When Continuuity launched late last year I was pretty skeptical given the buzzword heavy press release, light on any real specifics. After spending some time talking with the founders however I was more positive, and not only because of the princely $10M funding round the company had just raised. As I said at the time:

…by providing an SDK and a set of high-level APIs that sits on top of a fabric layer that connects all the different big data components in an optimal way – they’re delivering on the promise of making big data accessible to all.

Just as a reminder, Continuuity delivers a so-called “Big Data application fabric”, that aims to make it fast and easy for any developer to build, deploy, scale and manage Big Data apps. The platform offers a unified experience across the entire application lifecycle from development to DevOps. Continuuity provides pre-packaged building blocks with higher level APIs, Datasets, tooling and documentation that speed the big data application development process. The founders see four specific use cases for the Continuuity platform:

  • Getting data in – event ingestion, data queuing and a core transaction engine
  • A more traditional PaaS view of application containers- developers write code, package it up and deploy
  • Ready established datasets – collections of data, stored down in the infrastructure with a higher level API. Continuuity provides some data aligned with common patterns in apps – time series, counters etc
  • Data out- queries, via RESTful APIs and utilizing both preconfigured and self-built user stored procedures

Well after a few months in private beta, Continuuity is rolling out a public beta of both the developer suite and the developer sandbox. Specific parts of the news today are:

  • Moving out of Private Beta to Public Beta of Developer Suite
    • Single node version of the Continuuity AppFabric
    • SDK
    • IDE plugins
    • Dataset Patterns to make data modeling and manipulation easy
    • Test harness
  • Introducing the Public Beta of the Developer Sandbox
    • Free access to a self-service, cloud based, single tenant, single node version of the Continuuity AppFabric
    • Trial period of 90 days
    • 8 cores, 8GB of memory and 240GB of storage
  • Combination of releasing these both to public beta together allows developers to have the full end-to-end Continuuity experience
  • VPC and On-Prem are in Private Beta

To really get an idea of the sort of outcomes that Continuuity is delivering customers, I quizzed CEO Todd Papaioannou about an interesting case study from one of the private beta testers. The customer, which runs a social commerce platform, wanted to deliver targeted recommendations and personalization for users visiting their Web properties. They wanted to process events in real time from a variety of different data sources including all activity on their site (user clickstream, seller actions) as well as additional information about their users pulled from the Facebook API. These events, combined with their proprietary customer segmentation algorithms, allowed them to generate personalized per-user product recommendations and then use them at serving time by making queries directly into the Continuuity AppFabric.

Continuuity screenshot_26Feb13

Continuuity is providing a very interesting platform, and one which the current preoccupation with big data from all vendors will get a fair amount of attention – I’m looking forward to seeing some case studies from the public beta.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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