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MariaDB buys geospatial specialist CubeWerx

Long list of open standards contributions part of journey to REST-based GIS stack, companies say

Database vendor MariaDB has forked out an undisclosed sum for CubeWerx, a geospatial data specialist, in the hope of making make these features easier to build into data-hungry applications.

The company behind the MariaDB database hopes to add geospatial capabilities to its fully managed cloud service MariaDB SkySQL in the not-too-distant future.

Glenn Stowe, the MariaDB product manager for geospatial moving from CubeWerx, said developers wanting to use geospatial data in their application had to take a “DIY approach.”

“It is common to integrate with things like PostGIS, so you'd have your database layer and your application server layer and a whole bunch of other things you needed to put together often with a lot of open source tools and a whole stack of things that weren't really built to fit together,” he explained.

“It's very difficult to do things like analytics and security because you have to start to stick layers between the database and the application servers,” he said.

However, he pointed out the CubeWerx platform was built on a REST-and-API approach from the ground up.

"It is a complete platform that takes away all the mystery and complexity of managing geospatial data, which is one of the most difficult types of data to deal with. It sort of smooths away all the wrinkles of that, including the ability to read all these native formats from traditional GIS systems, puts it in a place where all the developers see is a bunch of endpoints that they can immediately start using."

The APIs were based on the standard from the Open Geospatial Consortium which CubeWerx had contributed to over the last 20 years or more.

Its contributions began with the Web Mapping Service (WMS) standard in 1999 and include the “Testbed 17 Data Access and Processing” accepted last year.

The CubeWerx solutions itself is based on MariaDB, he said. "We're a big Linux shop, so MariaDB is just the most modern database that's well integrated with all the distros that we use," Stowe said.

Jags Ramnarayan, veep and general manager for SkySQL at MariaDB Corporation, said the plan was to offer CubeWerx as part of its SkySQL database-as-a-service, although the exact time frame is yet to be decided.

"You know how it goes with product integrations, so there is no specific date, but our initial plan is to offer it as a SkySQL service. And from there we're going to look at other things. For instance, we are exploring data-as-a-service, and other ideas, including analytics," he said.

In February, MariaDB Corporation, announced it intended to become a public company with the help of Angel Pond Holdings Corporation – a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) formed by Shihuang "Simon" Xie, a co-founder of Alibaba Group, and Theodore Wang, a former Goldman Sachs partner.

MariaDB is a fork of MySQL, which was acquired by Sun Microsystems in 2008, which was itself acquired by Oracle in 2010. ®

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