MarkLogic has announced the latest version of their XML database. MarkLogic is making it clear with the latest release, MarkLogic 5, that NoSQL newbies aren’t the only ones that can do big data.


Back When MarkLogic Was Your Age

MarkLogic was founded in 2003 as a relational database alternative, long before people who can’t recognize a SQL statement began to regularly wax poetic about 'big data.' MarkLogic’s core product is an XML repository: although technically a NoSQL repository, MarkLogic never embraced the moniker. Instead, MarkLogic has consistently focused on its ability to manage complex and unstructured information.

The latest version of MarkLogic includes a number of new features:

  • Rich Media Support: Allows storage and management of rich media such as images or video with text-based data.
  • Document Filters: Enables full text search on over 200 document and rich media formats. Users can leverage document filters to automatically extract metadata and text.
  • MarkLogic Connector for Hadoop™: Provides connectivity between MarkLogic and popular big data analytics platform Hadoop.
  • Database Replication: Creates a database copy. MarkLogic 5 includes a browser-based interface and an API, for configuration as well as recovery.
  • Point-in-time Recovery: Allows users to restore database to a specific point in time.
  • Tiered Storage:  Enables use of a solid state drive tier between memory and disk drives.
  • Operational Enhancements: Several operations enhancements were added to make MarkLogic easier to operate in a data center such as a monitoring dashboard, REST-based monitoring and management API, connectors for HP Operations Manager and Nagios so that MarkLogic can be integrated with existing operations processes, configuration manager for identifying and tracking changes to configuration between environments.
  • Query Console: A browser-based query interface that allows users to run adhoc queries.
  • REST-based development API
  • Distributed Transaction Support
  • Geospatial Region Intersection and Containment: Allows users to calculate if a specified geographic region -- defined as a polygon, box, or circle -- intersects with other geographic regions.

Clearly many of these features are targeted at making MarkLogic more competitive with relational data products and attractive to enterprise customers.

Data Isn’t the Only Thing Growing

The new industry focus on expanding unstructured data volumes has been good to MarkLogic. The company projects revenues of US$ 85 to US$ 90 million for 2011. MarkLogic also expects a 55 to 60 percent increase in licensing -- a major driver to plans to add 100–150 to staff in 2012. But MarkLogic wants more. 

Earlier this year, the board replaced long-time CEO David Kellog with Ken Bado, a former sales executive from Autodesk. Although it wasn’t explicitly stated, this was likely an indicator MarkLogic wants to get more aggressive about growth while the big data market is hot. If you weren’t sure, take a look at MarkLogic’s modified licensing model.

MarkLogic has added a new Express license targeted at developers. The license allows developers to use MarkLogic at no cost on one computer with up to two CPUs and 40 GB of data. The license has a few restrictions:

  • Can’t combine with another licensed install of MarkLogic
  • Can’t be used for work on behalf of the U.S. Federal Government
  • No clustering
  • Can't run multiple production copies of Express for the same application
  • Cannot be used by development teams

This license is designed to give developers a taste of the technology in hopes that they will drive increased enterprise adoption. The general public may not be aware of MarkLogic, but the database has successfully demonstrated its resiliency for almost a decade. It will be interesting to see how the company evolves as a new generation of competitors flood into its market space.