Actian Zen 16.0 Introduces New Data Sync Utility

Emma McGrattan

June 17, 2024

Actian Zen 16.0 Delivers

We are thrilled to announce the general availability of Actian Zen 16.0, delivering up to 50% faster query processing, flexible cloud deployment options, improved developer productivity, and a new data synchronization utility called EasySync.

More than 13,000 organizations across the globe trust Actian Zen as their embedded edge database for making fast, confident decisions. With this release, Actian is committed to helping businesses simplify edge-to-cloud data management, boost developer productivity, and build secure, distributed IoT apps.

Actian Zen’s latest release solidifies its position as the go-to database for building low-latency embedded applications. These applications enable real-time data access, optimize operations, and deliver valuable insights faster than ever before. The Zen 16.0 release helps embedded edge developers bring more efficiency at the edge with the following capabilities:

Curious how the new capabilities can help? Let an Actian representative show you!

Let’s dive into the ways Zen 16.0 empowers users with the new capabilities.

Execute Queries Up to 50% Faster

You can run faster, smarter applications on edge devices with Zen 16.0. Zen accesses frequently used data that’s stored in the L2 cache, speeding up results for queries using this data. Common queries, such as those for frequently used reports or analysis, will experience significantly faster results.
Another technique boosting query performance is page read-ahead, which makes it much faster to scan large data files. When a query is executed, the Zen MicroKernel engine anticipates the data and preloads pages from the data file into memory. This optimization mechanism allows the database engine to not read from the disk as often, enabling faster results.
Having ultra-fast data retrieval is perfect for applications requiring immediate insights from edge devices. This capability ensures real-time analytics and decision-making, enhancing the overall efficiency and responsiveness of your operations. For example, Tsubakimoto Chain Company, a global machinery manufacturer, relies on Actian Zen as the embedded database, sorting up to 10,000 items per hour on their high-speed material handling systems.

Deploy Your Way With Zen Container SDK

With containerization, developers can quickly set up and use Actian Zen, running in Docker containers, with Kubernetes orchestration and Helm Chart configuration. This makes deployment and management across various environments, including on-premises, cloud, and hybrid, much easier.
The containerization of Zen supports ARM 32 and ARM 64 processors for wider deployment options. The ARM architecture is increasingly prevalent in various devices, from smartphones to Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets. Container support for ARM allows developers to target a broader range of platforms with their applications.

Elevate Developer Experiences Leveraging a Btrieve 2 Python Package

The Btrieve2 Python SDK has gained popularity within the Python community. With this release, developers can now leverage the performance and flexibility of Btrieve databases from Python using the Btrieve2 Python package:

  • Simplified Btrieve integration. The Btrieve2 Python package streamlines the process of working with Btrieve databases from Python applications. Developers can leverage familiar Python syntax for database operations, reducing the learning curve and development time.
  • Broader developer reach. Availability on PyPI makes the Btrieve2 package easily discoverable and installable using the familiar pip command. This expands the potential user base for Btrieve-compatible applications.
  • Simplified distribution and management. PyPI provides a centralized repository for package distribution and version management. You can easily share and update your Btrieve2 package, ensuring users have access to the latest version.

Zen 16.0 also boosts developer productivity with features such as LIKE with ESCAPE syntax and literal matching for concise, readable queries. Additionally, Zen now supports JSON nested-object queries to simplify data retrieval from JSON formats, allowing developers to focus on core logic and accelerate development cycles. Lastly, SQL query logging improves performance debugging effectiveness by revealing database interactions, aiding in identifying bottlenecks and optimizing query performance.

Enable Real-Time Data Streaming With Zen and Apache Kafka

Real-time data streaming – particularly in Kafka – is a popular method for moving data from the edge to the cloud, and vice versa. Zen support for Kafka allows you to benefit from streaming-based edge applications.

Combining Zen replication features with Apache Kafka can create a real-time data pipeline. Zen acts as the source database, replicating changes to a secondary database for analytical workloads. Kafka serves as a high-throughput messaging system, efficiently streaming data updates to analytics engines for immediate processing and insights.

Zen’s support for Kafka also allows you to build apps for real-time data processing. This is crucial for scenarios requiring immediate responses to data updates such as fraud detection or sensor data analysis.

Move and Sync Data Easier Using Zen EasySync

A pre-built data synchronization utility called EasySync saves time and effort compared to custom replication logic, allowing you to focus on core application functionality. EasySync lets you move and copy data easier than ever:

  • Data consistency and availability. Zen offers a robust replication mechanism for ensuring data is kept synchronized across multiple servers or geographically dispersed locations. This minimizes downtime and data loss risk in cases of hardware failures, network outages, or planned maintenance.
  • Reduced development complexity. By providing a pre-built data synchronization solution, Actian Zen saves you time and effort compared to implementing custom replication logic from scratch or paying for a separate data sync solution. This allows you to focus on core application functionality.

In Industrial IoT (IIOT) environments, the ability to replicate data to the database from handheld devices without requiring a gateway and without creating new code opens new use cases and opportunities. This enables real-time data collection and faster decision making for process control, remote monitoring, and field service.

Drive Better Outcomes at the Edge

Zen simplifies edge-to-cloud data management with secure, scalable storage and seamless cloud synchronization. We listened to customer feedback and looked at market trends to ensure Zen continues to deliver new and sustainable value for your IoT and edge devices.
For example, you asked us to create longer index keys with more descriptive names. We delivered with index keys longer than 255 characters, enabling you to create more granular indexes that target the data needed for specific queries. You benefit from improved query speed, especially for complex searches or filtering, while being able to create data models with more expressive and descriptive field names to improve code readability and maintainability.

You can use Zen Mobile, Zen Edge, and Zen Enterprise to support modernization efforts, optimize embedded apps, and simplify edge-to-cloud data management. The surge in data from IoT and edge devices, alongside rapidly growing data volumes, makes extracting actionable insights a key differentiator.

Empower your team to achieve embedded edge intelligence with Zen 16.0. Packed with productivity-boosting features and flexible deployment options, Zen 16.0 helps you build the future of IoT.

Get started today!

Emma McGrattan headshot

About Emma McGrattan

Emma McGrattan is SVP of Engineering and Product at Actian leading global research and development. She is a recognized authority in data management and analytics technologies and holds multiple patents. Emma has over two decades of experience leading a global software development organization focused on innovation in high-performance analytics, data management, integration, and application development technologies. Prior to joining Actian, Emma was Vice President for Ingres at Computer Associates. Educated in Ireland, Emma holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from Dublin City University.