​Apple acquires NoSQL database maker FoundationDB

Apple has snapped up a small database company that specialises in high-availability distributed environments.

Apple has acquired NoSQL database startup FoundationDB in what's thought to be a move to bolster the company's own cloud-based services.

The 40-plus person company was founded in 2009 to develop database technology combining NoSQL databases with ACID transactions to address an apparent lack of transactional NoSQL database systems.

The technology consists of a key-value store built for distributed hardware and an SQL layer that acts as a single SQL database for applications running on it.

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The acquisition was first reported by TechCrunch, which says the startup has raised about $22m from investors including CrunchFund, SV Angel, and Sutter Hill.

The company released a commercial version of its database tech in 2013 alongside a community version. To the dismay of some customers, it has suspended downloads of both versions.

"We have made the decision to evolve our company mission and, as of today, we will no longer offer downloads," the company said in a brief note. It's also pulled down its repositories from GitHub.

As some have noted on Hacker News, the move is likely to cause headaches for developers that use the database.

Apple gave its boilerplate response to reports of it acquiring smaller companies, neither confirming nor denying the purchase.

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose of plans," it said in a statement to ZDNet.

The database technology could find a place supporting any number of Apple's different businesses, with the technology used to support online dating, gaming, analytics, and online marketplaces.

Given Apple's recent push to boost adoption of iCloud services via iPhones, iPads, and Macs, Apple could put the database technology to use supporting iTunes, the App Store, or perhaps even the rumoured Apple TV online streaming service.

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