Apple iOS Gets NoSQL System For Synchronizing Data

Mobile Couchbase beta is available to iPhone and iPad developers as a free download for mobile device applications.
Filemaker Go 1.2 Expands iOS Feature Set
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Filemaker Go 1.2 Expands iOS Feature Set
If you find yourself collecting unstructured data on your iPad or iPhone and wish there was a way to upload it into a larger, server system, that opportunity may soon be part of your mobile application approach.

Couchbase has built support for Apple's iOS operating system into its database system. A beta, lightweight version of the system, Mobile Couchbase, can be loaded onto iPhones, iPads, or other iOS devices. It includes the ability to synchronize an iOS device with a central system through its CouchSync function.

Couchbase is known for its efficient use of memory and the library composing the mobile system itself has been kept small. That should help developers keep mobile applications designed to use the 3G network under the 20-MB limit for iOS device application downloads.

Chris Anderson, chief mobile architect at Couchbase, said in an interview his firm's NoSQL system was a "unique engine" for "a mobile application setting." Whether or not it's unique, it is the first NoSQL system to become available with iOS support.

Couchbase is the company that was formed in February through the combination of CouchOne, maker of the NoSQL system CouchDB, and Membase, supplier of a memory management system of the same name. The merger propelled it ahead of other NoSQL firms by giving CouchDB its own ability to cache large amounts of data in the pooled memories of a server cluster.

CouchSync replication is what Canonical uses to keep its Ubuntu users' systems synchronized with Canonical's Ubuntu One personalized cloud services. Mobile Couchbase with CouchSync can be used to synchronize such data as user preferences in social applications, contacts, game scores, and enterprise application data, Anderson noted.

Beta Mobile Couchbase became available from the Mountain View company on May 2. It is available for free download.

In his May 2 blog on Mobile Couchbase, Anderson wrote that CouchSynch can synchronize multiple instances of server-based, Couchbase systems. It uses the HTTP protocol and JavaScript Object Notation to synchronize objects between two systems with a minimum transfer of data. "Efficient synch means we don't burn up your battery or wireless bill," said Anderson.