Apple-Owned Company FoundationDB Open Sources FoundationDB Record Layer Used by CloudKit

Apple-owned company FoundationDB today announced the open source release of the FoundationDB Record Layer, which it says offers up relational database semantics on top of FoundationDB with schema management, indexing facilities, and a "rich set of query capabilities.

Apple uses the Record Layer to support applications and services for hundreds of millions of users, and combined with FoundationDB, it forms the backbone of Apple's CloudKit service.

Built on top of FoundationDB, the Record Layer inherits FoundationDB's strong ACID semantics, reliability, and performance in a distributed setting. The Record Layer also uses FoundationDB's transactional semantics to provide features similar to a traditional relational database, but in a distributed setting. For example, the Record Layer's secondary indexes are maintained transactionally, so they're always up-to-date with the latest changes to the data. Transactions reduce the number of bugs in application code and greatly simplify application development.
FoundationDB also wrote a full paper describing how the Record Layer was built to run at a massive scale and just how CloudKit uses it. That paper is available in PDF form here.

In a nutshell, CloudKit uses the Record Layer to host billions of independent databases, and its feature set lets CloudKit provide rich APIs and strong semantics with improved scalability and reduced maintenance.

FoundationDB has also written a getting started guide designed to walk users through creating an application that uses the Record Layer, along with a detailed overview and a forum, all of which is available via the open source announcement.

Apple purchased FoundationDB back in 2015, and made the FoundationDB core open source in April 2018.


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Apple Open Sources FoundationDB

Apple owned-company FoundationDB today announced that the FoundationDB core has been open sourced with the goal of building an open community with all major development done in the open.

FoundationDB, a database company, was purchased by Apple back in 2015. As described in today's announcement, FoundationDB is a distributed datastore that's been designed from the ground up to be deployed on clusters of commodity hardware.


By open sourcing the project to drive development, FoundationDB is aiming to become "the foundation of the next generation of distributed databases.
The vision of FoundationDB is to start with a simple, powerful core and extend it through the addition of "layers". The key-value store, which is open sourced today, is the core, focused on incorporating only features that aren't possible to write in layers. Layers extend that core by adding features to model specific types of data and handle their access patterns.

The fundamental architecture of FoundationDB, including its use of layers, promotes the best practices of scalable and manageable systems. 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.
Following the open sourcing of FoundationDB, the company believes the quantity and variety of FoundationDB layers will develop rapidly. FoundationDB has adopted a new set of project governance rules and a code of conduct for community development.

The source for FoundationDB is available on Github as of today, and those who wish to join the project are encouraged to visit the FoundationDB community forums, submit bugs, and make contributions to the core software and documentation.


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