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MongoDB, the company behind the popular NoSQL database, today announced the general availability of a new service that keeps data synchronized between devices, users, and the backend in real time.

Realm Sync, which was available in beta before today, is the result of an acquisition dating back to 2019, when MongoDB snapped up San Francisco-based Realm in a $39 million deal. Realm is an open source database and synchronization platform used by mobile developers to ensure data is always synced between devices and the cloud, particularly where offline functionality is required. Realm Sync is an out-of-the-box solution that resolves potential data conflicts automatically, saving companies from developing their own data sync functionality from scratch.

After acquiring the startup nearly two years ago, MongoDB merged its serverless Stitch platform with Realm, but as of now all of Realm’s application development services, its mobile database, and its synchronization services are fully integrated with MongoDB Atlas, which is MongoDB’s database-as-a-service product available on public cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.

Offline-first

While most mobile apps require an internet connection at least some of the time, apps designed as “offline-first” enable some of the content to be shifted from a remote server to the user’s device. This means a faster experience, as the app doesn’t have to constantly retrieve data from the cloud, and is particularly important when the user’s network connection is slow.

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This is where Realm Sync shines, as the mobile database enables the end user to read and write data to their devices, reducing latency and enabling offline functionality. With bidirectional data sync, data that is captured on the device is automatically sent to MongoDB Atlas when there is a connection to be processed and analyzed.

In the real world, this means consumer companies such as Netflix can offer a consistent view of each user’s data across all their devices. In enterprise scenarios where multiple users and devices may need to sync data to the cloud, Realm Sync ensures it happens automatically and consistently. Realm is used by companies from across the industrial spectrum, including Netflix, Google, Amazon, Intel, Walmart, Starbucks, Cisco, the BBC, and many others.

According to a MongoDB spokesperson, a lot of the early use cases during the beta phase have been among B2B organizations. This includes shipping and logistics company Pitney Bowes, which is currently evaluating Realm Sync as a tool to automatically synchronize data that is scanned from packages in its operation hubs back to MongoDB Atlas in the cloud.

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