Ajit Deshpande - September 17, 2013 - 1 Comment
Last week, the NoSQL database space saw a couple of interesting new announcements: First, Couchbase announced a new, mobile-focused database called Couchbase Lite. With Couchbase Lite, app developers can natively use the database on the mobile device to enhance user experience as well as to enable more comprehensive syncing of app-states across mobile devices (a la Dropstore API). Second, Amazon announced a local version of its own DynamoDB database, which can be used for offline development of applications before the developer goes live on AWS. Couchbase and DynamoDB are both key-value store databases that offer low latency/high throughput, but with limited feature-sets around understanding the underlying data itself (Couchbase 2.0 does get closer to being a document store).
As compute power in mobile devices continues to grow, it makes sense to have more and more data around the app reside on the mobile device. In that context, a key-value store such as Couchbase Lite might have the best shot of all the NoSQL flavors to find immediate use cases in mobile – other flavors such as column stores and document stores, being more feature rich and with higher latency, may find it harder to make headway in the near term. Couchbase Lite should thus help the company improve its competitive position in the NoSQL market that currently sees MongoDB as the leader.
As for DynamoDB’s local version, while the stated objective is to simplify app development and deployment, the bigger goal is probably for Amazon to use DynamoDB to get a foothold in the private or hybrid cloud and/or to move beyond IaaS and into PaaS. Either ways, this should help DynamoDB get increased adoption within the developer community and further muddy the NoSQL landscape
Last week’s announcements suggest that whether it’s content consumption or app development, compute might be moving back just a little bit from the cloud to the edge device. This means that NoSQL vendors might need to deal with increased diversification in end-points and environments going forward, all while the vendors continue to jostle for market share. Maybe this diversification will be the impetus for consolidation or shake-out in this fragmented space.