LinkedIn claims Rocket Data beats Apple's iOS caching

The framework is an alternative to Apple's Core Data, which was inadequate for the company's mobile dev needs

To provide iOS app builders an alternative caching solution to Apple's Core Data framework, LinkedIn is offering its Rocket Data caching library via open source.

Available under an Apache license, Rocket Data is based on a nonblocking immutable model management system with a persistent synchronization layer. LinkedIn developed Rocket Data while rewriting its mobile app, when it wanted a caching system that would present content to users while still loading data from the network. The company wasn't satisfied with Core Data as a solution, believing it lacked scalability and had several other issues.

Rocket Data, the company said, scales with a large number of model types and schema changes; allows developers to work with any value system, including NoSQL or a simple key-value store; and is secure. "Immutable models have recently gained a lot of traction in the iOS community," because of Apple's Swift language and a push for immutability, LinkedIn staff engineer Peter Livesey said. Immutable models have been used in functional programming languages, and Swift adopts functional paradigms, he said.

Version 2 of Rocket Data adds improvements like an ability to handle data collections across multiple screens and a capability for screens to pause data updates. In offering Rocket Data via open source, LinkedIn hopes to entice developers to enhance it and wants to see how it is used by other parties, Livesey said. They also get a potential replacement for Core Data. "In general, it seems a lot of developers are still using Core Data because they feel like they don't really have too many other options," said Livesey.

Though LinkedIn used Core Data in a few applications, the company found it inadequate for its mobile application, citing complexity, a lack of thread-safety models, dropping of frames, and having to migrate the database whenever a schema changes. "Using [Rocket Data], we've been able to easily add caching to all features with very little additional work from developers," Livesey said. "The cache and data providers are automatically kept consistent across screens. Despite updating the schemas of multiple models every week, we have never needed to add code for any migrations. And best of all, our application has never crashed due to a Core Data exception."

Documentation for Rocket Data is available on GitHub.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?