Incompatible changes in ArangoDB 3.9
It is recommended to check the following list of incompatible changes before upgrading to ArangoDB 3.9, and adjust any client programs if necessary.
The following incompatible changes have been made in ArangoDB 3.9:
The minimum architecture requirements have been raised from the Westmere architecture to the Sandy Bridge architecture. 256 bit AVX instructions are now expected to be present on all targets that run ArangoDB 3.9 executables. If a target does not support AVX instructions, it may fail with SIGILL at runtime.
Deployment mode “leader-follower” no longer supported
The Leader/Follower deployment mode in which two single servers were set up as a leader and follower pair (without any kind of automatic failover) was deprecated and removed from the documentation.
Recommended alternatives are the Active Failover deployment option and the OneShard feature in a cluster.
Extended naming convention for databases
There is a new startup option allowing database names to contain most UTF-8
characters. The option name is
The feature is disabled by default to ensure compatibility with existing client drivers and applications that only support ASCII names according to the traditional database naming convention used in previous ArangoDB versions.
If the feature is enabled, then any endpoints that contain database names in the URL may contain special characters that were previously not allowed (percent-encoded). They are also to be expected in payloads that contain database names. If client applications assemble URLs with database names programmatically, they need to ensure that database names are properly URL-encoded and also NFC-normalized if they contain UTF-8 characters.
The ArangoDB client tools arangobench, arangodump, arangoexport, arangoimport, arangorestore, and arangosh ship with full support for the extended database naming convention.
Please be aware that dumps containing extended database names cannot be restored into older versions that only support the traditional naming convention. In a cluster setup, it is required to use the same database naming convention for all Coordinators and DB-Servers of the cluster. Otherwise the startup will be refused. In DC2DC setups it is also required to use the same database naming convention for both datacenters to avoid incompatibilities.
Also see Database Naming Conventions.
The following complexity limits have been added in 3.9 for AQL queries, Additional complexity limits have been added for AQL queries, in order to prevent programmatically generated large queries from causing trouble (too deep recursion, enormous memory usage, long query optimization and distribution passes etc.).
The following limits have been added:
- a recursion limit for AQL query expressions. An expression can now be
up to 500 levels deep. An example expression is
1 + 2 + 3 + 4, which is 3 levels deep
1 + (2 + (3 + 4)). The recursion of expressions is limited to 500 levels.
- a limit for the number of execution nodes in the initial query execution plan. The number of execution nodes is limited to 4000. This number includes all execution nodes of the initial execution plan, even if some of them could be optimized away later by the query optimizer during plan optimization.
AQL queries that violate these limits will fail to run, and instead abort
1524 (“too much nesting or too many objects”) during setup.
Also see Known limitations for AQL queries.
Installing Foxx apps from remote URLS
--foxx.allow-install-from-remote option controls whether installing Foxx apps
from remote URL sources other than Github is allowed. If set to
installing Foxx apps is blocked for any remote sources other than Github. Installing
Foxx apps from Github or from uploaded zip files is still possible with this
Setting it to
true will allow installing Foxx apps from any remote
In ArangoDB 3.9, the default value for this option is
false, meaning that
installing Foxx apps from remote sources other than Github is now disallowed. This
also inactivates the Remote tab in the Services section of the web interface.
Compared to the previous versions of ArangoDB, this is a downwards-incompatible default
value change, which was made for security reasons. To enable installing
apps from remote sources again, set this option to
The default value for the startup
--rocksdb.max-subcompactions option was
This allows compactions jobs to be broken up into disjoint ranges which
can be processed in parallel by multiple threads.
--cluster.max-number-of-move-shards option limits the maximum number of
move shards operations that can be made when the Rebalance Shards button is
clicked in the Web UI. For backwards compatibility purposes, the default value
10. If the value is
0, the tab containing the button is not clickable.
Timeout for JWT sessions
The lifetime for tokens that can be obtained from the
endpoint is now configurable via the
--server.session-timeout startup option.
The value for the option can be specified in seconds. The default timeout is one hour. Previous versions of ArangoDB had a longer, hard-coded timeout.
The web interface uses JWT for authentication. However, the session will be renewed automatically as long as you regularly interact with the Web UI in your browser. You will not get logged out while actively using it.
Disallowed usage of collection names in AQL expressions
The startup option
--query.allow-collections-in-expressions added in 3.8.0
controls whether collection names are allowed in arbitrary places in AQL
expressions. The default was true, but is now changed to false in 3.9.0 to
make queries like
FOR doc IN collection RETURN collection fail, where it was
probably intended to
RETURN doc instead. Also see
ArangoDB Server Query Options
Such unintentional usage of collection names in queries now makes the query fail with error 1568 (“collection used as expression operand”) by default. The option can be set to true to restore the 3.8 behavior. However, the option is deprecated from 3.9.0 on and will be removed in future versions. From then on, unintended usage of collection names will always be disallowed.
If you use queries like
RETURN collection then you should replace them with
FOR doc IN collection RETURN doc to ensure future compatibility.
Cluster-internal network protocol
The cluster-internal network protocol is hard-coded to HTTP/1 in ArangoDB 3.9.
Any other protocol selected via the startup option
automatically be switched to HTTP/1. The startup option
is now deprecated and hidden by default. It will be removed in a future version.
“Old” system collections
--database.old-system-collections was introduced in 3.6 and 3.7
to control if the obsolete system collections
be created with every new database or not.
The option was introduced with a default value of
true in 3.6 and 3.7 for
downwards-compatibility reasons. With the introduction of the option, it was
also announced that the default value would change to
false in ArangoDB 3.8.
This has happened, meaning that 3.8 installations by default will not create
these system collections anymore.
In ArangoDB 3.9 the option
--database.old-system-collections is now
completely obsolete, and ArangoDB will never create these system collections
for any new databases. The option can still be specified at startup, but it
The default value for the
--threads startup parameter was changed from
2 to the maximum of 2 and the number of available CPU cores for the
following client tools:
This change can help to improve performance of imports, dumps or restore
processes on machines with multiple cores in case the
was not previously used. As a trade-off, the change may lead to an increased
load on servers, so any scripted imports, dumps or restore processes that
want to keep the server load under control should set the number of client
threads explicitly when invoking any of the above client tools.
The default value of arangodump’s
--envelope option changes from
in 3.8 to
false in 3.9. This change turns on the non-envelope dump
format by default, which will lead to smaller and slightly faster dumps.
In addition, the non-enveloped format allows higher parallelism when
restoring dumps with arangorestore.
The non-enveloped dump format is different to the enveloped dump format used by default in previous versions of ArangoDB.
In the enveloped format, dumps were JSONL files with a JSON object in each
line, and the actual database documents were placed inside a
There was also a
type attribute for each line, which designated
the type of object in that line (typically this will have been type
meaning “document”). The old, enveloped format looks like this:
The non-enveloped format which is now enabled by default only contains the actual documents, e.g.
The change of the default dump format may have an effect on third-party
backup tools or script. arangorestore will work fine with both formats.
To switch between the formats, arangodump provides the
With the default dump format changing from the enveloped variant to the non-enveloped variant, arangorestore will now by default be able to employ higher parallelism when restoring data of large collections.
When restoring a collection from a non-enveloped dump, arangorestore can
send multiple batches of data for the collection in parallel if it can read
the dump files faster than the server can respond to arangorestore’s requests.
This increased parallelism normally helps to speed up the restore process,
but it can also lead to arangorestore saturating the server with its restore
In this case it is advised to decrease the value of arangorestore’s
option accordingly. The value of
--threads will the determine the maximum
parallelism used by arangorestore.
ArangoDB release packages install an executable named arangoimp as an alias for the arangoimport executable. This is done to provide compatibility with older releases, in which arangoimport did not yet exist and was named arangoimp. The renaming was actually carried out in the codebase in December 2017. Using the arangoimp executable is now deprecated, and it is always favorable to use arangoimport instead. While the arangoimport executable will remain, the arangoimp alias will be removed in a future version of ArangoDB, and its use is now highly discouraged.
--pretty options of the arangovpack utility
were removed and replaced with separate options for specifying
the input and output types:
--print-non-json option was replaced with the new
--fail-on-non-json option, which makes arangovpack fail when trying to emit non-JSON
types to JSON output.