Welcome to NuoDB Cranes Release 2.4 GA!

Welcome to NuoDB Cranes Release 2.4 GA!

BY Steve Cellini, NuoDB

We’re very happy to announce the General Availability of NuoDB Cranes Release 2.4. NuoDB Cranes delivers important new Enterprise capabilities, expands NuoDB’s SQL support, streamlines database administration with advanced management capabilities.

Cranes continues the trajectory of previous releases with continual improvements in performance, reliability, and ease of deployment and operations. Cranes includes hundreds of specific improvements based on customer scenarios, representing heavy investments in all aspects of our infrastructure.

In addition, we announced this week our support of Docker as an approved configuration, building on recent experiences supporting customers working with containers. More details below.

Key New Enterprise Capabilities

Online Backup, also known as “hot copy”, was introduced in preview in NuoDB Robins version 2.3. With NuoDB Cranes, this capability is now shipping in General Availability. This is an important Enterprise capability, allowing uninterrupted transactionally-consistent journal and archive backups on running databases. (For some interesting details on how we’re using it internally at NuoDB, read this blog post by George Beiber, our IT guy at NuoDB!)

This release also introduces preview support for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol(LDAP), an important Enterprise capability. LDAP is an open, industry standard protocol for accessing and maintaining distributed directory information services. Support for LDAP means that NuoDB can be integrated into an Enterprise’s existing user authentication infrastructure; administrators can centrally manage users’ access to NuoDB.

JDBC X/Open XA Transaction support is also new in this release in preview. With this capability, NuoDB can participate in transactions coordinated at the application level that involve in application-level databases or other transactional resources.


NuoDB Cranes Release 2.4 features many SQL improvements and additions, such as:

  • Explicit transaction control within stored procedures
  • Dynamic SQL in stored procedures and user-defined functions (UDFs)
  • Data Definition Language (DDL) in stored procedures and UDFs
  • Basic support for cursors in stored procedures
  • Now possible to return multiple result sets of items from a stored procedure


Finally, to ensure additional flexibility and control over optimization, you can now pass optimizer hints to the SELECT statement. For instance, you can instruct the optimizer to use or skip specific index (“USE_INDEX”, “SKIP_INDEX”). See the Release Notes for the complete details on these new SQL capabilities.


We turned to customers to help shape this round of new features in the management tier of NuoDB Cranes. We’ve added features to make it easier and faster to learn about aspects of a domain’s status, properties, and health.

To start with, the new “show domain health” command in NuoDB Manager displays information about the health of the domain, with options for top-level aggregated summaries, or per-host details. In its current form, the peer-level connectivity status from each reachable broker is collected and summarized. This is a preview feature, which we build on in upcoming releases.

Another new feature, “show database updateCommand” displays database-specific information – such as the template in use, database options, variables, and tags – in a form that makes it easier to consistently apply changes to the database via NuoDB Manager.

Changes to the NuoDB Manager “shutdown host” command also make it easier to shut down a broker on any host in the domain, from any NuoDB Manager instance. And you can also specify that the broker should remove itself from the peer membership, to help with maintenance operations.

You may remember that in NuoDB Larks Release 2.2, we added the “incremental enforcer” retry policy to make it easier to accommodate specific resiliency requirements. As we said back then, this new policy…

… allows more fine-grained control over how NuoDB will enforce the restarting of transaction engine (TE) and storage manager (SM) engines in service of an automation template SLA. By default, a TE or SM engine will be restarted as necessary to enforce the SLA. With this new policy, however, you can specify the minimum accumulated uptime that must be observed before an engine can be considered for restart, the maximum number of times an engine should be re-started, and the initial delay (in milliseconds) to wait before restarting an engine the first time. The “incremental” part of the new policy comes into play because that initial delay is doubled the second time a process must be restarted, and doubled again the third time, and so on, until the maximum retry limit is reached. This provides a powerful and flexible approach to resiliency for your particular configuration because it lets administrators decide describe when an engine on a particular node should be classified as ”failing” and thus unavailable to the database any longer. 

We’ve improved this retry policy in NuoDB Cranes by making the underlying statistics durable. These statistics are used by brokers to implement the policy. This means that the policy can be enforced across, for instance, broker restarts.

Additionally, we’ve added a preview ability to add a process group to a template, and the ability to specify a retry policy in a process group. This expands on the existing ability to specify a retry policy in a template at the database level.

Finally, to round out these enforcer enhancements, you can now disable and re-enable the enforcer at the domain or host level via the Automation Console.


We’re very proud of our new approach to documentation that launches with NuoDB Cranes. As you use NuoDB Cranes, you’ll notice our new look, organization, and content. We’ve completely replaced the tools we use to organize our documentation and made a complete pass over organization and content. We’ll be building on this new foundation in coming releases. Check it out!


If you’re just learning about containers, or have a specific project in mind, you’ll find that NuoDB’s Durable Distributed Cache (DDC) architecture is a natural fit as an elastic, transactional data management service for Docker. NuoDB supports container mobility and on-demand capacity at the database layer, automatic cross-container caching of database data, and operational and administrative capabilities (such as security and backup). NuoDB’s engine process can operate wholly within Docker containers or in a mix of containers, VMs, or physical servers in private, public, or hybrid cloud deployments.

At NuoDB, we’ve been watching and using Docker for a while now. Our CTO, Seth Proctor, published a blog post earlier in the year outlining his own experience with Docker and his perspective on how it could be used.


As a reminder, a note about “preview” features: We introduce features in “preview” so that we can provide early access into advanced capabilities to gain feedback. The preview features in NuoDB Cranes will move into General Availability status in a future release; until then, their usage in production deployments is discouraged. Please contact Support for more details or with questions.

Want to learn more? Start with the Release Notes!

As always, it’s important to acknowledge the critical role our customers and partners play in helping us make NuoDB a better product!

Please let us know what you think!

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