Antonio Cotroneo
Aug 24, 2021

What's New in OmniSci 5.7?

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It's wild that the first half of 2021 is behind us. 

In March, we released OmniSci Free, a free tier of our enterprise product for Linux-based platforms, and updates to our Mac Desktop offering.

The following month we delivered OmniSci Version 5.6, one of the most significant releases in our product's history, which added a host of powerful new features like:

  • parameters 
  • improved custom SQL dialogs 
  • angle orientation in pointmaps 
  • core performance improvements
  • and bug fixes

This month we are excited to announce OmniSci Version 5.7, a release that enhances features first introduced at 5.6, enables a more efficient and performant rendering experience, and improves query engine execution.

We've separated the key features into front-end, geospatial, rendering, query engine, and storage I/O enhancement categories. Here are the improvements to be aware of when freshly installing or upgrading to OmniSci Version 5.7.


Drop down and slider parameter widgets in action


Front-End

Parameters

Parameters, first introduced at Version 5.6, are powerful tools for manipulating charts in Immerse. They enable a user to:

  • quickly switch measures and dimensions on a chart from a centralized location on the dashboard
  • control chart-specific filters on multiple charts at a time to compare scenarios, estimations, or projections
  • enable all dashboard tabs to reference the same data (parameterizing filters across tabs)
  • and more

Version 5.7 improves parameters and exposes their functionality across OmniSci's front-end experience. The parameter keyword, ${, opens up the ability to use parameters you have created in the parameters pane to set: 

  • column selectors
  • tooltips and legends
  • chart titles, axes, and filters
  • dashboard titles and lists
  • simple and global filters
  • and more

We've also enabled those who configure dashboards to hide parameters they do not want to expose to consumers directly from the parameters pane.

Finally, we introduced the ability to add widgets to the dashboard, starting with parameter widgets, which a user can add to the dashboard from the parameters pane. 

This capability adjusts the selected parameter while using the dashboard, making it easier to experience its benefits and enhance its overall usability. 

Pointmap Color Priority

Users can now select a distinct, categorical value within a single layer pointmap chart that they wish to map on top of all other features. For instance, if you have a large volume of rideshare data representing different companies and you'd like to have a particular company take priority over the others in draw order, you can designate that company as the prioritized color.

Geospatial

Performance Enhancements

We continue to emphasize improving the performance of our growing GeoSQL library. This release welcomes enhancements to the following functions and operations:

  • ST_CONTAINS 
  • ST_INTERSECTS
  • ST_STARTPOINT
  • ST_ENDPOINT
  • ST_CENTROID
  • ST_X
  • ST_Y 

These tools now perform better at scale and make it easier for users employing spatial relationships during ETL tasks.

GeoSQL

Default coordinate systems are now taken into consideration when writing GeoSQL. This syntax adjustment reduces typing and input errors and generally makes it easier to develop GeoSQL queries.

Pre-5.7:


5.7:

Rendering

Engine

The OmniSci 5.7 release ushers in a series of meaningful changes to our rendering engine, including performance, pipeline, and memory footprint improvements.

These updates dramatically increase the speed of substantial rendering jobs across multiple GPUs. For instance, drawing a large volume of polygons on a choropleth map chart is faster and more efficient.

The memory footprint improvements address anti-aliasing challenges from previous releases, and users can expect three to four times faster procedural symbol rendering (e.g., points, circles, etc.).

Symbology

We are introducing the airplane symbol to the pointmap chart. This symbol takes advantage of all the new rendering capabilities and performs exceptionally well out-of-the-box. 

Airplane symbols


High-Precision Lasso

The lasso tool in Immerse is getting a whole lot better. At 5.7, the tool leverages the vast geospatial join performance improvements we highlighted in a recent blog post. In addition, the lasso now adapts so that as you zoom in on the map, precise and accurate results match those from the query engine.


Query Engine

Quantile

Version 5.7 builds off our release of median and adds support for arbitrary quantiles, which divide a dataset's frequency distribution into equal groups, each containing the same portion of the whole dataset.

Quantile works similarly to the median. Medians are, after all, 50% quantiles, but you can apply 25% or whatever percentage you want and expect a similar experience to the median.

Query Interrupt 

Equipped by default at 5.7, query interrupt gives power users and administrators the ability to show pending queries and kill queries. This improvement is notable for more significant queries that take longer than a few seconds to complete.

Query Identifier 

A major addition for troubleshooting, query identifier produces a consistent ID for all info log messages for a given query. Administrators can quickly identify a problem query and triage it as they see fit. This feature replaces guesswork and server log sleuthing with more time to focus on mission-critical tasks.

Storage I/O

Generic Disk Cache

We are introducing a generic disk cache at 5.7, which caches chunks of data and speeds up performance. While it is off by default, administrators can turn this feature on in their configuration.

Support for Default Column Values

In OmniSci Version 5.6, inserts no longer required every column value, but they automatically defaulted to NULL. At Version 5.7, users can specify default values on insert during a create or alter table query.

You can download the latest release of OmniSci for free from our downloads page!

As always, we'd like to thank our fantastic engineering team for delivering a tremendous release and continuing to showcase their best-in-class capabilities.

For those planning to promote OmniSci Version 5.7, we recommend you backup your data directories for prior versions as a matter of good practice and follow the upgrading OmniSci documentation. Enterprise customers can reach out to OmniSci Support for help.


Please ask any questions or share your experience with us on LinkedInTwitter, or our Community Forums!






Antonio Cotroneo is the Director of Technical Content Strategy at OmniSci. He has spent his career helping people around the world maximize their geospatial data, mapping technology, and spatial analyses to make critical decisions for their customers and community. Antonio has a M.S. from the University of Southern California in Geographic Information Science and Technology and worked as Esri for over 5 years. He currently lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife and two children.