CloudMine: Replacing Devs or Making Them More Efficient?

Tim Lytle
Nov. 01 2011, 12:00AM EDT

At first glance you may think CloudMine is trying to put me out of buisness. As a contract developer, I find myself frequently working with APIs, and occasionally building them. The APIs I’ve built don’t make their way into ProgrammableWeb’s directory, for the most part they’re private APIs used by mobile devices to store user data and access dynamic content. Now the CloudMine API wants to provide that as a service for any mobile application.

CloudMine pivoted from its original service concept - a mobile data backup platform - when it saw increasing developer interest in using its service as the primary storage for mobile applications.

Formed at the first Philadelphia Startup Weekend, CloudMine recently launched publicly at the latest Startup Weekend in Philly.

The CloudMine API provides two levels of storage: application level, which is accessible using only your application’s credentials, and user level, which requires passing the user’s credentials, as well.

Application level storage can be used to store public data: daily messages, product reviews, or whatever content the mobile application provides - even public user profiles. User level storage is used for data only a single user should access, things like preferences and personal information.

Don’t miss the simplicity here: by simply passing the username and password to CloudMine the mobile application can access all the user’s data, regardless of the actual device. Users may replace phones, or routinely use more than one device, and their data will stay synced across them all.

CloudMine stores two types of data, binary data, along with an optional content-type which is used when retrieving the data, and JSON documents. Both data types are stored and retrieved with a unique key; however, JSON can also be queried.

The company's focus is on mobile developers, but the CloudMine API can also be appealing to web developers. From simply offloading user accounts and authentication, to providing simple storage with zero setup, I’m confident web developers will use CloudMine, as well.

Has CloudMine made me obsolete? Not really - they’ve just made me more efficient. Now I’ll just be writing a thin layer that validates incoming data, making sure that different mobile platforms use the same keys and data structure, as well as providing simple endpoints for routinely accessed data. Then I’ll pass the data or queries onto CloudMine.

My job is safe - until CloudMine decides to add more features to its service. It recently added the ability to run server-side javascript against the data, so it is already providing a way to create simple endpoints for queries.

I guess I should be worried.

Tim Lytle

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