Google today announced a major update to BigQuery, its cloud-based service for analyzing large amounts of data using SQL, making it more suited to analyzing real-time data. Starting today, BigQuery users will be able to stream events into their databases row-by-row with the help of a new API call.
Instead of having to upload their data in batches, Google explains, this will allow developers to store data as it becomes available. BigQuery’s bulk and big data loading features will obviously continue to work, but to give developers a chance to try this new real-time feature, Google has made it available for free until January 1, 2014. After that, developers will pay 1 cent per 10,000 rows they insert into their databases. Storing a gigabyte of data currently costs $0.08 per month and queries start at $0.02 per gigabyte of processed data for batch queries.
This feature, the company specifically notes, will be of interest for developers who gather data from online sales transactions, web apps that serve millions of users and connected devices.
In addition to this, Google also added the ability to define queries that only scan a certain date range within the last 24 hours. Typically, every BigQuery query runs a full column scan, but that also incurs costs for the user and for a large subset of queries — and especially those that rely on real-time data — just going back a few hours or a day is often enough.
Other new features in today’s update include a number of new window and statistical functions like SUM(), COUNT(), AVG(), STDDEV_POP() and others, as well as a new browser tool for viewing your past queries.