Rethink Horizon
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Friday, 27 May 2016

The team behind RethinkDB has released Horizon, an open source backend that you can use to build and scale realtime web apps.


Horizon includes a backend server built with Node.js and RethinkDB that supports data persistence, realtime streams, input validation, user authentication, and permissions. 


The second element is a JavaScript client library that can be used on the front end. It has functions that you can use to store JSON documents in the database, perform queries, and subscribe to live updates. There's also a command-line tool for tasks including starting up a local Horizon development server, and deploying your Horizon application to the cloud.

According to a post about Horizon on the RethinkDB blog:

"the Horizon server is a complete backend that developers can use to power their applications. It’s great for rapid prototyping: simply run the Horizon server from the command-line and develop your frontend user experience with the Horizon client library. Frontend developers can use Horizon to create full applications without writing any backend code."

Horizon’s client library uses a simple WebSocket-based protocol to communicate with the server, but there's also an abstraction layer on top to shield developers from needing to manage persistent connections or from needing to know how WebSockets work. The developers say that the Horizon client library works equally well with React, Angular, Ember, and vanilla JavaScript. You can also use it with popular frontend state managers like Redux.

Alongside the open-source Horizon backend, the developers are also building a cloud management service for deploying, managing, and scaling Horizon applications. Horizon Cloud manages the Horizon backend and the underlying RethinkDB database, scaling them up and down automatically as needed to accommodate demand. The managed service also has support for backup and restore, no-downtime version updates, and monitoring. Horizon Cloud is currently in private beta, but more details (including presumably the pricing model) will be made available 'soon'.


More Information

Horizon Blog

Horizon Release Details

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RethinkDB For Windows

Microsoft Launches Azure App Service

Amazon Web Services Adds API Gateway


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 May 2016 )