Fauna brings real-time streaming to a serverless database

Serverless database provider Fauna offers its users a new real-time streaming capability to help power applications.

The San Francisco-based vendor is developing a database platform that has a data API at its core with a GraphQL interface, as well as Fauna Query Language (FQL) for data access.

With its new real-time streaming capability that became generally available on March 8, Fauna is looking to break through the limitations of change data capture (CDC) to stream data updates to apps.

Among Fauna users is the Danish company Accentuate Digital, which helps its users create and manage e-commerce stores on Shopify.

The company uses Fauna as a data technology to run its Shopify apps. Accentuate Digital stores app-specific details and settings for each of its customers’ Shopify stores with Fauna, as well as store-specific data.

Serverless database powers applications

Accentuate Digital uses Fauna’s event delivery technology to distribute incoming webhooks from Shopify to Accentuate Digital’s Undo app, which provides backup and restore capabilities to Shopify merchants. This allows Accentuate Digital to process each store’s inventory changes in parallel.

Fauna allowed us to build this functionality in a highly scalable and reliable way with very minimal coding effort.

Olivier GraslOwner, Transentis Consulting

“Without this solution, we could potentially have an individual store block the processing queue if bulk edits need to be processed,” said Ole Thorup, Founder and CEO of Accentuate Digital.

German-based business consulting firm Transentis Consulting also uses Fauna to build apps for its clients as well as for its own operations. The company uses Fauna event streams for an online training simulation game that its customers play thousands of times a week.

“The game depends on real-time interaction between users, and this is powered entirely by Fauna event streams,” said Olivier Grasl, owner of Transentis Consulting. “Fauna allowed us to build this functionality in a highly scalable and reliable way with very minimal coding effort.”

How Fauna’s Live Streaming Serverless Database Works

Event streaming is commonly associated with technologies like Apache Kafka and Amazon Kinesis, but that’s not what the Fauna update focuses on.

Evan Weaver, CTO and co-founder of Fauna, explained that the vendor’s serverless database platform previously lacked the ability to provide real-time push notifications for changes.

Weaver noted that CDC – a common feature of many databases, including Fauna – is primarily designed to synchronize data with a secondary database or data warehouse. Weaver said CDC doesn’t provide the same kind of real-time streaming or high availability that Fauna’s new feature allows.

With Fauna’s streaming feature, an application can subscribe to data changes in a single document in a database or to something as specific as a record in a database table. .

The streaming interface is accessible via FQL. Rather than just using FQL to find a specific point result, the real-time streaming feature allows a persistent query to continuously receive updates of changes as they occur.

“The streaming interface is FQL – it’s native to Fauna, and developers interact with it the same way they interact with the rest of Fauna,” Weaver said.

Maria H. Underwood