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EsgynDB is a hybrid transactional database management system built on Apache Trafodion. It is a distributed, shared-disk system that supports SQL execution over HDFS-based Data.


EsgynDB originally started as the Trafodion project at HP in 2006 by former developers from Tandem NonStop. After Trafodion was transferred to the Apache Foundation, the HP developers left to provide commercial version in 2015.

The company backing EsgynDB ceased operations in 2020.


Dictionary Encoding

The data stored in HBase storage engine can be compressed in snappy, LZO, LZ4 or GZ format. The data stored in Hive storage engine as ORC or PARQUET can be compressed in ZLIB or snappy format.

Concurrency Control

Optimistic Concurrency Control (OCC)

EsgynDB distributed transaction manager (DTM) provides support for implicit (auto-commit) and explicit (BEGIN, COMMIT, ROLLBACK WORK) transaction control. EsgynDB allows multiple transactions to be accessing the same rows concurrently. However, in the case of update, the first transaction to commit wins and other transactions are notified at commit that the transaction failed due to update conflict.

Data Model


EsgynDB is relational, supports ANSI SQL and ACID transactions. EsgynDB can query HBase structured tables, native HBase tables, Hive tables (text, ORC and Parquet format) in the same query. Therefore EsgynDB can access in the same query structured, semi-structured and unstructured data. HBase or Hive tables can be defined as EsgynDB external tables.

Foreign Keys




EsgynDB leverages the physical indexing provided by underlying storage engines (Apache HBase and Hive). In addition EsgynDB provides secondary indexes which to the underlying storage engines appear as additional tables. EsgynDB also supports index scans without the leading attributes in the index key.

Isolation Levels

Read Committed

EsgynDB uses an Optimistic Concurrency Control (OCC) algorithm during the voting phase of the transaction and blocks the transaction from committing. Although MVCC allows a given transaction to see both P2 and P3 phenomenon while the transaction is active, OCC detects the phenomenon and prevents the transaction from committing.

The SQL Isolation level provided by EsgynDB is greater than Read Committed and less than Snapshot Isolation, however, data integrity is guaranteed by the OCC algorithm at commit time, so the correctness of data is guaranteed regardless of whether or not a phenomenon might have occurred within the transaction. EsgynDB cannot distinguish between the case where a phenomenon might have occurred versus when one actually did occur. In order to ensure the absolute highest data integrity, it uses the strictest rules and prevent transaction commit if a phenomenon might have occurred.


Nested Loop Join Hash Join Sort-Merge Join Broadcast Join Semi Join

Complex join support including nested joins, hash joins, and merge joins. For parallel plans techniques such as broadcast joins and hash re-partitioned joins are supported.


Logical Logging

EsgynDB leverages Apache HBase logging. In addition EsgynDB logs its own information about transactions using the HBase logs.

Query Compilation

Code Generation JIT Compilation Stored Procedure Compilation

EsgynDB’ s optimizer is based on the Cascades optimization framework.

SQL Normalizer – the parsed SQL statement is passed to the normalizer which performs unconditional transformations, including subquery transformations, of the SQL into a canonical form which renders the SQL in a form that can be optimized internally.

SQL Analyzer – analyzes alternative join connectivity patterns, table access paths and methods, matching partition information, etc. to be used by the optimizer’s rules. The results are passed to the plan generator for consideration in costing various plan alternatives.

Table Statistics – captured equal-height histogram statistics identify data distributions for column data and correlations between columns. Sampling is used for large tables to reduce the overhead of generating the statistics.

Cardinality Estimator – cardinalities, data skew, and histograms are computed for intermediate results throughout the operator tree.

Cost Estimator – estimates node, I/O, and message cost for each operator while accounting for data skew at the operator level.

Plan Generator – using cost estimates the optimizer considers alternative plans and chooses the plan which has the lowest cost. Where feasible the optimizer will select plans that incorporate SQL pushdown, sort elimination, and in-memory storage vs. overflow to disk. Also, it determines the optimal degree of parallelism including serial plans. Portions of the query plans are generated in native machine code using LLVM.

Query Execution

Tuple-at-a-Time Model

EsgynDB’ s SQL executor uses a data flow and scheduler-driven task model to execute the optimized query plan. Each operator of the plan is an independent task and data flows between operators through in-memory queues (up and down) or by inter-process communication. Queues between tasks allow operators to exchange multiple requests or result rows at a time. A scheduler coordinates the execution of tasks and runs whenever it has data in one of its operators' input queues. In most cases, the EsgynDB executor can process queries with data flowing entirely through memory, providing superior performance and reduced dependency on disk space and I/O bandwidth. Only for a large hash join or sort, where EsgynDB detects memory pressure, does it overflow to disk. The executor incorporates several types of parallelism, such as partitioned, pipeline and operator parallelism.

Query Interface

SQL PL/SQL Stored Procedures Command-line / Shell

Access to EsgynDB services layer is completed via a standard ODBC/JDBC interface using an Esgyn supplied Windows or Linux client driver. Both type 2 and type 4 JDBC drivers are supported and the choice is dependent on the application requirements for response times, number of connections, security, and other factors. EsgynDB extends that support with an ADO.NET driver.

EsgynDB SQL supports more than built-in functions for aggregate, character, date-time, mathematical, and OLAP operations. These include all ANSI functions as well as many commonly used functions from other databases, such as DECODE and TO_CHAR from Oracle. With support for BI and analytical workloads EsgynDB supports OLAP functions, such as LEAD and LAG. It supports multiple windows in an OLAP query. It has functionality common to such workloads, such as ROLLUP and GROUPING.

Storage Architecture


Disk-oriented, with an in-memory key-value store in HBase storage engine.

Storage Model

Decomposition Storage Model (Columnar) N-ary Storage Model (Row/Record) Hybrid Custom

EsgynDB database objects are stored into native Hadoop database structures. These include the following formats: HBase that provides a Big Table, or wide-column key-value, data model, ORC or Parquet files which provides a column store data model, text files used for staging data such as comma separated value or log data and key-value sequence file. Refer to storage model description for Apache HBase and Apache Hive.

Storage Organization


Data is stored in EsgynDB in either row format in HBase storage engine for best OLTP query performance, or in ORC, PARQUET or AVRO columnar format for best analytic query performance.

Stored Procedures


EsgynDB supports Stored Procedures in Java (SPJ) so that users can write operational or business procedures in Java code, to be executed on the server side, when invoked by client applications. When there are multiple SQL statement executions as part of a procedure, with data needing to be exchanged between the client and server for each of these statements, it is more efficient to use stored procedures to push that processing to the server side. Oracle PL/SQL and ANSI SQL stored procedures can be converted to SPJs. EsgynDB also supports Apache Hive HPL/SQL stored procedures natively.

In addition EsgynDB supports generalized User Defined Functions (UDFs). UDFs can be written in Java or C++. Several kinds of UDFs are supported including scalar UDFs and table-valued UDFs.

System Architecture


EsgynDB implements a shared-nothing architecture and leverages the shared-nothing architecture of the underlying Apache Hadoop storage engines (HBase, Hive). Nodes and storage across the cluster can be dynamically increased or decreased with no downtime, while transactions and queries are being processed. The very next transaction or query will leverage the reconfigured compute or storage resources.


Virtual Views

EsgynDB supports ISO ANSI standard views defined on EsgynDB tables or on Apache Hive tables.

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Written in

C++, Java

Supported languages

C, C#, C++, Java, PL/SQL, SQL

Derived From


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