Couchbase launches N1QL query language, combining SQL with JSON for IoT power


NoSQL database provider Couchbase has announced N1QL, described as a “breakthrough” query language enabling developers to more easily build enterprise web, mobile and Internet of Things  (IoT) applications on its database.

The move was announced at the Couchbase Connect conference:

Couchbase previews breakthrough query language N1QL at #CBConnect

— Couchbase (@couchbase) June 3, 2015

N1QL combines the SQL language with the open standard JSON format, a feat which Couchbase CEO Bob Wiederhold claims is the first of its kind. Describing running a NoSQL query language on SQL as the “obvious choice,” Wiederhold tells DeveloperTech, when asked why the NoSQL competitors haven’t tried it: “It’s a mystery to me. If you look at what’s happened in Hadoop, everyone moved pretty quickly to SQL-based query languages.

“We decided that providing a query language was very, very important to us about two and a half years ago, and to us it was an obvious choice to base this on SQL. There’s 40 years of experience with SQL, obviously there’s a huge number of developers that know SQL well, it’s a declarative language that people really like, it just makes it very easy,” he adds.

Couchbase explains how NoSQL has, until now, lacked a standard rich query language that is familiar and easy to use. It’s also got academic smarts as well; a recent UC San Diego study argued an extension of SQL was the best choice for a query language, and, lo and behold, N1QL was the closest to its requirements.

Wiederhold adds: “[It] makes it much easier for developers to access and manipulate the data that’s stored in Couchbase, it makes it particularly easier for developers to build applications where they have complex queries, where they need to do real analytics. This also makes it much easier for companies to use their existing business intelligence and reporting tools.”

You can find out more about N1QL, including a how to guide, here.


If you are interested in IoT, please visit IoT Tech Expo Europe in London's Olympia, December 2-3 2015.

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