Meeting Embedded Database Challenges

Edge applications and devices increasingly rely on AI to improve automation and decisions –  human and machine – in stand-alone, peer-to-peer, local network, cloud and hybrid environments. The underlying edge data management must leverage a variety of hardware, operating systems, networks, communications interfaces, and programming and scripting languages for applications that use these resources. Zen Edge Data Management delivers against these broad and demanding requirements.

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Single, secure, scalable architecture supports concurrent read and write, using NoSQL and SQL across popular embedded environments

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Faster than leading purpose-built databases at time-series, JSON-based or Blob document stores, and SQLite

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Provides data encryption for data at rest and in transit

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Avoid ETL between devices, gateways, branch and cloud environments – improve speed, lower integration cost, and remove security vulnerabilities

Plurilogic extends Pluriportail with campus-wide student and asset tracking using Zen Edge and RFID

Tracking attendance and assets using RF-ID technology and embedded database systems on K-12 and higher education campuses

“With Zen data management products, we’ve been able to extend our integrated solutions in the classroom and across campuses to better track and manage students and institutional assets, extending our capabilities to IoT and mobile devices.”

Friends don’t let friends use flat files

ETL, data security, portability, indexing, time-stamping, and other features built-in to modern edge data management solutions no longer require a complex database that doesn’t fit your edge use case. With Zen you get the simplicity of file system APIs with the robust functionality of a real-time database.

Two Friends

Zen: Zero-DBA, Multi-Model, Multi-Platform

Zen Platform Diagram
  • Single architecture – from device to gateway, from server to cloud
  • Multi-model, multi-platform, embedded in most popular languages
  • No ETL between clients, servers, and cloud
  • Modular: 7MB client to 50MB server to full enterprise under 200MB
  • AES 256-bit military-grade encryption
  • Embed in apps, configurable through APIs
  • Built-in automated defragmentation
  • Single data file/table size of 64 TB

Tsubakimoto’s Material Handling System sorts up to 10,000 items per hour.

Zen is the database infrastructure, supporting extremely high-speed conveyor belt operations in manufacturing and transportation and logistics

“From our first adoption to the present of course, we have considered changing data base several times, but when it came to an actual performance test, other powerful databases could not reach Zen’s reading and writing speed at all.”

Today’s use cases demand more than SQLite.

Zen Editions

Zen Core

For mobile/IoT devices

Dedicated DB Engine with NoSQL API and SQL

Embeds directly in apps as packaged libraries

Client and Peer-to-Peer

7 MB footprint

Royalty-free development and deployment

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Zen Edge

Embed in Edge gateways and complex machinery

Full Client-Server functionality

>100s of concurrent users

50MB footprint

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Zen Enterprise

Zen Workgroup for Windows

Embed/bundle with ERP verticals, and other complex apps

>1000s of concurrent users for branch NS central office

175MB footprint

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Zen Cloud Server

Cloud-ready version of Zen Enterprise

Runs in VMs and Containers

Embed/bundle in complex SaaS apps or managed services

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Shared by all Editions

Single modular architecture, code once, run anywhere

Zero ETL between Zen and PSQL ensures less integration and time to completion


AES-256 bit encryption for data at rest plus zero ETL avoids decryption between development and deployment

Singe data table/file size maximum of 64 TB

Add-On Software


Exchange data and two-way synchronization of Zen and PSQL databases

Backup and recovery to/from multiple remote replication sites

Built in 256-bit encryption

Separate replication event handler and replication engine ensure zero impact on operational databases

Backup Agent

Backup operational Zen and PSQL databases

Works with all major 3rd party backup software

API for use embeds in your application

Maintains data integrity and continuity without service interruptions


Generates logs of all DB events, delivering a detailed audit trail

No changes to the application needed

Query and alert capability configurable against specific compliance and security policies

Support diagnosis and data recovery of before/after images

Real-time support of operational Zen and PSQL databases

Shared by all add-on software

API from CLI or embeds directly in your application

Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 support

Embeddable APIs and configurable dashboards for remote management

Upgrade from PSQL to Zen

Use Cases for Edge Intelligence are everywhere and in every industry.

From chronic disease management in healthcare to digital twinning in manufacturing, the breadth and depth of use cases for edge intelligence is seemingly limitless. The growth of IoT and Mobile and the infusion of AI into them is driving the need to harness and exploit underlying data at the edge rather than simply tossing it or sending it back to the cloud.

Do you need to modernize your Edge Data Management?

  • Do you need to analyze and make real-time decisions at the point of action?
  • Are you able to manage large sets of local and shared persistent data at the edge?
  • Do you need to run on multiple OSes from Android/iOS to Windows/Linux?
  • Do you use multiple programming and scripting languages to develop your edge applications?
  • Do you support varied types of data: JSON, Blob, traditional structured, etc.?
  • Are you struggling to support standalone, peer-to-peer, client-server, Internet/Intranet architectures?
  • Do you operate as stand-alone when disconnected?
  • Can you handle high-speed, multi-channel data collection and local machine learning inference?

Embedded Database Management for IoT and Edge Environments

Edge Intelligent applications need to embed sophisticated data management so developers don’t have to become database managers. Here’s some challenges, constraints, and issues to consider.

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Bringing IoT to ERP: One Stop Shopping for Global Shop Solutions

Global Shop extends its use of Actian Zen Enterprise Server in its ERP software to shop floor IoT with Actian Zen Core.

“With the evolution of the Zen architecture, we can now deploy a small footprint/IoT-enabled database that can run in a serverless mode with just client libraries. That opens up whole new opportunities for customers to put inexpensive IoT-enabled devices into settings that used to require expensive PLC devices.”

Zen Python demo for Facial Recognition on a Jetson board

On a Jeff Fritz podcast, Tom Bates from Actian describes how he used Open Source ML routines  and cameras to do real-time facial recognition detection and Zen DB storage on a Jetson.

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Finally, a Developer Centric NoSQL/SQL Engine for Edge Data Management

Developers increasingly need to leverage flat files for resource-constrained applications or real-time data collection and storage, SQLite for client-only platforms, and databases to address JSON/Document data, time-series, and structured transactional data.

With Zen, developers get a simple NoSQL API (alternatively, Zen offers full SQL with ACID compliance) that covers standalone embedded application needs at the device or gateway level. Zen also offers publish-subscribe support for 100s or 1000s of downstream devices or upstream servers in client-server, intranet and cloud configurations.


Teach yourself Zen

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Join in the conversation with other Zen/PSQL experts

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Watch a Deep-Dive Developer Conversation on Zen with Code Project’s Jeff Fritz

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SQLite … good enough just isn’t in today’s demanding use cases

Why Cloud Data Warehouse

Want a free 30-day evaluation or already own Zen and need additional copies?

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Zen Core for Android and iOS now Royalty-Free

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Upgrade from earlier versions of PSQL to Zen

Packaged and priced for the Embedded OEM market and Operational Technology

Zen is based on PSQL and is backward compatible to 1994 and each version is supported at least seven years.


Find a Local Zen Partner

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Zen Core for Android and iOS now Royalty-Free

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Actian Licensing Support

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