FAQ

What is kdb+?

kdb+ is the leading time series database provided by Kx Systems which is used for capturing, storing and analyzing large datasets both historically and in realtime. It incorporates a programming language called q which is the focus of these courses. Kx Systems have recently released a 32-bit version of the software free for commercial use.

What can I use kdb+ for?

Traditionally kdb+ has been used by large investment banks and hedge funds for market data capture, dissemination, analysis and storage. It is also used in the Utilities sector and in the Pharmaceutical sector as a Big Data solution. For more on kdb+ industry verticals, click here.

Why should I learn kdb+?

kdb+/q is an exciting programming language to work with. The performance coupled with the expressiveness of the language leads to productivity gains, production systems with lower maintenance overhead, and in general a very enjoyable programming experience. kdb+ programmers spend most of their time thinking about the problem they are trying to solve rather than unnecessary complexity introduced by some other languages.

How can I download a copy of the kdb+ software?

We provide an instructional video in Unit 1 of our free kdb+ Taster course that guides you through the download and installation of the free 32-bit version of the software. Alternatively, please go directly to the Kx Systems website.

What are the benefits of the online training course over a classroom course?

There are several benefits:

Lower cost:

  • The cost of our online training courses is significantly lower than any of the currently available public training courses in kdb+
  • There is no need to hire a separate classroom space for the training
  • A training coordinator’s time is not required

More effective Learning:

  • Learners can proceed at their own pace and can return to a unit if they don't understand a concept the first time around
  • Learners complete self-assessment questions as they progress through the material. The online answers show where they have gone wrong if they answer incorrectly
  • The learning is not crammed into a 2- or 3-day window. Learning in shorter bursts can be more effective
  • Learners can skip through videos covering material they are already familiar with and just answer the associated questions directly

More Flexibility:

  • It is not always easy to find a quorum of attendees for a classroom training course at a time when training is required by certain users. Having to wait a month to get everyone together can cause project scheduling issues. The online training courses solve this issue
  • Learning can be done at a time that suits the Learner. Learners will not be in a position where they get pulled out of the classroom to attend to a production issue and miss out on half a day of training
  • Attendees for a training course are often in different geographical regions. It can be difficult to bring them all together or facilitate a course for everyone at a daytime that suits everyone over webex
  • Learning is not dependent on the availability of the trainer and the training venue

Proof of Learning

  • AquaQ's online training engages the learner in the completion of self-assessment questions after each tutorial video. A Certificate of Completion virtual badge is awarded to those learners who attain sufficient scores in these assessments
  • This certificate shows employers that their staff have truly learned from the course and not just clicked their way through the material, or attended a classroom course passively
How have the online training courses been designed?

AquaQ Analytics' kdb+ instructors are some of the most experienced globally in the provision of classroom training courses. We have taken that experience and partnered with online learning experts Learnbase, to produce a best-in-class online training site for kdb+.

How can I schedule a classroom-based training course for my organization?

AquaQ Analytics continue to offer classroom-based training courses in kdb+ for clients. Please contact us for more information. Note that many of our clients like to have the online training site available to their users as a reinforcement tool once they have completed a classroom training course. Learners can go on to attain their Certificate of Completion through the online training site after attending the classroom training. This shows the employer that they have attained a certain level of understanding of kdb+ following on from their training. This is not something that is easy to verify after attendance at a classroom training course alone.

What can I do if I don’t fully understand a concept in the online training material?

You can still get help.  Just email your question to support@aquaq.co.uk and you’ll be automatically set up with an account on our support system. This course tutorial assistance remains available during the 8 weeks of access to the course material.

How much time should I spend working on the course? What should I do if I get stuck?

Each of the courses has an estimate of how long it takes to go through the video content listed below. However, In order to fully absorb the information covered during the course, it is suggested that the users complete all of the examples in the documents section which can take extra time. Working through each of the examples in a Q console when watching the video is highly encouraged and it will help you answer the questions. It may also be helpful to re-watch the previous videos and attempt the exercises in the documents if you get stuck on a question.

If you continue to have problems with the course content, you can email support@aquaq.co.uk to get assistance.

kdb+ Bootcamp
This course contains approximately 2-3 days of video content that covers kdb+ from the ground up and should be appropriate for everyone regardless of previous experience.  However, if you already have experience with kdb+, you may wish to complete the units more quickly! A suggested timeline for a user that has no experience of Q would be:

Week 1: Unit 1 to Unit 3
Week 2: Unit 4 to Unit 5
Week 3: Unit 6 to Unit 8

kdb+ Booster
This course contains approximately 1-2 days of video content that covers querying and analysing data from an existing kdb+ database. It is expected that you know some of the basics of kdb+ (e.g. types and basic syntax) and are ready to jump into the more complex features. A suggested timeline for a user that has little experience of querying and analysis with Q would be:

Week 1: Unit 1 to Unit 3
Week 2: Unit 4

What if I am interested in procuring the AquaQ Analytics online training courses for a number of people in my organization rather than solely for myself?

Please contact us directly to discuss Enterprise Rates for our online training courses. We can assist you with a bulk purchase of course Tokens or with an Annual Unlimited Course Access Agreement.

How long do I get access to an online training course for?

A course purchase gives you access to the video tutorials, self-assessment questions, email support and all additional material for a period of 8 weeks. The files available for download (tutorial slides, sample code and question & answer sets) are yours to keep and use for your own personal use once you have downloaded them within the 8 week period.

What are the minimum system requirements for the course?

Some of the coding example and self-assessment tasks involve the creation of databases of different sizes, and involve different in-memory operations. Although the examples can be reduced as required to fit your available disk space and RAM, you should aim to have  4GB of RAM and 20GB of free disk space.  The examples can be run on Windows, OSX, Linux or Solaris using the free 32-bit version of kdb+.  The minimum version of Internet Explorer we support is 10. 

If I have a technical support issue accessing the training course website or material, can I get help?

Yes - send an email to support@aquaq.co.uk.

I like the way that you have set out the training with the videos. If I require something similar for an application that we have built in-house, is that something that AquaQ Analytics can help me with?

Yes we can provide you with assistance in the specification and creation of video tutorials and associated material. These could introduce users more easily to functionality that is available within an application that has been developed in-house. From a user experience perspective, this would be an improvement on the documentation available on a wiki. The aim of doing this would be to a) improve the user experience, and b) decrease the amount of time that a support team needs to be engaged with application user queries.

What other training material, resources and documentation has AquaQ Analytics put together that I might find useful?

Please see our Resouces page on our main website for other instructional material including kdb+ & HTML5, kdb+ interfacing to C, kdb+ & TCP etc.

Other resources of interest include:

What is the AquaQ TorQ Framework for kdb+?

TorQ is a free framework that AquaQ Analytics released to the kdb+ community recently. It forms the basis of a production kdb+ system by implementing some core functionality and utilities on top of kdb+, allowing developers to concentrate on the application business logic. We have incorporated as many best practices as possible, with particular focus on performance, process management, diagnostic information, maintainability and extensibility. TorQ incorporates a suite of processes which are required in the majority of kdb+ environments. TorQ vastly reduces the time-to-market of any kdb+ implementation.

 

If you are considering implementing the TorQ Framework within your organization, please feel free to contact us directly to discuss further.

Tell me more about AquaQ Analytics’ service offering?

AquaQ Analytics Limited is a provider of specialist data management, data analytics and data mining services to clients operating within the capital markets and other sectors. Our domain knowledge, combined with advanced analytical techniques and expertise in best-of-breed technologies, helps our clients get the most out of their data.


Areas of expertise include the following:

  • provision of kdb+ consultants to clients for support and development roles
  • provision of kdb+ training courses to clients – introductory and advanced levels
  • streaming data UI application development using .Net/WPF
  • development of bespoke trading systems
  • Big Data implementations
  • data mining and predictive analytics services including SAS Analytics and R
What courses are coming soon to AquaQ Analytics Training?
1. Developer Extension Course  
Topics covered will include: 

Advanced IPC

  • Message Handlers (.z.p*)
  • Optimal use of asynchronous messaging, including deferred synchronous and postbacks.
  • Permissioning databases and controlling access
  • Customising the web interface

kdb+Tick

  • Making schema modifications
  • Modifying kdb+tick: changes to end-of-day procedure, changing subscription lists, adding processes
  • Creating real time subscribers and publishers: design patterns and how to debug
  • Command line options to improve system stability

External Interfacing

  • Writing dataloaders
  • Overview and examples of using web sockets
  • Overview and examples of Java and c# interface
  • Extending kdb+ with a c shared object
 
2. TorQ Training (free course)
Topics covered will include: 
  • TorQ overview
  • Setup of a an example TorQ system
  • TorQ features

Add your name to the sign-up form below so we can keep you posted when these courses are ready.