Build a realtime liveblog with RethinkDB and PubNub

RethinkDB provides a persistence layer for realtime web applications, but the rest of the stack is up to you. A number of different frameworks and services are available to help you convey individual realtime updates to your application’s frontend.

In this blog post, I’ll demonstrate to use RethinkDB with PubNub, a service that provides hosting for realtime message streams. You can build realtime web application with PubNub and RethinkDB, taking advantage of PubNub’s cloud infrastructure to simplify development and scalability. To demonstrate how you can use PubNub with RethinkDB changefeeds, I’ll show you how to build a simple liveblog application.

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Use RethinkDB with LoopBack and Meteor

Now that RethinkDB is ready for adoption in a production environments, a growing number of developers are working to integrate it with their favorite backend frameworks. We’ve seen several particularly promising integrations emerge over the past few weeks.


Meteor developer Slava Kim published a video on YouTube that demonstrates his proof-of-concept bridge between Meteor and RethinkDB. Meteor is a full-stack JavaScript framework for realtime application development. One of Meteor’s key features is that it gives developers uniform methods for querying data on both the client and server.

Slava’s Meteor integration includes a client-side cache that users can access with conventional ReQL queries–derived from RethinkDB contributor Michel Tu’s ReQLite project. You can see a sample application built with Slava’s bridge on GitHub. The Meteor integration is still at an early stage of development, but it’s off to a very promising start.


StrongLoop published a blog post that describes how to use RethinkDB with LoopBack, their popular Node.js backend framework. LoopBack makes it easy to build an API backend without implementing the endpoints by hand. It automatically transforms simple data model definitions into a restful API with standard CRUD operations.

In the blog post, StrongLoop shows how users can quickly build an API backend with LoopBack and RethinkDB. The post also demonstrates how to use RethinkDB changefeeds to add realtime capabilities to a LoopBack application. The demonstration in the blog post uses developer Dmitry Gorbunov’s RethinkDB connector for LoopBack.

Install RethinkDB and try out the new Meteor and LoopBack integrations today.

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Drive iOS push notifications with RethinkDB changefeeds

Push notifications provide a useful bridge between web applications and mobile clients, enabling a more seamless user experience across screens. RethinkDB changefeeds make it easy for developers to add push notification support to existing applications–using an event-driven approach that doesn’t require the developer to add much additional plumbing.

In this blog post, I’ll demonstrate how to wire up RethinkDB changefeeds to iOS push notifications, conveying realtime updates to iPhone users. For my demo, I built a simple location checkin app that takes advantage of GPS on the user’s mobile device and RethinkDB’s geospatial indexing on the backend. When a user checks in, the backend sends a push notification to every user whose last checkin was made within 100 miles of the new checkin. A map view in the app displays pins, marking all the nearby checkins.

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RethinkDB 2.0: production ready

We’re proud to announce that after five years of development, RethinkDB is ready for production. Download RethinkDB 2.0 (Yojimbo) now!

We designed RethinkDB from the ground up to make building and scaling realtime apps dramatically easier. The cumulative development effort behind the project includes more than 2,000 improvements, implemented across 16 major releases. Our GitHub repository has nearly 30,000 commits, spanning the lifetime of the project.

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RethinkDB 2.0 drivers: native support for Tornado and EventMachine

Asynchronous web frameworks like Tornado and EventMachine simplify realtime application development in Python and Ruby. They support an event-driven programming model that fits the realtime web, making it easy to use WebSocket connections without blocking. You can plug in RethinkDB changefeeds—which allow you to subscribe to changes on database queries—to extend that event-driven model to your persistence layer, offering a full backend stack for pushing live updates to your frontend.

The upcoming RethinkDB 2.0 release introduces support for using Tornado and EventMachine to perform asynchronous queries in the Python and Ruby client drivers. When we announced the availability of the RethinkDB 2.0 release candidate last week, the updated client drivers weren’t quite ready yet. Today, we’re issuing fresh RethinkDB 2.0 RC client drivers that fully incorporate the new functionality (download them here).

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