AMPS 4.0: Back from the Future

  Jan 24, 2015   |      Dirk Myers

historical query performance amps 4

Back from the future with never-before-seen technologyIt’s great to be back! We just returned from a trip to 2025. While we were there, we took a look at what messaging systems and databases were like in 2025. We brought a bunch of cool stuff back and added it to AMPS 4.0.

We’ve revealed some of these secrets before:

  • What if you could travel back to your data's history?Historical Database Query. Travel back in time. AMPS includes the ability to save the state of a State of the World (SOW) database and query the state of the SOW at any point in time. For an explanation of how this feature enables unique time-based queries, see Jeffrey M. Birnbaum’s presentation What Would You Build with a Data Time Machine?

  • Data aggregation as easy as it is in the movies: Find out how!All your data works together. In the future, all your data works together, regardless of the format. In AMPS 4.0, you can create views and aggregates that JOIN data from different message types and produce data in any message type you want: just the way data works in the movies.

We’re still making sure that none of the details in the blog posts will contaminate the timeline, but here are some of the things that are available in AMPS 4.0 now that we’ll be talking about in the weeks to come:

  • Use any message format, even formats that haven’t been invented yet. We can’t reveal exactly what message formats we used in 2025, but we can tell you that some of the popular formats haven’t been invented yet. AMPS 4.0 allows anyone to create a message type plugin that seamlessly works with existing message types. We’re ready, just as soon as the formats are. And we know that at least one of you is working on that format, already.
  • You control your query results. In the future, you can get exactly the query results you need. AMPS 4.0 provides OrderBy and TopN on SOW queries to let you control how query results return.
  • Mind-blowing performance that scales up and down with your hardware. We’ve made a host of futuristic performance enhancements, including a “slow lane” to further isolate the effect of slow clients on the rest of the system.
  • Keep track of things. Some classic techniques are still classic. AMPS now allows you to set a user-provided CorrelationId on messages, to help applications that need to correlate messages without parsing the message body.
  • Choice in programming. In the future, APIs provide the ability to easily choose both fine-grained control and ease of use. The 4.0 AMPS clients include synchronous interfaces to make them easier to use for simple applications. The clients also include a new Command interface to give you precise control over how your program interacts with AMPS. Best of all? You can use either of those interfaces independently, or use them both together for both simplicity and control.

That’s not all we brought back. We’ve also made lots of improvements that may not make for a fascinating blog post, but still make AMPS easier to use. Here are a few:

  • New JSON, BSON and uninterpreted binary message types
  • Operations enhancements, including out-of-the-box support for running as a service
  • Statistics changes to focus on the statistics that are most easy to take action on
  • Performance and stability enhancements to help AMPS scale to the hardware, speeds, and capacities common in 2025

In 2025, software reliability and performance is even more important than they are in 2015. We’ve taken that to heart and done extensive work extending and improving our Quality Assurance process for AMPS 4.0. We regularly run performance and stress tests that simulate the most demanding environments – both now, and for the next ten years. Many of these tests detected failures or reduced performance on previous releases of AMPS. There’s a blog post on our QA improvements coming up, too.

Ready to live the future now with AMPS 4.0? Want a sweet shirt with a lime green DeLorean on it? And be kept up to date on what’s going on in our labs? The first 100 people to sign up for our newsletter will be styling! (Please let us know what size shirt and where to ship the shirt, too.) And we can tell you (without contaminating the timeline) that these shirts are even cooler in 2025.

UPDATED March 20 2015: The shirts we mentioned above are gone, but you can still stay up to date with 60East by signing up for our newsletter. The improvements in 4.0 are just the beginning!

Oh, and last thing. SPOILER ALERT: There are still no flying cars in 2025. Surprised us, too.

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