Putting REST to rest: challenging the status quo for better mobile, IOT, and connected apps and services

Date and time: 
Thursday, November 1, 2018 - 15:30
220 Deschutes
David Ratner
  • Jun Li

Ever since the beginning of mobile data in the early days of 2G and 2.5G networks, we've fundamentally built mobile and even IoT applications the same way – fetching data from the Cloud or other central source via a REST-like protocol.  With each new generation of mobile networks, we argued that the network is getting faster, the bandwidth is increasing, and therefore network updates will address any and all user experience issues.  However, mobile devices and IoT devices that change position in space fundamentally experience regular and often rapid changes in bandwidth, connectivity, and latency, even due to only small geographic shifts.  Even worse, the network characteristics at a single given position can change based on time-of-day, device population at that location, and other characteristics.  As we shift from being a mobile-first society to a mobile-all-the-time society, and we rely on applications on all kinds of edge devices for critical business, social, and personal activities, we need a different mechanism for managing and transporting data across the chasm between the Cloud and the edge devices that access, use, and update this data.  Realm is one such next-generation solution, and arguably the leading one championing this shift in how we manage the fabric of edge communication.  Realm accomplishes this with an on-device, built-for-mobile ACID compliant database which is embedded by the developer into any application, and an accompanying Cloud server that communicates with the database on the device over a bi-directional websocket connection.  Having the data stored locally on the device ensures that it is always accessible with zero latency.  Change histories are tracked and exchanged, and the system operates an operational transform (OT) algorithm to merge changes, resolve conflicts, and ensure consistency, even in light of disconnects or network issues.  Realm is operational today -- the on-device database is open-source, used as a non-synchronized data-storage solution by 65% of the Fortune 1000; the Realm Server is live in both Public and Private Clouds, and has over 200 customers synchronizing data with it today for productivity, operational, improved user experience, and other use cases for enterprises and their applications across a number of market verticals.


After obtaining his Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCLA, David Ratner has spent his career in various areas of mobility and communication, including achievements such as developing and deploying the world's first mobile photo-messaging system and video-voicemail solution.  He then went on to grow and scale multiple companies in the mobile sector, through executive-level positions in Venture Capital backed, Private Equity backed, and Public companies.  Over his career he consistently grew revenue and scaled the business by addressing product, people, strategy, GTM, partners, organizational design, and process-related aspects.  He currently serves as CEO of Realm, a Venture-backed startup in the mobile and IOT space; prior to that he served as President of the Enterprise Division and Chief Product Officer for Syniverse Technologies, CEO of Openwave Messaging, and COO of SEVEN, among other roles.  Dr. Ratner has international B2B experience in all geographies across various verticals including financial services, OTT and other large technology players, mobile and landline service providers, handset vendors and other constituents.  He currently resides in Silicon Valley.