Doug Henschen on Analytics, Big Data & Smart Apps
Couchbase Live New York event puts new features, NoSQL adoption in the spotlight. Watch for basics and the best fit for NoSQL in the enterprise.
This week’s Couchbase Live New York marked the general availability of Couchbase Server 4.0 and a coming out party of sorts for enterprise customers including Marriott, GE, Cox Automotive and Gannett.
In beta since June, Couchbase Server 4.0 saw 40% higher download activity than the vendor’s previous beta release largely due to two important new features. Multidimensional Scaling lets operations provision infrastructure for data, query and indexing services independently, saving money where resources are sufficient while letting you deploy faster storage, more memory or more processing power where needed.
The SQL-like N1QL (pronounced “nickle”) query language introduced in 4.0 will enable Couchbase developers to eliminate complicated query code and copies of data previously required within applications. Instead, N1QL will help to streamline app development and upkeep by supporting routine ad hoc querying at the data tier. It will also make it easier to use third-party SQL-based integration and BI tools.
A highlight at Couchbase Live NY was a presentation by Marriott solutions architect Thomas Vidnovick, who explained how and why the hotel chain is retiring a mainframe-based reservations app and replacing it with a new app running on Couchbase on distributed commodity hardware. Vidnovick said Marriott went with open source for its low software and support cost, NoSQL for its JSON-based, object-oriented development, and Couchbase specifically for its high transaction throughput and ability to quickly add nodes to scale out.
MyPOV On Couchbase
Couchbase impressed in New York with presentations from several large, household-name customers. But several presenters from these companies also reminded attendees that NoSQL databases are still playing catchup on some basics. For example, Vidnovick said he’s looking forward to using new Couchbase 4.0 features including LDAP support for ID management and auditing support – surprisingly basic capabilities to see just now being added to enterprise software.
It’s also clear that NoSQL is complementing, rather than entirely replacing conventional relational databases. Cox Automotive executive Tony Selke, for example, said that his firm continues to use Microsoft SQL Server for its transactional applications. It uses Couchbase to handle the fast-changing, ephemeral data behind some 6 million automotive sales listings that are added, deleted or updated within its systems each day.
Nearly all NoSQL database vendors are still working on basics including security and administrative features, but as Couchbase demonstrated in New York, large companies are increasingly embracing NoSQL for high-scale, next-generation applications.