It’s been over a year since the last version of MarkLogic (newssite) server was released. With the release of v4.2 this week however, MarkLogic adds significant new features to the database including Information Studio, which the company describes as an “Extract, Transformation, Loading (ETL) tool", and enhancements to recovery functionality.

Supporting All Content in the Enterprise

With the release of v.4.2 MarkLogic says it has enhanced the ease of use of its services providing agility to respond to the different realities of both planned and unplanned content in the enterprise. MarkLogic has made a reputation for itself by providing products that deal with and manage unstructured information. With Information Studio, it continues to add to that portfolio of products and adds another leg to the Application Services that were introduced with v4.1 in July 2009.

There is, however, more to the release than the new Information Studio. It also comes with replication functionality, database rollback, failover, compartment security and password enforcement. Speaking to CMSWire before the release, Ken Chestnut, VP or Product Marketing, said that Information Studio is one of the elements of this release that they believe will help MarkLogic expand beyond the finance, government and finance verticals that it has traditionally targeted.

Application Services v.1.0

So, what is Information Studio? Let’s go back to the release of v.4.1 and the introduction of MarkLogic’s Application Services v.1.0. Included in the services then were:

  • MarkLogic Application Builder: A graphical application development tool that speeds the creation of search-based applications without writing one single line of code.
  • MarkLogic Search API: An API equipped with a library design, made to simplify the development of rich search applications.
  • MarkLogic Library Services API: This API added library services such as check-in, check-out and versioning. With this functionality, organizations would have greater control over documents in multi-author and other regulated environments.

Information Studio and Application Services

Information Studio is a natural addition to this set of services. Chestnut says that Information Studio is the first ETL tool for managing unstructured information, making life much easier for users by enabling them to drag and drop files into a directory that can be loaded directly into MarkLogic. 

As a browser-based tool with high-level APIs, users can choose data sources and respective transformations, as well as monitor progress, ensuring accurate processing. Combined with the services launched in v.1.0, Application Services accelerate the development of new applications while at the same time reducing the cost of developing the applications.

Replication, Disaster Recovery and Failover

Other features will also help v.4.2 expand its footprint, which according to Chestnut, now includes some of the biggest players in their target market including Visa, LexisNexis and the Library of Congress. With a focus on unstructured information and the ability to manage it, one of the new features that will attract interest is the new replication feature which offers enterprises the ability to replicate their information across databases and outside of their own enterprises, allowing easy retrieval in the event of a shut down.

Replication was introduced as part of v.4.2’s enterprise disaster recovery solution and can share information in secure and regulated environments. This is not a blanket replication however, users can decide what elements of information need to be replicated and what can be overlooked.

Running in parallel to this, and as a complimentary function, is the database rollback which will restart servers at the most recent time-stamp. In doing so, it retains all the information that was backed-up at that point in time.

The final addition to the recovery functionality is the enhanced failover feature that provides replacement servers for failed servers within a cluster instantaneously so nothing is lost. The functionality that MarkLogic has added this time around will really help manage all the information that could threaten to sink your enterprise in a pool of turbulent data.


Old Failover functionality

Not only does it get as close to a guarantee as you possibly can when having all information that may be needed stored on and off site, it also makes loading information into the server a lot easier than most others.


New Failover functionality

With all the functions v.4.2 has to offer, the issue of what information needs to be kept and what doesn’t still has to be resolved. Unfortunately, MarkLogic is unable to solve that for enterprises as only good internal information planning and management can accomplish such a feat. That said, MarkLogic v4.2 is a good start and should help a lot.