I came across MobDB the other day thanks to one of those beta lists that I completely forget the name of. When I remember, I’ll update the post. Anyway this one really caught my eye as I think I could seriously use it for a number of applications.
Let’s take a step back. What’s the one problem every single interactive mobile application has? At some point you’re going to want it to hook into a back-end database, right? To store everything. And that’s where it gets annoying. You work really hard on the app, then you have to build a flipping API for it. And unless you’re doing something with a pre-existing database, the chances are you need to construct a whole MySQL (or similar) back-end infrastructure to link to that API.
It’s a bit of an arse.
Doable, yes, but a bit of an arse. It’s just yet one more thing you have to remember. And often it means almost double the work for an application developer — because he’s got to figure out both the app front-end then develop this back-end bit.
That’s where mobDB comes in. They’ve done it all for you. They’re using Amazon in the background and they’ve simply designed a lovely front-end API for your app to talk to the database. You do this via HTTP-POST. It couldn’t be any simpler. Within that HTTP-POST, you include some uber-easy XML that executes your query and you get the results back in XML.
For instance, if this table existed on mobDB…
Then all you’d need to do to access it is send this XML:
<?xml version="1.0"?> <request> <key>CIWWP3-1Ss-Vy7mOvi36kGTtDU-G0210JFRsWoBSoScBJpadeatrtTYy5Qqa</key> <sql> </query>SELECT * FROM employees</query> </sql> </request>
Making a query is simple too:
<?xml version="1.0"?> <request> <key>CIWWP3-1Ss-Vy7mOvi36kGTtDU-G0210JFRsWoBSoScBJpadeatrtTYy5Qqa</key> <sql> <query >SELECT name, address, photo FROM employees</query> </sql> </request>
The service is in beta right now and therefore it’s totally free to use.
Why not check it out at mobDB.net?
Update: The website I mentioned at the start but couldn’t remember the name of? http://www.betabait.com/