Join us online for a live presentation and Q&A for RethinkDB 1.14

Join us online on Thursday, August 21st at 1:30pm for a live presentation and Q&A session presented by RethinkDB's co-founder Slava Akhmechet. You'll learn about new and upcoming features in RethinkDB 1.14, including:

  • Changefeeds: get realtime push notifications of changes in the database.
  • r.http: Don't fetch data from the internet and store it in the database, get the database to fetch it for you!
  • Binary data types: store images, zip files, and arbitrary binary data in a field.
  • Other features in RethinkDB 1.14: Promises in the JavaScript driver, Python 3 support, and seamless migrations.

To attend, register for the webinar, and follow the instructions you receive via email.

If you have any problems signing up or any questions about the event, please contact

Feed RethinkDB changes directly into RabbitMQ

RethinkDB's new changefeeds let your applications subscribe to changes made to a table in real-time. They're a perfect match with a distributed message queue system like RabbitMQ: changes can be sent from RethinkDB to a RabbitMQ topic exchange with only a few extra lines of code. RabbitMQ then queues them to pass on to any client subscribed to that exchange. If you need to to send information about those changes to a large number of clients as efficiently as possible, RabbitMQ is the rodent you need. Imagine a changefeed for real-time stock updates being distributed to a thousand terminals on a trading floor.

@deontologician has written an integration tutorial on using RethinkDB with RabbitMQ, and he's provided it for all three of the languages we support: JavaScript (using ampqlib for Node.js), Python (using pika), and Ruby (using Bunny). Even if you're not using one of those languages, the basic techniques in the article should get you going.

Check out Integrating RethinkDB with RabbitMQ!

Rethink and Rails together? A NoBrainer!

Have you been looking for a tutorial on using RethinkDB with Ruby on Rails? RethinkDB's Josh Kuhn (@deontologician) has contributed a new integration article for our documentation on using NoBrainer, a RethinkDB ORM that's close to a drop-in replacement for ActiveRecord.

If you already have a little experience with Rails, NoBrainer will feel familiar and natural to you already. You get model generation, scaffolding, validation, and belongs_to and has_many associations. And, you get a lightweight wrapper around ReQL that lets you execute queries like this:

# Find a comment from a user with 'bob' in its name sorted by the name.
# Note: NoBrainer will use the :name index from User by default
User.where(:name => /bob/).order_by(:name => :desc).to_a

Go read the full "Using RethinkDB with Ruby on Rails" guide!

Building realtime apps with RethinkDB and Firebase

We're co-hosting a RethinkDB + Firebase meetup on realtime sync architectures for web and mobile apps. We'll be talking about:

  • designing backend realtime sync architectures
  • scaling those architectures when it's time
  • new features in RethinkDB and Firebase to make building realtime apps easier

Come hang out with the RethinkDB and Firebase teams -- or even better, give a lightning talk on how you're using RethinkDB!

We're meeting at Firebase's office in SF (22 4th Street, Suite 1000, 10th floor) on Tuesday, July 1st at 6pm. Space is limited, so make sure to RSVP on our meetup page.

Want to give a lightning talk? Send an email to Christina ( to get a speaking spot.

RethinkDB 1.13: pull data via HTTP, push data via changefeeds

Today, we're happy to announce RethinkDB 1.13 (). Download it now!

The 1.13 release includes over 150 enhancements, including:

  • New http command for seamlessly pulling data from external APIs into RethinkDB
  • New changes command for subscribing to document changes on tables
  • Full promises support in the JavaScript driver
  • A high performance JSON driver protocol
  • Dozens of performance and stability improvements

Upgrading to 1.13? Make sure to migrate your data before upgrading to RethinkDB 1.13. →

Upgrading on Ubuntu? We've moved to our own PPA, so please add the RethinkDB PPA to upgrade.

Pull data via HTTP

Since many APIs accept and return JSON, RethinkDB is a convenient platform for manipulating and analyzing API data. In this release we've added a new http command to make this process even easier (see the API reference and the tutorial). You can now access external APIs directly from the database with a clean and seamless experience!

For example, let's use the GitHub API to get the first ten pages of users who starred the RethinkDB GitHub repository:

       page='link-next', pageLimit=10)

The http command returns a JSON stream, just like any other command in ReQL:

# Count the number of values returned by the GitHub API. Pagination is
# off by default, so we're only getting the first page of users.

# Grab the login and user ID, and then sort by ID
 .pluck('login', 'id').orderBy('id')

# Store the results in a table

You can tack on additional ReQL commands just like you would with any other query, store the results in a table, make additional HTTP API calls to pull in more data for each document, control API pagination, and much more! See the API reference and the tutorial for the http command for more details and examples.

Push data via changefeeds

Over the last few months we had many requests to make RethinkDB integration with other systems easier. We've now added a new changes command (see the API reference and the tutorial). Any time a document in the table is inserted, updated, or deleted, the client driver can get notified about the change. Changefeeds offer a convenient way to perform certain tasks:

  • Integrate with other databases or middleware such as ElasticSearch or RabbitMQ.
  • Write applications where clients are notified of changes in realtime.

The changes command returns a stream of changes in a regular cursor, and is very powerful and easy to use:

feed = r.table('users').changes().run(conn)
for change in feed:
    print change

Every time you insert, update, or delete a document in a table, an object describing the change will be added to relevant changefeeds. For example, if you insert a user { 'id': 1, 'name': 'Slava', 'age': 31 } into the users table, RethinkDB will post the following document into the feeds subscribed to users:

  'old_val': None,
  'new_val': { 'id': 1, 'name': 'Slava', 'age': 31 }

Here old_val is the old version of the document, and new_val is a new version of the document. Because changes returns a regular stream, you can tack on RethinkDB queries to do transformations or filter for specific changes:

# Only get changes where a user's age increases
    lambda change: change['new_val']['age'] > change['old_val']['age']

See the API reference and the tutorial for the changes command for more details and examples.

Support for promises in the JavaScript driver

As of this release the RethinkDB JavaScript driver has full support for promises. If you take advantage of promises, new code that interacts with the database can be much cleaner and more convenient.

Here is an example of old JavaScript code to connect to the database:

r.table('posts').run(connection, function(err, cursor) {
  if (err) return console.log(err);
  cursor.toArray(function(err, results) {
    if (err) return console.log(err);

In the new 1.13 release this code will continue to work, but you can also rewrite it to take advantage of promises:

r.table('posts').run(connection).then(function(cursor) {
  return cursor.toArray();
}).then(function(results) {

See the API documentation for connect and next for more details.

JSON driver protocol

Traditionally RethinkDB has used Protocol Buffers to communicate between the drivers and the database server. As of this release, we've added a native JSON driver protocol, and migrated the official drivers to the new implementation.

This change has the following advantages:

  • Almost every language has a well-supported JSON library, but there are still many languages whose protocol buffer implementations have quality and performance issues.
  • RethinkDB drivers can now be written in languages that don't have a good Protocol Buffers port (e.g. Python 3).
  • For deeply nested objects, the new serialization protocol can be more efficient in terms of CPU utilization and network traffic.
  • The driver installation process no longer requires special steps for a fast native backend.

The server still has full support for the Protocol Buffer interface, so community drivers will continue to work without interruption.

If you're a driver developer, check out the new specification for details and hop on the driver developers group with any questions!

Next steps

See the full list of enhancements, and take the new release for a spin!

The team is already hard at work on the upcoming 1.14 release that will likely include support for binary data, geospacial indexing, and cluster administration and monitoring API. As always, if there is something you'd like us to prioritize or have any feedback on the release, please let us know!

Help work on the 1.14 release: RethinkDB is hiring.