struct as result

    Possibility to get []byte instead of umarshaled struct as result

    We are using this lib and extracting large chunks of json. The problem is that these jsons does not have strict structure so they should be unmarshaled only to map[string]interface{} for latter use, but in our scenario we do not need to unmarshal json at all and raw []byte of json is ok. It would be nice:

    • To have func (db *Database) GetRaw(ctx context.Context, q Runnable) (json.RawMessage, error) or equivalent.


    • Make followCursor as exported so this can be easily achieved with Send.

    Any opinions?

    opened by sheirys 2
  • Accessing error code from returned error

    Accessing error code from returned error

    When performing a CreateDatabase where the database already exists, the database returns error code 1207 (, ERROR_ARANGO_DUPLICATE_NAME).

    This error code is wrapped in a numberedError at

    However, at the next step, the numberedError is wrapped in a statusCodedError at

    The statusCodedError is what is returned by Send.

    My question is how should the error code be accessed?

    HasErrorNum will not work, since it requires a numberedError as input, and casting to statusCodedError to access the error attribute doesn't work, since statusCodedError is not exported.

    Current result of arangolite.HasStatusCode(err) is 409, but arangolite.HasErrorNum(e_status, 1207) gives false.

    opened by bendikro 2
  • Add statistics requests

    Add statistics requests

    Adds support for /_admin/statistics and /_admin/statistics-description (

    The JSON result of GetStatistics is structured in a way that's difficult to unmarshal with encoding/json, so I ended up writing a custom UnmarshalJSON function for it. Not sure if there's a cleaner way to accomplish this.

    opened by stephanwilliams 2
  • Make db fields public

    Make db fields public

    I trying to use this library as the basis for an ArangoDB migration tool. Creating a new database is harder than it should be since the DB properties are hidden. I'm sure I could get them with reflect, but I don't think that should be necessary. Would you be open to making the fields for NewDatabase public via an interface or just regular public?

    opened by virmundi 4
  • How Do I Remove Edge

    How Do I Remove Edge

    Is this even possible using AQL only?

    From here it says that currently there is no way to do this via AQL. But arangolite doesn't seems to have a way to remove edge using graph management interface?

    opened by JesusIslam 5
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