Bicycle 🚲 is a framework for defining database schemas whose access patterns are generated as code and compiled into each server binary.

We’re striving to reduce dynamic query parsing at run time.

Why the name?

“What a computer is to me is it’s the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with, and it’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds” - Steve Jobs

The Bicycle is a metaphor for useful complexity, and one of the most influential inventions in history. It is also an interesting analogy for the anatomy of the framework:

  • Wheels (transport): gRPC
  • Frame (storage engine): RocksDB
  • Pedals, gears, handlebars, breaks, etc. (logic): Rust


A Bicycle schema is defined in a simple .proto file like so:

// schema.proto
syntax = "proto3";
package bicycle;

message Dog {
  string pk = 1;

  string name = 2;
  uint32 age = 3;
  string breed = 4;

We don’t distribute the binary yet but if you clone down this repository you can play around with it:

## clone
git clone && cd bicycle

## generate your `./out/server` and `./out/bicycle.proto`
cargo run --package bicycle_cli -- create path/to/your/schema.proto

That will create a server binary and proto file for your consuming services. So in the cli/out/ you’ll have server and bicycle.proto.

The bicycle.proto is what any developer who is familiar with gRPC can use to code-gen and build a client to the database. Right now, the database is very light weight and has no administration infrastructure, permissions or auth; I get away with this because I’m only ever running it in private subnets within the same VPCs on AWS and stuff. But there is always room for evolution.


Once RocksDB is finally done building (holy fuck that takes way too long and I need to figure out how to like cache it or some do some other Rustacean magic to make it stop), you should be able to run the server with:



When you run the create command, it will take in your schema.proto and produce an ./out/bicycle.proto that looks something like this:

syntax = "proto3";
package bicycle;

message Dogs { 
  repeated Dog dogs = 1; 
message Dog {
  string pk = 1;
  string name = 2;
  uint32 age = 3;
  string breed = 4;

message IndexQuery {
  oneof expression {
    string eq = 1;
    string gte = 2;
    string lte = 3;
    string begins_with = 4;

message Empty {}

service Bicycle {
  rpc GetDogsByPk(IndexQuery) returns (Dogs) {}
  rpc DeleteDogsByPk(IndexQuery) returns (Empty) {}
  rpc PutDog(Dog) returns (Empty) {}
  rpc BatchPutDogs(Dogs) returns (Empty) {}

Because the database server is just a gRPC server, you can use all native gRPC libraries for any language you like. and you can also roll over to your preferred gRPC GUI client, type in localhost::50051, AND because we implement server reflection, when you plug in the URL it will automatically load up all your available RPCs (assuming your client GUI supports that).


Basically we have 4 RPCs for each model:

  • GetXByPk
  • DeleteXByPk
  • PutX
  • BatchPutX

And then you have the IndexQuery helper which basically allows you to do key-range queries.

Here are the really basic examples:

## PutDog
grpcurl -plaintext -d '{
  "pk": "DOG#1",
  "name": "Rover",
  "age": 3,
  "breed": "Golden Retriever"
}' localhost:50051 bicycle.Bicycle.PutDog

## BatchPutDogs
grpcurl -plaintext -d '{
  "dogs": [
      "pk": "DOG#2",
      "name": "Buddy",
      "age": 2,
      "breed": "Labrador"
      "pk": "DOG#3",
      "name": "Max",
      "age": 4,
      "breed": "Poodle"
}' localhost:50051 bicycle.Bicycle.BatchPutDogs

## GetDogs
grpcurl -plaintext -d '{"begins_with": "DOG#"}' localhost:50051 bicycle.Bicycle.GetDogsByPk

## DeleteDogs
grpcurl -plaintext -d '{"eq": "DOG#3"}' localhost:50051 bicycle.Bicycle.DeleteDogsByPk


there isn’t really a thing right now. it’s kinda just one person rn with a few others maybe joining. we gotta set up a CLA or something i think. but check back in.