We’re excited to pull back the curtain on the developer preview of Couchbase Server 4.0. This early release comes with many great enhancements, including new query interface with N1QL (SQL+JSON), brand new indexing for low latency queries with Global Secondary Indexing (GSI), a revolutionary new architecture for scalability named Multi-Dimensional Scaling, simplified security and compliance, and many more…

Some of these capabilities have been in the works for over 2 years and they build on the foundational architectural enhancements like Database Change Protocol (DCP) and Tunable Memory delivered in the previous versions. With these additions and many more, Couchbase Server 4.0 is  a huge release that packs a massive punch for enterprises looking for the real-time, scalable NoSQL platform.

Download Couchbase Server 4.0 Developer Preview

What’s new in 4.0?

Lets dive right in!


For many of you, SQL is an old friend and, at first glance, you will find Couchbase Server N1QL very familiar. However, N1QL has some additional tricks up its sleeve. N1QL knows native JSON. That is, SQL for Document works on the flexible Couchbase Server data model (i.e. document data based on JSON) and returns JSON to give applications full fidelity representations of objects both in their apps and in the database. N1QL goes beyond the basic data type support with native array and subdocument types with matching verbs to manipulate them easily in the language. Many capabilities you would expect from a fully functional SQL implementation is also there: JOINs, Subqueries, and NEST/UNNEST that will eliminate many operations that complicated client side code in the past. To sum up, N1QL will greatly simplify your application code!

New Global Secondary Indexing (GSI)

Couchbase Server 4.0 adds  a unique new way to create indexes that speed up and scale queries to a new level. With new Global Secondary Indexes (GSI), you can build new types of applications that can query big data with real-time latencies that just weren’t possible before.

Indexes in all data management environments are in constant competition with core data operations (INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE). With version 4.0’s new GSI technology, you can create indexes that can be independently scaled and independently partitioned away from the core data to minimize  contention for resources between data acquisition and index maintenance.

As you would expect, SQL for Document also can take advantage of incremental MapReduce views, a powerful method for fast access to JSON documents that has been available for a while in Couchbase Server.

Multi-Dimensional Scaling

The new Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS) model revolutionizes the latency and throughput that you can achieve in the most demanding applications.  With existing big data and NoSQL databases, the classic scalability model has been homogenous scale out: slicing the workload in equal shares over to a set of commodity machines. That’s how previous releases of Couchbase Server work, and you can continue to use this simple topology in Couchbase Server 4.0 with MDS.

Figure: Homogeneous Scaling

What’s new in this release is the option for advanced users with latency sensitive applications to tailor their cluster architecture and take application performance to new heights. With Multi-Dimensional Scaling you can deploy separate services for data, indexing, and query workloads. In each “zone” that contains the workload, you can pick the hardware independently: the data service can scale out for example while  indexing and query can be scaled up by deployment to larger nodes.

Figure: Independent Scaling with Multi-Dimensional Scaling

SDKs and Connectivity with ODBC & JDBC

The native Couchbase Server SDKs integrate with N1QL and all the new capabilities we’re shipping. Simply download the latest version of your favorite SDK and you are connected! You don’t have to stop there, however… Relational SQL has a long history and is prevalent in many existing tools for data management, reporting and visualization from Tableau to Microsoft Office or to SAP Business Objects. If you want to build a composite experience with existing tools on top of Couchbase Server, Simba technologies is also now shipping developer previews for ODBC and JDBC drivers for SQL-92 standard data access to Couchbase Server 4.0..

Simplified Security Compliance

Security is a top concern and many enterprises impose internal controls or have to comply with external rules and regulations. With Couchbase Server 4.0, you get simplified security controls for compliance with security standards from PCI to HIPAA to FISMA and more. Version 4.0 comes with native LDAP integration for admin account management and the new auditing capability lets you track admin actions with great level of detail. This is all in addition to our existing security capabilities such as the encryption of data at rest and on the wire.

Dig Deeper!

We have just scratched the surface of Couchbase Server 4.0 with the capabilities mentioned above and there are many more… Our getting started guide will help you dig deeper.

OK! How do I get my hands on 4.0?

Remember this before you take the plunge: Couchbase Server 4.0 is still under active development, which means that you can have a big impact on the final version of the product. Give us feedback on your experience and we’ll listen. Providing feedback is simple! You can find all the ways to make your voice heard here on our feedback page.

It is easy to get your hands on the developer preview.

  • For step by step guidance, visit our getting started guide for Couchbase Server 4.0 Developer Preview.
  • If you want to jump right in and download:
    • Download Couchbase Server 4.0 developer preview from our pre-release downloads page.
    • Looking to develop in Java, .Net, Node or other languages with native SDKs, download the latest SDKs version under the “client libraries” section on the downloads page.
    • For SQL-92 connectivity to Couchbase Server 4.0 Developer Preview with Simba ODBC & JDBC drivers and download pages, visit Simba.

Visit our Couchbase Server 4.0 page for more details on what’s coming in 4.0 release.


Posted by Cihan Biyikoglu, Director of Product Management, Couchbase

Cihan Biyikoglu is a director of product management at Couchbase, responsible for the Couchbase Server product. Cihan is a big data enthusiast who brings over twenty years of experience to Redis Labs’ product team. Cihan started his career as a C/C++ developer.


  1. Amazing!!!
    Gonna have a fun weekend playing around with n1ql and odbc!!

  2. […] multiple sneak peeks at what was coming in Couchbase Server 4.0 (4.0 developer preview in April, 4.0 beta in June, and 4.0 release candidate in August), I’m very pleased to announce […]

  3. […] you are using Couchbase Server 4.0 with N1QL you will want to create a primary index so you can explore the Couchbase SQL-like interface […]

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