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Will Couchbase Power Future Mobile App Development?

2014-21-May-Ace-of-Spades.jpgCouchbase may have an ace in the hole when it comes to giving mobile developers the tools that they need to build apps that rock.

This morning the software provider that sells commercial packages around Open Source Couchbase Server brings Couchbase Mobile to market. It includes mobile data synchronization and what the company’s Chief Mobile Architect, Wayne Carter, calls the world’s first and only native NoSQL mobile database.

It’s an important innovation that comes at exactly the right time — as mobile becomes the new major touch point.

Apps Shouldn’t Rely on the Network for Delight

Up until now building mobile apps that rely on remote data has been a point of frustration because there are some things that developers cannot control.

“If the network is fast, the app is fast. If the network is slow, the app is slow,” explains Carter.

Needless to say, this results in an inconsistent — and sometimes horrific — user experience.

Developers who tried to address the problem a few years ago found four primary stumbling blocks: device storage limits, device compute, expense and level of difficulty.

Because of innovations on devices themselves, only expense and level of difficulty remain.

Couchbase has taken it upon itself to help mobile developers clear the remaining hurdles so that they can build apps that are not as severely strained by network availability.

An End to Headaches Caused by Network Strain

As Carter and his team began looking for ways to help developers build “always available, always responsive” apps, it was obvious that relying primarily on remote data in the cloud wasn’t a solution (consider if a network was down between you and your data — you’d have nothing). Neither was relying solely on local data in an embedded NoSQL database on a mobile device.

What was needed, and what Couchbase designed, is an entirely new mobile platform, appropriately named Couchbase Mobile. It consists of three component: Couchbase Lite, Couchbase Sync Gateway and Couchbase Server. Couchbase Lite’s NoSQL database sits on your mobile device (lightweight, embedded JSON database), Couchbase Server sits in the Cloud (high performance, always on, JSON database) and Couchbase Sync manages data synchronization.

Couchbase_Mobile_11.jpg

Taken together, these products provide mobile application developers a powerful new platform for simplifying app development, exponentially reducing the code needed to manage data synchronization, and enabling much faster time to market.

You Can Do Mobile the Way Facebook Does

“This is similar to how Facebook does it,” says Rahim Yaseen, Couchbase’s senior vice president of product development. But, of course, few in the world have such large, talented engineering teams.

“Now (with Couchbase Mobile), anyone can do it,” adds Yaseen.

And though the product hasn’t been general available until today, the companies Couchbase pre-released it to are doing some interesting things.

Infinite Campus, for example, which provides educational solutions for more than 2,000 school districts, uses it for collaboration and learning. With Couchbase Mobile, teachers can push out assignments, reading and classroom materials to students via the web, which they can use to complete assignments while they are offline at home. There are no uploads or downloads required, everything a student needs is simply just there.

Developers Deliver Delight with Couchbase Mobile

The user experience is key when it comes to building and delivering mobile apps. Even small delays cause tremendous anxiety and frustration among consumers. Delivering delight is what’s expected and, provided that Couchbase Mobile works as presented, it’s a significant advance.

Title image by Nickfarrell1974 (Shutterstock)

 
 
 
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