Get or create a column family

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Autocreate a column family if it does not exist.

Code sample


To learn how to install and use the client library for Bigtable, see Bigtable client libraries.

namespace cbt = ::google::cloud::bigtable;
namespace cbta = ::google::cloud::bigtable_admin;
using ::google::bigtable::admin::v2::ModifyColumnFamiliesRequest;
using ::google::cloud::StatusOr;
[](cbta::BigtableTableAdminClient admin, std::string const& project_id,
   std::string const& instance_id, std::string const& table_id,
   std::string const& family_name) {
  std::string table_name = cbt::TableName(project_id, instance_id, table_id);

  google::bigtable::admin::v2::GetTableRequest r;

  StatusOr<google::bigtable::admin::v2::Table> schema =

  if (!schema) throw std::runtime_error(schema.status().message());
  auto pos = schema->column_families().find(family_name);
  if (pos == schema->column_families().end()) {
    // Try to create the column family instead:
    ModifyColumnFamiliesRequest::Modification mod;

    auto modified = admin.ModifyColumnFamilies(table_name, {std::move(mod)});
    if (!modified) throw std::runtime_error(schema.status().message());
    schema = *std::move(modified);
    pos = schema->column_families().find(family_name);

  if (pos == schema->column_families().end()) {
    throw std::runtime_error("GetOrCreateFamily failed");

  google::bigtable::admin::v2::ColumnFamily family = pos->second;
  std::cout << "Column family name: " << pos->first
            << "\nColumn family details: " << family.DebugString() << "\n";

What's next

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