This release comes with many exciting features that make it even easier for developers to build amazing apps on Couchbase while simplifying the transition from relational to NoSQL technology. We have also significantly extended the performance of Couchbase – with continuing improvements in indexing, query and resource efficiency.

So, what’s new in the 4.5 Beta?

Let’s take a brief overview of what’s new in these freshly released bits, starting with my top 3 favorite features:  

Sub-Document API

Do you want to update individual fields in the document and not the entire document? Couchbase Server 4.5 includes a new feature, the Sub-document API, which allows data in a document to be manipulated with finer granularity and more flexibility. Data can be added, removed, or modified within a document – without the application having to read and write the entire document – resulting in better network utilization and higher performance.

Query Workbench With Auto-Schema Discovery

Do you dream about writing queries and browsing your data within the Couchbase admin web console? The web-based admin console in Couchbase Server 4.5 includes Query Workbench – a built-in query editor for writing and executing queries in N1QL, the SQL-based query language in Couchbase. N1QL allows companies to leverage their existing investment in SQL technical skills as they transition from relational to NoSQL.  You can also browse data models with automatically inferred schemas.  This new capability enables data modelers to explore and understand the shape and form of their data, and it lets DBAs easily manage the data cycle (cleansing, data quality, updating, etc.), even as data quickly changes. Learn more about the integrated query editor here.

 

 

Memory-optimized Indexes

Do your indexes keep up with high application throughput rates? Couchbase Server 4.5 includes a new option, Memory-optimized Indexes that enables high performance indexing under very high throughput rates. It uses a highly optimized in-memory data structure and in-memory (rather than disk-based) processing to build and maintain global indexes, resulting in faster, fresher indexes. Learn more about memory-optimized indexes here.

Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s more …

What’s new in beta that you didn’t get to see in 4.5 Developer Preview?

In beta, we have added some more features that you didn’t get a chance to see in developer preview. These NEW features are as follows:

  1. Circular Reuse of Storage
    As workloads grow, it’s increasingly important to get more efficient use of resources in order to contain costs while maintaining high performance. Circular reuse of storage is a new capability in Couchbase Server 4.5 that increases the number of writes that can be performed with a given amount of IO bandwidth, resulting in better index efficiency and lesser disk usage.
  2. Improved Query Consistency with Read Your Own Writes
    Couchbase Server 4.5 adds a new option for applications to “read your own writes” (RYOW), which ensures the application will get consistent results up to the most recent write/update point of when the query was run.
  3. Role-based access control for Administrators
    Security enhancements to Couchbase Server 4.5 include the addition of Role-based Access Controls for admins, giving customers further comfort and confidence in moving from relational to NoSQL.

 

And then, there’s more of your favorite features …

Array Indexing

Do you have documents with embedded arrays? JSON adds great flexibility with embedded data structures like arrays, and Couchbase allows users to query items even within an array. This new feature in Couchbase Server 4.5 allows developers to create an index on array elements ranging from plain scalar values to complex arrays or JSON objects nested deeper in the array, and further improve N1QL query performance. This is a huge leap from the previous versions where secondary indexes could only be created and subsequently queried on whole arrays, not individual elements. Learn more about array indexing in 4.5 Beta here

Extended Join Syntax with Index JOINs

Do you need to write JOINs commutatively? With Index JOIN syntax in Couchbase Server 4.5 Beta, the new JOIN ON KEY … FOR keyword allows developers to specify JOIN operations that can use the left or the right keyspace to produce keys for the JOIN. This extended syntax in N1QL makes better use of indexes to perform the JOIN operation faster across the two sides, and substantially lowers JOIN latencies. Learn more about extended join syntax in 4.5 Beta here.

Query Profiling and Monitoring

Do you want to know what are your top N slow queries in the system? Couchbase Server 4.5 Beta introduces a new set of system catalogs and APIs for monitoring the operation of individual queries and query service nodes. Using these APIs, administrators can now monitor active queries and connections as well as profile queries to identify and diagnose performance issues.

 

SELECT * FROM system:active_requests;

SELECT * FROM system:completed_requests;

SELECT * FROM system:prepareds;

 

Enterprise Grade Backup and Restore

Do you want to backup and restore large datasets fast? Couchbase Server 4.5 Beta provides a new enterprise backup and restore tool that can back up larger datasets with significantly higher performance than before. The newly engineered, scalable, high-performance backup and restore tool allows Couchbase Server to provide faster and more scalable recovery options to better integrate with Disaster Recovery planning. See Enterprise Backup and restore tool here for detailed information.   

X.509 Certificates

Do you need to secure your client-server and cross datacenter communications? With X.509 certificates, Couchbase Server strongly encrypts client-server communications and cross datacenter replication. You can generate and load certificates from any CA authority that you choose, and use those certificates in Couchbase to encrypt on-the-wire communication and establish strong trust between client-and-server, or between clusters.

Integrated Full Text Search

Does your application need to search data stored in Couchbase? Search is a key technology when it comes to querying documents that contain human-language text information. Couchbase Server 4.5 Beta includes a preview of full text search, fully integrated as a Couchbase  service for the first time.  Built on the popular open-source project Bleve, Couchbase Full Text Search adds support for a variety of query types including match, phrase, fuzzy, prefix, regex, range queries and more, as well as faceting, scoring, and highlighting. You can learn more about integrated full-text search in Couchbase Server here.

Other Enhancements

Couchbase Server 4.5 Beta also adds several other enhancements. Some of the notable ones include:

  1. Support for Debian 8 Platform
  2. Enhanced clustering support for large clusters with >100 servers
  3. N1QL enhancements such as array insert functions, object add, put, and remove functions, and more. See Other N1QL Enhancements for details.
  4. SCRAM protocol for bucket authentication

About the Beta

Our goal is to ensure that when 4.5 reaches General Availability, it’s where it needs to be for existing and new customers. In the meantime, we are still busy fixing issues, performance tuning the software, and ironing out the pending issues.

You’ll also notice the full documentation set for beta compared to developer preview. We will be actively updating the documentation throughout beta period and we’d love your feedback, as you try out different 4.5 features.

Browse the 4.5 release notes, where you’ll find all sorts of details about what’s new and different about this release. There are some important disclaimers and constraints you should know about. And then go here to download the product. Thank you in advance for giving Couchbase Server 4.5 a spin – we’d love to know what you think!

Things to keep in mind

Remember this before you take the plunge: This is a Beta version of Couchbase Server 4.5 and is intended for development purposes only. This release is not supported in production.  We consider Beta releases to have some rough edges and bugs. Couchbase Server 4.5 is still under active development, which means that it may change significantly before the final GA release.

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: http://forums.couchbase.com or Stackoverflow

 

Finally, here are some links that might be useful –

 

Since the developer preview release of Couchbase Server 4.5 in February this year, we’re constantly in awe of the amazing things customers do with our software, and we hope you continue providing your feedback during this beta period. Thank You! Learn more about the 4.5 Beta release here.

Posted by Don Pinto

Don Pinto is a Principal Product Manager at Couchbase and is currently focused on advancing the capabilities of Couchbase Server. He is extremely passionate about data technology, and in the past has authored several articles on Couchbase Server including technical blogs and white papers. Prior to joining Couchbase, Don spent several years at IBM where he maintained the role of software developer in the DB2 information management group and most recently as a program manager on the SQL Server team at Microsoft. Don holds a master's degree in computer science and a bachelor's in computer engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada.

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