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Big Data: MarkLogic 6 Broadens Accessibility to Enterprise Users


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Enterprise NoSQL database company MarkLogic Corporation today rolled out a new version of its flagship product,, MarkLogic 6, which includes new tools for faster application development, improved analytics and new visualization widgets to enable greater insight, and the ability to create user-defined functions for fast and flexible analysis of extremely large volumes of data.

Key features of MarkLogic’s NoSQL database include ACID transactions, horizontal scaling, real-time indexing, high availability, disaster recovery, government-grade security, and built-in search. 

With this release, in addition to MarkLogic’s NoSQL flexibility, the company is focused on building features into the product that allow it to be easier to use and more accessible to a wider group of users within the enterprise.

To date, MarkLogic has been built on XQuery which is very productive and the people who get up to speed on it find that they can create applications in a fraction of the time they might have traditionally, but XQuery is  not as widely used as other languages, Steve Guttman, vice president of product management, tells DBTA. “What we have done in this version is focus a lot of attention on adding the APIs and the capabilities that will make MarkLogic easily digestible and usable to a greater body of the development community - and in addition we have layered on top of that,  new capabilities in particular in terms of analytics and data ingestion.”

Faster Application Development

MarkLogic 6 includes Java and REST APIs, as well as added the ability to ingest JSON documents, to enable developers to leverage their existing skills, work in their development language of choice, and benefit more quickly from MarkLogic’s optimized big data capabilities. The product also features new data visualization widgets that allow customers to discover the shape and dimensions of data, quickly assess trends and patterns over potentially large data sets and explore data more naturally. “We have added the REST and Java APIs so that the 55% of developers out there that use Java and essentially the entire web development community now have access to MarkLogic server,” says Guttman. Even within existing MarkLogic customers, the new APIs extend use of MarkLogic to programmers who were not proficient in XQuery.  

In-Database MapReduce

Answering customer demand for more flexibility to develop complex, real-time analytics, MarkLogic 6 includes new functionality to create user-defined aggregate functions (UDFs) that take advantage of MarkLogic’s parallel-processing architecture. In-database MapReduce lets customers create faster analytic functions with custom C++ code by writing “map” and “reduce” functions.

“Since we have this shared-nothing scale-out architecture, we have always had a parallel procesing architecture that we have taken advantage of for search in particular but also a variety of other functions and that architecture looks a lot like MapReduce and what we have done is opened up the capability to external developers to create functions that essentially have two parts - a map and reduce - to take advantage of our parallel processing architecture to execute those functions as close to the data as possible. We are seeing 10 to 100X speedup in the execution of those functions over writing them in XQuery because those calculations are happening close to the data itself and those are written in native code,” explains Guttman.

A key benefit of the in-database capability, notes David Gorbet, vice president of product strategy, MarkLogic, is that customers can leverage MarkLogic’s range indexing strategy which is like having an in-memory column store to build formulas and functions to do analysis of their data in custom ways.  “As we go into the financial industry, in particular, for example, there is a lot of benefit to those customers to run their models, which are quite sophisticated and complex, on large quantities of data in the actual database itself using their own proprietary models, algorithms or function that they  define,” says Gorbet. “MarkLogic has always been a great document database, but we are leveraging the fact that we know something about the structure of the data to actually allow you to do things with the structured portions of your documents as well.”

Powerful Analytics 

With this release, MarkLogic adds new visualization widgets that go from bar charts to maps to line graphs, and others and created an interface in the MarkLogic Application Builder to help customers assemble the widgets and gain insight more quickly from the data, says Guttman.

Out-of-the-box integration with IBM Cognos and Tableau allows customers to use tools they know to create reports, dashboards and explore data stored in MarkLogic. “Our objective is to create a bridge between MarkLogic and tools that can speak through ODBC and we have created an ODBC driver and a command line SQL interface for MarkLogic. That capability in general is generic so we have hooked MarkLogic up to Excel and we are trying it out with other products,” Guttman explains.  “This is our first iteration of this capability and we have certified or done the most testing on Cognos and Tableuau based on customer input, and over time we will continue to test that with additional BI tools.” The significance is that it takes a documented-oriented data store and allows it to look like a relational database to external programs. In addition, there are both BI tools and analysts that previously could not take advantage of MarkLogic that are now able to query and understand the performance of MarkLogic applications, and can do ad hoc queries against the data.

Accessibility

“MarkLogic has been known as a very powerful NoSQL database, and this release is about bringing that power to more people, enabling all the people who have Java expertise to leverage it, and people doing web applications with REST to leverage it, and really allowing that power to be scaled out among our enterprise customers who have different skill sets - including analysts and new audiences. We have been the most powerful database in its class with enterprise-class functionality that our customers rely on, and this is about making it much more accessible,” says Gorbet.

MarkLogic 6 is available for download at http://developer.marklogic.com/download. Visit http://www.marklogic.com/products-and-services/whats-new-in-marklogic-6/ for more technical details and data sheets on MarkLogic 6.


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