Atomic counters allow you to implement an atomic counter on a column. This feature provides statistic data for online applications such as the number of page views (PVs) on various topics.


  • The OTSClient instance is initialized. For more information, see Initialize SDK for Java.
  • A data table is created. Data is written to the table.


  • You can implement atomic counters only on INTEGER columns.
  • By default, if a column that is specified as an atomic counter does not exist, the value of the column is 0 before you write data. If a column that is specified as an atomic counter is not an INTEGER column, an OTSParameterInvalid error occurs.
  • You can update an atomic counter by using a positive or negative number, but you must avoid an integer overflow. If an integer overflow occurs, an OTSParameterInvalid error is returned.
  • By default, the value of an atomic counter is not returned in the response to an update row request. You can specify that the increased value of an atomic counter is returned.
  • You cannot specify a column as an atomic counter and update the column in a single request. If Attribute Column A is set to an atomic counter, you cannot perform other operations such as overwrite and delete operations on the attribute column A.
  • You can perform multiple update operations on the same row by using a BatchWriteRow request. However, if you perform an atomic counter operation on a row, you can perform only one update operation on the row in a BatchWriteRow request.
  • Only the value of the latest version of an atomic counter is increased. You cannot increase the value of a specified version of an atomic counter. After you update a row, a new version of data is inserted to the atomic counter in the row.

API operations

The following table describes the operations added to the rowUpdateChange class to perform atomic counters.

API operation Description
RowUpdateChange increment(Column column) Increments or decreases the value in a column by a number.
void addReturnColumn(String columnName) Specifies the name of the atomic counter to return its value.
void setReturnType(ReturnType returnType) Specifies a data type to return the value of an atomic counter.


Parameter Description
tableName The name of the table.
columnName The name of the column you set to an atomic counter. You can specify only INTEGER columns as atomic counters.
value The value you increase to or decrease from the atomic counter value.
returnType If you set this parameter to ReturnType.RT_AFTER_MODIFY, the value of the atomic counter is returned.


The following code provides an example on how to use rowUpdateChange to increase the value of an atomic counter and return the increased value:
private static void incrementByUpdateRowApi(SyncClient client) {
        // Specify the primary key.
        PrimaryKeyBuilder primaryKeyBuilder = PrimaryKeyBuilder.createPrimaryKeyBuilder();
        primaryKeyBuilder.addPrimaryKeyColumn(PRIMARY_KEY_NAME, PrimaryKeyValue.fromString("pk0"));
        PrimaryKey primaryKey =;
        // Specify the table.
        RowUpdateChange rowUpdateChange = new RowUpdateChange(TABLE_NAME, primaryKey); 

        // Set the price column as an atomic counter and increase the value of the atomic counter by 10. You cannot specify the timestamp.
        rowUpdateChange.increment(new Column("price", ColumnValue.fromLong(10)));

        // Set the data type of the value to return to ReturnType.RT_AFTER_MODIFY and return the value of the atomic counter.

        // Initiate a request to update the row.
        UpdateRowResponse response = client.updateRow(new UpdateRowRequest(rowUpdateChange));

        // Display the updated values.
        Row row = response.getRow();