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DreamFactory dials up MongoDB for Mobile

DreamFactory has this week announced that the MongoDB open source NoSQL document database can be accessed from its open-source DreamFactory Services Platform (DSP) via a REST API. This move is intended to make it easier for developers to bring big data functionality to mobile users.

The company describes itself as a developer and publisher of rich applications for next-generation web service platforms. Its DSP REST technology takes care of all the server-side work and builds an SDK so developers can start to hook up an app to the MongoDB database.

DreamFactory DSP has services for desktop, tablet, or smartphone (although the firm is shouting about mobile connectivity with this update) application development. All services are accessed through a REST interface that supports both JSON and XML documents.

This set of engineering has been brought together because the firm says that this style of document exchange interface is perfect for HTML5 applications or native client technologies like iOS.

According to the eloquently presented publicity pitch that accompanied this news, "This is huge (and not just because we're talking MongoDB) — the DreamFactory-MongoDB integration is the most secure and cost-effective solution for mobile apps that need a scalable, document-oriented database. Now, a front-end developer can connect a very large database to a very small mobile device in just a few minutes."

DreamFactory's approach hides the master credentials and provides secure user access to big data through single sign-on. Then, DreamFactory provides granular access to individual MongoDB collections. Lastly, it supports the optional use of standard SQL filter strings for database queries — and, this is all through a data-efficient REST API.

DreamFactory's Lee Hicks points out that while MongoDB does come with a REST interface, it is simple and has no support for CRUD operations on the data itself; plus, it is generally used for monitoring or administrative tasks.

"DSP allows you to 'on-board' services that you want to use from your app, and at the same time gives you user role-based access control of those services. These services can be local to the server running the DSP itself, or remotely running on a different server altogether. In the case of MongoDB, it can be loaded locally on the same server, remotely on a different server, or hosted on the web by a third-party like MongoHQ or MongoLab," wrote Hicks in a recent blog post.

DreamFactory further details that mobile developers will now be able to connect their native and HTML5 apps to MongoDB repositories. The firm says that it will subsequently announce a partnership with MongoHQ to provide MongoDB as a hosted service; this is hoped to further accelerate the development of NoSQL access in mobile apps.

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