Content posted here with the permission of the author Anuj Verma, who is currently employed at Josh Software. Original post available here.

In elasticsearch we can store closely related entities within a single document. For example, we can store a blog post and all of its comments together, by passing an array of comments.

  "title": "Invest Money",
  "body": "Please start investing money as soon...",
  "tags": ["money", "invest"],
  "published_on": "18 Oct 2017",
  "comments": [
      "name": "William",
      "age": 34,
      "rating": 8,
      "comment": "Nice article..",
      "commented_on": "30 Nov 2017"
      "name": "John",
      "age": 38,
      "rating": 9,
      "comment": "I started investing after reading this.",
      "commented_on": "25 Nov 2017"
      "name": "Smith",
      "age": 33,
      "rating": 7,
      "comment": "Very good post",
      "commented_on": "20 Nov 2017"

So we have an elasticsearch document describing a post and an inner object comments containing all the comments on a post. But inner objects in elasticsearch do not work as we expect. How ? We will see it soon.


Now suppose we want to find all blog posts on which user {name: john, age: 34} has commented. So lets again look at our sample document above and find the users who had commented.

name age
William 34
John 38
Smith 33

From the list we can clearly see that there is no user John of 34 years age. For simplicity consider we have only 1 document in elasticsearch index. Lets verify the same by querying the index:

curl -XGET 'localhost:9200/blog/_search?pretty' -H 'Content-Type: application/json' -d'
  "query": {
    "bool": {
      "must": [
        { "match": { "": "John" }},
        { "match": { "comments.age":  34 }}

Our sample document is returned in response. Surprised ?. Now that is why I said:

inner objects in elasticsearch do not work as expected

The problem here is that the library used by elasticsearch(lucene) has no concept of inner objects, so as a result inner objects are flattened into a simple list of field name and values. Our document is internally stored as:

  "title":                    [ invest, money ],
  "body":                     [ as, investing, money, please, soon, start ],
  "tags":                     [ invest, money ],
  "published_on":             [ 18 Oct 2017 ]
  "":            [ smith, john, william ],
  "comments.comment":         [ after, article, good, i, investing, nice, post, reading, started, this, very ],
  "comments.age":             [ 33, 34, 38 ],
  "comments.rating":          [ 7, 8, 9 ],
  "comments.commented_on":    [ 20 Nov 2017, 25 Nov 2017, 30 Nov 2017 ]

As you can clearly see above that the relationship between and comments.age has been lost. So that is why our document matches a query for john and 34.


To solve this problem we just need to make a small change in mapping of elasticsearch. If you have a look at the mapping of index you will find that the type of comments field is object. We need to update it to type nested.

We can simply update the mapping of our index by running the below query:

curl -XPUT 'localhost:9200/blog' -d'
  "mappings": {
    "blog": {
      "properties": {
        "title": { "type": "string" },
        "body": { "type": "string" },
        "tags": { "type": "text" },
        "published_on": { "type": "text" },
        "comments": {
          "type": "nested",
          "properties": {
            "name":    { "type": "string"  },
            "comment": { "type": "string"  },
            "age":     { "type": "short"   },
            "rating":   { "type": "short"   },
            "commented_on":    { "type": "text"    }

After changing the mapping to type nested, there is a slight change in the way we can query the index. We need to use nested query. Given below is the nested query example:

curl -XGET 'localhost:9200/blog/_search?pretty' -H 'Content-Type: application/json' -d'
  "query": {
    "bool": {
      "must": [
          "nested": {
            "path": "comments",
            "query": {
              "bool": {
                "must": [
                    "match": {
                      "": "john"
                    "match": {
                      "comments.age": 34

The above query will return no document in response as there is no match of user {name: john, age: 34}.

Surprised again ? Just a small change solved a problem in no time. It may be a smaller change from our side, but a lot has changed in the way elasticsearch stores our document. Internally, nested objects index each object in the array as a separate hidden document, meaning that each nested object can be queried independently of the others.

Given below is the internal representation of sample document after changing mapping:

    "":    [ john ],
    "comments.comment": [ after i investing started reading this ],
    "comments.age":     [ 38 ],
    "comments.rating":  [ 9 ],
    "":    [ 25 Nov 2017 ]
    "":    [ william ],
    "comments.comment": [ article, nice ],
    "comments.age":     [ 34 ],
    "comments.rating":   [ 8 ],
    "":    [ 30 Nov 2017 ]
    "":    [ smith ],
    "comments.comment": [ good, post, very],
    "comments.age":     [ 33 ],
    "comments.rating":   [ 7 ],
    "":    [ 20 Nov 2017 ]
    "title":            [ invest, money ],
    "body":             [ as, investing, money, please, soon, start ],
    "tags":             [ invest, money ],
    "published_on":     [ 18 Oct 2017 ]

As you can see each inner object is stored as a separate hidden document internally. This maintains the relationship between their fields.


So if you are using inner objects in index and querying them too, verify that the type of inner object is nested. Else the query may return invalid result documents.

Thanks for reading. Please like and share so that it can reach out to other valuable readers too.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Making Manufacturing Smart: Predictive Maintenance

Predictive Maintenance (1).png

A growing middle-class population, higher spending power and per capita income and the increasing share of young professionals in India today have given way to initiatives like Make in India that aims at increasing the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the country’s GDP. Manufacturing is growing at an astounding rate, and with the government’s support along with both, domestic and foreign investments, predictions state that India is on its way to becoming the fifth largest manufacturing hub in the world. Many global companies and MNCs have set up their operational centers here. As manufacturing looks to play a larger role in our economy, technology advancement and tech intervention in this sector will continue to be a great opportunity for the entire IT industry.

Challenges in the manufacturing sector

The goal of every manufacturing organization is the same: to maximize machine efficiency. This is by no means easy, especially because of the rate at which the demands for goods is rising. This also means that machines producing these goods will have to be serviced periodically, as poor maintenance strategies single handedly decrease efficiency. The biggest challenge faced by the manufacturing industry is to provide seamless, consistent performance, because routine failures and downtime are a very real threat to the overall performance. When you have machines that perform repetitive tasks every single day, this is bound to happen. Sometimes, maximum utilization of machine parts (to the extent till when they break off!) may lead to catastrophic, even permanent damage and lead on to a longer downtime. Then, of course, there are the failures that we don’t see coming and the unplanned downtimes. If you change parts frequently, that’s an additional overhead cost, and may cause unnecessary changes to a daily routine. Often, companies may end up with a spare parts surplus, which ultimately impacts the business’s bottom line, and not in a good way. The real question is, can there be something that helps professionals gauge how and when they should get machines serviced?

Prevention is better that cure: Predictive Maintenance

The answer is yes. Enter Predictive Maintenance!  but the use of deep learning technology is leading towards A new age method backed by deep learning and advanced technology, the purpose of predictive maintenance is to safeguard the health of machines and make sure they are not being overused. It aims at avoiding unplanned downtime and minimizing planned downtime. We are now living in the fourth industrial revolution, and it is time for manufacturers to shift from ‘Why fix something that is not broken’ to ‘Let’s prevent it from breaking down in the first place.’ In essence, the requirement of the industry is to move from a reactive chain of thought to an anticipated one, and that is exactly what predictive maintenance offers.

Imagine how much easier life would be if you knew beforehand which machine part needed servicing. Instead of breaking open the entire machine (which by this time, in all probability has stopped working) and figuring out where the problem lies and ordering spare parts because you didn’t know which part would need replacing, you could just keep the required part ready. So much time, energy and money saved! This also means that your downtime is planned, rather, it’s optimized. Undertaking predictive maintenance regularly also means that equipment life increases significantly because it is well taken care of. Moreover, one of the greatest advantages predictive learning offers is a boost in employee productivity since it lowers crucial callouts, saves time and in turn, reduces stress. You are happy. Your machines are well serviced. Your team is at peace. Works like a charm, right?


Tech intervention as the base of Predictive Maintenance

This sounds pretty awesome, but it’s not that easy to implement. Predictive maintenance is far from being only a plug and play solution; it is so much more. Without technologies like IoT, data analysis and deep learning, predictive maintenance cannot function. There are hundreds of layers of data that need to be collected over time to keep this up and running, because only properly analyzed data from critical equipment sensors, ERP systems and computerized maintenance management systems can give you an accurate Human to Machine (H2M) interaction. Different organizations and machines may also be at different stages of maturity, but all of them need to be monitored constantly. IoT is the biggest piece of this puzzle because it translated physical actions from machines to digital signals that are analyzed along with this data. It is thus, the key to a successful production network. Then come predictive algorithms and business intelligence tools that read this data, trigger reaction and close the digital-to-physical loop. Deep neural networks are also used in this approach to learn from data sequences and extract valuable insights.

All of this being put into place together provides you with your predictive maintenance strategy, which is then implemented by your organization’s task force. The true impact of these strategies is not immediate, but most definitely measurable. It is still in the early stages of development right now as organizations begin to realize the value that technological disruptions can bring about. Much like a good wine, predictive maintenance is also sure to get better with time. Here’s raising a glass to the future!


Posted in Artificial Intelligence, General, Manufacturing industry | Leave a comment

Girls Rule — and we’ve just taken over Go!

Content posted here with the permission of the author Bhuvana Prabhu, who is currently employed at Josh Software. Original post available here.

On 25th of November, I had the honour of being the host of the first ever Golang Girls. I’d like to share my experience of the whole event as to why one should look forward to next Golang Girls. Because I certainly am.

For starters — What is Golang Girls ?

It is an initiative to introduce girls to the power of Go language. Give them a platform to meet various Golang enthusiasts who share one common goal: to get stuck into Go and meet other like minded individuals. Girls do run the world! But women, ladies and even boys are allowed to attend, don’t care whether you are a beginner , intermediate or advanced.

Pioneers of Golang!

So, the first ever Golang girls took place in Pune at Josh Software (Love saying ‘first ever’ — first time is always special, right? :P). Among the 45 participants, including coaches, there were not only students but also working professionals and even a few boys! The most interesting attendee was a boy still in school, in the 8th grade! (Note to self: It’s never too early to start!).

We had teams of 4–5 attendees and had 2 coaches per team. It was lovely to see how people chose not to slip into their blankets on Sunday and rather learn something new.

Pretty Gophers aka coaches!

It all started off with a super motivating talk by Gautam Rege, a big Golang enthusiast (and also someone I look up to). He enlightened us about why Go is sky-rocketing in popularity and why we need to really dive into Go. The eagerness of audience after the talk to get Go-ing was incredible!

Then there was a session by Varsha where attendees did a deep dive on Go Playground. Getting your hands dirty with any language teaches you the nuances and magic of that language. And that’s what really happened — attendees got so engrossed that they were delaying lunch and I had to announce for * times(I don’t really remember the count) to get their attention to food!

Once the lunch was over, we all did something crazy. All of us took up Didi challenge (Mind it, it’s Didi, not Kiki challenge 😛 ). It felt a little idiotic in the beginning but trust me, the fun that it brings is BOMB!. It also took away the drowsiness after the delectable lunch.

Finally, it was time to build an app in Go. And what could be more engaging and interesting than a chat application. (Something that we can’t stop doing). The idea was simple, build a server-less terminal based chat app with Go Routines and gRPC, peer-to-peer and broadcast chat, etc. Attendees were briefed about these concepts. And then they started off with their App. Coaches were constantly around them to guide them whenever needed.

After a couple of hours of struggling with completing the TODOs in the code, guess what? EVERYONE finished the application — even the 8th grade student! It really left me in awe. To reward everyone for their excellent effort and enthusiasm, we had lovely Gopher cupcakes for them(Freakishly cute!)

Tasted as good as they look!

What did I learn at the end of the workshop?

First, it’s never too early to start learning something new 😛 (Thanks to that kid).

Second, Go is the next BIG thing. Definitely going to motivate my peers to dive into it.

Third, being a part of such an informative and motivating initiative gives me another level of contentment.

I am now eagerly looking forward to the next Golang Girls !

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Changing the game: Technological disruptions in the Indian Insurance Sector

Josh Banner (1)-01.pngDid you know that there are more than 55 life insurance and non-life insurance companies that operate in India alone? That’s a huge number, and it allows for fierce competition! Owing to individuals’ higher disposable income, increasing life expectancy, economic growth of the country and the Government’s increased FDI limit, investments in the insurance sector have increased manifold and the horizon for growth has expanded even further. With a CAGR of 14.4 percent, research and predictions state that the Indian insurance industry will reach $280 billion by 2020. While the last decade saw a lot of scale, the upcoming decade is all about operational efficiency backed by technology! The Insurance companies that do not leverage technology to reduce their overheads and increase operation efficiency will find it very difficult to sustain themselves. The most important aspect that will lead this growth on is consumer behaviour along with scalable distribution channels and lower overheads. In today’s technological day and age, most customers have turned to digital channels to understand more about premiums, compare products and analyse diverse insurance offerings. It is imperative that the insurance sector implements technology wisely to achieve a holistic growth.

Retaining the human factor with point of sales persons (POSP)

I say that technology is one of the main drivers of innovation for almost every industry today. That, however, does not mean that we can let go of the human factor completely. It needs to be a combination of both, because the value of human experience and understanding is unparalleled. While we know that there are various offerings that each insurance industry provides to its customers, the fact of the matter remains that the level of penetration in the country is still low. To increase penetration, we need distribution models that can explain to the masses the benefits of insurance and what all it entails. These distributors until recently operated as “Insurance Agents”. Earlier, when people were not that aware about insurance, these agents would sell insurance policies on behalf of the insurance company. Awareness amongst the masses has risen and now, consumers themselves want to compare insurance quotes. This means that insurance agents are now at a loss as they are tied to only a single insurance company.

Recently, the IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) allowed Insurance Broking Agencies to appoint “Point of Sale Person” or POSPs. A POSP is a registered agent of  a Broking Agency and, these Agencies can access live quotes from multiple Insurance companies! Ever since the introduction of these POSPs, the benefits of comparing and buying insurance have increased significantly. With smart training courses of at least 15 hours with certification, the number of POSPs is on an exponential rise as the basic qualifications for them have been relaxed. The ‘survival of the fittest’ race has begun, because IRDAI has standardized agent commissions. This has now forced companies to increase their operational efficiency and reduce overheads to achieve scalability and remain profitable. To remain relevant and tackle competition effectively, insurance companies will have to use technology to focus on empowering these POSPs along with keeping an eye on their customers. Without that, the chances of success are fairly slim.

Technology and talent: The perfect combination

Insurance companies now have two models to choose from: the B2C model and the B2B model. Using the first model involves empowering the end-user to buy online insurance and bypass the agent model altogether. This requires substantial advertising budget and branding, which means a higher customer acquisition cost and low rates of conversion. With the B2B model, companies can empower POSPs and help them compare different insurance premiums to assist their customers buy the right policy. This has a significantly lesser acquisition cost and a much higher chance of conversions. Which one do you think is better? I definitely think the second one, because it has a direct impact on the business revenue and its bottom line. The technology challenges insurers face are complex, including the need for flexibility, better cost control, robust data analysis capabilities, talent retention and adapting to mobile tech and social media. These challenges are all related to capacity, and McKinsey research states that these changes can all be impacted through a culture of continuous improvement. Think first, then move on to implementation. How do you do that? Through something called as ‘Lean Management’.

Lean Management: Building a culture of efficiency with technology

Using the principles of lean management, scalable technology can be put into place. It manages a large workforce easily, across larger geographies and delivers more customer value. Not having a regional workforce employed to leverage scale, and having a mobile technology scalable POSP with Regional Managers managing their respective circles is a starting point to ensure lower operational overheads. Lean management for insurance companies means evaluating customer insurance needs, enabling price comparison, building larger scalable teams and analysing data in detail for effective customer acquisition and retention. Creating such a setup to empower POSPs is what will set apart successful insurers from those who fail to leave their mark behind.

This does not mean that transformation should happen at a large scale in the beginning itself. Start with a smaller area like a city, then evaluate the results, and then move on to larger areas. Insurance companies can thus scaleup without having a regional office everywhere! Automating various functionalities like getting online and offline quotes from insurance vendors, sending vehicle inspection reports and health reports using mobile technology is a great start. Enabling instant policy issuance and instant commission can give companies the edge in retain and hiring POSPs. Rewards and Recognition for POSPs like gathering reward points for redemption and discount coupon codes could easily be powered by technology, utilizing a minimal work force. Adapting to technology, thus, has become a necessity and is not a choice anymore. Disruption is the only way ahead, and the sooner industries realize this, the better chances they will have to succeed!

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Insuretech | Leave a comment

JobIntentService Android: How to Example

Content posted here with the permission of the author Sambhaji Karad, who is currently employed at Josh Software. Original post available here.

What is JobIntentService?

Helper for processing work that has been enqueued for a job/service. When running on Android O or later, the work will be dispatched as a job via JobScheduler.enqueue. When running on older versions of the platform, it will use Context.startService.

You must publish your subclass in your manifest for the system to interact with. This should be published as a JobService, as described for that class, since on O and later platforms it will be executed that way.

Use enqueueWork(Context, Class, int, Intent) to enqueue new work to be dispatched to and handled by your service. It will be executed in onHandleWork(Intent).

One of Android’s greatest strengths is its ability to use system resources in the background regardless app execution. sometimes it became the behaviour to use system resources excessively.

Checkout Background Execution Limits in Android O

Lets Start

IntentService.class is an extensively used service class in Android because of its simplicity and robust in nature. Since the release of Oreo, made things more difficult for developers to use this class in a full swing for their applications. For those who are relied on IntentService class, from oreo onwards you cannot simply use this class. I was also searching for an exact and efficient alternative for this class so that I can change old intentservice class to that. The search ended up in JobIntentService which is exactly does the same job of IntentService by using new Job APIs of oreo. This class is available in the support library of SDK 26.

Implementation of JobIntentService class is a simple process. Also, You can easily migrate from IntentServiceClass to JobIntentServiceClass.For device targeting SDK 26 or later, This class’ works are dispatched via JobScheduler class and for SDK 25 or below devices, It uses Context.startService() (Same as in IntentService). First, compile the dependency on your app level gradle.

implementation ''

or later version

Steps to implement JobIntentService

1. Create a subclass of JobIntentService

2. Override onHandleWork() method

3. Expose enqueueWork() method

4. Write code in Manifest file

– For Pre-Oreo devices

  • add in Manifest WAKE-LOCK permission

– For Oreo device or above

  • Allow JobIntentService to user JobScheduler API
  • Declare android.premssion.BIND_JOb_SERVICE

1) Create a extends JobIntentService

private static final String TAG = JobService.class.getSimpleName();
public static final String RECEIVER = "receiver";
public static final int SHOW_RESULT = 123;
 * Result receiver object to send results
private ResultReceiver mResultReceiver;
 * Unique job ID for this service.
static final int DOWNLOAD_JOB_ID = 1000;
 * Actions download
private static final String ACTION_DOWNLOAD = "action.DOWNLOAD_DATA";

 * Convenience method for enqueuing work in to this service.
public static void enqueueWork(Context context, ServiceResultReceiver workerResultReceiver) {
    Intent intent = new Intent(context, JobService.class);
    intent.putExtra(RECEIVER, workerResultReceiver);
    enqueueWork(context, JobService.class, DOWNLOAD_JOB_ID, intent);

protected void onHandleWork(@NonNull Intent intent) {
    Log.d(TAG, "onHandleWork() called with: intent = [" + intent + "]");
    if (intent.getAction() != null) {
        switch (intent.getAction()) {
            case ACTION_DOWNLOAD:
                mResultReceiver = intent.getParcelableExtra(RECEIVER);
                for(int i=0;i<10;i++){
                    try {
                        Bundle bundle = new Bundle();
                        bundle.putString("data",String.format("Showing From JobIntent Service %d", i));
                        mResultReceiver.send(SHOW_RESULT, bundle);
                    } catch (InterruptedException e) {

2) Add WAKELOCK Permission to Manifest.xml

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.WAKE_LOCK" />

3) Add JobIntentService class to Manifest.xml


4) Create a to communicate with Activity from JobIntentService

private Receiver mReceiver;

 * Create a new ResultReceive to receive results.  Your
 * {@link #onReceiveResult} method will be called from the thread running
 * <var>handler</var> if given, or from an arbitrary thread if null.
 * @param handler the handler object

public ServiceResultReceiver(Handler handler) {

public void setReceiver(Receiver receiver) {
    mReceiver = receiver;

protected void onReceiveResult(int resultCode, Bundle resultData) {
    if (mReceiver != null) {
        mReceiver.onReceiveResult(resultCode, resultData);

public interface Receiver {
    void onReceiveResult(int resultCode, Bundle resultData);

5) Create to enqueue work to JobIntentService, Initialise the ServiceResultReceiver, Show data from the Service

public class MainActivity extends AppCompatActivity implements ServiceResultReceiver.Receiver {

    private ServiceResultReceiver mServiceResultReceiver;
    private TextView mTextView;

    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {

        mServiceResultReceiver = new ServiceResultReceiver(new Handler());
        mTextView = findViewById(;
        showDataFromBackground(MainActivity.this, mServiceResultReceiver);

    private void showDataFromBackground(MainActivity mainActivity, ServiceResultReceiver mResultReceiver) {
        JobService.enqueueWork(mainActivity, mResultReceiver);

    public void showData(String data) {
        mTextView.setText(String.format("%s\n%s", mTextView.getText(), data));

    public void onReceiveResult(int resultCode, Bundle resultData) {
        switch (resultCode) {
            case SHOW_RESULT:
                if (resultData != null) {

Download source code from Github

For any questions or suggestions, please leave comments.

Thank you Happy Coding

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Journey from NoSQL to SQL(Part II) – Data Transfer

Content posted here with the permission of the author Meenakshi Kumari, who is currently employed at Josh Software. Original post available here.

In my last blog, I have shared my experience of gem changes and preparation of schema for PostgreSQL database. In this blog i’ll be covering the data transfer process from MongoDB to PostgreSQL database without any inconsistency. And will also cover what all challenges we faced and their solutions.

Data transfer from MongoDB to PostgreSQL database.

As our project was updated with PostgreSQL and database schema prepared, the next hurdle in-front of us was how can we import the data of MongoDB to PostgreSQL without affecting the data quality and disturbing the old data.

After lot of research, we found gem Sequel. It is a simple, flexible, and powerful SQL database access toolkit for Ruby. It basically has ability to connect to different type of databases (in our case MongoDB & PostgreSQL), read/write to those connected databases etc. SEQUEL can do all this because it includes a comprehensive Object Relational Mapping (ORM) layer for mapping records to Ruby objects and handling associated records. We used it like connect to destination PostgreSQL DB to write data which is read from our MongoDB.

So let’s start with the data transfer, steps which were followed are:

  1. Switch to the MongoDB branch and there we need to install sequel and pg gem. In my previous blog I had mentioned that we had two separate branches for the MongoDB and PostgreSQL code in the same GitHub project repository. All this data transfer was done on the MongoDB branch.
  2. Now we have to write rake tasks for data mapping. I’ll be taking the previous blog’s table example i.e. Address. You have already seen the table schema in the previous section, now i’ll show how to write rake task for data import for this particular table using Sequel. In the below rake task following this will be covered:
  • Database connection is established using :
DB = Sequel.postgres(‘database_name’, user: ‘username’, password:     ‘password’, host:‘localhost’, port: port_number)
  • Extensions for pg_hstore and pg_array are added to support the PostgreSQL hstore and array type to Sequel.
DB.extension :pg_array
DB.extension :pg_hstore
  • Loop over table in batches (for fast execution) and then make a hash containing one to one mapping for MongoDB record fields with respective PostgreSQL table fields.
  • In below rake task you will see “safe_task” method, this is to handle exceptions and throw error message. Below is the code for safe_task;
def safe_task(&proc)
    return true
  rescue StandardError => e
    puts "Exception Message: #{e.message}"
    puts "Exception Class: #{}" 
  • Handle associations: In our table, address belongs_to company and company has_many address. To store company_id inside address table we have to import company records before address data. And then we will fetch associated company_id from the PostgreSQL company table and update the address table accordingly and also we will be keeping the mongo_id for the same company in relation_ids field of address.
## Retrieve associated company data from the PostgreSQL database
company = DB[:companies].select(:id).where(mongo_id: address.company_id.to_s).first
  • Hstore and array fields are firstly mapped directly to their PostgreSQL fields and as they cannot be directly inserted into the tables through Sequel, we have handled them as shown in the following part of code:
## Delete keys who has empty array values 
mapping.delete_if { |key, value| value.class == Array && value.empty? }
## Edit hash values        
mapping.each do |key, value| 
  Hash.include?(value.class) && mapping.update(key => Sequel.hstore(value)) 
  • In the last we have to insert the mapping hash inside the PostgreSQL database.
record_no = DB[:addresses].insert(mapping)

Below is the consolidated rake task code for the Address table;

desc 'Address  Data Migrate' 
task :addresses => :environment do

  ## Establish Connection
  ## Add extension for hstore and array 
  ## Loop over address table and start one-to-one field mapping
  ## Retrieve associated company data from the PostgreSQL database
    task = safe_task do
      mapping = {  
        mongo_id:, ## Actual table mongo_id
        ## Map PostgreSQL fields: MongoDB fields
        company_id:  company[:id], ## Storing PostgreSQL parent_id

        ## For storing associated table mongo_id
        relation_ids: {  
          company_id: ## Store company mongo_id

      ## Handle hstore and array fields(if any) before insertion

      ## Insert record          
      record_no = DB[:addresses].insert(mapping)

You have observed following things in the above rake task:

  • “mongo_id” and “relation_ids” fields are used as was mentioned in my previous blog, and we are storing the mongodb id into mongo_id for the record and associated tables mongo_id in relation_ids for future reference. So if anything goes wrong while data transfer task it can be handled while checking these fields and also for cross checking consistency of the data records which are transferred from MongoDB to PostgreSQL.

TIP: You can print number of the records which are imported with their respective mongo_id’s and reason of the failed record insertions(if any) just to keep track of the task status.

NOTE: We needed to store the PostgreSQL id of the parent table into their child tables, so the data for parent is needed to be populated first in the database that’s why we started with the rake tasks of parent tables and then moved on to their children and the process continues till the leaf tables. And the same sequence we followed while running these rake tasks.

One of the biggest challenge we faced was: we had a table in our system with more then 10 millions of records, and our rake task was taking more then 30 hours for data importing and was getting break at many points due to ‘cursor not found error’ and “SIGHUP” as we were trying to fetch the data in batches over the huge table records. It wasn’t getting imported in a single flow as it was taking to much time to load the whole table. We even tried loading in batches but that also didn’t helped .

Solution: Initially we were iterating over the whole table and then mapping their fields and then inserting. Instead of this we started with the up to down approach. Let me explain following example;

class Grandparent < ApplicationRecord
  has_many :parents
class Parent < ApplicationRecord
  has_many   :children
  belongs_to :grandparent
class Child < ApplicationRecord
  belongs_to :parent

Let’s say we have to transfer ‘Child’ table records from MongoDB to PostgreSQL database. So instead of directly looping over the ‘Child’ table, we will start with the grandparent table and then for that particular grandparent we will loop over their parents and then proceed to their children. Have a look into below pseudo code for more explanation;

desc 'Child  Data Migrate' 
task :children => :environment do

  puts "Rake task 'children' start time #{}"

  ## Establish Connection

  ## Add extension for hstore and array 

  total_count = Child.count
  success_count = 0

  Grandparent.each do |grand_parent|
    grandparent.parents.each do |parent|
      parent.children.each do |child|
        ## Map all the fields of Child table and then insert into DB

We followed the above approach and this reduced the time for data import to 5 hours. And we were done with our data transfer. Sequel really made this whole procedure very easy for us.

After this phase we faced many issues related to the updated versions of Ruby on Rails and changed database, which i’ll cover in my next part of this blog.

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Could InsureTech look at Crypto Currency as a premium payment alternative?


The blockchain truly has shaped up into one of the biggest technological disruptions of the decade. A digitized, distributed and secure ledger that guarantees immutable, transparent transactions, it gives both parties involved a proper breakdown for each transaction, thus ensuring credibility throughout the entire process. The most popular implementation of the blockchain are cryptocurrencies, the most well-known of these cryptocurrencies being the Bitcoin. A few problems relating to cryptocurrencies have been brought to light recently, like slow performance and processing of the public blockchain, excessive price volatility, energy consumption while mining and scams involving fraudulent ICOs (Initial Coin Offering). However, I think that all these problems can be solved with time. With increasing awareness, the cryptocurrency regulations will fall into place and as the security around blackchains becomes robust, these issues should subside.

Is cryptocurrency here to stay?

It’s like this: if blockchain is an umbrella, cryptocurrency is only one of the spokes of that umbrella. The blockchain can be used for various other things too! There are many debates happening about whether cryptocurrency will sustain in the longer run or simply be considered as another great technological invention that isn’t fruitful. I truly believe that cryptocurrency is here to stay. I also believe that it will definitely be used as an alternate currency source, if not mainstream, and it is only a matter of time before governments and financial institutions realise its potential and embrace it. While there are some international sanctions on cryptocurrencies in certain countries, fiat currencies also face this turbulence. But they have survived in these ecosystems. The combination of anonymity, ease of conversion to crypto, and the ability to move funds overseas makes cryptocurrencies a very attractive alternative and safety valve for citizens of any country. The sooner industries understand this, the more prepared they will be for the future. One industry that can benefit most from the blockchain and cryptocurrency is the insurance industry.

InsureTech: Becoming smarter with smart contracts

Leveraging blockchain as the distributed infrastructure can prevent fraud, and that is something InsureTech must implement. This can be done using smart contracts that help insurance companies and their clients come to common ground. A smart contract executes instantaneously when the constraints of all parties are met. How would it work? The consumer could set an upper limit for the insurance premium, add-ons and specials conditions that he/she is looking for from the insurance vendors. The insurance vendors could potentially bid for that contract as long as it is within their constraints. Only when the constraints on both ends are met will the contract be executed, with customers spending money on the policy they want that would be issued instantly! This could help consumers identify the exact details of the insurance they would want and to cap their budget. Insurance agents can help customers facilitate these conditions and receive commissions instantly. Since all this is instantaneous, un-manned, digital and devoid of any security risk, it will also allow for increased efficiency and quite a bit of time for both parties. Smart contracts would also lead to better settlement of claims since all past transactions would be recorded on the public blockchain and all processes would be completely transparent.

The future of cryptocurrency in the insurance sector

With cash acceptance declining around the globe, the potential for industries to take on cryptocurrencies is even higher now. Some insurance companies have already started implementing this. In April 2018, one of the world’s largest insurers, Allianz announced that it is testing the introduction of its own cryptocurrency in the form of an Allianz token. The intention is to increase efficiency while eliminating exchange rate risks in internal payment transactions. They feel that this will decrease their dependency on banking systems across the globe and also counter the challenge of converting and reconverting foreign currencies that they do not accept. This would result in saving a whole lot of commissions, and that money can be put to more optimal use.

Ryskex, a captech ecosystem founded in Berlin in 2017 specialises in solutions for captive companies, with focus on saving insurance tax, capacity bottlenecks of various insurance lines, and creation of new solutions for non-insurable risks. It uses the public Ethereum blockchain to mitigate risk hedging of captive owners and large corporates. The ecosystem has its own token to regulate payments, the Ryscoin. The company is currently working to cover cyber risks, recruitment problems and counter innovation failures.

With all of this being put into place, one thing is clear. Cryptocurrencies have moved way beyond the phase where they were considered part of a speculative bubble. They are fast becoming a reality, and one that all of us need to keep in mind and adapt to in the near future. There’s only one ground rule to succeed in matters of technology: to disrupt. And in my opinion, the future looks like a place where cryptocurrency is all set to disrupt InsureTech!

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