Apple Open Sources FoundationDB

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Apr 12, 2001
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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.

Article Link: Apple Open Sources FoundationDB
 

coolfactor

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Jul 29, 2002
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Vancouver, BC
I was excited for utilizing FoundationDB in my business, but then became discouraged when Apple purchased it. But I was excited by the possibility of Apple using that tech to improve their operating systems.

Does anybody know if they are building FoundationDB into the core of macOS or iOS? I see it being an improvement over XML configuration files that are heavily used right now, but I just hope it doesn't take us down the path that the Windows Registry did, with corruption becoming a common problem.

The only reason that they'd open-source the project is if they plan to utilizing it to improve their own products, much like WebKit has become a core component.
 

casperes1996

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Jan 26, 2014
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Does anybody know if they are building FoundationDB into the core of macOS or iOS? I see it being an improvement over XML configuration files that are heavily used right now, but I just hope it doesn't take us down the path that the Windows Registry did, with corruption becoming a common problem.
Don't expect macOS or any Apple OS to have anything like the registry. They've mocked that for years. I remember Bertrand Serlet, on stage, saying "They still have the registry" when going through things that he thought would make Windows Vista a failure before it was released.
 

chucker23n1

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Dec 7, 2014
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I was excited for utilizing FoundationDB in my business, but then became discouraged when Apple purchased it. But I was excited by the possibility of Apple using that tech to improve their operating systems.

Does anybody know if they are building FoundationDB into the core of macOS or iOS? I see it being an improvement over XML configuration files that are heavily used right now, but I just hope it doesn't take us down the path that the Windows Registry did, with corruption becoming a common problem.
Given the heavy promotion of FoundationDB's distributed aspects, I don't see how it's even remotely suitable or beneficial for configuration files.

If you want something more flexible than plists, you can always go with SQLite, which does come built in.

The only reason that they'd open-source the project is if they plan to utilizing it to improve their own products, much like WebKit has become a core component.
Yes, but almost certainly not for configuration.
 
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JosephAW

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May 14, 2012
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Yeah just like they open sourced Darwin BSD until they closed it.
[doublepost=1524175372][/doublepost]Is there a front end GUI for the client? I see it uses Java.
I'm happy using MySQL for my large databases and scalability.
 
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MRrainer

macrumors 65816
Aug 8, 2008
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Interesting: Key-Value, but ACID. Which puts in apart from things like Elastic (I guess) - but there's a 5 second limit on transactions.
I hope someone makes binaries for CentOS 7 or at least Ubuntu 16 available, soon.
Or a FreeBSD port.
 

JosephAW

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May 14, 2012
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Uhmmm. As far as I can tell, Darwin is still open source.
Oh good. Let me go to Apple's website and download a full working copy of Darwin (sans GUI) and install it on my x86/PPC computer with the latest kernel like we used to do way back in OS X 10.1 days.
 

casperes1996

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Jan 26, 2014
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Oh good. Let me go to Apple's website and download a full working copy of Darwin (sans GUI) and install it on my x86/PPC computer with the latest kernel like we used to do way back in OS X 10.1 days.

Whilst there are no binaries distributed.... You can do that. You just need to compile it yourself. Binary implementations like NanoDarwin or whatever it was called have all basically stopped, but that's not on Apple.
 

chucker23n1

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Dec 7, 2014
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Oh good. Let me go to Apple's website and download a full working copy of Darwin (sans GUI) and install it on my x86/PPC computer with the latest kernel like we used to do way back in OS X 10.1 days.
You have a rose-colored glasses view of Darwin in 2001. It was moderately interesting because Mac OS X was new and because everyone was hyped to get on the open source bandwagon, but nobody ever used it as their actual OS. There wasn’t much of interest there. You could port tons of stuff like XFree86 and barely get a GUI working, or you could find other masochistic pleasures instead.
 
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campyguy

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Mar 21, 2014
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Apple owned-company FoundationDB today announced that the FoundationDB core has been open sourced again and returned to GitHub (where it belongs!) with the goal of building an open community again with all major development done in the open.
Fixed that. Original space from 2015 here. :D

If Apple have been using this DB "for years", I'm guessing that means FoundationDB is the database behind CloudKit/iCloud.
Apple used Cassandra before procuring FoundationDB mainly for iMessage, iTS/MAS passwords. I was kind of ticked off at the time as I was getting into FoundationDB before it was yanked off GitHub - resources were there one day and gone the next. I'd read at the time that DataStax was POed as they'd filed for an IPO (no pun intended) as Apple was a major contributor to developing Cassandra. What I don't know but surmised at the time that Apple's hiccups with iCloud started around the time they started plugging FoundationDB in; one of my partners was using FoundationDB for a project at the time, ended up spending a LOT more $$$ when she ended up using Oracle instead as she didn't have enough time to dial in another NoSQL database - it took a nice bottle of Scotch to get her to cool down the day FoundationDB's resources disappeared.
 
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tooltalk

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Jan 15, 2015
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If you can't fight the enemy (aka.. Google Bigtable)... (buy and) open source an alternative? :)

PS: Not the first time (i.e., Turicreate...)
Well, based on my reading of this, FoundationDB is competing with Google Spanner (which is also SaaS), not BigTable. There are other fully transactional distributed DB's such as CockroachDB -- founded by former Google employees -- and NuoDB, but they are not yet up there in terms of performance.
[doublepost=1524378908][/doublepost]
I was excited for utilizing FoundationDB in my business, but then became discouraged when Apple purchased it. But I was excited by the possibility of Apple using that tech to improve their operating systems.

Does anybody know if they are building FoundationDB into the core of macOS or iOS? I see it being an improvement over XML configuration files that are heavily used right now, but I just hope it doesn't take us down the path that the Windows Registry did, with corruption becoming a common problem.

The only reason that they'd open-source the project is if they plan to utilizing it to improve their own products, much like WebKit has become a core component.
eh?? what use cases were you thinking about?

The main selling points for these kind distributed db are their scale-out resiliency and scalability -- these features don't necessarily help improve the core of Apple's existing OS offerings now, especially considering that Apple left the server/enterprise business a while ago.
 
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