Whisper it... TerminusDB 2.0 is Coming

Now in Canary Release

‘There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen’

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

And then there is TerminusDB where every week feels like a decade!

TerminusDB 2.0 Canary Release

Breaking with the fashion for lots of minor versions, we are smashing through to 2.0 after 1.0 last October and 1.1 in January. Too many software and database projects get stuck in the 0.18.7 minor version hell.

Yesterday was the Canary Release of TerminusDB 2.0. A big day for us.

The core team’s work over the last number of months has been focused on the delivery of collaborative Git-like functionality for TerminusDB. We want to enable the types of CI/CD used extensively in software engineering to be used with data. TerminusDB 2.0 will allow for the whole suite of revision control features: branch, merge, squash, rollback, blame, and time-travel. Want to reorganize the structure of the database without breaking all the applications which are using it? Branch first, make sure it works, then you can rebase master in confidence.

Time travel in action:

This is the first step towards TerminusHub linking TerminusDBs and allowing users to seamlessly collaborate on complex data. Want to share the data you are working on? Just push it to the Hub, have your buddy clone the DB and pull it down to her local machine.

Like Git, but for data.

Lots of things in the Canary Release will not work as well as we would like. There are many rough edges and a few rough centers. Let us know!

This release is for Terminators - so come join our Discord Server.

Join TerminusDB Discord

Terminators first, always.

(Quickstart is here)

Hacker News

TerminusDB featured on Hacker News! A solid history of the project and great questions from the community.

Separately on HN, there was this interesting article demanding ‘Decentralized Version Control for Structured Data’. Which was great as that’s what TerminusHub is all about.

Product Videos

We have started using this cool tool called Vyond to make videos. Really for the product folk to make sure they can see the idea of what we are building at this point in time.

Here is the first one: ‘Nathan Gets A Spreadsheet In The End'

We are getting better!


The quality of live coding and interview content is relentless.


Cheuk (TerminusDB Avocado)

Secondary mention to the great YouTube videos featuring all of the team

What’s Up?

Lots of Animal Crossing around our way and a little bit of CIV6

We’ve also invested a fair bit of time investigating collaboration tools. Our remote work stack is now:

  • Discord as a virtual office (voice channels are great for drop-in meeting and pair programming areas)

  • Zoom for external calls

  • Milanote for kanbans, boards and internal organization

  • Notion as a wiki

  • Mural for workshops and live agenda meetings

Dmytri from the core team runs a weekly remote collaboration study group on Discord. Hit us up if you want to join. We’re always on the Community Server.

Join TerminusDB Community Server

Next Episode will be the full release of TerminusDB 2.0 and TerminusHub

Bring it on.


Terminators, COVID19 and Community

Our Asabiyyah Grows

This is a strange time for us all. The COVID19 crisis will leave an indelible mark – we’ll never forget the Spring and Summer spent fighting the virus. We send love to everybody out there, Terminator and non-Terminator alike. This is hard and it’s going to be hard and there is no way around that.

TerminusDB is small and tightly knit core team. We were mostly remote before the crisis hit and are 100% remote now. It has been a difficult time for us all, but we are united and hope we will grow stronger in the face of the pandemic. The primary principle of TerminusDB is asabiyyah. It’s an Islamic term described by Ibn Khaldoun in his book Muqaddimah – he calls it the bond of cohesion among humans in a group that forms a society. Khaldoun lived in Tunisia in the 14th century and observed the cohesiveness of the nomadic tribes that lived in the hinterland of Tunis. That cohesion was born out of shared struggle.

We have a saying in Ireland - Ní neart go cur le chéile - there is no strength without unity. TerminusDB hopes to grow the unity of our community through this difficult time.

So in that spirit, we are really excited to introduce the TerminusDB Community. It is great to bring everybody together in one place. Check it out here.

The beating heart of the community is our Discord Server. Since the crisis started, we’ve been using Discord and we love the platform. We can pair program, live code to an audience, we can have drop-in voice meetings - it just feels flexible and open. If you don't know Discord (I didn't until recently), I'm sure you'll find it amazing. Really intuitive and built for collaboration - gamers and streamers do it better obviously. We'll be doing mini-MeetUps with live code sessions, we'll get into the guts of terminus-store, we'll announce features and much more. We want to make the community server the beating heart of our world. We’ll build asabiyyah there.

We also have a forum, but it will take a little longer to get enough content up to make it useful (we will be putting effort in there as well as on StackOverflow etc.).  Come join us to chat on our Discord channel. All the core engineers are there and are happy to help!

Join Discord

In other exciting pivots to internet and gaming platform news, we have a twitch channel! Our DevRel Champion Cheuk is streaming on her channel too. The artwork for ‘World of WoqlCraft’ (the web object query language) is lit:

We are going to have a regular weekly webinar and podcast called ‘Terminators on Tech’ at 4pm BST/IST every Thursday.

The last couple of webinars - DataOps 101 and The Anatomy of a Knowledge Graph are available over on our new YouTube channel

As you can see, a whole bunch of new things.

Since we started TerminusDB, we’ve been hosting weekly discussions led by a different team member. They can be about anything really, but have a tendency to be tech-focused - we really value these discussions and thought the broader TerminusDB Community might also enjoy. We’ve started recording the discussions and uploading them to our YouTube channel (playlist). Blog about how it all began.

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As I write this, I realise that it has been too long since the last one as I have too many new things to announce - we have a new blog site, we will also be syndicating to our Dev.to community page and our Medium page.

Notable blog highlights:

Why Graph will Win kicked off a furious discussion on r/programming on Reddit - some people were not happy.

Reluctantly Remote, and Loving It about our recently changed circumstances.

Great series of introductory tutorials:

My First TerminusDB Graph Visualisation - Bike Share Data

Are you Supporting the right Politician?

Finally, after all the community and communications, we have been furiously building the database. All is there to see over on GitHub. It is in great shape.

We now have a one-click deploy with heroku. We also have our updated console and TerminusHub just around the corner. You’ll be able to easily push a dataset to a collaborator (across a decentralized network) or pull a database from the central TerminusHub. Branching live databases then merging back to the master. Data like code - and a ‘Git for Data’ (white paper on what we’re talking about)

A few tasters to whet your appetite:

TerminusDB on Twitter

TerminusDB - Crazy Times

The Big Babushka

Hello Terminators!

Happy New Year. 2020 is the year of the Terminator.

It has been a crazy few weeks. We’ve been burning both ends of the candle to get TerminusDB 1.1 and supporting material out into the world.

Big news is the release of TerminusDB 1.1 yesterday - we are calling it The Big Babushka release as it is enourmous. We have a completely new backend, a new Console, extended Web Object Query Language (WOQL), a python client and a pile of new documentation.

As with everything around here, The Big Babushka is a labour of love and we are all really proud of what we’ve built. Check it out, download it, fork it, open a bug report, or contribute some code over on GitHub.

Overview blog on the release.

Remember TerminusDB is open source now and forever.


The major development is our new storage backend, terminus-store. With the introduction of the new store, TerminusDB takes a radical departure from traditional database architectures. Our approach has three parts:

  1. We have a graph database with strong schema to retain simplicity and generality

  2. The graph is implemented using succinct immutable data structures which enable more sparing use of main memory resources

  3. We adopt a delta encoding approach to updates (‘like git, but for data’) which provides the whole suite of revision control features: branch, merge, squash, rollback, blame, and time-travel facilitating CI/CD approaches on data

This final point is crucial — with TerminusDB we can now use advanced CI/CD workflows in data operations. The large impact of git on the software development world can now be envisioned in the world of data. This is made possible by synergies between an immutable layered approach and the succinct data structure approach that we’ve used for encoding. The DevOps revolution becomes the DataOps revolution.

TerminusDB is a practical tool for enabling branch, merge, rollback, and the various automated and manual testing regimes which they facilitate on a transactional database management system while providing sophisticated query support.

Succinct Data Structures and Delta Encoding for Modern Databases (or How we built a Git for Data and Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)

The other big release of the week was our technical paper on our new backend, which (as mentioned above) is like git, but for data.

It is very impressive step forward in core database architecture.

Full paper is over here.


We released a couple of tutorials to get you started on TerminusDB. Firstly, a getting started guide using bike share data from Washington D.C.:

My First TerminusDB Graph Visualisation — Bike Share Data

As it is election season here in Ireland (and in the US), we thought doing a little voting pattern investigation might be interesting:

Are you supporting the right politician?



We were delighted to welcome CowDuck to the TerminusDB family. We think it is a perfect partnership. And so does CowDuck. Mwak, Mwak.

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TerminusDB Blasts Forth

The database for data people releases with GPL v3 Open Source Licence

The development of Terminus has been a nine-year labour of love, devotion, frustration and pain. You can imagine how delighted we are to release TerminusDB to the world. (We’re already up to about 2.5k pulls on DockerHub and 100 stars on GitHub, so we’re pretty happy with the initial reception).

This is newsletter #1 - from here on we will focus on all sorts of TerminusDB related news - use cases, interesting applications, competitions, events and anything else Terminus related. We’ll also include stuff the core team find interesting.

TerminusDB is a new type of DBMS - a unified model database; it has the most desirable features of graph, semantic, document and time-series databases.

Check out and download at TerminusDB.com

(We live and die by GitHub stars, so please go and star Terminus: https://github.com/terminusdb/terminus-server)

We have a series of posts on ‘Graph Fundamentals’ over on our blog. A warts and all look at graph technology (parts 1 to 3 below and part 4 to follow):

TerminusDB hits the road in October:

If you want to say hi/get a demo/chat about DBs, get in touch.

For those in Dublin, our inaugural MeetUp will take place in Dog Patch Labs on Tuesday, 29 October. Will likely be the event of the year.

Introduction to TerminusDB Community by our Benevolent Dictator for Life

Share this with your pals and see you soon we hope!

TerminusDB News

Welcome to the TerminusDB Newsletter!

The development of Terminus has been a nine-year labour of love, devotion, frustration and pain. You can imagine how delighted we are to release TerminusDB to the world.

TerminusDB is open source now and forever.

Sign up now so you don’t miss the first issue.

In the meantime, tell your friends!

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