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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?