Using and Storing Structs

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In Rust, a struct, or structure, is a custom data type that lets you name and package together multiple related values that make up a meaningful group. If you’re familiar with an object-oriented language, a struct is like an object’s data attributes (read more in The Rust Book).

Defining a Struct

To define a simple custom struct for the runtime, the following syntax may be used:

#[derive(Encode, Decode, Default, Clone, PartialEq)]
pub struct MyStruct {
    some_number: u32,
    optional_number: Option<u32>,

In the code snippet above, the derive macro is declared to ensure MyStruct conforms to shared behavior according to the specified traits: Encode, Decode, Default, Clone, PartialEq. If you wish the store this struct in blockchain storage, you will need to derive (or manually ipmlement) each of these traits.

To use the Encode and Decode traits, it is necessary to import them.

use frame_support::codec::{Encode, Decode};

Structs with Generic Fields

The simple struct shown earlier only uses Rust primitive types for its fields. In the common case where you want to store types that come from your pallet's configuration trait (or the configuration trait of another pallet in your runtime), you must use generic type parameters in your struct's definition.

#[derive(Encode, Decode, Clone, Default, RuntimeDebug)]
pub struct InnerThing<Hash, Balance> {
	number: u32,
	hash: Hash,
	balance: Balance,

Here you can see that we want to store items of type Hash and Balance in the struct. Because these types come from the system and balances pallets' configuration traits, we must specify them as generics when declaring the struct.

It is often convenient to make a type alias that takes T, your pallet's configuration trait, as a single type parameter. Doing so simply saves you typing in the future.

type InnerThingOf<T> = InnerThing<<T as frame_system::Config>::Hash, <T as pallet_balances::Config>::Balance>;

Structs in Storage

Using one of our structs as a storage item is not significantly different than using a primitive type. When using a generic struct, we must supply all of the generic type parameters. This snippet shows how to supply thos parameters when you have a type alias (like we do for InnerThing) as well as when you don't. Whether to include the type alias is a matter of style and taste, but it is generally preferred when the entire type exceeds the preferred line length.

#[pallet::getter(fn inner_things_by_numbers)]
pub(super) type InnerThingsByNumbers<T> =
		StorageMap<_, Blake2_128Concat, u32, InnerThingOf<T>, ValueQuery>;

#[pallet::getter(fn super_things_by_super_numbers)]
pub(super) type SuperThingsBySuperNumbers<T: Config> =
		StorageMap<_, Blake2_128Concat, u32, SuperThing<T::Hash, T::Balance>, ValueQuery>;

Interacting with the storage maps is now exactly as it was when we didn't use any custom structs

pub fn insert_inner_thing(
	origin: OriginFor<T>,
	number: u32,
	hash: T::Hash,
	balance: T::Balance,
	) -> DispatchResultWithPostInfo {
		let _ = ensure_signed(origin)?;
		let thing = InnerThing {
		<InnerThingsByNumbers<T>>::insert(number, thing);
		Self::deposit_event(Event::NewInnerThing(number, hash, balance));

Nested Structs

Structs can also contain other structs as their fields. We have demonstrated this with the type SuperThing. As you see, any generic types needed by the inner struct must also be supplied to the outer.

#[derive(Encode, Decode, Default, RuntimeDebug)]
pub struct SuperThing<Hash, Balance> {
	super_number: u32,
	inner_thing: InnerThing<Hash, Balance>,