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We’ve announced a ton of cool new features in the upcoming MarkLogic® 8 software release. In fact, we’ve done more than just announce them. We already have very early versions of some of them available through our Early Access program.

I want to tell you about three main feature areas that I find really exciting:

  • Developer Experience
  • Semantics
  • Bitemporal Data Management

Javascript for MarkLogic

Developer Experience is all about making MarkLogic easier and more attractive for developers while not giving up on any of the power of MarkLogic. The most important thing we can do to make MarkLogic easier to use is to let developers use the languages and data formats that they already know and love. From a language perspective, the top two are Java and JavaScript. From a data format perspective, the top two are XML and JSON.

Well, we’ve already got a MarkLogic client library in Java and we are the masters of XML. That leaves JavaScript and JSON and we are going big with those in MarkLogic 8. We’re going to support them both at every tier. We’ll start by adding full native JavaScript into MarkLogic server. Every feature, function, and capability of MarkLogic will be available via JavaScript in MarkLogic server. We’re also adding JSON as a fully native data type for MarkLogic.

That’s the database tier. At the next level up, we’re providing a MarkLogic driver for Node.js so you can use JavaScript in the middle tier too. Of course JSON is fully supported there. Finally, you’re already using JavaScript and JSON in the browser. That means you can have a full end-to-end JavaScript/JSON experience with MarkLogic.

We’re also enhancing our Java client library. We’re making it much easier to use for some common use cases like object persistence with our “POJO-First” API. We’re enhancing the developer experience in many other ways as well. For example, it will be much easier to get MarkLogic out of the box and start using it. We’ll also provide a reference architecture and application to demonstrate best practices.

All of the work we’re doing on developer experience (Native JavaScript and JSON, Node.js driver, reference architecture, etc.) will be a standard part of MarkLogic 8. If you’re already on MarkLogic 7*, you’ll be able to upgrade to MarkLogic 8 with all of these developer experience features at no additional cost.

RDF Triple Store

Semantics is perhaps the most quickly adopted capability in MarkLogic’s history. We introduced the Semantics option in MarkLogic 7 and will be adding significant enhancements in MarkLogic 8. The Semantics option in MarkLogic 7 is a fantastic foundation. We built an RDF triple store that scales horizontally and manages billions of triples. And we built a powerful triple index that is fully composable with MarkLogic’s other indexes. That means you can create combination queries that include semantics, full text search, values, and geospatial elements all in the same query. We also provided SPARQL, which is the industry standard query language for semantics. We currently support all of SPARQL 1.0 and some of SPARQL 1.1.

In MarkLogic 8 we’ll be significantly enhancing the Semantics option by adding full SPARQL 1.1 support and Inferencing capability. The additions to SPARQL include Property Paths, Aggregates, and SPARQL Update. Inferencing is a very powerful mechanism that allows the system to draw inferences between facts in your database automatically. This can help uncover relationships you never knew existed.

If you already have licensed the Semantics option** you will get all of the new Semantic features as an upgrade to MarkLogic 8.

Bitemporal Data Management

Bitemporal data management handles historical data along two different timelines, making it possible to rewind the information “as it actually was” in combination with “as it was recorded” at some point in time. It facilitates the creation of a complete audit trail of data. This is incredibly powerful for the financial services industry, but many others as well. Only data in a bitemporal format can provide users with these answers:

  • What were my customer’s credit ratings last Monday, as I knew it last Friday?
  • What did we think our first quarter profit was when we gave guidance?
  • What did we think the high day was when our trading strategy kicked in?

And only bitemporal data can provide the business with:

  • A complete history (audit trail) of what you knew and when you knew it
  • Full support for corrections (history of corrections to past, current & future business time)
  • Reproducible business perspective history as you knew it at any point in time

Bitemporal data management is pretty amazing and will be an integral part of MarkLogic 8, and will be included in the price for MarkLogic 8. This is a feature you can’t currently get at any price from other NoSQL vendors and demonstrates that MarkLogic is committed to being the ONLY Enterprise NoSQL offering.

MarkLogic Early Access

Early Access is our way of letting customers and potential customers have a chance to see what’s coming and give us feedback so that we can produce the best possible release. Last year was out most successful EA program ever, and form early indications, this year’s program will surpass it in terms of size and feedback. We hope you will participate.

* Customer must be currently licensed to use MarkLogic 7 and be current on maintenance to be eligible to upgrade from MarkLogic 7 to MarkLogic 8 under MarkLogic’s Support Policy.

** Customer must be currently licensed to use the MarkLogic Semantics option and current on maintenance to be eligible for a free upgrade to the new Semantics capabilities in MarkLogic 8 under MarkLogic’s Support Policy.

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