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Google's Cloud Spanner DML Updates and Cloud Bigtable's New Key Visualization Feature

| by Steef-Jan Wiggers Follow 9 Followers on Oct 15, 2018. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) have recently updated their Cloud Spanner and Cloud Bigtable cloud-native database services. The Cloud Spanner database service received updates to its data manipulating (DML) SQL language in order to enable more efficient read and write operations, and Cloud Bigtable now offers a Key Visualizer feature allowing users to see key access patterns in a heat map format, which enables them to optimize their Cloud Bigtable schemas to enhance performance.

The Google Cloud Spanner database service now enables users to read and write data operations more efficiently in Cloud Spanner databases by using the new INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE SQL statement next to the already existing SELECT statement. In the blog post announcing the updates for Cloud Spanner and Cloud Bigtable, Lewis Tuff, engineering lead at Blockchain, said:

One thing that has been missing for us is DML in SQL to support easier ad-hoc querying, and now that we have it, we're excited to ship code even faster.


Source: https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/databases/develop-and-deploy-apps-more-easily-with-cloud-spanner-and-cloud-bigtable-updates

More information on the Cloud Spanner DML enhancements is available on the Google website. Besides the DML updates, users now can also use a new version of the JDBC driver and easily integrate Cloud Spanner with their existing code and toolchains. 

The Cloud Bigtable service, suitable for time-series, graph and "internet of things" workloads, now offers a Key Visualizer feature allowing users to see key access patterns in a heat map format, which enables them to optimize their Cloud Bigtable schemas to enhance performance. The Key Visualizer also helps in debugging performance issues, and users can visualize them via the heat map and thus get to the root of any performance problems more quickly.


Source: https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/databases/develop-and-deploy-apps-more-easily-with-cloud-spanner-and-cloud-bigtable-updates

Some Google Cloud Platform customers have used the Key Visualizer in beta. OTA Insight, which provides revenue management tools for the hotel industry, is one of them and their CTO, Joeri De Turck, said in the same announcement blog post:

Key Visualizer for Google Cloud Bigtable is an amazing tool to quickly and visually identify hotspots in Bigtable. It helped us greatly to compare the performance of multiple possible key schemas and evaluate which one is the most efficient for our workload.

More information on the new Key Visualizer feature is also available through a recent Google Cloud Next 2018 presentation.

The three big cloud providers -- Microsoft, Amazon, and Google -- offer various cloud database services ranging from relational to NoSQL. Each provider invests heavily in these services by regularly adding new features. Recently, Microsoft added more features to its Cosmos DB database service and made the database services for MySQL and PostgreSQL generally available. Amazon’s recent database service updates on the AWS platform include the now generally available Amazon Neptune, a new Cloud Graph Database service, and Aurora Serverless MySQL.

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