The deal for $ 39 million: why the creators of the open source DBMS decided to do mobile development

    In late April, MongoDB announced the purchase of Realm, a cross-platform mobile database. In today's article, how companies approached the deal and what they plan. / PxHere / PD

    What a deal

    Realm (formerly tight.db) is a Danish startup founded in 2011. He is developing an open source database that provides object storage for mobile application information. The solution is multi-platform and designed for Android and iOS. Realm has good documentation and there are examples on GitHub .

    During the operation, the startup attracted more than $ 40 million of investments from venture firms Y Combinator, Khosla Ventures and Greylock Partners. Today, Realm is used in mobile applications by companies such as Google, Starbucks, Netflix, McDonald's and eBay.

    The premise of the Realm and MongoDB deal was the latter's desire to expand its influence in the field of mobile development. Last fall, the company introduced its MongoDB Mobile database. However, the product has not gained much popularity. In an interview with Eliot Horowitz, CTO’s major news aggregator, he said that many customers still chose Realm in their mobile development process.

    Then, MongoDB decided to join forces with a Danish startup, starting to work out the terms of the deal. As a result, the companies agreed on a price of $ 39 million.

    What will she affect

    Performance solutions. One of the key features of Realm is zero copy - the database supports operations during which the processor does not copy data from one memory area to another. Another important component is MVCC . This is a mechanism that provides concurrent access to data. All users operate with their personal database images (which are then synchronized), without blocking the work with write / read transactions.

    According to some estimates , the query processing speed in Realm differs from its analogues (SQLite, greenDAO, OrmLite) by eight times. In this case, the Realm database works with the so-called living objects - if the data in the database is updated, then all objects in the code that refer to them are updated.

    These features will enable MongoDB to offer its customers more powerful solutions for developing highly loaded applications. For example, new opportunities will open up for IaaS providers using company products.

    Integration. Realm has a set of APIs that enables developers to build the business logic of an application in any programming language. Plus Realm's mobile database supports iOS, Android, JavaScript web applications, and Xamarin.

    MongoDB also representscross-platform document-oriented database type NoSQL. Therefore, it is not surprising that the company plans to integrate Realm functionality with some of its commercial products. New features will soon appear in the cloud database MongoDB Atlas and serverless computing platform Stitch, which automates the generation of mobile push notifications.

    Community development. By joining forces in developing a mobile database, the companies hope to present solutions that over time will become a kind of standard for next-generation connected services.

    “The merger will allow MongoDB to expand its influence in the developer community. Realm has a database of 100 thousand active users, ”comments Sergey Belkin, head of development department of the virtual infrastructure provider . “Realm, in turn, will receive new technical opportunities for development and will be able to more quickly update its product.”

    By the way, the latter is very much counted on by developers who plan to use Realm in the production environment. Today, the mobile database is experiencing certain performance issues. For example, in the event of a failure, system recovery sometimes takes several hours. A number of bugs that cause this behavior cannot be fixed for a long time. The community expects MongoDB to help Realm fix the situation and resolve issues with stability and technical support.

    / PxHere / PD

    What else is going on in the market

    Since the beginning of the year, several major transactions have taken place in the industry. In late January, Microsoft announced the acquisition of Citus Data, which is developing a relational database based on PostgreSQL. Citus Data was founded in 2010 and went through the Y Combinator incubator. The IT giant plans to use the startup’s experience to gain a competitive advantage in the cloud technology market.

    Actively master the direction related to data storage, and began in Alibaba. Two years ago, the corporation bought MariaDB, an alternative to MySQL, and in the beginning of 2019, it acquiredGerman startup Data Artisans specializing in working with big data. The startup has its own dA platform for streaming data based on the open source Apache Flink, which is used by Netflix, ING Group and Uber. The Chinese corporation also plans to leverage the capabilities of Data Artisans products in its solutions.

    It can be assumed that before the end of this year we will hear about other major transactions. As a result, more products for the cloud and cloud systems will appear on the market, which will more effectively solve business problems in a virtualized environment.

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