Announcing Couchbase Server 5.5 Developer Build

It is my pleasure to share this early preview of Couchbase Server 5.5 features – there are some very exciting improvements coming and this Developer Build (DB) highlights several of them. There are many enhancements to existing services, updated SDK components and two new services for you to try.

Some of these features are still in development but we wanted to share this as soon as possible – to both gather feedback and showcase the value that is coming with the production release in Summer 2018.

As this is a pre-release version, there are still some features being polished and bugs being addressed, so mileage may vary. We do not recommend using this release in production as there may be critical updates by the time the GA release is available.

This release is an extension of the Couchbase Data Platform but also introduces several new Enterprise Grade features (agility, performance, and manageability) – all based on critical feedback from our customers. We hope you’ll enjoy trying it out and letting us know your thoughts.

New Services

Two new long-anticipated services are introduced in this release – Eventing and Analytics.

Couchbase Eventing Service

This release introduces our Couchbase Eventing Service – a multi-dimensional-scaling (MDS) enabled service that lets customers process changes to data as they happen in near real-time. Couchbase Functions is the first offering under the Couchbase Eventing Service that enables you to write server-side functions that are automatically triggered using the familiar Event-Condition-Action model.

It provides an easy-to-use online javascript code editor that lets you develop and debug your code. The code can be applied to mutations that occur on the data within a Couchbase cluster. The Couchbase Eventing Service handles all the complexity of scaling to a large number of document mutations. This new offering enables you to develop deeply engaging and personalized user experiences based on real-time events. 

Read more in the Couchbase Eventing announcement blog post. Read the Couchbase Eventing documentation.  There is also an applied technical blog reviewing the new service.

Couchbase Analytics Service (Developer Preview)

Couchbase Analytics Service (currently in Developer Preview) enables you to analyze your JSON data in real time without the need to extract, transform, load (ETL) your data into a separate system. It allows you to develop insight-driven applications quickly and easily using the same SDKs. It removes the need for ETL and the complexity of managing a separate analytics system. Couchbase’s unique architecture for multi-dimensional scaling (MDS) allows operational and analytical queries to run concurrently without impacting one another, providing the workload isolation required for production deployments. Read more…

Unmatched agility and flexibility

ANSI joins in N1QL

The Couchbase Data Platform is the only platform that extends SQL to support JSON data natively via N1QL queries. N1QL now has support for ANSI joins making it easier to migrate applications from RDBMS to Couchbase. Developers are also more productive as they can leverage their SQL knowledge to develop applications on Couchbase.

Here is the kind of JOIN syntax you are used to using, which is now available in Couchbase:

ANSI joins support improves data modeling capability and flexibility with Couchbase. Since you can join based on arbitrarily complex expressions, business requirements can be coded and translated effectively and efficiently. We’ve extended ANSI syntax to join on both scalars and arrays. Read more about ANSI join support … and a technical overview of New Querying Features in Couchbase 5.5.

Unparalleled performance at scale

Aggregate optimization

One of the key advantages of a declarative query language like N1QL is that the system can optimize and improve the query plans and execution without changing the applications. Since the introduction of N1QL, Couchbase has improved the query performance by orders of magnitude, and with aggregate optimization, the query engine leverages the indexes to perform aggregate calculations to improve the performance of queries by another order of magnitude. Your existing aggregate queries, with matching indexes, will simply run faster.  Read “New Querying Features In Couchbase 5.5“.

Index partitioning

With support for index partitioning, you can now index a large number of documents and horizontally scale out an index as needed. The system will partition the index across a number of index nodes using hash partitioning. Index partitioning is transparent to queries – one does not have to update the queries when changing the index partitioning strategy.

Read more about new Index Service features in general here and about Index Partitioning in detail here.

Data compression

With end-to-end compression from client to storage, Couchbase significantly reduces the cost of network, memory, and storage required for your existing workloads. Documents are transparently compressed when transferred between the clients and the servers, in the server cache, and on disk. Documents are also compressed when transferred between clusters across datacenters.

See the blog: “Store more for less using data compression” for an overview of the feature.  Read more in documentation.

The easiest platform to manage

Deploying and managing Couchbase at scale with Kubernetes

An open source system for deploying, scaling, and managing containerized applications, Kubernetes handles the work of scheduling containers onto a cluster and manages the workloads to ensure they run as the user intended.

By leveraging the latest features from Kubernetes to support stateful applications, we allow users to leverage their investment in Kubernetes and containers to easily deploy and manage Couchbase clusters at scale. In addition, a close partnership with Red Hat is bringing all of this capability to OpenShift.

Auto failover

Couchbase further improves high availability for mission-critical deployments and reduces operator intervention. Couchbase enhances the detection of common disk failures and automatically fails over the node with bad disks saving operators time and energy. It also handles multiple server failures based on the replica count to avoid data loss, and can fail over an entire server group if a rack or zone is not available.

Security compliance

Couchbase continues to extend its support for security to enable enterprises to meet increasing security compliance requirements such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) effective May 2018. We extend X.509 certificate authentication beyond key-value data access to query and search services for all SDKs.

We also support field-level encryption in our SDKs to protect sensitive user data. Users can enable log redaction (documentation here)to prevent leaking sensitive user data when using the logs for troubleshooting production issues.

Furthermore, we employ system auditing to track all admin and non-admin access, including auditing of query statements.

Response Time Observability

With response time observability, you now have telemetry for monitoring how well your Couchbase cluster is meeting your application SLAs. In your application you can set thresholds to allow you to log operations based on performance.  You can correlate timing information from client through to server and back to quickly triage performance issues and help identify the root cause of performance issues. The performance of operations are all exposed via methods you are already familiar with in the Couchbase SDK.  An upcoming blog will highlight these new features in more depth.

IPv6 support

With the explosion of mobile and IoT devices, enterprises are seeing an increasing percentage of their user traffic coming from IPv6. Many large enterprises are starting to deploy IPv6 infrastructure to support these IPv6 devices. We have added IPv6 support to enable our customers to deliver exceptional user experiences with the Couchbase Data Platform.

Additional improvements

Future blog posts will cover these features as well as other elements that are part of this release, including:

  • Query ALTER INDEX: This new declarative command provides administrators the ability to move indexes from one node to the other
  • Index – Revamped Administrator Console and REST endpoints that expose various index usage statistics.
  • Search Geospatial searches: Point/distance and bounding box queries on point data are now GA
  • Tools – Further enhancements to the cbbackupmgr utility
  • Docs editor Edit document data from the user interface without the syntactic constraints of JSON
  • SDK enhancements – Many improvements are exposed through the Couchbase SDK, so be sure to update to the latest versions to ensure maximum compatibility – more details coming soon with feature-specific blogs but refer to the following SDK version reference table to see which features have been made available in which (earliest) versions of the SDK.

SDK versions that support Couchbase Server 5.5 Developer Build features.

Additional resources:

Stay tuned for more blogs that will introduce the above features in more depth.


Posted by Tyler Mitchell

Works as Senior Product Marketing Manager at Couchbase, helping bring knowledge about products into the public limelight while also supporting our field teams with valuable content. His personal passion is all things geospatial, having worked in GIS for half his career. Now AI and Vector Search is top of mind.

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