Based has a very clear vision: helping developers build and iterate fast with no trade-offs. Find out more in this interview with Nuno Frade.
Can you briefly introduce yourself and your team?
Hi, I’m Nuno. I have been programming since an early age and saw cyberspace transforming from Bulleting Board Systems to clunky web browsers to the ubiquitous, always connected, real-time network that surrounds us now. I worked for a long time in advertising and digital production until eight years ago, when I finally accepted that I didn’t love it and just wanted to code again.
I ended up in Amsterdam, joining the fantastic team that is now Saulx. Saulx is a group of people with already established experience developing interaction-heavy applications and in cloud infrastructure. We have a shared love for creating cool software, believe in comfort and friendship in the workspace, and have a healthy dose of arrogance about building better and simpler solutions than we often see.
What is your motivation to work in the data portability field?
Throughout our previous projects, we have been developing technologies that allow us to create applications with a focus on real-time interaction and large-scale audiences.
We tried existing solutions from the big cloud providers. However, the data lock-in and non-linear cost model make them unappealing, or even a dangerous business choice for projects when they eventually scale or their requirements change.
Our technology evolved to avoid these drawbacks and we transformed it into a product: A data platform for developers so they and their companies can have modern data and back-end solutions without having to take the same long road we did. We want our clients to own the data and be cloud provider agnostic, respecting their needs or choices regarding where the data is stored geographically.
In simple words, what challenges does your project address?
Web application and mobile development teams are split between the front-end and back-end developers. Back-end developers handle the data, business logic, and everything behind the pretty looks. These are typically complex systems full of choices to be made and components that have to be maintained.
We aim to remove the need for all that back-end complexity and investment of resources that comes with it. Empowering front-end developers to add the data services using the same knowledge they already have without worrying about infrastructure and back-end technologies. They only worry about how to use the data. As a bonus, developers get real-time data synchronization and support for massive-scale deployments.
What solution are you developing?
At the core of our Based Data Platform we have a custom-developed real-time graph database. Graph databases allow for non-tabular data closely matching real-life structures. They are not new, but making them real-time is unique.
This enables developers to create complex queries that define the data they want and the format they should have in the response. They usually subscribe to these queries and whenever any part of the data matched by the query changes they get an automatic update without the need to make a new request. Real-time and at a massive scale.
The managed database is the main reason behind the platform, but we added more features that make it a one-stop solution for data services. SDK and CLI to easily integrate it with the applications; data functions that run at the edge; query builder and customizable data editor that makes it a CMS; self-hosted analytics; and much more.
What are the next steps?
A data platform is a significant endeavor. Us being perfectionists, we will always have a massive list of improvements. However, our main priority now is having more pilot clients with different kinds of projects and verticals so we can identify issues in specific use cases. Security is also a big concern when you have a product many clients will depend on. When we are confident it’s ready, estimated next year, we will have an open beta.