Rethink DB- A utility factor for your startup

Real-time for y’all

Among a myriad of technologies harnessing the power of Real-Time information, ReThinkDB is a unique one. What makes it unique is its ability to frequently communicate with applications and enable arbitrary queries that general databases do not ususally perform. Real-time communication across your entire infrastructure is a necessity these days and Rethink is yet another gem accomplishing this task efficiently.

What makes RethinkDB special for modern day startups?

Modern day startups rely a lot on real-time information. Game leaderboards, chat applications, share market apps; they all need to access, process and serve data multiple times within a single second. Of all hardware in your system, the database is an important one and plays a vital role in the entire process.

Normally, a database would be polled for changes. Polling is nothing but continuous checking of one program by other another in order to fetch the updates time to time (if any). Polling of database takes time and cannot be recommended for apps that are assembled with a lot of real-time features. What if the database can send new content by itself, everytime it is updated? This is what RethinkDB does.

database polling
Polling of  database to fetch updated data

Instead of polling, RethinkDB can push live query updates instantaneously. Hence, every time there is a change in the database, it is reflected in real-time within the app as well, making it a relevant piece of technology for current trends within starups.

Mediafly, a company providing sales enablement software is using RethinkDB to power reactive web and mobile app. Narrative, a wearable camera startup, employs RethinkDB over their cloud to support connected devices. Having worked on a wearable camera startup called CA7CH (pronounced as Catch) we know how important it is to have uninterrupted live streaming from a camera that is routed through a mobile app.

Ca7tch app made by our developers. Achieving uninterrupted streaming was one of the challenges we faced with Ca7ch during the initial phase of development.
Ca7tch app made by our developers. Achieving uninterrupted streaming was one of the challenges we faced with Ca7ch during the initial phase of development.

You definitely need something in the server or database to process and throw the stream with a lag of no more than a few milliseconds.

In other words, apps that need to display and demonstrate real-time information in some form or another would gorge on RethinkDB. Let’s look into a few use cases to understand the applicability and potential of the technology.

Reactive web and mobile apps

Apps such as google docs and others that feature action prompt such as “typing…” “writing an answer on” etc. need technologies such as RethinkDB. In other words, anything connected with demonstration and display of real-time information will come to life with Rethink.

Typing indicators, real-time editing on google drive, these type of collaborative features can be developed using RethinkBD.
Typing indicators, real-time editing on google drive etc., these type of collaborative features can be developed using RethinkBD. Image Source-dribbble

UX development has always been an intuitive process and technologies such as this are taking the entire thing to another level.

Leaderboards and multiplayer games

If you played games such as Battlefield, then you might have got it by now that these technologies have existed since long. However, these servers, DBs, and their respective software were proprietary. Technologies such as Rethink have opened that up for startups. Hence, if you are an indie game developer with some seed funding in your hands, you may conceptualize making those MMORPGS now. Rethink is here to support you. CMUNE and Nodecraft have already employed Rethink to power their multiplayer games.

Critical for IOT

If you are planning for an IOT startup such as Ca7ch, you better consider RethinkDB without fail. In an IOT architecture, every peripheral device is connected to the server with the help of an app.

Internet of Things
Internet of Things

In order to maintain frequent communication with apps that stream live media, it is essential to have something for pushing data to the app every moment. It is already happening and makes Rethink solidify its base for future. RethinkDB does that by pushing JSON into the app every moment.

Apps for real-time marketplaces

Apps meant for share markets and trading thrive on real-time data. If you are also planning to launch your own app or website connected to this, you may need RethinkDB here. Frequent changes in data and real-time display of the same will be effortless with RethinkDB.

Real-time Online learning


This is a potential space where Rethinkdb is shining. An e-learning company called Platzi is already using Rethinkdb. Tutors and students can interact upon a pre-defined display area shared between both the ends.

Real-time Analytics

Real-time analytics is in demand in many industries such as geology and seismology, may benefit a lot from RethinkDB. One can also draw predictive analysis in real-time with Rethink, making it a favorable tech for the financial sector too. There is a lot of scope for that.

RethinkDB has a simple backend which is easy to comprehend. It also features a real-time analytics graph displaying the live performance of the server.

Also, unlike Firebase, Rethink is not a service. Firebase and other technologies such as PubNub, are sync technologies that come as SaaS. Rethink on the other hand can also be deployed on your own hardware. Being open source, you can have a lot of control as well that you won’t have with a cloud platform otherwise. Still, if you want to deploy Rethink on the cloud you can do that as well. You can select your IaaS and PaaS configuration and deploy Rethink on AWS.

I think now you have enough reasons to contemplate over RethinkDB and plug it into your startup idea. I will write about in my next post.

Arup Dey

I am passionate about Games, Content Marketing, NLE apps, and Videos. In my free time, I Read, Eat, and Code. I see life around me as interconnected subsets of small events. Helps me learn a lot! - OpenXcell