Cloudant today announced general availability of open source, native software libraries for Android and iOS, making it easier for developers to manage and replicate mobile application data on phones, tablets and other occasionally-connected devices. Cloudant Sync for Android and Cloudant Sync for iOS are immediately available under Apache License Version 2.0 for developers working with Cloudant’s NoSQL database-as-a-service (DBaaS). Both libraries are also API-compatible with Apache CouchDB.
Cloudant Sync helps mobile developers build offline access into their applications. The software libraries provide a simplified API with a device-local database indexing and query layer, more closely matching the expectations of mobile developers than the cloud database semantics of other mobile sync libraries. Cloudant Sync stores application data to a device’s local database, enabling applications to collect and access data even if network connectivity is unavailable. When devices reestablish connectivity, the software synchronizes changes with a remote Cloudant or CouchDB database.
“The mobile user experience is now an intrinsic aspect of almost all modern application development projects, and access to data is an increasingly critical part of that user experience,” said Matt Aslett, research director, data management and analytics, 451 Research. “New technologies such as Cloudant Sync can help remove the complexity of managing and replicating local data on mobile devices, enabling developers to focus on the application user experience.”
The proliferation of mobile backend-as-a-service (MBaaS) providers indicates the need for specialized mobile development platforms, as well as the need for data to be seamlessly shared, stored and replicated between devices and the cloud. Cloudant Sync implements a native code-friendly API for managing JSON documents and can also work in conjunction with popular MBaaS platforms like Parse, StackMob and Kinvey. Cloudant Sync’s features also include local indexing and querying, management of conflicting documents, and support for binary attachments. The library also permits a high volume of local datastores to synchronize with remote databases simultaneously, allowing developers to scale apps in proportion with growing user bases.
“Cloudant is a key component of the Ovation data layer that allows our users to synchronize experimental data between the cloud and desktop. Scientists’ work can travel with them in and out of their labs, whether they have a network connection or not, and their progress can be seamlessly shared with collaborators once they return to a network connection,” said Barry Wark, founder and CEO of Physion. “We’re encouraged by Cloudant’s continued commitment to helping application developers address challenging replication scenarios.”
Because Cloudant Sync builds on the company’s 24/7 DBaaS management, scalable infrastructure and global hosting partnerships, developers do not have to build and manage their own database infrastructure. Additionally, Cloudant’s commitment to open source technologies helps prevent vendor lock-in to one set of tools or cloud platforms.
“Keeping with our commitment to open technologies, we’re open-sourcing the code for Cloudant Sync,” said Dan DeMichele, Cloudant vice president of product. “A fast adoption rate for the product helps Cloudant as a company, of course, but we hope to see the community porting Cloudant Sync to other mobile operating systems and adding support for new replication protocols that can synchronize devices with other cloud databases. Making our products as open as possible gives our customers more options to avoid lock-in.”
Developers and their applications use Cloudant Sync to store, index and query local JSON documents on a single device and to synchronize data across many devices and remote cloud databases. The Android library currently supports creating, updating and deleting documents (database CRUD). It enables developers to incorporate bi-directional sync between a remote database in the cloud and a local datastore controlled by the application, which is the feature that allows users to manipulate data even when devices are not connected to the Internet.
Cloudant will host a webcast on March 4 at 11 a.m. Eastern for a 1-hour walk-through of Cloudant Sync for Android. Register at https://cloudant.com/webcast-cloudant-sync-walk-thru/. For Cloudant Sync documentation, code examples, and GitHub repositories, visit https://cloudant.com/cloudant-sync-resources/. More resources will be added periodically.