What is Endatabas?

From the outside, Endatabas (or Endb) is an open source SQL document database with full history.

On the inside, this means all records in Endatabas are immutable. An ERASE statement is provided for compliance with laws and policies like GDPR. Time-travel is possible, but queries default to "as-of-now". (Which is the thing you want 97% of the time.) Rows are "schema-last" documents and joins can be arbitrary, but queries are written in SQL. Endb stores data in Apache Arrow: scalars are strongly typed, the on-disk format is columnar, and the execution engine understands rows and columns. Endb separates storage from compute to provide unlimited disk space.

In Swedish, Endatabas means both "a database" and "one database". This One Database Dream is twofold: Endb hopes to provide HTAP, so a secondary analytics database is not required for most users. Endb plans to use AI (adaptive indexing) to provide fast OLTP and OLAP queries on cheap, elastic infrastructure.

Who wants One Database?

After years of market research, the complaint of database users is universal: "I want to stop babysitting the database." This can mean many things but they're all expensive and complex.

The database equivalent of Greenspun's 10th Rule might be "any sufficiently complicated backend system contains an ad-hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of half a database." This was true for much of the work we did in the 2010s and 2020s. "Babysitting" is sometimes the energy wasted by repeatedly building and maintaining ad-hoc databases for ourselves instead of building tools for customers.

Buying data products also requires babysitting. DBAs babysit Oracle indexes. Developers babysit Postgres query optimizations. Data engineers babysit ETL pipelines. Analysts baybsit Redshift history. SREs babysit Aurora costs.

Endb can't solve all these problems, but it attempts to be a jack-of-all-trades database that solves as many as it can — for as many people as it can.

When is One Database possible?

After years of Computer Science research, it's also clear a sea change in database tech is due... right about now. (Give or take ten years. Our timing may be off.)

Hellerstein and Stonebraker's What Goes Around Comes Around remains true, decade after decade, since it was published in 2004. As always, the relational data model is still king and SQL is still the lingua franca of databases. Together, they assimilate new rivals every decade or so. Endatabas tries to stand right at the center of this upcoming collapse of the data toolchain.

If we, as an industry, can drop a decade's vestigial growth in favour of a tighter, simpler solution? Wonderful. But what if we could shed a half-century's vestiges? Perhaps event streams, relations, documents, graphs, temporal data, ETL and CDC can all live under one roof for many businesses.

Let's see. We're not sure if we can make this work. But it's exciting to try.

One Database: Clean. Simple. Less.

(Read more in Why Endatabas?)