# 1. Introduction¶

## 1.1 Overview¶

This is a quick start guide to kdb+, aimed primarily at those learning independently. It covers system installation, the kdb+ environment, IPC, tables and typical databases, and where to find more material. After completing this you should be able to follow the Borror textbook Q for Mortals, and the wiki Reference and Cookbook.

One caution: you can learn kdb+ reasonably well by independent study, but for serious evaluation of the product you need the help of a consultant. This is because kdb+ is typically used for very demanding applications that require experience to set up properly. Contact Kx Systems or one of its partners for help with such evaluations.

## 1.2 Kdb+¶

The kdb+ system is both a database and a programming language:

kdb+ the database (k database plus).

q the programming language for working with kdb+

Both kdb+ and q are written in the k programming language. You do not need to know k to work with kdb+, but will occasionally see references to it. For example, q is defined in the distributed script q.k.

## 1.3 Resources¶

### code.kx.com¶

This site is the best resource for learning q, and includes:

### Other material¶

Several background articles and links can be found in the Archive. For example, the Thalesians’ Knowledge Base Kdb has a good overview.

### Discussion groups¶

• The main discussion forum is the k4 listbox. This is available only to licensed customers – please use a work email address to apply for access.
• The Kdb+ Personal Developers forum is an open Google discussion group for users of the free 32-bit system.

## 1.5 Example files¶

Two sets of scripts are referenced in this guide:

1. The free 32-bit system is distributed with the following example scripts in the main directory:

• sp.q – the Suppliers and Parts sample database

If you do not have these scripts, get them from KxSystems/kdb and save them in your q directory.

2. Other example files are in the KxSystems/cookbook/start directory.

Move the start directory under your q directory, i.e. q/start. For example, there should be a file: c:\q\start\buildhdb.q / Windows ~/q/start/buildhdb.q / Linux and macOS

Text editor for Windows

Since q source is in plain text files, it is worthwhile installing a good text editor such as Notepad++ or Notepad2.

## 1.6 GUI¶

When q is run, it displays a console where you can enter commands and see the results. This is all you need to follow the tutorial, and if you just want to learn a little about q, then it is easiest to work in the console.

As you become more familiar with q, you may try one of the GUIs.