[Pulp-dev] Importers/Exporters

David Davis daviddavis at redhat.com
Mon Feb 17 18:05:38 UTC 2020

The user stories that Katello gave us (which I've entered into redmine
here[0]) don't mention publications or distributions. I will follow up
with Katello though.

[0] https://pulp.plan.io/issues/6134


On Mon, Feb 17, 2020 at 12:49 PM Dennis Kliban <dkliban at redhat.com> wrote:

> 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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