[Pulp-dev] Importers/Exporters

Dennis Kliban dkliban at redhat.com
Mon Feb 17 17:48:43 UTC 2020

On Fri, Feb 14, 2020 at 1:11 PM David Davis <daviddavis at redhat.com> wrote:

> Grant and I met today to discuss importers and exporters[0] and we'd like
> some feedback before we proceed with the design. To sum up this feature
> briefly: users can export a repository version from one Pulp instance and
> import it to another.

Exporting just repository versions is not sufficient for reproducing a Pulp
instance in an air gapped environment. Users need to be able to use the
"export" to populate a Pulp instance without needing to create any
publications and/or distributions afterwards. What about letting users
specify a repository to export and then have pulpcore figure out which
repository versions, publications, distributions, content, metadata, and
artifacts need to be exported?

> # Master/Detail vs Core
> So one fundamental question is whether we should use a Master/Detail
> approach or just have core control the flow but call out to plugins to get
> export formats.
> To give some background: we currently define Exporters (ie
> FileSystemExporter) in core as Master models. Plugins extend this model
> which allows them to configure or customize the Exporter. This was
> necessary because some plugins need to export Publications (along with
> repository metadata) while other plugins who don't have Publications or
> metadata export RepositoryVersions.
> The other option is to have core handle the workflow. The user would call
> a core endpoint and provide a RepositoryVersion. This would work because
> for importing/exporting, you wouldn't ever use Publications because
> metadata won't be used for importing back into Pulp. If needed, core could
> provide a way for plugin writers to write custom handlers/exporters for
> content types.
> If we go with the second option, the question then becomes whether we
> should divorce the concept of Exporters and import/export. Or do we also
> switch Exporters from Master/Detail to core only?
> # Foreign Keys
> Content can be distributed across multiple tables (eg UpdateRecord has
> UpdateCollection, etc). In our export, we could either use primary keys
> (UUIDs) or natural keys to relate records. The former assumes that UUIDs
> are unique across Pulp instances. The safer but more complex alternative is
> to use natural keys. This would involve storing a set of fields on a record
> that would be used to identify a related record.
> # Incremental Exports
> There are two big pieces of data contained in an export: the dataset of
> Content from the database and the artifact files. An incremental export
> cuts down on the size of an export by only exporting the differences.
> However, when performing an incremental export, we could still export the
> complete dataset instead of just a set of differences
> (additions/removals/updates). This approach would be simpler and it would
> allow us to ensure that the new repo version matches the exported repo
> version exactly. It would however increase the export size but not by much
> I think--probably some number of megabytes at most.
> [0] https://pulp.plan.io/issues/6134
> David
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> Pulp-dev at redhat.com
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