The facts are simple: data is growing explosively, i.e. Big Data, Machine-to-Machine and the Internet of Things; it is coming in different sizes and formats, including structured and unstructured; there are a host of tools to deal with various pieces of the puzzle, including SQL and NoSQL; this data deluge needs to be folded, spun and mutilated, i.e. put to use, or put away; and nobody is playing nice together. Enter 28msec, a little start-up that has been quietly developing the cybernetic equivalent of the Rosetta Stone, a fabled universal translator that will bring order from this Tower of Babel, and do so quickly.
Founded in 2008, the privately funded company is officially opening its doors and launching its initial product, 28.io, what it calls the first Information Processing Platform (IPP) [isn’t that what the computer was invented for?] . It says the platform can take and analyze data from any source, and then deliver the results in real time.
The company was formed on a vision that the world would change, that the amount and sources of data would explode and wouldn’t it be nice to be able to handle all that data, said CEO Eric Kish. “Surprise, surprise, it’s 2013 and we have this explosion.”
So the company set out to develop a platform to extract any data from any source, said Kish, who joined 28msec last September. “This is real hardcore technology.”
Based on JSONiq, a query and processing language designed for the JSON data model, and Zorba XQuery technology, it can reduce the time taken to develop and run queries on SQL and NoSQL databases by an order of magnitude over existing solutions, reducing development time from hours to minutes, said the company. Users can quickly retrieve and process data from any format (XML, HTML, relational data, CSV, text, etc.), located in any data store, including both SQL and NoSQL sources, using one language and platform. The platform is being offered in three versions: a freemium platform-as-a-service with a free version for prototyping and small projects (up to 20 thousand queries per month and 256mb of data); a paid service; and an on-premise edition.
Kish said they started showing the finished product to a select group in February. The initial response to 28msec’s goal was “it was impossible”. Once they got past that barrier, the next response was “show me how it works”. “Now I’m getting at least three calls a day from VCs (venture capitalists) or enterprises; and we haven’t even launched yet.”
There is a real need for technology solutions that enable businesses to quickly and easily bring data from any store or format, together in real-time and turn it into high-value information business stake holders can utilize, said John Myers, Senior Analyst for Business Intelligence at Enterprise Management Associates, in a prepared statement. “The 28.io platform represents a technology designed specifically to address some of today’s most significant data integration and management challenges.”
One early user, Brean Law, was able to take 100 GB of XML data and quickly normalize it, generate phonetic strings, and create millions of HTML pages for the public-facing website, all indexed and searchable in MongoDB with a minimal amount of developer time. “Within a few weeks, the 28.io platform allowed us to go from a specification document to a fully functioning search engine encompassing nearly every trademark registered at the U.S Patent and Trademark Office since 1845,” said Luke Brean Esq. Trademark Attorney at Brean.
Creating the platform may have been the easy part, said Kish. Now comes the heavy lifting, spending the next six months telling anybody and everybody about it. “We booked practically every tradeshow that is relevant.” In addition to living out of a suitcase, 28msec will also be focusing on a handful of verticals like financial, healthcare and publishing.
As for the origins of the company name, it now seems somewhat outdated, but 8-10 years ago 28 milliseconds (28msec) was the amount of time it took for a database to access stored on a hard disk, said Kish.