Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Appcelerator Acquires Nodeable, Boosts Mobile Big Data

Appcelerator, a mobile applications development outfit, said today that it had acquired Nodeable, a small start-up focusing on using Hadoop for real-time big-data work.

The combination, Appcelerator says, will boost its ability to help users build custom mobile applications for the enterprise. As big companies wrap their heads around how to deal with all the mobile devices that are showing up at the office — thanks to the BYOD (bring your own device) trend that IT people can’t seem to stop talking about — they’re developing their own custom applications to put those devices to productive use.

The deal also appears to harness the other big enterprise applications trend of the moment: Big data is the primary path through which so many companies are tackling that, and Hadoop — the open-source technology for making big-data problems, like understanding streams of data generated by customers using mobile devices, manageable — is what they use.

Once people start using their enterprise apps on mobile devices, there’s a huge new flow of data to keep track of, as people check them throughout the day. In the same way that having Facebook on your iPhone makes you want to check it a few times an hour, you might feel the same way about some application you use a lot at work. That means the apps have to be efficient, and to make them efficient, you have to do a lot of data analysis on how people use them.

That’s where Nodeable comes in. It uses a Hadoop-based approach to generate real-time insights about how people use a given application, what parts of it they spend the most time using, and so on. The end result, they say, is the sort of insight that yields better apps.

The deal marks Appcelerator’s fourth acquisition in two years. The other three were Aptana, Particle Code and Cocoafish. The company’s platform has been used to build 50,000 applications that are deployed on 90 million iOS and Android devices. It’s backed by investments from the Mayfield Fund, Relay Ventures, TransLink Capital, Sierra Ventures, Storm Ventures, Presidio Ventures and strategic investments from RedHat and eBay.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus