This week, Couchbase announced the availability of N1QL (pronounced “nickel”), a “breakthrough query language” that delivers the capabilities of SQL alongside the Couchbase NoSQL database platform. Developers can use N1QL to perform queries on data stored and aggregated within the Couchbase NoSQL platform to facilitate the development of data-driven applications that leverage the data modeling and massive scalability of Couchbase’s JSON-based NoSQL platform. Given the ability of NoSQL to respond to the contemporary need to store massive amounts of data that defies classification into rigidly defined schemas, N1QL gives developers enhanced flexibility regarding the querying of semi-structured and unstructured data. Moreover, N1QL enables organizations to take advantage of the highly mature skillsets of SQL-trained developers in addition to the venerable ecosystem of SQL-compliant tools and products. N1QL conforms to a specification developed by UCSD for a SQL-compliant language that can perform queries on semi-structured data. As such, N1QL stands poised to accelerate NoSQL adoption by empowering developers to bring the familiarity of JOINS and NEST operators to JSON documents. N1QL takes its place within an emerging landscape of SQL-compliant platforms for NoSQL that affirm the enduring supremacy of SQL’s querying ability as well the criticality of developing sophisticated querying functionality for JSON-based NoSQL data stores. Leading technology vendors such as Informatica, Metanautix and Tableau have partnered with Couchbase to develop connectors that take advantage of N1QL’s unique querying functionality. Meanwhile, N1QL represents a key component of what’s new in Couchbase Server 4.0.
NoSQL vendor Couchbase recently announced that its business partner KuroBase released a suite of products designed to render Couchbase more accessible on the Heroku platform as a service infrastructure. Specifically, KuroBase released the “Heroku Add-on for Couchbase” that allows users to provision an instance of Couchbase Server with the click of a mouse. In addition, KuroBase rendered available “Heroku Buildpacks for Ruby and Node.js” on GitHub that allow developers to quickly deploy applications coded in Ruby and Node.js within a Couchbase infrastructure on the Heroku platform. Collectively, the releases stand to render Couchbase’s NoSQL document-oriented database more widely available to the thousands of developers that use the Heroku platform and continue to accelerate its adoption. More importantly, the Couchbase-Kurobase partnership underscores the potential for synergistic collaborations between Platform as a Service (PaaS) and the NoSQL space. This week’s announcement by Couchbase illustrates the possibilities for PaaS to continue the acceleration of the adoption of NoSQL platforms for highly responsive, interactive applications in the mobile and online gaming space, amongst other use cases.
Last week, IBM announced an agreement to acquire NoSQL database as a service vendor Cloudant for an undisclosed sum. An active contributor to the Apache CouchDB project, Cloudant delivers a JSON document database-based platform that claims high availability, scalability and elasticity amongst its attributes. Cloudant customers can take advantage of its JSON-based database as a service to store and mine structured and unstructured data from a variety of sources. Because the JSON database format is so widely used by developers of mobile and web applications, IBM’s acquisition of Cloudant stands to strengthen its positioning with respect to the development of applications for mobile devices in conjunction with the build out of its OpenStack-based cloud solution for the enterprise. The acquisition of Cloudant will be central to IBM’s MobileFirst solutions as well as its Worklight application for developing mobile applications. From an industry perspective, the acquisition represents a huge coup for the NoSQL space in general. CouchDB has historically not had the traction of MongoDB, Cassandra and Couchbase, so we should expect brand name tech companies to make similar offerings for the likes of MongoDB in the ensuing few months. Moreover, IBM’s acquisition of Cloudant testifies to the increasing emergence of cloud and big data behemoths with solutions for both hosting infrastructure, as well as database solutions that accommodate enterprise needs for scalability and the ability to store unstructured data. Cloudant CEO Derek Schoettle surmised the significance of Cloudant’s contribution to IBM’s SoftLayer cloud platform as follows:
Cloudant’s decision to join IBM highlights that the next wave of enterprise technology innovation has moved beyond infrastructure and is now happening at the data layer. Our relationship with IBM and SoftLayer has evolved significantly in recent years, with more connected devices generating data at an unprecedented rate. Cloudant’s NoSQL expertise, combined with IBM’s enterprise reliability and resources, adds data layer services to the IBM portfolio that others can’t match.
Schoettle notes that IBM is extending its infrastructure innovations to the “data layer” and as such, follows in the footsteps of Amazon Web Services and EMC/VMware spin-off Pivotal, which similarly deliver a combination of cloud and big data solutions in their platform and product offerings. The notable consequence of this convergence of cloud and big data product offerings is that only large enterprises with the requisite capital and resources can afford to cobble together combined cloud-big data product offerings. As a result, cloud startups and smaller data vendors will need to continue to compete by way of their agility, responsiveness, consultative support and superior technology. In effect, the IBM acquisition of Cloudant signals a Walmart effect in technology, of sorts, whereby large, well capitalized vendors have the ability to create marts of diverse data and analytics products that threaten the viability of cloud, big data and analytics startups in the same way that massive retailers such as Walmart threaten the viability of independent stores or small chains. Oracle’s recent acquisition of Blue Kai, a big data management platform geared toward marketing, constitutes another example of the way in which tech giants are continuing to integrate diverse data products into increasingly heterogeneous product portfolios. The question that remains unanswered, however, is whether the emerging Walmart technology maze is sufficiently easy to navigate that enterprises opt to partner either with one vendor for all of their technology needs, or whether they feel more comfortable shopping from a diverse range of technology vendors in order to avoid vendor lock-in and locate products that richly respond to the specificities of their industry-vertical and customer needs.
NoSQL document-oriented database vendor Couchbase announced a suite of NoSQL offerings dedicated specifically for mobile application development on Friday. Couchbase’s NoSQL offerings feature three products, namely, Couchbase Lite, Couchbase Sync Gateway and Couchbase Cloud. Couchbase Lite marks the highlight of the company’s mobile strategy insofar as it offers developers a JSON based NoSQL platform for mobile devices featuring compatibility with iOS, Android and REST/HTML5 platforms. Couchbase Sync provides an infrastructure that enables developers to synchronize data with the cloud while Couchbase Cloud provides a service which gives developers instant access to the Couchbase server platform.
Couchbase Lite represents the breakthrough innovation given that it marks the “first native NoSQL database for mobile devices” targeted at highly interactive, dynamic software applications. By using a NoSQL database for mobile development, developers can free themselves from the constraints of relational databases and more easily integrate and utilize data stored by applications residing on their mobile device. For example, a NoSQL-based data store may allow mobile developers to more effectively associate and enrich data from a user’s mapping, retail, gaming and social media applications. Couchbase Lite also simplifies mobile syncing by enabling developers to sync applications by using a few lines of code and thereby focus their efforts on core application development.
Couchbase’s three pronged mobile strategy is illustrated by the graphic below:
Couchbase’s JSON Anywhere strategy represents a bold move to capture market share in the increasingly hot mobile development space from competitors such as MongoDB and DataStax. The JSON Anywhere announcement was released in conjunction with news of its partnerships with mobile development platforms Appcelerator, Apperian, Adobe PhoneGap, Sencha and Xamarin. Xamarin CEO Nat Friedman remarked on the significance of the partnership with Couchbase as follows:
Xamarin is the new standard for native mobile app development. Over 400,000 developers use Xamarin to build fully native iOS and Android apps in C#, sharing on average 75% source code across device platforms. The Xamarin Component Store makes it easy to add high-quality, pre-built components to apps directly from the IDE, including dozens of beautiful UI controls, cloud services, and more. We see the integration between Couchbase and Xamarin providing a critical component that enterprises need today for next generation applications that require easy-sync.
Friedman highlights the potential for Couchbase’s mobile NoSQL platform to propel the development of a new wave of highly responsive apps where data synchronization is either required or highly desirable. As such, Couchbase’s native NoSQL platform for mobile devices promises to disrupt mobile development, particularly given that the platform is complemented by a data synchronization and cloud infrastructure designed specifically with the needs of mobile developers in mind. The JSON Anywhere announcement was released in conjunction with news of the release of Couchbase 2.2, and comes head on the heels of the company’s recent finalization of $25M in Series D funding and disclosure of 400% year over year growth. Expect Couchbase to continue consolidating its recent traction in the NoSQL space, particularly within the mobile vertical. We should correspondingly expect the NoSQL world to respond to JSON Anywhere with competing platforms tailored for mobile.
NoSQL vendor Couchbase today announced the finalization of $25 million in Series D funding in a round led be Adams Street Partners with additional participation from existing investors Accel Partners, Mayfield Fund, North Bridge Venture Partners, and Ignition Partners. The funding will be used to support strategic product initiatives and the expansion of the company’s sales and marketing team. With regard to its international growth, Couchbase has specific plans to open new offices in Brazil, Argentina, India and China and grow its existing operations in North America, Europe, Japan, Korea and Israel. The funding raise comes soon after the release of Couchbase 2.0 and skyrocketing 2013 sales on the order of 400%, including the closure of deals with several prized enterprise customers, according to the company’s press release. Couchbase is the company behind the Couchbase Open Source Project marked by its trademark product Couchbase Server, a distributed NoSQL document-oriented database used by the likes of AOL, LinkedIn, Orbitz, Salesforce.com and Zynga. The capital raise and Couchbase’s impressive growth point underscore the industry’s increasing acceptance of NoSQL as the proliferation of semi-structured data renders non-relational databases increasingly critical to the Big Data revolution.