Compose NewsBits: PostgreSQL 9.6, Neural Redis, GraphQL, Nmap, Erlang, SETI and chatbots


Compose NewsBits for the week ending September 30th: PostgreSQL 9.6 is out and so is PostGIS 2.3 and Barman 2.0, Redis gets a neural plugin to embed machine learning in the database, GraphQL gets some nice examples, Nmap gets an update, Erlang's nice installer, SETI data published through IBM and build a chatbot with Node Red.

NewsBits is the new name for Compose's Little Bits, which was pretty newsy so we thought we'd change the name so people have a better idea what they are getting. Database news, developer news, cloud news and some curiosities from the IT world. On with the NewsBits!

Database Bits

PostgreSQL 9.6 - It's released! The latest version of PostgreSQL, 9.6, has been announced as complete. Regular readers of NewsBits will know that the new release has extensive support for parallel queries though that is disabled by default. Other highlights that are enabled include the ability for foreign data wrappers - connections to other databases - to push sorts, joins and batch updates to the remote databases. There's also improved full text searching for phrases, support for synchronous replicas and load-balanced read replicas. We'll have a deeper dive on 9.6 on Compose Articles in the near future.

The 9.6 release wasn't the only Postgres related release. PostGIS 2.3.0 preceded the 9.6 release with its own parallel query support for geo-queries. The backup and recovery tool Barman got support for streaming only backups, PostgreSQL 9.6 concurrent backups and WAL streaming backups in Barman 2.0.

Neural Redis - Where better to do your machine learning but right next to your data? A new alpha plugin for Redis, neural-redis, offers Redis users the opportunity to do that by embedding a simple to use, automatically trainable machine learning module. Designed to take on questions like trends and preferences within users or data feeds, the simple neural network specializes in linear and non-linear correlations. This is an important development for Redis and may be the start of seeing neural networks going mainstream as a database component. We'll definitely be keeping a close eye on how the plugin develops from its current alpha state.

GraphQL - Earlier this month, GraphQL was declared production ready. GraphQL is a powerful alternative to REST endpoints and other mechanisms for getting data from services as it allows developers to create schemas for available data and then query for whatever elements of that schema that their client applications need. Now, people like examples, and the "WeLikeGraphQL" group have just release an example - wordpress-graphql-example - which lets you configure a Wordpress server with a GraphQL endpoint (courtesy of graphql-wp) so you can try out GraphQL with something more substantial than a small example data set.

Tool Bits

Nmap 7.30 - The venerable network mapping tool Nmap has been releasing many betas recently but has now run a stability sprint to produce a new release Nmap 7.30. The update also includes more fingerprints for system identifications, improved Windows packet capture and even more NSE scripts for exploring found devices.

Erlang on macOS - It's the little things that help. Take the new release of the Erlang installer for macOS. It now handles the concept of having multiple versions of Erlang, so a developer can test against each one, built into the installer. You can install and uninstall versions on demand and easily select a default version. And all without relying on a third-party "version manager" application which moves the language furniture around for you.

Data Bits

SETI on IBM - IBM have been working with the SETI institute since last year to help store the data being gathered in their search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. Now they have announced SETI@IBMCloud, a public facing service to provide SETI data through IBM's cloud platform Bluemix in an environment where it can be analyzed. There's example tooling and pointers to resources so you can get going using Python notebooks to start sifting the data.

Node Red Chat - Want to build a chat bot but don't want to write lots of code? Redbot is a Node Red flow and nodes which lets you drag and drop and connect your way to the interaction metaphor de jour - chat.

Compose Bits

Singapore - We've just set up Compose in Singapore AWS so if you want your Compose databases in South East Asia, check it out.

Dj Walker-Morgan
Dj Walker-Morgan is Compose's resident Content Curator, and has been both a developer and writer since Apples came in II flavors and Commodores had Pets. Love this article? Head over to Dj Walker-Morgan’s author page to keep reading.

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