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PumpkinDB: Scary good for an event sourcing database engine

Jane Elizabeth
© Shutterstock / MacMillan

Databases might not seem that interesting, but that’s all about to change. Today, we’re taking a good look at a new database on the scene, PumpkinDB. Although this new event sourcing database engine is just getting started, we’re fascinated by what we can see so far.

Databases haven’t exactly been the coolest of things to talk about in tech for a while. (That would be machine learning.) We talked about databases back in March with our JAXenter survey results. No surprise there: NoSQL and SQL databases were among your most popular choices for data processing!

Databases are back in the public eye as data storage and processing are both more necessary and fashionable than ever. Today, we’re talking about new kid on the block, PumpkinDB. While this event sourcing database engine is just getting off the ground, we can’t wait to see how it develops!


PumpkinDB is a database programming environment. According to Yurii Rashkovskii, maintainer at, MUMPS inspired them to create PumpkinDB. More importantly, they were trying to create a database that would not lose or corrupt data.

Helpfully, PumpkinDB offers a wide array of primitives for concurrency, storage, journalling, indexing and other common building blocks. Applications communicate with PumpkinDB by sending small PumpkinScript programs over a network interface (or API when using PumpkinDB as an embedded solution).

  • It has a Forth-inspired stack-based language, PumpkinScript.
  • It has a flat key namespace. Essentially, values cannot be overrided once set.
  • Core motivation for immutability was that with the cost of storage declining, erasing data is effectively a strategical mistake.

SEE MORE:  Work smart, not hard: Why choosing the right database is better than elbow grease

By and large, PumpkinDB is not meant for general purpose programming. Instead, its main objective is to help facilitate building specialized application-specific and generic databases. In particular, PumpkinDB focuses on immutability and processing data as close to storage as possible. The goal is to avoid incurring as little communication penalty as possible.

Other key features:

  • Immutable key/value storage
  • ACID transactions
  • Binary keys and values (allows any encoding to be used: JSON, XML, Protobuf, Cap’n Proto, etc.)
  • PumpkinScript – an embedded programming language
  • A range of event indexing and querying primitives

Event sourcing

Event sourcing is big these days. But what does that mean?

Data sourcing is a pattern where devs immutably record a full series of actions taken and designate that log as a source of truth. This is a big switch from storing the current state of the data and using it as a source. The idea is that this approach makes tasks simpler by avoiding the need to synchronize data models and domain models.

SEE MORE: Top databases in 2017: Trends for SQL, NoSQL, Big Data, Fast Data

PumpkinDB uses the lazy event sourcing approach. Basically, this means it stores and indexes events while delaying domain binding for as long as possible. However, PumpkinDB is capable of supporting all kinds of event sourcing, from the classic to the lazy and anywhere in between.

Because PumpkinDB is still in the initial stages of development, they are looking for help from a few good database engineers. If you’re interested, head on over to their Gitter chat or their Github page.

Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for

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