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Blog Post|4 minutes

Beyond SQL: Speaking A New Language of Discovery

August 13, 2015

Ask IT professionals about their choice of data discovery and processing tools and you typically get one of two answers: SQL or anything-but-SQL.

Those the latter group often turn to Hadoop, much maligned for its complexity, while those in the former — such as ex-Microsoft chief Bob Mugila — call SQL the “linga franca of data analysis”.

But commonly used doesn’t always mean ideally suited; what if there was a better way to speak the language of discovery?

Substantial Landscape

Consider that typical corporate databases may contain up to 100 million events, with one million events potentially generated each hour for companies with 5000 machines or more during peak times, for example just after a new product launch. Historically, the best way to dig in and discover these events was by leveraging SQL, Hadoop or opting for a proprietary API built by data analytics firms.

Each comes with strengths and weaknesses but all struggle to tame this substantial data landscape because they effectively serve two masters: Power and usability. Make these tools more powerful and only the most elite IT professionals and data scientists have a hope of understanding their inner workings. Make them more user-friendly and the ability to uncover meaningful data rapidly flatlines, leaving CEOs and CISOs with shallow data insights and hard questions about ROI.

Universal Translator

This is where NXQL takes center stage. As part of Nexthink’s V5.3 release, we’re proud to debut a new way to discover Nexthink Engine databases: The Nexthink Query Language (NXQL).

Let’s get the basics out of the way: NXQL is loosely based on SQL and uses similar keywords but opts for an XML or a LISP-like syntax. The result is a language which demands substantial use of parentheses, since it’s also a machine to machine language which can be used by the Nexthink Finder, Portal and Web API to produce either human or machine-readable results. It also makes for a much “tighter” language than SQL, where users have control over every aspect of their query. While NXQL stands ready to toss in a missing parenthesis or correct a mistyped keyword there are no limitations on what you’re able to ask. And by giving users more control over object traversal, the queries typically resolve more quickly.

Curious about what specific devices or users are doing on your network?

Dive deep with NXQL.

Want to know what’s happening on every machine in the system?

You’ve got the power. Think of it like SQL on steroids; stronger and faster and with access to a different set of social resources. You can easily configure NXQL to work with wget or PowerShell along with integrating the external data system of your choice.

Data speaks its own language, one IT professionals have been trying to understand for decades; tools like SQL, Hadoop and unique Web APIs are the fruit of this effort. At Nexthink, we’re hoping to edge the mark closer and help you get more from your data with NXQL. By combining the power of a machine to machine language, the flexibility of our V5.3 platform and your unique data needs, we believe the end result is better communication and better understanding — the grammar of better ROI.