RethinkDB Real-time Database Finds New Home and New License

RethinkDB Real-time Database Finds New Home and New License

RethinkDB is alive and well!

When the NoSQL database project met with commercial failure last October, a core group of developers kept the project going until it could find another home. And find a new home it did, when the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) purchased the company's intellectual property and put it under the jurisdiction of the Linux Foundation. When it purchased RethinkDB, CNCF put the company’s IP under an entirely different license that should give it fresh life in the time to come.

Licensing Issues

In its old life, RethinkDB was licensed under the Affero General Public License, Version 3 (AGPLv3). Many observers claimed that this licensing decision played a significant role in the company’s shutdown last year. The license requires code used in a web service to be released as open source, and also holds significant potential for patent licensing issues. Its vagueness, its rarity, and its lack of judicial precedent have led many companies to ban the license entirely.

RethinkDB has now been relicensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (ASLv2), one of the most permissive licenses available. In their recommendation of the license, the CNCF said that “we have found that successful projects can help companies’ products be successful, and that the resulting profits can be fed back into those projects by having the companies employ many of the key developers, creating a positive feedback loop.” - clearly they hope that this feedback loop will kick in with RethinkDB to help it flourish and grow in its new iteration.

What exactly is RethinkDB?

According to its own project description, RethinkDB is a(n):

  • Open-source database for building real-time Web applications.
  • NoSQL database that stores schemaless JSON documents.
  • Distributed database that is easy to scale.
  • High availability database with automatic failover and robust fault tolerance.

Summarizing its benefits, the project description states that "It exposes a new database access model -- instead of polling for changes, the developer can tell the database to continuously push updated query results to applications in real-time. RethinkDB allows developers to build scalable real-time apps in a fraction of the time with less effort."

RethinkDB’s combination of robustness and developer-friendliness has given it traction at a great many agencies and Fortune 500 companies, such as NASA, GM, Jive, Platzi, and the U.S. Department of Defense. We here at Code Hangar are very happy to see it find a new home and will be watching its further development with great interest.

Further information on RethinkDB may be found on its github page.

RethinkDB Community Resources:


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