Starcounter Announces 'Fastest Consistent Database'
It's not SQL versus NoSQL anymore, according to Starcounter, which earlier this week announced what it calls the "world's fastest consistent database."
Now it's OldSQL versus NoSQL versus NewSQL, says the company, which claims its in-memory, object-friendly database fits into the latter category and is 10 times faster than even today's "high performance" databases (and 100 times faster than more traditional databases).
Key to this performance claim is the Swedish company's proprietary VMDBMS technology, which integrates an application runtime virtual machine (the VM) with the database management system (the DMBS). This keeps data in one place in memory, instead of copying it back and forth between an app and a database.
Besides appealing to companies that need high performance for large-scale, transactional and real-time systems, the new, patent-pending technology also benefits database developers, according to the company.
"Starcounter makes the developer's life easier," company founder Joachim Wester said in an e-mail interview. "Starcounter integrates the database and the virtual machine. In this way, the object lives in the database from the very beginning. When you do 'new Person(),' the person exists. Your form can operate on the object directly, not on a copy in your programming language."
Another advantage for programmers, Wester said, is simplicity. There's no need for a separate database schema, glue code or O/R mapping. "It will reduce number of lines of code for the developer, reducing the development effort and any bug tracking efforts."
Developers using the Microsoft .NET Framework will especially find the new product appealing, Wester indicated. "Starcounter hooks into the .NET language itself. It is not a framework. It lives underneath .NET. So if you know how to program in .NET, you already know how to use Starcounter. Also, having your business objects as your database makes popular .NET patterns such as MVVM (Knockout or Angular) very natural."
Wester took pains to highlight the database's symbiosis with the popular MVVM (Model-View-ViewModel) development design pattern. He told this site that Starcounter can host the ViewModel on the server, so coders using frameworks such as KnockoutJS can program all the logic in C#. "You manipulate the ViewModel on the server," he said. "Starcounter transparently syncs it with the browser. As most ViewModels derive their data from the database, the server can inexpensively keep each browser's ViewModel live on the server. The data was in RAM to begin with anyway. This greatly simplifies development."
The company's Web site expounds more on how developers can benefit from using the Starcounter .NET object API. It states the API "gives you an easy way to write SQL queries returning true .NET objects. This makes it possible to combine database queries in an easy and powerful way."
Wester discusses the MVVM and MVC development patterns further in a series of blogs, lumping them in with similar patterns such as MDV (from Goolge), MMVC and MVP.
The Starcounter database supports the .NET Framework 4.0 and runs on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. Starcounter V2 is offered as a free beta download for a limited number of users on the company's Web site. Some 300 users had been accepted as of mid-day Friday. Regular commercial license pricing is $6,000 per core.
David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.