Apple Open Sources FoundationDB

FoundationDB is a distributed datastore, designed from the ground up to be deployed on clusters of commodity hardware. These clusters scale well as you add machines, automatically heal from hardware failures, and have a simple API. The key-value store supports fully global, cross-row ACID transactions. That’s the highest level of data consistency possible. What does this mean for you? Strong consistency makes your application code simpler, your data models more efficient, and your failure modes less surprising.

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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.

I’ve worked with FoundationDB on a few projects and love it, while this is an interesting move on Apple’s part, it will grow it as they foster a community around it. Which they even said here:

By open sourcing FoundationDB, our goal is to build an open community. All major development will be done in the open. We’ve outlined a design document process to ensure that this work is done transparently and with community input. We’ve taken early steps to outline project governance to provide a basic structure that will enable members of the community who actively contribute to have a greater voice in the project decision-making.

We also want FoundationDB to be a healthy and responsive community. To that end, we’ve adopted a code of conduct based on the Contributor Covenant to outline the behaviors we encourage and those we disallow.

We’d love your participation. Here are several ways you can get involved:

  • Ask questions on the FoundationDB community forums: forums.foundationdb.org. We have categories for user-related questions (how do I use X) as well as development questions (I am digging into the FoundationDB core and want to change Y). Say hello!
  • Help improve the software by reporting bugs through GitHub issues.
  • Make contributions to the core software and documentation (please see the project’s contribution guide).

You can check out the code here.

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Roger Stringer spends most of his time solving problems for people, and otherwise occupying himself with being a dad, cooking, speaking, learning, writing, reading, and the overall pursuit of life. He lives in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada