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Unified database platform vendor SingleStore is out today with version 8.0 of its namesake offering, which integrates a series of new capabilities including improved data queries and support for WebAssembly.
The release marks the biggest update for the unified database technology since 2019 when the vendor and its database were known as MemSQL.
MemSQL 7.0 in 2019 introduced the SingleStore technology that enables both transactional and analytical capabilities in the unified database. The vendor rebranded as SingleStore in 2020 and has been steadily growing its platform.
With SingleStoreDB 8.0, the database vendor is expanding its platform beyond just the ability to support analytical and transactional workloads to better support JSON data. SingleStore is now also looking to help developers to more easily create applications, with support for WebAssembly (Wasm).
SingleStore competes against a number of databases that also aim to provide a unified database platform for analytics and transactional workloads, including Google's AlloyDB, Oracle's MySQL HeatWave and PingCap. A key challenge for SingleStoreDB and others in the market is to enable an equivalent level of performance for both analytics and transactional workloads.
With the update, SingleStore is targeting the document database market with the ability to render tables as JSON documents and to capture JSON data in specially formatted columns for high-speed deep analytics, said Carl Olofson, analyst at IDC.
Carl OlofsonAnalyst, IDC
Olofson noted that IDC has been promoting the idea of analytics and transaction processing in a unified database, which is sometimes also referred to as hybrid transactional-analytical processing, while Forrester Research calls it translytical.
"The idea of being able to run analytic queries against live operational data is gathering steam and becoming an important attribute, so SingleStore's ability to deliver on this concept should be a strength as well," Olofson said.
How SingleStoreDB enables a unified database platform for JSON
The vendor's database started as an in-memory online transaction processing system and expanded to unify transactional and analytical workloads in one place.
What enables the unified database approach in SingleStoreDB is a data architecture with both row- and column-based optimization to accelerate queries, said Shireesh Thota, senior vice president of engineering at SingleStore. With the 8.0 release, SingleStore is now also optimizing how it handles JSON data inside columns.
The optimizations include techniques for how the JSON data is stored as well as how metadata is indexed. The result of the optimizations is a performance increase for queries against JSON data that can be up to 100 times faster than earlier releases of SingleStoreDB, according to Thota.
SingleStore embraces Wasm
For database developers, custom capabilities are often embedded inside user-defined functions (UDFs). Wasm goes beyond UDFs and provides a new form of extensibility for developers using SingleStoreDB, Thota said.
With UDFs, developers write application logic in the SQL query language. In contrast, the promise of Wasm is that it can support multiple languages, he noted.
With its integration, SingleStoreDB 8.0 Wasm implementation will support code written in C, C++ and Rust. Thota said the vendor plans to add support for Python in a future SingleStoreDB update.