MarkLogic Version 8 Early Access Edition Now Available

Enterprise NoSQL database platform provider MarkLogic today announced the availability of MarkLogic Version 8 Early Access Edition, which brings together advanced search, semantics, bitemporal and native JavaScript support into one platform.

With this, version 3 of the early access, MarkLogic says the product is much more mature, stable and complete, and is open to the public for download. However, it is still a pre-release version and while customers may do development on it, it is not yet ready for production use. General availability of MarkLogic 8 is expected in early 2015.

Enhancements in 3 Key Areas

The overall theme of the MarkLogic 8 is ease of use. “This release is all about bringing MarkLogic to where the developers are and making it easy for them to adopt MarkLogic,” said Joe Pasqua, senior vice president, product strategy, MarkLogic.

Developer Experience

Improving the developer experience, server-side JavaScript and native JSON support are being introduced in this release to give developers access to all of the capabilities of MarkLogic software using the widely adopted language and data format, with a new Node.js Client API along with an enhanced Java API.

The ability to program in JavaScript and use JSON as a native data type is important to MarkLogic customers in and of itself because they have a lot of existing skills in the Java script world, explained Joe Pasqua, senior vice president, product strategy, MarkLogic. “They are already using it at the browser tier and more and more they are using it in the middleware tier with Node.js. But now the first time, people will be able to use native JavaScript actually in the database server and that is really unique. They will be able to leverage their JavaScript skills across the full stack - everything from the browser tier all the way down to the guts of the server and they will be able to use JSON data format across all those tiers. Every feature, every capability that MarkLogic has is exposed through JavaScript and with JSON.”

Rich Semantics Capabilities

Supporting rich semantics capabilities, MarkLogic’s RDF triple store scales horizontally to manage billions of triples and supports SPARQL 1.1, an industry standard language for semantics. The release allows users to combine triples with text, values, and geospatial elements all in the same query, while a new inferencing capability enables users to automatically discover relationships in their data.

While the semantics capabilities are important, Pasqua noted, however, “the fact of the matter is you don’t want to do every last thing with semantic triples.” Semantic triples are best suited for certain types of activities such as modeling relationships but there are other things that the database does that are a stretch for semantic triples. “The feedback we have been getting with earlier previews is that having support for SPARQL 1.1 is great, but what makes it better is having it coupled with the rest of the database features.” While customers can use the semantics capabilities for the areas where it is best suited, he noted, “The fact that we have got semantics built in with a full-capability database allows you to choose where you are going to use semantics and how you are going to combine it with a NoSQL document database.”

Bitemporal Data Management

And finally, bitemporal data management lets users say “what they knew” and “when they knew it,” a requirement for risk management and auditing in regulated industries, but also applicable for any enterprise that relies on historical information including healthcare, intelligence, and others.

This feature has gotten a “huge” response in previous Early Access releases, and is even more broadly applicable than expected, said Pasqua. As expected, it has received strong acceptance in the financial services industry, but also others such as healthcare; publishing; government, military and intelligence; and manufacturing.

With the addition of bitemporal data, big data can become "gigantic data," because customers are keeping track of all the historic versions, noted Pasqua. To alleviate the burden, he said, in MarkLogic 7 the company introduced a mechanism called tiered storage which allows organizations to partition data based on a number of different criteria. This allows them to keep their less important, older data on less expensive storage, but still be able to do queries across all of it. “This is another case, where it is really the combination of features that is adding to the power,” said Pasqua.

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