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Cassandra trundles into 2.0 release

Facebook's database steps into expected future

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The Apache Software Foundation has announced the 2.0 release of the Cassandra database, bringing with it new features for querying and transactions.

The release was announced by the ASF on Wednesday, and brings enhancements to the SQL-like Cassandra Query Language (CQL) to the database.

Cassandra was developed initially at Facebook as the social networking giant sought to develop a software platform for storing data on tons and tons of low-end hardware, and used a system based on Google's BigTable data model and Amazon's Dynamo database. It rapidly drew interest from the wider community, and is now used by a variety of major organizations such as NASA, Twitter, Dell, and Accenture.

"We are excited about the future Apache Cassandra 2.0 makes possible. Paying down a lot of the technical debt accumulated over 5 years of intense Open Source development, and solidifying the Native Binary Transport for CQL 3, has put the project on a great footing," Aaron Morton, an Apache Cassandra committer, said in the canned ASF statement.

New features include technologies for querying, compaction, better integration with data processing engines like Twitter's Storm, and new transaction capabilities.

The updates to CQL allow it support lightweight transactions, and introduces "experimental support" for triggers, according to the Cassandra stewards over at Datastax.

Triggers give users a way "to implement a flexible, atomic, eventually consistent mechanism for reacting to – and augmenting – write operations," Datastax says.

Java 7 is now required for dealing with the software, and the streaming component has been rewritten.

The 2.0 release follows the stewards of Cassandra DataStax gargling $45m in filthy valley lucre as venture capitalists indulged in a new wave of database funding. ®

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