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August 21, 2019

Startup Rockset Adds SQL to DynamoDB

George Leopold

Rockset, the serverless search and analytics startup that emerged last fall from stealth mode, this week unveiled its SQL platform targeting NoSQL data from Amazon Web Services’ DynamoDB.

Rockset, San Mateo, Calif., said its real-time SQL capability meets growing requirements among a growing list of DynamoDB users for operational analytics, including the ability to search transactional data and combine data sets. The real-time SQL tool also underscores the growing popularity of the DynamoDB key-value and document database for Internet of Things and gaming applications requiring low-latency data access.

While DynamoDB adoption is booming, Rockset notes that NoSQL databases currently lack SQL analytics capabilities, meaning among other things that popular business intelligence tools like Tableau can’t be used in real time. Rockset said Tuesday (Aug. 20) its SQL capability helps plug that gap.

As part of its focus on operational analytics requiring low-latency queries on large datasets, Rockset also has been focusing on building dashboards based on data stored in DynamoDB, a use case it said in widely used. Most of those approaches use DynamoDB Streams.

Other use cases include combining DynamoDB data with Amazon Kinesis Streams and its Simple Storage Service along with Apache Kafka event streams.

The new SQL capability works by updating a table in real time using database change logs in Dynamo Streams. That approach provides the latest indexed version of the Dynamo table on the real-time SQL platform. All this occurs “within a few seconds,” according to Rockset CEO Venkat Venkataramani.

“Each SQL query against this table is distributed and executed in parallel to ensure that query results return in milliseconds,” Venkataramani added.

The company also said its real-time capability supports visualization of DynamoDB data with a range of SQL-based tools, including Grafana, Redash, Apache Superset and Tableau (NYSE: DATA), which was acquired in June by Salesforce (NYSE: CRM).

Along with interactive dashboards, Rockset said it is targeting its SQL capability running on DynamoDB for use cases like monetizing gaming through app-based purchases and virtual reality applications that would accelerate the synching of content with viewers. Another is geared toward software services providers, providing real-time visualizations of who is using services and for how long.

Rockset was founded in 2016 by former Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) engineers. It claims to be the first serverless data backend for ingesting raw data to deliver real-time SQL queries at scale. The platform is based on the startup’s proprietary “converged indexing” technology running on its database and combined with a cloud-based distributed query engine.

The startup also touts is operational analytics engine as entirely serverless, meaning no cloud provisioning is required.

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