Query Language Archives - Page 2 of 3 - ArangoDB

Introducing RETURN DISTINCT for AQL queries

00Query LanguageTags:

Last week saw the addition of the RETURN DISTINCT for AQL queries. This is a new shortcut syntax for making result sets unique.

For this purpose it can be used as an easier-to-memorize alternative for the already existing COLLECT statement. COLLECT is very flexible and can be used for multiple purposes, but it is syntactic overkill for making a result-set unique.

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The new RETURN DISTINCT syntax makes queries easier to write and understand.

Here’s a non-scientific proof for this claim:

Compare the following queries, which both return each distinct age attribute value from the collection:


Clearly, the query using RETURN DISTINCT is more intuitive, especially for AQL beginners. Apart from that, using RETURN DISTINCT will save a bit of typing compared to the longer COLLECT-based query.

Internally both COLLECT and RETURN DISTINCT will work by creating an AggregateNode. The optimizer will try the sorted and the hashed variants for both, so they should perform about the same.

However, the result of a RETURN DISTINCT does not have any guaranteed order, so the optimizer will not insert a post-SORT for it. It may do so for a regular COLLECT.

As mentioned before, COLLECT is more flexible than RETURN DISTINCT. Notably, COLLECT is superior to RETURN DISTINCT when the result set should be made unique using more than one criterion, e.g.

This is currently not achievable via RETURN DISTINCT, as it only works with a single criterion.

COLLECTing With a Hash Table

07Performance, Query LanguageTags:

ArangoDB 2.6 will feature an alternative hash implementation of the AQL COLLECT operation. The new implementation can speed up some AQL queries that can not exploit indexes on the COLLECT group criteria.

This blog post provides a preview of the feature and shows some nice performance improvements. It also explains the COLLECT-related optimizer parts and how the optimizer will decide whether to use the new or the traditional implementation.

More info

Creating Multi-Game Highscore Lists

03API, Documentation, Query LanguageTags:

I just came across a question about how to create highscore lists or leaderboards in ArangoDB, and how they would work when compared to Redis sorted sets.

This blog post tries to give an answer on the topic and also detailed instructions and queries for setting up highscore lists with ArangoDB. The additional section “Extensions” explains slightly more advanced highscore list use cases like multi-game highscore lists, joining data and maintaining a “last updated” date.
More info

Analyzing Git commits with ArangoDB

00API, Query LanguageTags:

I often find myself searching for certain commits using git log and friends. While I really love the power and flexibility that come with the git and other Unix command-line tools, sometimes it can be more convenient to use a database to filter and aggregate commit data.

I gave it a quick try yesterday and imported the commit history of ArangoDB’s Git repository into ArangoDB and ran some queries on the data.

While the query results for our repository may not be interesting for everyone, I think it is still worth sharing what I did. Even though I didn’t try it, I think the overall procedure is applicable with any other Git repository.

More queries and how to convert and import Git commits in ArangoDB: Read on in Jan’s Blog

AQL Improvements in 2.5

00Performance, Query LanguageTags:

Contained in 2.5 are some small but useful AQL language improvements plus several AQL optimizer improvements.

We are working on further AQL improvements for 2.5, but work is still ongoing. This post summarizes the improvements that are already completed and will be shipped with the initial ArangoDB 2.5 release.

More info

ArangoDB Query Builder

01Foxx, Javascript, Query LanguageTags:

The most powerful way to query your data in ArangoDB is by using ArangoDB’s own query language, AQL. In the past using AQL in your JavaScript code sadly would often require writing long, unwieldy strings. This made writing complex queries difficult and could often lead to subtle syntax errors or mistakes.

The ArangoDB Query Builder (AQB) is a JavaScript node packaged module that provides a fluid API for writing AQL queries in plain JavaScript. And if you’re using ArangoDB 2.3, the aqb module is already available to your Foxx applications. More info

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