Based on the Hazelcast MapReduce framework, Aggregators are ready-to-use data aggregations. These are typical operations like sum up values, finding minimum or maximum values, calculating averages and other operations that you would expect to be available in the relational database world.

Aggregation operations are implemented, as mentioned above, on top of the MapReduce framework and therefore all operations can be achieved using pure map-reduce calls but using the Aggregation feature is more convenient for a big set of standard operations.

Aggregations Basics

This short section will quickly guide you through the basics of the Aggregations framework and some of the available classes. We also will implement a first base example.

Aggregations are available on both types of map interfaces, com.hazelcast.core.IMap and com.hazelcast.core.MultiMap, using the aggregate methods. Two overloaded methods are available to customize resource management of the underlying MapReduce framework by supplying a custom configured com.hazelcast.mapreduce.JobTracker instance. To find out how to configure the MapReduce framework please see JobTracker Configuration section. We will later see another way to configure the automatically used MapReduce framework if no special JobTracker is supplied.

To make Aggregations more convenient to use and future proof, the API is already heavily optimized for Java 8 and future version but still fully compatible to any Java version Hazelcast supports (Java 6 and Java 7). The biggest difference is how you have to work with the Java generics; on Java 6 and 7 the generics resolving process is not as strong as on Java 8 and upcoming Java versions. In addition, the whole Aggregations API has full Java 8 Project Lambda (or Closure, JSR 335) support.

For illustration of the differences in Java 6 and 7 in comparison to Java 8, we will have a quick look at both source code examples. After that, the documentation will focus on using Java 8 syntax to keep examples short and easy to understand but still offer some hints as to what it looks like in Java 6 or 7.

The first basic example will produce the sum of some int values stored in a Hazelcast IMap. This is a very basic example not yet using a lot of the functionality of the Aggregations framework but will already perfectly show the main difference.

IMap<String, Integer> personAgeMapping = hazelcastInstance.getMap( "person-age" );
for ( int i = 0; i < 1000; i++ ) {
  String lastName = RandomUtil.randomLastName();
  int age = RandomUtil.randomAgeBetween( 20, 80 );
  personAgeMapping.put( lastName, Integer.valueOf( age ) );

With our demo data prepared we can have a look at how to produce the sums in different Java versions.

Aggregations and Java 6 or Java 7

Since Java 6 and 7, as mentioned earlier, are not as strong on resolving generics as Java 8 we need to be a bit more verbose with what we write or you might want to consider using raw types but breaking the type safety to ease this process.

For a short introduction on what the following lines mean have a quick look at the source code comments. We will dig deeper into the different options in a bit.

// No filter applied, select all entries
Supplier<String, Integer, Integer> supplier = Supplier.all();
// Choose the sum aggregation
Aggregation<String, Integer, Integer> aggregation = Aggregations.integerSum();
// Execute the aggregation
int sum = personAgeMapping.aggregate( supplier, aggregation );

Aggregations and Java 8

On Java 8 the Aggregations API looks much simpler since Java is now able to resolve the generic parameters for us. That means the above lines of source will end up in one line on Java 8.

int sum = personAgeMapping.aggregate( Supplier.all(), Aggregations.integerSum() );

As you can see, this really looks stunning and easy to use.

Quick look at the MapReduce Framework

As mentioned before, the Aggregations implementation is based on the Hazelcast MapReduce framework and therefore you might find overlaps of the different APIs and we have already seen one before. One overload of the aggregate method can be supplied with a JobTracker which is part of the MapReduce framework.

If you are going to implement your own aggregations you also end up implementing them using a mixture of the Aggregations and the MapReduce API. If you are looking forward to implement your own aggregation, e.g. to make the life of colleagues easier, please read Implementing Aggregations.

For the full MapReduce documentation please see MapReduce.

Introduction to Aggregations API

Following the basic example, we now want to look into the real API, for the possible options and what can be achieved using the Aggregations API. To work on some more and deeper examples, let's quickly have a look at the available classes and interfaces and discuss their usage.


The com.hazelcast.mapreduce.aggregation.Supplier is used to provide filtering and data extraction to the aggregation operation. This class already provides a few different static methods to achieve most common cases. We already learned about Supplier.all() which accepts all incoming values and does not apply any data extraction or transformation upon them before supplying them to the aggregation function itself.

For filtering data sets, you have two different options by default. You can either supply a com.hazelcast.query.Predicate if you want to filter on values and / or keys or a com.hazelcast.mapreduce.KeyPredicate if you can decide directly on the data key without the need to deserialize the value.

As mentioned above, all APIs are fully Java 8 and Lambda compatible, so let's have a look on how we can do basic filtering using those two options.

First, we have a look at a KeyPredicate and only accept people whose last name is "Jones".

Supplier<...> supplier = Supplier.fromKeyPredicate(
    lastName -> "Jones".equalsIgnoreCase( lastName )
class JonesKeyPredicate implements KeyPredicate<String> {
  public boolean evaluate( String key ) {
    return "Jones".equalsIgnoreCase( key );

Using the standard Hazelcast Predicate interface, you can also filter based on the value of a data entry. For example, you can only select values which are divisible without remainder by 4 using the following example.

Supplier<...> supplier = Supplier.fromPredicate(
    entry -> entry.getValue() % 4 == 0
class DivisiblePredicate implements Predicate<String, Integer> {
  public boolean apply( Map.Entry<String, Integer> entry ) {
    return entry.getValue() % 4 == 0;

As well as filtering, Supplier is also used to extract or transform data before providing it to the aggregation operation itself. The following short example shows how to transform an input value to a string.

Supplier<String, Integer, String> supplier = Supplier.all(
    value -> Integer.toString(value)

A Java 6 / 7 example will follow up below in the following section.

Apart from the fact we transformed the input value of type int (or Integer) to a string, we can see that the generic information of the resulting Supplier has changed as well. This indicates that we now have an aggregation working on string values.

Another feature of Supplier is its ability to chain multiple filtering rules, so let's combine all of the above examples into one rule set:

Supplier<String, Integer, String> supplier =
        lastName -> "Jones".equalsIgnoreCase( lastName ),
            entry -> entry.getValue() % 4 == 0,  
            Supplier.all( value -> Integer.toString(value) )

Last but not least, you might prefer (or end up in a necessary situation) implementing your Supplier based on special requirements. But do not be afraid, this is a very basic task. The Supplier abstract class has just one method.

NOTE: Due to a limitation of the Java Lambda API you cannot implement abstract classes using Lambdas, so instead it is recommended to create a standard named class instead.

class MyCustomSupplier extends Supplier<String, Integer, String> {
  public String apply( Map.Entry<String, Integer> entry ) {
    Integer value = entry.getValue();
    if (value == null) {
      return null;
    return value % 4 == 0 ? String.valueOf( value ) : null;

Suppliers are expected to return null from the apply method whenever the input value should not be mapped to the aggregation process. This can be used, as seen above, to implement filter rules directly. Implementing filters using the KeyPredicate and Predicate interfaces might be more convenient.

To use your own Supplier, just pass it to the aggregate method or use it in combination with other Suppliers.

int sum = personAgeMapping.aggregate( new MyCustomSupplier(), Aggregations.count() );
Supplier<String, Integer, String> supplier =
        lastName -> "Jones".equalsIgnoreCase( lastName ),
        new MyCustomSupplier()
int sum = personAgeMapping.aggregate( supplier, Aggregations.count() );

Aggregation and Aggregations

The com.hazelcast.mapreduce.aggregation.Aggregation interface defines the aggregation operation itself. It contains a set of MapReduce API implementations like Mapper, Combiner, Reducer, Collator. These implementations are normally unique to the chosen Aggregation. This interface can also be implemented with your aggregation operations based on map-reduce calls. To find deeper information on this, please have a look at Implementing Aggregations.

A common predefined set of aggregations are provided by the com.hazelcast.mapreduce.aggregation.Aggregations class. This class contains type safe aggregations of the following types:

  • Average (Integer, Long, Double, BigInteger, BigDecimal)
  • Sum (Integer, Long, Double, BigInteger, BigDecimal)
  • Min (Integer, Long, Double, BigInteger, BigDecimal, Comparable)
  • Max (Integer, Long, Double, BigInteger, BigDecimal, Comparable)
  • DistinctValues
  • Count

Those aggregations are a lot like their counterparts on relational databases and can be equated to SQL statements as set out below.


Calculates an average value based on all selected values.

map.aggregate( Supplier.all( person -> person.getAge() ),
               Aggregations.integerAvg() );
SELECT AVG(person.age) FROM person;

Calculates a sum based on all selected values.

map.aggregate( Supplier.all( person -> person.getAge() ),
               Aggregations.integerSum() );
SELECT SUM(person.age) FROM person;
Minimum (Min)

Finds the minimal value over all selected values.

map.aggregate( Supplier.all( person -> person.getAge() ),
               Aggregations.integerMin() );
SELECT MIN(person.age) FROM person;
Maximum (Max)

Finds the maximal value over all selected values.

map.aggregate( Supplier.all( person -> person.getAge() ),
               Aggregations.integerMax() );
SELECT MAX(person.age) FROM person;
Distinct Values

Returns a collection of distinct values over the selected values

map.aggregate( Supplier.all( person -> person.getAge() ),
               Aggregations.distinctValues() );
SELECT DISTINCT person.age FROM person;

Returns the element count over all selected values

map.aggregate( Supplier.all(), Aggregations.count() );


We have already used the com.hazelcast.mapreduce.aggregation.PropertyExtractor interface before when we had a look at the example on how to use a Supplier to transform a value to another type. It can also be used to extract attributes from values.

class Person {
  private String firstName;
  private String lastName;
  private int age;

  // getters and setters

PropertyExtractor<Person, Integer> propertyExtractor = (person) -> person.getAge();
class AgeExtractor implements PropertyExtractor<Person, Integer> {
  public Integer extract( Person value ) {
    return value.getAge();

In this example, we extract the value from the person's age attribute and so the value type changes from Person to Integer which again is reflected in the generics information to stay type safe.

PropertyExtractors are meant to be used for any kind of transformation of data, you might even want to have multiple transformation steps chained one after another.

Aggregation Configuration

As stated before, the easiest way to configure the resources used by the underlying MapReduce framework is to supply a JobTracker to the aggregation call itself by passing it to either IMap::aggregate or MultiMap::aggregate.

There is also a second way on how to implicitly configure the underlying used JobTracker. If no specific JobTracker was passed for the aggregation call, internally the one to be used will be created using a naming specification as the following:

For IMap aggregation calls the naming spec is created as:

  • hz::aggregation-map- and concatenated the name of the map

For MultiMap it is very similar:

  • hz::aggregation-multimap- and concatenated the name of the MultiMap

knowing that (the specification of the name), we can configure the JobTracker as expected (as described in the Jobtracker section) using the naming spec we just learned For more information on configuration of the JobTracker please see JobTracker Configuration.

To finish this section, let's have a quick example for the above naming specs:

IMap<String, Integer> map = hazelcastInstance.getMap( "mymap" );

// The internal JobTracker name resolves to 'hz::aggregation-map-mymap' 
map.aggregate( ... );
MultiMap<String, Integer> multimap = hazelcastInstance.getMultiMap( "mymultimap" );

// The internal JobTracker name resolves to 'hz::aggregation-multimap-mymultimap' 
multimap.aggregate( ... );

Aggregations Examples

For the final example, imagine you are working for an international company and you have an employee database stored in Hazelcast IMap with all employees worldwide and a MultiMap for assigning employees to their certain locations or offices. In addition, there is another IMap which holds the salary per employee.

Let's have a look at our data model:

class Employee implements Serializable {
  private String firstName;
  private String lastName;
  private String companyName;
  private String address;
  private String city;
  private String county;
  private String state;
  private int zip;
  private String phone1;
  private String phone2;
  private String email;
  private String web;

  // getters and setters

class SalaryMonth implements Serializable {
  private Month month;
  private int salary;

  // getters and setters

class SalaryYear implements Serializable {
  private String email;
  private int year;
  private List<SalaryMonth> months;

  // getters and setters

  public int getAnnualSalary() {
    int sum = 0;
    for ( SalaryMonth salaryMonth : getMonths() ) {
      sum += salaryMonth.getSalary();
    return sum;

The two IMaps and the MultiMap, they are both keyed by the string of email and are defined as follows:

IMap<String, Employee> employees = hz.getMap( "employees" );
IMap<String, SalaryYear> salaries = hz.getMap( "salaries" );
MultiMap<String, String> officeAssignment = hz.getMultiMap( "office-employee" );

So far, we know all important information to work out some example aggregations. We will look into some deeper implementation details and how we can work around some current limitations that will be eliminated in future versions of the API.

So let's start with an already seen, very basic example. We want to know the average salary of all of our employees. To do this, we need a PropertyExtractor and the average aggregation for type Integer.

IMap<String, SalaryYear> salaries = hazelcastInstance.getMap( "salaries" );
PropertyExtractor<SalaryYear, Integer> extractor =
    (salaryYear) -> salaryYear.getAnnualSalary();
int avgSalary = salaries.aggregate( Supplier.all( extractor ),
                                    Aggregations.integerAvg() );

That's it. Internally, we created a map-reduce task based on the predefined aggregation and fire it up immediately. Currently, all aggregation calls are blocking operations, so it is not yet possible to execute the aggregation in a reactive way (using com.hazelcast.core.ICompletableFuture) but this will be part of one of the upcoming versions.

Map Join Example

The following example is already a bit more complex, so we only want to have our US based employees selected into the average salary calculation, so we need to execute some kind of a join operation between the employees and salaries maps.

class USEmployeeFilter implements KeyPredicate<String>, HazelcastInstanceAware {
  private transient HazelcastInstance hazelcastInstance;

  public void setHazelcastInstance( HazelcastInstance hazelcastInstance ) {
    this.hazelcastInstance = hazelcastInstance;

  public boolean evaluate( String email ) {
    IMap<String, Employee> employees = hazelcastInstance.getMap( "employees" );
    Employee employee = employees.get( email );
    return "US".equals( employee.getCountry() );

Using the HazelcastInstanceAware interface, we get the current instance of Hazelcast injected into our filter and can perform data joins on other data structures of the cluster. We now only select employees that work as part of our US offices into the aggregation.

IMap<String, SalaryYear> salaries = hazelcastInstance.getMap( "salaries" );
PropertyExtractor<SalaryYear, Integer> extractor =
    (salaryYear) -> salaryYear.getAnnualSalary();
int avgSalary = salaries.aggregate( Supplier.fromKeyPredicate(
                                        new USEmployeeFilter(), extractor
                                    ), Aggregations.integerAvg() );

Grouping Example

For our next example, we will do some grouping based on the different worldwide offices. Currently, a group aggregator is not yet available, that means we need a small workaround to achieve this goal. In later versions of the Aggregations API this will not be required anymore since it will be available out of the box in a much more convenient way.

So again, let's start with our filter. This time we want to filter based on an office name and we again need to do some data joins to achieve this kind of filtering.

A short tip: to minimize the data transmission on the aggregation we can use Data Affinity rules to influence the partitioning of data. Be aware that this is an expert feature of Hazelcast.

class OfficeEmployeeFilter implements KeyPredicate<String>, HazelcastInstanceAware {
  private transient HazelcastInstance hazelcastInstance;
  private String office;

  // Deserialization Constructor
  public OfficeEmployeeFilter() {

  public OfficeEmployeeFilter( String office ) { = office;

  public void setHazelcastInstance( HazelcastInstance hazelcastInstance ) {
    this.hazelcastInstance = hazelcastInstance;

  public boolean evaluate( String email ) {
    MultiMap<String, String> officeAssignment = hazelcastInstance
        .getMultiMap( "office-employee" );

    return officeAssignment.containsEntry( office, email );    

Now, we can execute our aggregations. As mentioned, we currently need to do the grouping on our own by executing multiple aggregations in a row but that will go away soon.

Map<String, Integer> avgSalariesPerOffice = new HashMap<String, Integer>();

IMap<String, SalaryYear> salaries = hazelcastInstance.getMap( "salaries" );
MultiMap<String, String> officeAssignment =
    hazelcastInstance.getMultiMap( "office-employee" );

PropertyExtractor<SalaryYear, Integer> extractor =
    (salaryYear) -> salaryYear.getAnnualSalary();

for ( String office : officeAssignment.keySet() ) {
  OfficeEmployeeFilter filter = new OfficeEmployeeFilter( office );
  int avgSalary = salaries.aggregate( Supplier.fromKeyPredicate( filter, extractor ),
                                      Aggregations.integerAvg() );

  avgSalariesPerOffice.put( office, avgSalary );

Simple Count Example

After the previous example, we want to fade out from this section by executing one final, easy but nice aggregation. We just want to know how many employees we currently have on a worldwide basis. Before reading the next lines of source code, you can try to do it on your own to see if you understood the way of executing aggregations.

As said, this is again a very basic example but it is the perfect closing point for this section:

IMap<String, Employee> employees = hazelcastInstance.getMap( "employees" );
int count = employees.size();

Ok, after that quick joke, we look at the real two code lines:

IMap<String, Employee> employees = hazelcastInstance.getMap( "employees" );
int count = employees.aggregate( Supplier.all(), Aggregations.count() );

We now have a good overview of how to use aggregations in real life situations. If you want to do your colleagues a favor you might want to end up writing your own additional set of aggregations. Then please read on the next section, if not just stop here.

Implementing Aggregations

This section explains how to implement your own aggregations for convenient reasons in your own application. It is meant to be an advanced users section so if you do not intend to implement your own aggregation, you might want to stop reading here and probably come back at a later point in time when there is the need to know how to implement your own aggregation.

The main interface for making your own aggregation is com.hazelcast.mapreduce.aggregation.Aggregation. It consists of four methods that can be explained very briefly.

interface Aggregation<Key, Supplied, Result> {
  Mapper getMapper(Supplier<Key, ?, Supplied> supplier);
  CombinerFactory getCombinerFactory();
  ReducerFactory getReducerFactory();
  Collator<Map.Entry, Result> getCollator();

As we can see, an Aggregation implementation is nothing more than defining a map-reduce task with a small difference. The Mapper is always expected to work on a Supplier that filters and / or transforms the mapped input value to some output value.

Whereas, getMapper and getReducerFactory are expected to return non-null values, getCombinerFactory and getCollator are optional operations and do not need to be implemented. If you want to implement these, it heavily depends on your use case you want to achieve.

For more information on how you implement mappers, combiners, reducer and collators you should have a look at the MapReduce section, since it is out of the scope of this chapter to explain it.

For best speed and traffic usage, as mentioned in the map-reduce documentation, you should add a Combiner to your aggregation whenever it is possible to do some kind of pre-reduction step.

Your implementation also should use DataSerializable or IdentifiedDataSerializable for best compatibility and speed / stream-size reasons.