Apple has turned FoundationDB, a NoSQL distributed database, into an open source project, with its code now available on Github.
After purchasing the company in 2015, Apple said FoundationDB would no longer be offering downloads of its software, but the company has now made its core freely available as its aims to transition into a community-driven project.
Available on Github, the renowned open source software development platform and library, FoundationDB «can become the foundation of the next generation of distributed databases» according to a post on the company’s website.
FoundationDB’s appeal, meanwhile, comes in the fact it retains the qualities of traditional databases built around the ACID principles of «atomicity, consistency, isolation, durability» while offering the scalability of NoSQL, whereas normally, NoSQL databases – designed around the idea of distributed systems – would require a trade-off with one of the four principles.
According to its website, FoundationDB is designed from the ground up to be deployed on clusters of commodity hardware, scaling effectively as you add machines, as well as automatically healing from hardware failures, and retaining a simple API.
The move to open source FoundationDB, which began as a startup in 2009, is expected to please members of the community previously disheartened with Apple’s decision to discontinue software downloads, with FoundationDB marking a shift in its approach towards a more community-led development strategy.
By the way… I read this paragraph in the article that I found a bit contradictory:
Apple’s decision to open-source FoundationDB belies its reputation for being a highly secretive company, and follows a series of similar open-sourcing moves.
Apple let a lot of open source UNIX software to run on its machines by making «Mac OS X» UNIX compliant. True, installing through the terminal it’s not as easy as drag & droppin’ an application to the application folder alias that is the most usual install via the «.dmg» image disks.
I can only agree that they are secretive, and closed in a lot of their intellectual property, in the proprietary layers that make their open «FreeBSD» kernel the experience that Mac OS X is.
But when they decide to be open, they put their resources (I mean money) into improve the open «part» and they are quite reliable about it.
You can find also Apple open projects on Apple’s Github.
It’s not that Apple belies its reputation for being highly secretive with this move, is just one more move in their usual direction.