April 23, 2018

FoundationDB Goes Open Source

George Leopold

FoundationDB, the key value store-based NoSQL database designed to scale without sacrificing core ACID properties, has been released to the open source community.

Apple, which acquired the NoSQL database developer in March 2015, announced plans last week to turn over the distributed database to developers. “FoundationDB is already well-established—it’s actively developed and has years of production use,” the company (NASDAQ: AAPL) said April 19. “We intend to drive FoundationDB forward as a community project.”

Since its launch in 2010, Apple added in a blog post, “the world of databases has increasingly aligned with FoundationDB to favor data consistency.”

FoundationDB is built around a core key-value store that can be extended through the addition of layers that extend the core by “adding features to model-specific types of data and handle their access patterns,” Apple said. By running, for example, a document store and graph layers, “you can match your specific applications to the best data model.”

The FoundationDB release is expected to accelerate development, resulting in increased quantities and variety of layers, ultimately delivering an “ecosystem of layers,” Apple predicted.

Source materials for FoundationDB are available here.

FoundationDB gave Apple a foothold in the crowded NoSQL database sector dominated by specialist such as MongoDB (NASDAQ: MDB)

and Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) along with hyper-scalers like Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN), Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT).

Apple’s open-source gambit reflects the crying need for more big data storage options.

A crowded NoSQL field includes other open source platforms such as DataStax, the company behind the Apache Cassandra database. Among the emerging applications for the NoSQL approaches are translytical platforms—a combination of transaction and analytical workloads—designed to reduce requirements for moving data between storage and databases.

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