Today we are excited to introduce the Private Preview of Capella App Services, a fully managed and hosted service for synchronizing data between mobile, web and IoT apps and Couchbase Capella, our Database-as-a-Service. App Services effectively brings mobile support to Capella, combining Couchbase’s traditional strengths in mobile and edge with the scale, performance and convenience of Capella DBaaS. With this release, we take a huge leap forward in making it easier for customers to develop and deliver modern offline-first applications that are always fast and always on, guaranteed – even where there is no internet connectivity.
Capella App Services
App Services provides a hosted gateway for bi-directional data synchronization between Capella and embedded apps on smartphones, tablets, IoT devices and custom embedded devices. It works in tandem with Couchbase Lite, our embeddable database. Wherever Couchbase Lite runs, App Services can securely sync the data it captures to Capella buckets and other embedded devices.
App Services also manages secure data access with role-based access control, providing authentication for mobile users. These key capabilities in Capella are offered as a ready-to-use service for mobile and IoT developers, making it faster and easier than ever to build highly performant and reliable applications.
Staying in sync
If you’re a front-end developer of mobile, web or IoT applications, you know that keeping data synchronized is critical for data integrity, accuracy, security and a good user experience. Synchronization means that multi-player games reflect accurate stats and scores, retail app catalogs are always up to date, healthcare apps always show current patient data, sensor arrays can be monitored and reacted to in real-time, and much more. Modern applications simply cannot do without this critical feature.
However, these positive outcomes can only be achieved if the synchronization is built right, and that can take years to accomplish if you try to develop it yourself. Let’s face it, sync is simple in concept but complex when you dig into it – even more so as the number of app clients increases. You have to contend with sync conflicts and how to resolve them while also building secure access so no one sees the wrong data. Likewise, you have to make sure sync goes in both directions while monitoring network status and handling connectivity disruptions. And all of this needs to happen with lightning speed. So, you need to make sure you build efficiencies like syncing only data that has changed and providing filters and channels to route synced data with precision.
These are not “nice-to-have” requirements. They are imperatives that, if ignored or built wrong, will lead to apps that sync slowly or show stale or incorrect information, eroding trust and adoption. But it takes time and effort to develop synchronization – and do it right – building it yourself inevitably robs your team of precious time that is better spent on the application front-end development.
Capella App Services provides these critical capabilities as an easy-to-use plug-and-go service for your mobile and IoT apps. There’s no need to develop sync yourself and no need to set up or manage any servers of your own; we’ve done it all for you.
If you’re not offline-first, you’re last
For applications that need to operate in areas with slow or no internet, embedded Couchbase Lite provides on-device data storage and processing. This allows apps to work all of the time, whether on or offline (hence the term “offline-first”). App Services sync is smart enough to know when connectivity is interrupted. When it’s restored, App Services can automatically start syncing from where it left off even after long periods of time.
More importantly, when multiple Couchbase Lite clients are close to one another but without the internet, they can still do Peer-to-Peer syncing. This is a feature unique to Couchbase that enables offline-first collaboration without the need for any central control point.
Since 2014, customers across all industries have leveraged Couchbase’s embedded database and built-in synchronization to build resilient apps that always work regardless of internet connectivity. App Services now allows customers to leverage sync as a backend service, making it even easier to develop offline-first applications.
Examples of offline-first applications include:
- Insurance agents making claims adjustments in the field with little or no internet.
- Utility inspectors performing maintenance activities in remote locations.
- Restaurants who need to streamline meal ordering and drive-through experience by extending service to the parking lot or curbside.
- Mobile clinics where health care workers at remote rural locations can pull up and share patient data across the clinic, even when internet connectivity is unavailable or slow.
Single pane of glass
One of the best parts of App Services is the intuitive interface, which is accessed through the same UI as the Capella DBaaS. This provides a single pane of glass for managing backend sync and the backend database. Creating an App Service in the UI is as easy as point-and-click. You associate the service with a corresponding Capella database bucket and configure endpoints, security and sync settings. Lastly, you wire up your app code to connect the embedded Couchbase Lite client to the service and viola! – you have robust, bi-directional synchronization.
Onward to innovation
With this release, Couchbase doubles down on developer productivity by offering comprehensive mobile sync without the hassle of installing and maintaining servers. Don’t build and manage synchronization yourself; leave that to us and concentrate on making your app front end the best it can be.
Capella App Services is currently in a Private Preview Beta program. If you’d like to learn more or be among the first to try out this amazing new backend service, get in touch with us here.
New to Capella and Couchbase Mobile? Check out these links to learn more: