Well, after all that talk about Mumps as an Internet-scale hierarchical, schemaless database, we decided to do something about it:

We are pleased and excited to announce M/DB, our new API-compatible alternative to Amazon's SimpleDB. M/DB makes use of the inherent natural hierarchical, schemaless characteristics of the Mumps database to deliver an identical experience to SimpleDB.

Actually M/DB's use of Mumps has allowed it to pull off two tricks that differentiate it from SimpleDB:

- SimpleDB limits you to just 1k per attribute which many people find to be just too limiting. M/DB increases that to 32k (and I think that, too, can be increased).

- SimpleDB treats everything as text, so if you need to hold integer or real values and make comparative queries on them, you have to do extremely tedious tricks such as packing them out with leading zeros. M/DB's underlying Mumps engine, of course, applies its dynamic data-typing, so numbers behave properly as numbers without needing any
packing whatsoever.

The initial beta release of M/DB is in the form of a VMWare Virtual Appliance, so it can be used as a standalone "black-box" database, accessed via its REST APIs. The Virtual Appliance has been built using GT.M and our latest version of the MGWSI gateway which provides direct HTTP access to the GT.M engine via Apache.

If anyone is interested in building their own M/DB system on top of an existing GT.M or Cache platform, get in touch. Yes, you saw that correctly: M/DB will also run on top of Cache.

We believe that M/DB heralds a new role for the Mumps database technology in the Internet-scale database world, particularly for cloud service providers who want to produce an alternative or back-up to SimpleDB.

For more information about M/DB, visit our web site at http://www.mgateway.com

By the way, we're looking for others to consider adding value-added services to M/DB through simple, abstracted REST APIs. Backup and other such administrative tasks is one area that comes to mind. Get in touch if you have any thoughts and ideas.