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September 10, 2012 kevin nickels

FatFractal Emerges from Stealth Mode

Big day for the FatFractal team: public announcement and some great press (read the press release below or click here).

Yes, customer happiness and successful deployments are the most important thing. But it doesn’t hurt to be talked about by knowledgeable press, especially when the talk is good. Thanks to all our supporters out there and we look forward to working with you in a more….public….way.

If you’re at TechCrunch this week in San Francisco, stop by and see us. We’ll be in Startup Alley on Tuesday.

[BTW a few of you mentioned you had trouble registering this morning: minor bug in last night's registration journey push has been fixed. To the twenty of you that had problems, our apologies.]


FatFractal Emerges from Stealth Mode with End-to-End Platform for Developing Applications with Cloud Backends on Mobile Phones, Browsers or Any Connected Device

Engine-Based Platform Combines the Power of an Engine-based PaaS with Easy-to-Use and Cost Effective BaaS Services

September 10, 2012 — FatFractal, an end-to-end solution for developing applications with a cloud backend on any connected device, announced today the launch of the company and platform. The company’s mission is to significantly reduce the time and cost to create web and device-based apps with cloud backends. FatFractal makes it easy to create and deploy a backend, offering never-before-seen, patent-pending features.

As developers themselves, the founders of the company recognized that creating applications with a cloud backend was far too hard. Since the founders couldn’t find a solution for creating apps with the optimal application architecture for the cloud, they built one (FatFractal Platform Architecture). Before, developers could spend half their effort on busy-work, configuring an infrastructure, setting up a software stack, managing scalability and optimizing performance and security. FatFractal eliminates all that busy work as well as the need to write boilerplate code. With FatFractal, developers can focus on creating engaging and dynamic apps.

“The Platform as a Service (PaaS) players like Google and Microsoft offer middleware services that tie developers to their infrastructures. Our engine-based PaaS is highly scalable, lightweight and not locked in to any infrastructure,” said Kevin Nickels, President of FatFractal. “The Backend as a Service (BaaS) companies provide an instant datastore but the backends they provide are mostly black boxes to application developers. FatFractal gives developers easy access and control over their backends offering productivity improvements of up to 70 percent for applications with complex backend requirements, significantly improving time to market and lowering the cost of development.”

To build an application for mobile, the web or any connected device, a developer codes up the client application and starts persisting data: the backend learns the object model dynamically and it all just works. Developers also have the option of creating schemas to validate their objects using a simple description language called FatFractal Definition Language (FFDL, “fiddle”). In addition to an “instant backend,” the FatFractal platform offers many BaaS features “out of the box,” including the following:

  • Every app gets an instant, customizable REST API
  • The FatFractal serializer/deserializer sends object information over the wire as JSON/HTTP
  • User and Group objects are provided with inherent authentication and methods to login and logout
  • FatFractal provides lightweight services such as geolocation, push, email, payment, social integration using OAuth 2.0
  • A console and data browser for quickly viewing, administrating and managing applications, domains and data

“From a programmer’s point of view, my platform should work for me, not force me to work for it,” stated Gary Casey, founder and software engineer at FatFractal. “We built FatFractal so that developers will constantly be delighted: they will find themselves creating efficient, elegant apps with 50 percent fewer lines of code, certainly no boilerplate code. Our SDKs are designed to fit in with native programming environments whether the coder is using Objective-C, Java or HTML5/JS or even serversside JavaScript— you can always use native objects, classes, methods and tools exactly as you are used to doing.”

Unlike any other application development platform on the market, FatFractal provides features that developers crave to create applications with cloud backends easily, efficiently and cost-effectively:

  • Enterprise-grade Security: From authentication to sandboxing to encryption at rest, every part of the platform is built to ensure security for both the application and users’ data. FatFractal provides declarative security so developers can set default permissions on collections for specified users and groups, as well as dynamic: at run-time, programmers can change permissions at the collection- and even the object-level.
  • Datagraph: FatFractal has solved a vexing problem for NoSQL datastores involving large numbers of many-to-many relationships by introducing Grab Bags and Back References. Using SQL databases to manage lots of relationships across lots of objects can result in insurmountable complexity as more and more join tables get created. RDBMS’s scale poorly in a cloud context. FatFractal solves that problem for developers for the first time. (Many-to-Many Relationships & NoSQL? Problem solved.) Developers can now model intricate social-networks and complex datagraphs without giving up performance or scalability.
  • Events: Each CRUD action generates an event which can be trapped and sent to any handler code. This unique feature gives developers flexibility and control. Events can happen before a CRUD action (PRE event), after a CRUD action (POST event, sync), asynchronously (ASYNC) or scheduled (CRON). Event handlers can be cascaded as well, allowing the app’s backend to execute any number of handlers on a CRUD action—it’s easy to set up and extremely powerful. Handlers can be written in any language supported by FatFractal, for example serverside JavaScript.
  • Custom Code: Developers can extend their application’s API with custom code. These server extensions are attached to URIs, allowing developers to take advantage of their apps’ backends to run business logic. As with event handlers, custom code can be written in serverside JavaScript.
  • Complex Queries: Developers can create complex, nested queries without creating special query objects or methods. Object permissions are always respected and because of our unique datagraph, including grab bags and back references, developers can traverse their object models forwards and backwards simply by using queries and without writing any of their own code for that purpose.
  • Language Modules: Given FatFractal is a fully-formed PaaS, language modules such as Ruby are provided for developers and the open module standard means third parties can create any language modules they might wish as well.
  • Local Development: The FatFractal engine can run on any infrastructure and any operating system; in fact, the engine can run on anything that supports the JVM. Developers create their apps on a local FatFractal Engine, using all the tools, methods and testing techniques they already know. Since the Engine is exactly the same locally as in the cloud, developers can deploy to the cloud with a single command and be confident that their app will work exactly the same.

About FatFractal

FatFractal offers an applications development platform that combines the power of an engine-based PaaS with the elegance and simplicity of a BaaS, so developers can quickly go from code to cloud. Developers build native apps for mobile, web and any connected device the way they should be built: quickly and efficiently, leveraging native code on the clientside and harnessing the power of the backend.  Creating engaging apps with a cloud backend takes less time, results in elegant code and developers can deploy them, scale them and manage them at a far lower cost than ever before. For more information, see http://www.fatfractal.com.

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