ODB 1.5.0 released

ODB 1.5.0 was released today.

In case you are not familiar with ODB, it is an object-relational mapping (ORM) system for C++. It allows you to persist C++ objects to a relational database without having to deal with tables, columns, or SQL, or manually writing any of the mapping code.

As usual, for the complete list of changes see the official ODB 1.5.0 announcement. However, to wet your appetite, the big new feature in this release is no doubt support for the PostgreSQL database, thanks to several months of hard work by Constantin. Below I am going to examine this and another new feature in more detail. There are also some performance numbers for dessert.

PostgreSQL support

Support for PostgreSQL is provided by the libodb-pgsql runtime library. All the standard ODB functionality is available to you when using PostgreSQL, including support for containers, object relationships, queries, date-time types in the Boost and Qt profiles, etc. In other words, this is complete, first-class support, similar to that provided for MySQL and SQLite. There are a few limitations, however, most of which are imposed by the underlying C API as defined by PostgreSQL’s libpq. Those are discussed in Chapter 13, “PostgreSQL Database” in the ODB Manual.

For connection management in PostgreSQL, ODB provides two standard connection factories (you can also provide your own if so desired): new_conection_factory, and conection_pool_factory.

The new connection factory creates a new connection whenever one is requested. Once the connection is no longer needed, it is closed.

The connection pool factory maintains a pool of connections and you can specify the min and max connection counts for each pool created. This factory is the default choice when creating a database instance.

If you had any prior experience with ODB, you are probably aware that one of our primary goals is high performance and low overhead. For that we use native database APIs and all the available performance enhancing features (e.g., prepared statements). We also cache connections, statements, and even memory buffers extensively. The PostgreSQL runtime is no exception in this regard. The question you are probably asking now is how does it stack up, performance-wise, against other databases that we support.

Well, the first benchmark that we tried is the one from the Performance of ODB vs C# ORMs post. Essentially we are measuring how fast we can load an object with a couple of dozen members from the database. It takes ODB with PostgreSQL 9.0.4 27ms per 500 iterations (54μs per object). For comparison, using MySQL 5.1.49 it takes 24ms (48μs per object) and SQLite 3.7.5 — 7ms (14μs per object). So PostgreSQL is more or less on par with MySQL here.

What was more surprising is the concurrent access performance. We have an update-heavy, highly-contentious multi-threaded test in the ODB test suite, the kind you run to make sure things work properly in multi-threaded applications (see odb-tests/common/threads if you are interested in details). It normally takes several minutes to complete and pushes my 2-CPU, 8-core Xeon E5520 machine, which runs the database server, close to 100% CPU utilization. The surprising part is that PostgreSQL 9.0.4 is more than 10 times faster on this test than MySQL 5.1.49 with the InnoDB backend (186s for MySQL, 48s for SQLite, and 12s for PostgreSQL). Postgres developers seem to be doing something right.

Let me also note that these numbers should be taken as indications only. It is futile to try to extrapolate some benchmark results to your application when it comes to databases. The only reliable approach is to create a custom test that mimics your application’s data, concurrency, and access patterns. Luckily, with ODB creating such a test is a very easy job.

Database operations callbacks

Another new feature in this release is support for per-class database operations callbacks. Now a persistent class can register a callback function that will be called before and after every database operation (such as persist, load, update, or erase) is performed on an object of this class. For example, we can use a callback to re-calculate some transient values based on the data retrieved from the database after the load operation:

#pragma db object callback(init)
class person
  date born_;
  #pragma db transient
  unsigned short age_;
  init (odb::callback_event e, odb::database&)
    switch (e)
    case odb::callback_event::post_load:
      // Calculate age from the date of birth.

As shown in the above example, a database operations callback can be used to implement object-specific pre and post initializations, registrations, and cleanups. For more information on this feature, refer to Section 10.1.4, “Callback” in the ODB Manual.

4 Responses to “ODB 1.5.0 released”

  1. Oliver Kohll Says:

    Though I don’t use C++, good to see support in a library such as this. Scaling up concurrent accesses including writes tends to be where Postgres performs well (or maintains performance less poorly than others) - just a numerical error though, 186 / 12 = 15.5 times faster, not over 100.

  2. Hans Says:

    Note that it’s either Postgres or PostgreSQL.

    Saying “Postgre” indicates you don’t know the database ;)

  3. gj Says:

    bc 1.06
    Copyright 1991-1994, 1997, 1998, 2000 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
    This is free software with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
    For details type `warranty’.

    15x, not 100 !

  4. Boris Kolpackov Says:

    Oliver, Hans, gj, you guys are right. I’ve fixed my mistakes and thanks for pointing them out. Better go get some sleep before I make any more blunders…