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Orchestrate launches Chameleon-like database service at developers

Shape-shifting query engine makes for useful rapid prototyping service

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Some of the bright minds behind Riak database company Basho have conjured up a cloud service that gives developers an elegant way to query a single datastore in lots of different ways.

The Orchestrate.io service launched on Tuesday and gives developers access to a cloud-based data repository that stores JSON objects that can be queried through a variety of database lenses, such as: a standard key-value repository, text search, a graph store, time-ordered events, and – soon, we're told – a geo-spatial API as well.

Some example applications that could be built with the service include a social network, where a users profile data and relationships are stored within a single JSON object. This is then queried by a single Orchestrate API, the company says.

The whole service is designed for developers that don't want to manage multiple databases and database add-ons. Therefore, it's likely to be of little interest to enterprises beyond as a rapid prototyping tool for putting together skeleton app mock-ups, but it may hold more sway with developers of consumer apps.

That said, the company seems cognizant of this and prices the service by MegaOp's, where one MegaOp is a million API operations a month. Orchestrate.io is free for up to one MegaOp per month, then the paid version kicks in for $39 per month for up to ten, and scales from there.

Some of the services it competes with will either be single database-as-a-service solutions such as CouchDB, or Amazon's own hulking suite of database apps.

Behind the scenes, Orchestrate runs on top of HBase with Elastic Search and "a simple graph library," explains Orchestrate chief and former Basho chief operating officer Antony Falco.

These systems are themselves hosted on multiple availability zones within Amazon Web Services's large US-EAST-1 data center, he said, though stressed that the company plans to expand to a European data center soon either via AWS or IBM SoftLayer. Customer data is replicated three times across these zones, he said. ®

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