Funded by $11.2M in Series A funding from Accel Partners and Redpoint Ventures, Tactile recently launched with the intent of delivering applications that allow professionals to obtain integrated access to data from disparate data sources. The company’s first application, Tact, enables salespeople to synchronize and integrate data about contacts from multiple sources such as Gmail, LinkedIn, Salesforce and Outlook. Tactile’s patent pending “personal sync platform” enables users to combine data from disparate data sources in order to obtain an enriched, holistic, 360 degree view of data that would otherwise remain fragmented and siloed. As such, Tactile builds upon the possibilities for integration and synchronization enabled by cloud-based platforms such as iCloud and Evernote that can synchronize data dispersed across multiple devices.
Tactile CEO Chuck Ganapathi remarked on the contemporary importance of synchronization technologies as follows:
In our personal lives, we have come to expect everything — photos, music, documents — to be available everywhere and instantly up to date. Sync is the defining technology of this generation, and we are on a mission to bring its power to our work lives and deliver business applications that people love.
Here, Ganapathi echoes a remark by Steve Jobs about the importance of synchronization made in one of the last public talks before his death:
I pick up my iPad and it doesn’t have that song on it. So I have to sync my iPhone to my Mac. Then I have to sync my other devices to the Mac to get that song but then they’ve deposited some photos on the Mac so I have to sync the iPhone again with the Mac to get those photos and keeping those devices in sync is driving us crazy.
Whereas iCloud focuses on device synchronization for a specific set of iOS-based devices, Tactile specializes in data synchronization that leverages multiple applications. Given the increasing plurality of software applications whose functionality overlaps to the point where synchronization would be useful, if not imperative, Tactile stands poised to carve out a niche for itself based on the value proposition of putting the needs of the end-user first, and figuring out how to best serve those needs. With an impressive round of Series A funding in the bank, expect to hear more detailed announcements about Tactile’s approach to synchronization and the purview of its vision in the months ahead.
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.