Couchbase, a NoSQL database company, has unveiled the latest version of its database platform to support web, mobile and IoT applications.

IoT applications are a big focus right now for NoSQL vendors, a small but vocal subset of the wider database market. Compared to traditional relational database management systems (RDBMs) from companies such as Oracle and IBM, NoSQL alternatives are, according to their suppliers, less costly to deploy, a great deal more scalable and better engineered to handle a wide variety of data types – such as the data that flows from IoT devices. Other NoSQL database vendors include MongoDB, Basho and MarkLogic.

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With the needs of IoT projects in mind, Couchbase 4.6 Server incorporates a number of relevant tools, including Couchbase Sync Gateway 1.4, Couchbase Kafka Connector 3.0 and Couchbase Spark Connector 2.0.

Improving IoT development

This platform, the company claims, will makes it easier for customers to develop adaptable, responsive, always-available applications that can cope with unpredictable spikes in traffic. It also enables mobile and IoT apps to work offline, which is important when they’re located in areas of unreliable or patchy connectivity. Think, for example, of field engineers working on gas pipelines in remote areas. 

Couchbase Sync Gateway 1.4, for example, deals with the problem of high device density, so that IoT apps can scale, despite the demands placed on them by large numbers of connected sensors or devices.

Connectors to the Apache Kafka and Apache Spark open source products, meanwhile, will play a role in helping companies to build real-time data pipelines and analyse the operational data streaming in from IoT sensors and devices.

Read more: The IoT needs a new kind of database

Although it’s a small, privately held company, Couchbase does have some big-name customers, including travel technology company Amadeus, United Airlines and hotel giant Marriott, although these do not appear to be using its database for IoT-specific projects at this stage.

Innovating database tech

Ravi Mayuram, senior vice president of engineering and products at Couchbase, said: “Couchbase continues to push the database innovation envelope with our newest releases, including the addition of hybrid logical clocks for easier global application deployments.

“And Sync Gateway Accelerator to support high device density as well as numerous enhancements to our query language (N1QL) and query performance.

“With foundational technologies like these, we make it easy to automate the complex challenges that our customers face around managing globally distributed environments, and massively scaling mobile and IoT applications on demand.”

Supporting IoT pros

Robin Bloor, chief analyst and co-founder at the Bloor Group said: “Enterprise CIOs and IT leaders are on the hook to execute on digital business initiatives.

“They are facing increasing pressure to adapt their systems and applications to meet new requirements for responsiveness, such as engaging customer experiences that are accessible from any platform.”

When it comes to developing new IoT applications, of the kind that may be built on databases such as Couchbase, automation could be the way forward, according to Roi Carmel, chief strategy officer at Perfecto, an Israel-based company that runs a cloud-based quality test lab for digital apps.

“By automating the delivery pipeline, teams can test software from the moment it’s committed, reducing release risk and business uncertainty,” he told Internet of Business.

“In today’s digital era, velocity of the application delivery pipeline is a key success metric for software executives. Our goal should be to empower IoT app developers to build a better delivery pipeline.”

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