Couchbase Server 4.0 Significantly Expands Use Cases with N1QL and Multi-Dimensional Scaling

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Couchbase is today announcing the general availability of Couchbase Server 4.0, a major new release of its NoSQL database management system. The company is calling Couchbase Server 4.0 a “transformational release,” that dramatically increases the types of applications and use cases that Couchbase can now support.

The announcement is being made at Couchbase Live New York, where customers such as Marriott, GE, Gannett, Cox Automotive, DIRECTV, Nielsen and others are speaking about their use of Couchbase in a variety of deployments.

The general availability of 4.0 introduces advanced developer agility and scaling innovations to enable broad enterprise re-platforming.

This is a very important release for the company and also “significantly expands the use cases” that Couchbase can support within digital economy businesses and web, mobile, and IoT applications, said Bob Wiederhold, president and CEO of Couchbase, in an interview prior to the product launch.

There are a number of key new capabilities in this release, said Wiederhold.

The biggest advancements in the release are “N1QL,” which is Couchbase’s new query language which will lower the barrier to entry for users familiar with SQL; and multi-dimensional scaling to enable better performance of indexing and querying. In addition, a new “filtering” capability in cross-data center replication is another important new feature for organizations whose data needs to be spread across national boundaries, public clouds, or both in order to leverage a hybrid cloud infrastructure.

 N1QL (Non-First normal form Query Language, pronounced “Nickel”) 

N1QL is Couchbase's SQL-compliant query language being made generally available in the Couchbase 4.0 release. It is important to the vast numbers of developers and data analysts and data scientists who today have extensive experience with using SQL and will developers build enterprise class applications with less code and more agility.

In addition to development ease, Couchbase 4.0 with N1QL also enables SQL-based reporting and visualization tools to access data stored in Couchbase. Through ODBC and JDBC connectivity provided through Simba drivers that can work with both the standard SQL 92 and N1QL dialects, enterprises can benefit from business insight using the most widely adopted BI and data visualization tools including Excel, Tableau, Looker, Qlik, and others to access data stored in Couchbase.

Read what Dell Software's Guy Harrison says about N1QL.

“This will significantly lower the barriers to people using NoSQL and more specifically Couchbase,” said Wiederhold. N1QL has gotten a “huge amount of interest” for that reason, he added.

In addition, a number of important features are available in the N1QL query language. These new features include the ability to support join operations, which is important in modeling data, and the ability to do nesting and un-nesting.

“We are the only ones that support joins,” said Wiederhold, adding that the ability to do nesting and un-nesting is important for BI tools that need flat information.

N1QL has generated great interest among Couchbase existing customers but also the broader market, said Wiederhold.

Multi-Dimensional Scaling

The new Multi-Dimensional scaling capability available in Couchbase 4.0 allows an organization to run basic functions such as reads and writes, indexing, and querying of the database on a different set of servers to avoid the risk of one function hogging resources from another.

The option can be configured on the fly, said Wiederhold, noting this is an example of “key architectural innovation,” that will provide more flexibility for customers who need to optimize the use of Couchbase for applications, and help them get higher performance for indexing and querying in particular.

Cross-Data Center Replication Filtering (XDCR)

A third key new feature in Couchbase 4.0 pertains to cross-data center replication. Cross-data center replication is critical for any enterprise that has a digital economy business of any scale and needs to support users with multiple data centers around the world. ‘

For years, Couchbase has had cross-data center replication, but now a “filtering” capability allows companies to specify precisely which data gets mirrored to another data center in order to comply with regulations about what types of data, such as personal customer information, can be moved beyond national boundaries.

Couchbase Server 4.0 Expands Use Cases and Users

The new features will significantly expand not only the use cases, but also the users that can benefit from Couchbase, explained Wiederhold. The addition of the N1QL SQL query language in particular will lower the barrier to moving to NoSQL quickly.

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