PubNub Unfurls Stream Controller

As a provider of a network of streaming data in the cloud that developers tap into using APIs, PubNub has become widely used to securely share data. This week PubNub gave developers more control over that data with the introduction of Stream Controller, which allows developers to combine up to 20,000 streams into a group that can be managed and controlled centrally.

PubNub CEO Todd Greene says Stream Controller essentially allows developers to use PubNub to create the equivalent of their own “Twitter-like” Feed inside an application. Each group becomes a channel that, along with the state of the channel, can be managed as a single entity. When a new data stream becomes available on the PubNub network, developers can simply add that stream to any given channel they see fit.

Developers can not only control the rate at which data is consumed, they can also determine which class of users or types of devices should consume any particular channel. In addition, PubNub also provides facilities for managing dropped connections that allow applications to catch up on any missed messages.

In order to effectively consume data in real time, Greene contends that a dedicated cloud service for processing that data is required. Otherwise, developers are essentially limited to consuming data in batch mode via APIs that vary widely in terms of complexity and quality.

Greene says that access to real-time data is particularly critical when it comes to Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Most of the providers of the data that IoT developers would like to consume don’t have the resources to build their own cloud services. As such, many of them are turning to PubNub to share those data streams via a consistent set of APIs that PubNub has already created, says Greene.

The implications for having access to real-time data streams via those APIs will be critical to the development of the overall API economy, adds Greene. Most of the next-generation analytics applications that will dynamically adjust business processes require continuous access to streaming data in real time, he notes.

Over time it’s clear that multiple cloud services through which data can be streamed in real time will emerge. But ultimately the way those cloud services will differentiate themselves is not necessarily on the volume of data streaming through those networks, but rather the amount of control over that data they actually provide.

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