RethinkDB Drives Real-Time Application Development

Mike Vizard

Thanks largely to the fact that memory and Flash storage provide a way to process more data faster than ever, interest in real-time applications has increased markedly over the last year. The problem is that building these applications on top of existing databases is not particularly easy.

With the launch of version 2.0 of its open source database, RethinkDB is making a case for a different kind of database architecture. Rather than wrapping a database with all kinds of middleware to support real-time communications, RethinkDB CEO Slava Akhmechet says the RethinkDB database is designed from the ground up to make use of JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) to automatically push queries out to applications versus waiting for the application to poll the database.

Akhmechet contends that most legacy databases were designed to support batch-oriented applications. Real-time applications require a new approach to queries that essentially turns database architecture as it is currently understood on its head.

After being in development for several years, RethinkDB 2.0 is the first commercially supported version of the database. There are, however, over already 100,000 developers participating in the RethinkDB project, many of which are already using RethinkDB in production applications. Next up, Akhmechet says that RethinkDB is working on a Windows port of the database written in C++ that today runs on Linux and will continue to focus on adding security enhancements required for enterprise applications.


The number of developers working in and around RethinkDB serves as a testimony to how many organizations are investing in build real-time applications. There are, of course, multiple ways of going about building real-time applications that like RethinkDB need to stand up to Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation and Durability (ACID) tests in enterprise production enviroments. But as is often the case when it comes to anything inside or out of IT, simpler is better.



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