Akka Persistence Cassandra

Akka is a toolkit for building highly concurrent, distributed, and resilient message-driven applications for Java and Scala.

Akka's approach to handling concurrency is based on the Actor Model. An actor is essentially an object that receives messages and takes actions to handle them. It is a higher level construct that helps to write concurrent code without the trouble of dealing with low-level concurrency primitives when writing multi-threaded high performance applications.

Akka Persistence enables stateful akka-actors to persist their state so that it can be recovered when an actor is either restarted, such as after a JVM crash by a supervisor or a manual stop-start, or migrated in a cluster.

The Akka Persistence Cassandra plugin allows you to use Apache Cassandra as a backend for Akka Persistence and Akka Persistence Query. It uses Alpakka Cassandra for Cassandra access which is based on the Datastax Java Driver. Alpakka Cassandra offers an Akka Streams API on top of a CqlSession from the Datastax Java Driver version 4.0 and later.

The following section illustrates how to run an Akka Persistence Cassandra based application with YugabyteDB.


To use the Akka Persistence Cassandra plugin, ensure that you have the following:

  • YugabyteDB up and running. Download and install YugabyteDB by following the steps in Quick start.
  • Java Development Kit (JDK) 8, 11 or 17 installed. JDK installers for Linux and macOS can be downloaded from Oracle, Adoptium (OpenJDK), or Azul Systems (OpenJDK). Homebrew users on macOS can install using brew install openjdk.
  • sbt is installed.

The following example is inspired from the akka-cassandra-demo repository.

Create a Scala project

  1. Create a project using the following command:

    sbt new scala/hello-world.g8

    Press enter when you're prompted to name the application.

  2. Replace the existing code in the build.sbt file from your project's home directory with the following:

    cd hello-world-template
    //Delete the existing datastax java driver from the dependencies of the application.
    lazy val akkaVersion     = "2.7.0"
    libraryDependencies ++= Seq(
     "com.typesafe.akka" %% "akka-actor-typed"           % akkaVersion,
     "com.typesafe.akka" %% "akka-stream"                % akkaVersion,
     "com.typesafe.akka" %% "akka-persistence-typed"     % akkaVersion,
     "com.typesafe.akka" %% "akka-serialization-jackson" % akkaVersion,
     "com.typesafe.akka" %% "akka-cluster-tools"         % akkaVersion,
     "ch.qos.logback"    % "logback-classic"             % "1.2.11",
     "com.typesafe.akka" %% "akka-persistence-cassandra" % "1.1.0"
    //Add the yugabyte java driver to the dependencies of the application.
    libraryDependencies ++= Seq("com.yugabyte" % "java-driver-core" % "4.6.0-yb-11")
    //Exclude the datastax java driver from getting pulled due to nested dependency.
    excludeDependencies ++= Seq(ExclusionRule("com.datastax.oss", "java-driver-core"))
    run / fork := true
    Global / cancelable := false // ctrl-c

Use the Akka Persistence Cassandra plugin

To create an application using the plugin, do the following:

Write a sample application

To write a sample application and customize its configuration, do the following:

  1. Replace the existing code in src/main/scala/Main.scala with the following:

    import akka.NotUsed
    import akka.actor.typed.scaladsl.{ ActorContext, Behaviors }
    import akka.actor.typed.{ ActorRef, ActorSystem, Behavior }
    import akka.persistence.typed.PersistenceId
    import akka.persistence.typed.RecoveryCompleted
    import akka.persistence.typed.scaladsl.{ Effect, EventSourcedBehavior }
    import java.util.UUID
    // a single bank account
    object PersistentBankAccount {
      // commands = messages
      sealed trait Command extends CborSerializable
      final case class CreateBankAccount(
          id: String,
          user: String,
          currency: String,
          initialBalance: Double,
          replyTo: ActorRef[Response])
          extends Command
      // events = to persist to Yugabyte
      trait Event extends CborSerializable
      final case class BankAccountCreated(bankAccount: BankAccount) extends Event
      // state
      final case class BankAccount(
          id: String,
          user: String,
          currency: String,
          balance: Double)
          extends CborSerializable
      // responses
      sealed trait Response
      final case class BankAccountCreatedResponse(id: String)
          extends Response
          with CborSerializable
      val commandHandler: (BankAccount, Command) => Effect[Event, BankAccount] =
        (state, command) =>
          command match {
            case CreateBankAccount(id, user, currency, initialBalance, replyTo) =>
              require(id == state.id, s"Wrong id $id, expected ${state.id}")
              if (state.user == "") {
                // new account
                      BankAccount(id, user, currency, initialBalance)
                  ) // persisted into Yugabyte
                  .thenReply(replyTo)(_ => BankAccountCreatedResponse(state.id))
              } else if (state.user == user) {
                // already created, idempotent retry
              } else {
                throw new IllegalArgumentException(
                  s"Wrong user $user for existing account $id, expected ${state.user}")
      val eventHandler: (BankAccount, Event) => BankAccount = (state, event) =>
        event match {
          case BankAccountCreated(bankAccount) =>
      def apply(id: String): Behavior[Command] =
        EventSourcedBehavior[Command, Event, BankAccount](
          persistenceId = PersistenceId.ofUniqueId(id),
          emptyState = BankAccount(id, "", "", 0.0),
          commandHandler = commandHandler,
          eventHandler = eventHandler)
    object Bank {
      import PersistentBankAccount.{ Command, CreateBankAccount }
      sealed trait Event extends CborSerializable
      case class BankAccountCreated(id: String) extends Event
      case class State(accounts: Set[String]) extends CborSerializable
      def commandHandler(context: ActorContext[Command])
          : (State, Command) => Effect[Event, State] = (state, command) =>
        command match {
          case createCommand @ CreateBankAccount(id, _, _, _, _) =>
            if (state.accounts.contains(id)) {
              val account = context
                .getOrElse(context.spawn(PersistentBankAccount(id), id))
              account ! createCommand
            } else {
              Effect.persist(BankAccountCreated(id)).thenRun { _ =>
                val newBankAccount = context.spawn(PersistentBankAccount(id), id)
                newBankAccount ! createCommand
      def eventHandler(context: ActorContext[Command]): (State, Event) => State =
        (state, event) =>
          event match {
            case BankAccountCreated(id) =>
              state.copy(accounts = state.accounts + id)
      // behavior
      def apply(): Behavior[Command] = Behaviors.setup { context =>
        EventSourcedBehavior[Command, Event, State](
          persistenceId = PersistenceId.ofUniqueId("bank"),
          emptyState = State(Set.empty),
          commandHandler = commandHandler(context),
          eventHandler = eventHandler(context)).receiveSignal {
          case (state, RecoveryCompleted) =>
            context.log.info(s"Accounts [{}]", state.accounts.mkString(", "))
            state.accounts.foreach(id =>
              context.spawn(PersistentBankAccount(id), id))
    object BankPlayground {
      import PersistentBankAccount.{
      def main(args: Array[String]): Unit = {
        val rootBehavior: Behavior[NotUsed] = Behaviors.setup { context =>
          val bank = context.spawn(Bank(), "bank")
          val responseHandler = context.spawn(ResponseHandler(), "replyHandler")
          val id = UUID.randomUUID().toString
          bank ! CreateBankAccount(id, "Harsh", "INR", 10000, responseHandler)
        val system = ActorSystem(rootBehavior, "Demo")
      object ResponseHandler {
        def apply(): Behavior[Response] = {
          Behaviors.receive[Response] {
            case (context, BankAccountCreatedResponse(id)) =>
              context.log.info(s"successfully created account $id")
     * Marker trait for serialization with Jackson CBOR
    trait CborSerializable
  2. Create a resources directory in src/main using mkdir src/main/resources.

  3. Create a file src/main/resources/application.conf and copy the following code:

    # Journal
    akka.persistence.journal.plugin = "akka.persistence.cassandra.journal"
    akka.persistence.cassandra.journal.keyspace-autocreate = true
    akka.persistence.cassandra.journal.tables-autocreate = true
    datastax-java-driver.advanced.reconnect-on-init = true
    # Snapshot
    akka.persistence.snapshot-store.plugin = "akka.persistence.cassandra.snapshot"
    akka.persistence.cassandra.snapshot.keyspace-autocreate = true
    akka.persistence.cassandra.snapshot.tables-autocreate = true
    akka.actor.serialization-bindings {
      "CborSerializable" = jackson-cbor

Run the application

Run the application from the project home directory using the command sbt run.

You should see output similar to the following:

successfully created account b2b51f94-b021-4fb8-ba33-219cd0aea3c1

Note that it can take some time to view the output as all the keyspaces and tables that are required by Akka Persistence Cassandra are created for the first time.

Verify the integration using ycqlsh

Run ycqlsh to connect to your database using the YCQL API as follows:

./bin/ycqlsh localhost
Connected to local cluster at
[ycqlsh 5.0.1 | Cassandra 3.9-SNAPSHOT | CQL spec 3.4.2 | Native protocol v4]
Use HELP for help.

Run the following query:

select * from akka.messages;

The output should include an event with a persistance_id same as the account_id (b2b51f94-b021-4fb8-ba33-219cd0aea3c1) obtained after running the application.


Some older versions of Akka Persistence Cassandra use Cassandra Materialized Views which may not work with YugabyteDB. Use versions of Akka Persistence Cassandra that do not use Cassandra Materialized Views.