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NoSQL provider Couchbase (news, site) has announced the release of two new products today -- Couchbase 2.0, which consolidates Membase’s key-value repository with CouchDB’s document repository and Unstructured Query Language (UnQL), a query language.

Couchbase Makes a Move to Unify NoSQL Queries

Back in February, we reported on NoSQL cool kids Membase and CouchOne joining to create new NoSQL company Couchbase. The company calls itself “the first comprehensive NoSQL database family” in an attempt to differentiate itself from the very crowded NoSQL/big data market. Today’s announcements, particularly the release of UnQL, seems to be another move to establish thought leadership.

Couchbase teamed up with the embeddable SQL database providers SQLite to create the new query language, UnQL (pronounced ‘uncle’) in an effort to establish a standard language syntax for non-relational databases. The new language, which Couchbase and SQLite say will become “the” way to query NoSQL databases, is designed to be familiar to SQL developers, but support interacting with schemaless repositories. Unlike other attempts at creating a SQL-like language for NoSQL databases, such as CQL for Cassandra, UnQL is designed to be vendor agnostic and the specification has been released to public at http://www.unqlspec.org/display/UnQL/Home increasing the chances that it won’t be viewed as a single vendor effort.

The NoSQL market is still extremely fragmented in terms of what features and syntax is used. Establishing a standard language for NoSQL databases will definitely be welcome news for developers who are challenged with learning multiple languages and porting code if they wish to move between products. However, it remains to be seen if UnQL will have the same momentum and vendor adoption as SQL did decades ago. If it does, vendors that don’t support the language will quickly become unable to compete.

What’s New in Couchbase 2.0

It has been the intent of Couchbase to merge Membase technology with CouchDB since the CouchOne and Membase merged. Couchbase has delivered. Today the company released the first developer preview of Couchbase Server 2.0. Users will get the benefits of Membase’s elastic scaling and in-memory data caching for fast reads and writes with CouchDB’s replication, distributed index and map-reduce queries. The features in the Couchbase Server 2.0 include:

  • JavaScript-based map-reduce
  • Geospatial indexing
  • JSON data structures
  • Memory caching
  • Zero downtime topology changes
  • Data distribution across clusters

The release also has significant performance improvements that impact the time it takes to perform database write and build view indexes. Additional details on the Couchbase Server 2.0 are available at http://www.couchbase.org/get/couchbase/2.0.0 .