Video: Slava Akhmechet presents new RethinkDB features coming in 2016

At a recent meetup in San Francisco, our CEO Slava Akhmechet introduced some of the new features coming in 2016. His presentation included an early look at Horizon, an upcoming framework that extends RethinkDB to the browser and makes it possible for developers to build realtime web applications without writing backend code. You can watch a complete video recording of the talk, embedded below:

Slava began his presentation with an overview of major new features and capabilities that the RethinkDB team released in 2015. The noteworthy highlights included the production-ready 2.0 release, high-availability clustering on top of the Raft consensus protocol, and support for asynchronous queries in the Ruby and Python client drivers.

He also discussed how RethinkDB’s growing focus on realtime updates is attracting new users and shaping the evolution of the database. Starting at 10:24, he shared the rationale behind Horizon (sometimes called by its previous codename, Fusion) and described how it will improve realtime application development for RethinkDB users:

[Horizon] is a layer on top of RethinkDB that will give people a complete backend where they can build their apps. The server exposes a WebSocket protocol that browsers can connect to directly. You can just build your frontend using the [Horizon] API and you don’t have to worry about doing any of the backend stuff.

Starting at 16:00, you can watch the live-coding segment of Slava’s talk, in which he provides a hands-on look at the Horizon framework. During the demo, he uses the JavaScript console in Chrome to connect to a Horizon server and perform queries. He also used two browser windows side-by-side to show how an individual client can subscribe to receive live updates from the server.

At 23:53, Slava discussed the scope of the Horizon project and some of the advanced features that it will eventually offer out of the box:

Part of the idea behind [Horizon] is that it will include all kinds of basic services that you will need as a web developer–like sessions, persistence, geolocation stuff, authentication, security, all these things. As you start building your app you can get up to speed very quickly. As things get more progressively complicated, there’s an upgrade path.

Finally, starting at 24:30, Slava discussed how developers will deploy their Horizon applications. Users can choose to self-host, but RethinkDB will also offer a Horizon Cloud service for managed deployments in the user’s own cloud infrastructure:

Because everything is open source, you can just deploy it yourself. But if you are actually doing this at scale, doing this deployment is kind of a pain because there are a lot of challenges. The idea behind [Horizon Cloud] is that its a cloud service that will let people get their app online and scale it up or down–and everything will be managed.

The whole video of Slava’s presentation is approximately 25 minutes. Be sure to subscribe to the RethinkDB YouTube Channel if you’d like to keep up with the latest videos of talks from our meetups.