What’s new in 2020.1

SQream DB v2020.1 contains lots of new features, improved performance, and bug fixes.

New features


SQL support

  • Added frames and frame exclusions to Window functions. This is available for preview, with more features coming in the next version
  • New datatype - TEXT, which replaces NVARCHAR directly with UTF-8 support and improved performance
  • TEXT join keys are now supported
  • Added lots of new aggregate functions, including VAR_SAMP, VAR_POP, COVAR_POP, etc.

Improvements and fixes

  • 207 bug fixes, including:

    • Fixed wrong results on STDDEV (0 instead of NULL)
    • Fixed wrong results on nested Parquet files
    • Fixed failing cast from VARCHAR to FLOAT
    • Fix INSERT that would fail on nullable values and non-nullable columns in some scenarios
    • Improved memory consumption, so Out of GPU memory errors should not occur anymore
    • Reduced long compilation times for very complex queries
    • Improved ODBC reliability
    • Fixed situation where some logs would clip very long queries
    • Improved error messages when dropping a schema with many objects
    • Fixed situation where Spotfire would not show table names
    • Fixed situation where some queries with UTF-8 literals wouldn’t run through Tableau over ODBC
    • Significantly improved cache freeing and memory allocation
    • Fixed situation in which a malformed time (24:00:00) would get incorrectly inserted from a CSV
    • Fixed race condition in which loading thousands of small files from HDFScaused a memory leak
  • Faster “Deferred gather” algorithm for joins with text keys

  • Faster filtering when using DATEPART

  • Faster metadata tagging during load

  • Fixed situation where some queries would get compiled twice

  • Saved queries now support INSERT statements

  • highCardinalityColumns can be configured to tell the system about high selectivity columns

  • sqream sql starts up faster and can be deployed standalone

Behaviour changes

  • ClientCmd is now known as sqream sql
  • NVARCHAR columns are now known as TEXT internally
  • Deprecated the ability to run SELECT and COPY at the same time on the same worker. This change is designed to protect against out of GPU memory issues. This comes with a configuration change, namely the limitQueryMemoryGB setting. See the operations section for more information.
  • All logs are now unified into one log. See Logging for more information


  • The client-server protocol has been updated to support faster data flow, and more reliable memory allocations on the client side. End users are required to use only the latest sqream sql, JDBC, and ODBC drivers delivered with this version. See the client driver download page for the latest drivers and connectors.

  • When upgrading from a previous version of SQream DB or lower, the storage version must be upgraded using the upgrade_storage utility: ./bin/upgrade_storage /path/to/storage/sqreamdb/

  • Because of a change in memory allocation behaviour in this version, a new flag limitQueryMemoryGB has been added to the runtimeGlobalFlag section. The recommended value for this is total host memory / sqreamd workers on host. For example, for a machine with 512GB of RAM and 4 workers, the recommended setting is 512/4 128.

    "runtimeGlobalFlags": {
       "limitQueryMemoryGB" : 128

Known Issues & Limitations

  • TEXT columns cannot be used in a window functions’ partition
  • Parsing errors are sometimes hard to read - the location points to the wrong part of the statement
  • LZ4 compression may not be applied correctly on very large VARCHAR columns, which decreases performance
  • Using SUM on very large numbers in window functions can error (overflow) when not used with an ORDER BY clause
  • Slight performance decrease with DATEADD in this version

Upgrading to v2020.1

Contact your account manager to get the latest release of SQream DB.