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Apple open-sources FoundationDB database to build open development community

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Apple has open sourced FoundationDB, the database project, which it acquired three years back.

When Apple acquired the company that built FoundationDB, a large number of developers was upset with the move. Apple had pulled off the project from GitHub just a day after acquisition, without any warning, which left the users of this software high and dry.

FoundationDB might not be the most-known project of Apple, but it works as a backbone to its iCloud service. The iCloud stores and synchronizes the data of millions of users of Apple.

As described in the announcement, FoundationDB is a distributed datastore, designed from the ground up to be deployed on clusters of commodity hardware. These clusters scale well as you add machines, automatically heal from hardware failures, and have a simple API. The key-value store supports fully global, cross-row ACID transactions.

Apple believes that FoundationDB can become the foundation of next generation of distributed databases. It is built around a simple core with multiple layers, which are specific to a number of data types and separate access patters.

FoundationDB is focused on scalability, performance, and fault-tolerance. The projects which use this database for their backend will be faster and cost-effective to maintain.

 “By running multiple layers on a single cluster (for example a document store layer and a graph layer), you can match your specific applications to the best data model. Running less infrastructure reduces your organization’s operational and technical overhead,” explained Apple.

The open sourcing will rapidly develop the quantity and variety of FoundationDB layers. It has also adopted a new code of conduct for community development and a set of project governance rules.

Also read: NuoDB empowers distributed database users to optimize cloud and container resources with new graphical dashboard 

Since it is open-source, the outsiders will be able to contribute to the project. Users can take advantage of FoundationDB’s layered design to build higher-level data storage systems, which are customized for specific application requirements.


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