Just about every platform that application developers use will soon include generative artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to dramatically increase the rate at which code can be written. The latest example is a Capella iQ tool from Couchbase that automatically surfaces examples of code created using the SQL++ query language along with other forms of application code used to build and extend applications running on top of the company’s namesake database-as-a-service (DBaaS) platform.
Currently available in private beta, the overall goal is to improve developer experience by leveraging natural language interfaces to invoke foundational large language models (LLMs) to generate code in seconds that manifest directly within an integrated development environment, says Jeff Morris, vice president of product marketing for Couchbase. “We want to automate workflows for Couchbase,” he says.
Capella iQ can also be used to create sample datasets and unit tests in addition to providing advice on how to create indexes and search syntax.
Couchbase will also be able to provide access to a predictive query application programming interface (API) via the Capella App Services framework it provides on top of its DBaaS, in addition to enabling developers to use the Python programming language against its database.
Finally, Couchbase also today launched a Couchbase AI Accelerate Partner Program designed to foster integrations, with new capabilities being added to the DBaaS. MindsDB and Dataworkz are the first companies to join the program.
It’s still early days, as far as usage of AI to write code is concerned, but as more LLMs are trained using validated code, the quality of the code being generated will continue to improve. Today general-purpose LLMs can generate code, but the quality of that code can vary widely because the LLM is trained using data collected from across the Web. The recommendations being surfaced as a result might contain vulnerabilities, code that performs sub-optimally or code that might not work at all.
The one thing that is certain going forward is the pace at which applications will be built and modernized is about to greatly accelerate as more code is generated using AI. That has significant implications for everything from how applications might be deployed faster, to the ability of any organization to absorb the rate of change enabled by faster application development.
In the short term, the focus appears to be on modernization, with an eye toward increasing the resiliency of the business. A recent survey published by Couchbase finds 60% of respondents identify their key modernization goal to be to improving business resilience and efficiency in the face of the evolving global economy. In fact, more than three quarters (78%) also note their main transformation priorities have changed in the last three years, with more than half noting their focus is now more on reacting to market changes and customer preferences to enable the organization to remain agile. Only 22% said their priorities have stayed the same over the last three years.
Longer term, however, it’s clear the pace of digital transformation will soon accelerate as AI makes it easier to build applications. The only thing that remains to be seen is to what degree organizations are prepared for the onslaught of code that will be flowing at unprecedented rates of speed into production environments that are already challenging to manage.