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January 19, 2017

Mobile Platform Links Databases to Devices


Tying mobile application data like completed transactions and updated customer records to company databases is proving a challenge. Among the reasons is synching mobile data across devices as well as combining data from mobile app sessions to backend databases.

Among the emerging solutions to the mobile data challenge is the commercial version of a database platform released this week by database startup Realm. The mobile platform is billed as helping developers build new apps while combining the company’s client-side databases with mobile operating systems via its new “object server.” The result, the startup claims, is real-time data synchronization between iOS and Android mobile devices and data on servers.

San Francisco-based Realm said Thursday (Jan. 19) the enterprise version of its mobile data platform adds a data integration API that allows the platform to be linked to any data source. That feature also allows developers to connect real-time apps to existing data and services.

The rollout includes the first of several connectors for PostgreSQL databases. The startup said it expects to release connectors soon to Hadoop, MongoDB, Oracle, Redis and SAP HANA.

As mobile transactions soar, Realm is positioning its object server as middleware between client-side and payment transaction databases. That approach, the company added, would for example allow retailers to leverage existing database investments on new development projects.

The startup also claims it emerging “reactive” apps support more than 1 million simultaneous users in real time since multiple instances of the platform’s object server can be deployed in parallel. The “horizontal scaling” features includes a built-in load balancer for handling distributed connections and applications.

Version 1.0 of the mobile platform is generally available and is pitched as ready for production workloads. The enterprise edition also includes a continuous backup feature that allows automated backups of production data on the object server to a secondary server. Applications would continue to operate on a backup server in the event of a power loss or hardware failure. Secondary servers could be located in different regions to boost disaster recovery, the company stressed.

Along with live data synchronizations, the database platform startup offers app developers real-time collaboration tools as they develop new mobile apps that can be connected to existing databases. Realm claims more than 1 billion installations of its tools and platforms, which is describes as the “data layer” of the mobile Internet.

The company, which also has an office in Copenhagen, Denmark, has so far raised $29 million in venture funding. Investors include Andreessen Horowitz and Khosla Ventures.

Among the selling points for the commercial edition of the Realm platform is enabling small companies to develop mobile apps with two-way data synchronization and other features that previously only hyper-scalers with large development teams could afford.

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