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FoundationDB is a distributed database designed to handle large volumes of structured data across clusters of commodity servers. It organizes data as an ordered key-value store and employs ACID transactions for all operations. It is especially well-suited for read/write workloads but also has excellent performance for write-intensive workloads. Users interact with the database using API language binding.

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FoundationDB Record Layer

The Record Layer is a Java API providing a record-oriented store on top of FoundationDB, (very) roughly equivalent to a simple relational database, featuring:

  • Structured types - Records are defined and stored in terms of protobuf messages.
  • Indexes - The Record Layer supports a variety of different index types including value indexes (the kind provided by most databases), rank indexes, and aggregate indexes. Indexes and primary keys can be defined either via protobuf options or programmatically.
  • Complex types - Support for complex types, such as lists and nested records, including the ability to define indexes against such nested structures.
  • Queries - The Record Layer does not provide a query language, however it provides query APIs with the ability to scan, filter, and sort across one or more record types, and a query planner capable of automatic selection of indexes.
  • Many record stores, shared schema - The Record Layer provides the ability to support many discrete record store instances, all with a shared (and evolving) schema. For example, rather than modeling a single database in which to store all users' data, each user can be given their own record store, perhaps sharded across different FDB cluster instances.
  • Very light weight - The Record layer is designed to be used in a large, distributed, stateless environment. The time between opening a store and the first query is intended to be measured in milliseconds.
  • Extensible - New index types and custom index key expressions may be dynamically incorporated into a record store.

The Record Layer may be used directly or provides an excellent foundational layer on which more complex systems can be constructed.