Kueri, a natural language database tool - Part One


The Kueri user experience

Front-end application software sits between the users and the database layer. That front-end software evolved from text-based applications, moving to point and click GUI technologies that query the database and show the result set(s). Users can certainly input text through GUI text controls, but the words have no natural language structure. A natural language technology, where a user can type query sentences with standard grammar, is the next step. For many years, this seemed like science fiction, but Kueri - a natural language interface for databases - has arrived.

Kueri works as a front-end layer for many SQL Server compatible databases and common format spreadsheets. After installation and configuration, the user types a natural language query and Kueri returns a result set. Developers can even embed Kueri in the web and mobile software they build.

In this four-part article, I'll review Kueri and describe my experiences with it. As an early reviewer, the folks at Kueri provided me with the Kueri SDK Enterprise edition, which they will release shortly. The Kueri Lite (Beta) SDK is available now. I built the review around a demo Kueri SDK Enterprise installation that assumes

  • the Kueri SDK Enterprise product
  • a Windows 7 Intel PC
  • a Google Cloud SQL database

as prerequisitesDownload the Google Cloud SQL demo database creation script and the demo Kueri configuration file at this GitHub repositoryNote that a Google Cloud SQL database is a MySQL database, so the database creation script should work in any MySQL environment with little or no modification. 

Part one here will describe the Kueri user experience. Part two will describe the Google Cloud database that Kueri will front-end for this article. Part three will show how to install Kueri. Part four will explain how to configure a Kueri Data Source.

We'll first look at the Kueri user experience. In the main Kueri page

1. Open the Kueri Workspace
click "Workspace" to switch into the Workspace mode. Then, type a natural language query in the textbox

2. Try a query!
and hit "Enter". Kueri shows the result set. At the right, click "Switch to Guided mode" and below the textbox, Kueri will offer suggestions as the user types the query. Note that Guided mode is more restrictive as the user types the query. Click "Show the SQL" at the right to see the actual MySQL query

3. Kueri built this MySQL query
that Kueri built.

Part one here described the Kueri user experience. Part two will describe the Google Cloud database that Kueri will front-end for this article.