Roambi Expands Options for Mobile Data, Analytics with JDBC Connector

Roambi is expanding options for data-driven and analytics mobile apps with its new database connector. Roambi’s ES 4.5 JDBC Connector can retrieve, transform and join data from 12 different JDBC databases, and create compelling data visualizations in real-time for smartphone and tablet users. IDN speaks with Roambi co-founder Quinton Alsbury.

Tags: connector, data visualization, database, driver, JDBC, Hadoop, Hive, IBM, mobile, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, Roambi, smartphone, SQL, expert voice,

Quinton Alsbury


“Roambi is moving beyond BI to give customers data-driven business snapshots using more of their data.”

Roambi is opening up options for data-driven and analytics mobile apps with its new database connector. Roambi’s ES 4.5 JDBC Connector can retrieve, transform and join data from 12 different JDBC databases, and create compelling data visualizations in real-time for smartphone and tablet users

The creation and launch of Roambi’s ES 4.5 JDBC Connector stems from enterprise customers requests to Roambi to help them expand how they can offer mobile users access and insights from IT’s various data sources, Alsbury told IDN. “Roambi has about 400 customers among the Fortune 1000, and they’ve told us they want more data-driven apps for their users beyond business intelligence. So, we’ve seen for ourselves that mobile data needs for customers are really changing. They’re not just BI anymore.” 

As a start-up, Roambi made its reputation as a savvy mobile-ready visualization tool for many leading backend BI vendors. The new JDBC connector opens up options for customers – and the company itself, Alsbury added. 

“With our [JDBC] connector, we’re taking mobile way beyond mobile BI. Roambi is moving from a simple extension cord for BI to something very different – a technology that can support all sorts of special use cases and give customers data-driven business snapshots I more of their data,” with or without a BI backend, he said. This “data snapshot” lets users see how their business is doing in real-time through joins and visualizations, and in turn share that with other users, Alsbury added.

Roambi’s new JDBC connector, which requires little if any coding, also lets IT provide mobile users compelling data apps without the complexity or expense of an intervening BI layer, he added. 

With such easier-to-deploy mobile use cases, Alsbury even expects Roambi’s ES 4.5 JDBC Connector will help Roambi showcase its backend capabilities. “For a long while, we’ve focused on the device-centric side of our technology, now we think we can demonstrate a lot of the powers in Roambi’s excellent backend server and enterprise integration technologies,” he told IDN.

On that note, Roambi ES 4.5 JDBC Connector provides several key benefits to business and IT users. Among them: 

Broad Support for Joins, Visualization Across Multiple Databases. Roambi’s JDBC connector taps into a dozen different data sources, in multiple formats and located either on-premise or in the cloud, he added. Roambi will also perform joins across any combination of this data for these clearer insights. The Roambi ES 4.5 JDBC Connector is licensed to work with most every major databases including Hive/Hadoop 0.9, Oracle 11g, MySQL 5.5, Teradata, Microsoft SQL, IBM Neteeza, IBM DB2, PostgreSQL, SAP Hana, ParAccel and Greenplum. Roambi’s JDBC connector also works with Amazon Redshift, the hosted online database on Amazon Web Services.

roambi_05Data Security and Management. Roambi server management software can see every device that’s connected, and also knows how to make sure the app will communicate and present data visualizations for the special features and/or constraints of that device. Further, the Roambi backend server has app-level security, as well as data security, it integrates with all single-sign-on technologies and provides continuous management. It can also ensure service levels and ready access by protecting users against network variability by bringing data required by the app down to the device.

Flexibility in Data Delivery. IT managers can choose how to deliver data based on their needs and resources, whether with a BI system (for deep analysis) or simply pulling data straight from databases.  This option to work with BI systems or standalone reduces the cost and complexity to visualize data on thousands of mobile devices.

Customer, Analyst Embrace Roambi’s JDBC Connector
Early customer and analyst reports suggest that a direct JDBC connection to data for mobile users that can create visualizations by combining multiple sources could unlock a new mobile data dimension.

Airbnb, one of Roambi’s first customers, wanted a data visualization solution that would connect directly to its Apache Hadoop database. Using Hive queries, Unix scripts, and cron jobs, the company was able to develop a homegrown BI system that is continuously updated with live information.
“We partnered with Roambi to develop . . . an interactive visualization app that people throughout our company can use to engage with our metrics and better understand our business, while the analytics team can maintain full control over the data pipeline to the app," said Riley Newman, head of analytics at Airbnb.
One analyst says Airbnb is just the beginning.

“Making information available, including big data, through mobile technology is essential and our research finds that only eight percent of users have access to all the information they need,” said Mark Smith, CEO & Chief Research Officer, Ventana Research. “By connecting users to big data through the JDBC driver, Roambi is able to help its customers meet a growing demand to increase mobile deployments and improve workforce productivity.”

Roambi CEO and fellow co-founder Santiago Becerra put it this way. “We are committed to providing organizations with the flexibility to choose the data delivery format that suits their individual needs,” he said in a statement.