Shading Dependencies in Spark Projects with SBT

sbt-assembly makes it easy to shade dependencies in your Spark projects when you create fat JAR files. This blog post will explain why it’s useful to shade dependencies and will teach you how to shade dependencies in your own projects.

When shading is useful

Let’s look at a snippet from the spark-pika build.sbt file and examine the JAR file that’s constructed by sbt assembly.

You can read this blog post on building JAR files with SBT if you need background information on JAR file basics before diving into shading, which is an advanced feature.

libraryDependencies += "mrpowers" % "spark-daria" % "2.3.1_0.24.0"
libraryDependencies += "org.apache.spark" %% "spark-sql" % "2.3.1" % "provided"
libraryDependencies += "MrPowers" % "spark-fast-tests" % "2.3.1_0.15.0" % "test"
libraryDependencies += "org.scalatest" %% "scalatest" % "3.0.1" % "test"

assemblyOption in assembly := (assemblyOption in assembly).value.copy(includeScala = false)
assemblyJarName in assembly := s"${name.value}_2.11-${sparkVersion.value}_${version.value}.jar"

The sbt assembly command will create a JAR file that includes spark-daria and all of the spark-pika code. The JAR file won’t include the libraryDependencies that are flagged with “provided” or “test” (i.e. spark-sql, spark-fast-tests, and scalatest won’t be included in the JAR file). Let’s verify the contents of the JAR file with the jar tvf target/scala-2.11/spark-pika_2.11-2.3.1_0.0.1.jar command.

0 Sun Sep 23 23:04:00 COT 2018 com/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:04:00 COT 2018 com/github/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:04:00 COT 2018 com/github/mrpowers/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:04:00 COT 2018 com/github/mrpowers/spark/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:04:00 COT 2018 com/github/mrpowers/spark/daria/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:04:00 COT 2018 com/github/mrpowers/spark/daria/ml/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:04:00 COT 2018 com/github/mrpowers/spark/daria/sql/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:04:00 COT 2018 com/github/mrpowers/spark/daria/sql/types/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:04:00 COT 2018 com/github/mrpowers/spark/daria/utils/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:04:00 COT 2018 com/github/mrpowers/spark/pika/

If the spark-pika fat JAR file is attached to a cluster, users will be able to access the com.github.mrpowers.spark.daria and com.github.mrpowers.spark.pika namespaces.

We don’t want to provide access to the com.github.mrpowers.spark.daria namespace when spark-pika is attached to a cluster for two reasons:

  1. It just feels wrong. When users attach the spark-pika JAR file to their Spark cluster, they should only be able to access the spark-pika namespace. Adding additional namespaces to the classpath is unexpected.
  2. It prevents users from accessing a different spark-daria version than what’s specified in the spark-pika build.sbt file. In this example, users are forced to use spark-daria version 2.3.1_0.24.0.

How to shade the spark-daria dependency

We can use SBT to change the spark-daria namespace for all the code that’s used by spark-pika. spark-daria will still be in the fat JAR file, but the namespace will be different, so users can still attach their own version of spark-daria to the cluster.

Here is the code to shade the spark-daria dependency in spark-pika.

assemblyShadeRules in assembly := Seq(
  ShadeRule.rename("com.github.mrpowers.spark.daria.**" -> "shadedSparkDariaForSparkPika.@1").inAll
)

Let’s run sbt clean and then rebuild the spark-pika JAR file with sbt assembly. Let’s examine the contents of the new JAR file with jar tvf target/scala-2.11/spark-pika_2.11-2.3.1_0.0.1.jar.

0 Sun Sep 23 23:29:32 COT 2018 com/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:29:32 COT 2018 com/github/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:29:32 COT 2018 com/github/mrpowers/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:29:32 COT 2018 com/github/mrpowers/spark/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:29:32 COT 2018 com/github/mrpowers/spark/pika/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:29:32 COT 2018 shadedSparkDariaForSparkPika/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:29:32 COT 2018 shadedSparkDariaForSparkPika/ml/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:29:32 COT 2018 shadedSparkDariaForSparkPika/sql/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:29:32 COT 2018 shadedSparkDariaForSparkPika/sql/types/
0 Sun Sep 23 23:29:32 COT 2018 shadedSparkDariaForSparkPika/utils/

The JAR file used to contain the com.github.mrpowers.spark.daria namespace and that’s now been replaced with a shadedSparkDariaForSparkPika namespace.

All the spark-pika references to spark-daria will use the shadedSparkDariaForSparkPika namespace.

Users can attach both spark-daria and spark-pika to the same Spark cluster now and there won’t be a com.github.mrpowers.spark.daria namespace collision anymore.

Conclusion

When creating Spark libraries, make sure to shade dependencies that are included in the fat JAR file, so your library users can specify different versions for dependencies at will. Try your best to design your libraries to only add a single namespace to the classpath when the JAR files is attached to a cluster.

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