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Couchbase Launches First Ever Native NoSQL Database For Mobile Devices

New ‘JSON Anywhere’ set of open source tools enables faster, simpler mobile app development

On by Max Smolaks 1

On Friday, Crouchbase has launched Couchbase Lite, the first ever native NoSQL database specifically designed for mobile devices.

Avaliable on iOS and Android, the open source product is part of the new JSON Anywhere strategy, which also includes Couchbase Sync Gateway and Couchbase Cloud. JSON Anywhere is targeted at mobile application developers that want to create data-centric apps that are always available, regardless of network connectivity.

The company has also updated its main database software to version 2.2, adding improvements across areas critical to enterprise customers.

Mobile strategy and new products were announced at the annual Couchbase [SF] user conference in San Francisco.

Going mobile

Couchbase has already established itself as a reliable tool for mobile and web application development. Unlike traditional relational databases, NoSQL databases are not built on tables, and tend not to use structured query language to manipulate data, which allows for more flexibility and makes them perfect for online businesses models.

Rashevskyi ViacheslavThe company has experienced 400 percent growth following the release of Couchbase 2.0 in December 2012, and has just closed a $25 million Series D financing round.

“Relational databases came on the scene in the late 70s, and they did a brilliant job of building a new class of enterprise applications – ERP, manufacturing, payroll, CRM. But all enterprise and consumer applications that are being built for the Internet are very different from the rows and the columns of business data,” Rahim Yaseen, SVP of Products at Couchbase told TechWeekEurope.

“There have been SQL databases on mobile devices before, like SQLite and SQL Anywhere from Sybase, but they have the same problem – they were designed for enterprise class data, which was not very rich in terms of images and content.”

As mobile devices become more powerful in terms of processing and memory, they open up new possibilities for application development. Couchbase Lite is a lightweight native database designed especially for content produced by smartphones and tablets, built around JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) – a text-based human-readable open standard.

“I think it will enable a new class of rich data-intensive local applications. There will be a lot more data on the device, and using JSON we can build highly interactive, highly available online and offline applications,” said Yaseen.

JSON Anywhere

Data stored in Couchbase Lite on the device is seamlessly synchronised with the Couchbase Server in the cloud through the Sync Gateway. The company says the new Gateway component is easy to set up and manage, and offers high scalability and powerful conflict resolution features.

Meanwhile, the new Couchbase Cloud is more of an experiment, currently in beta. It offers a developer “sandbox” for people who don’t want to use a private cloud or services like Amazon’s EC2 for their applications.

“Mobile developers don’t really want to set up a server. They just want to be able to do mobile stuff. After getting Database-as-a-Service, they don’t have to do any set up or configuration. They can immediately build an app, collaborate across different devices and users,” explained Yussif.

“This is the first time that we’re doing this. As we go through the beta period, we will figure out whether or not this is something we need to provide on a permanent basis, whether we provide a more general Database-as-a-Service, or whether this is something the developers would prefer to get through mobile application platform vendors we’re working with,” told us Bob Wiederhold, CEO of Couchbase.

“We want people to have an awesome experience, be doing meaningful things within five or ten minutes, and be wowed by technology and the potential of building more sophisticated apps.”

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Max Smolaks
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