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  •  •  6 min read

    Ably Realtime Retrospective 2019

    Ably Realtime Retrospective 2019

    News highlights 2018 - 2019, from the world's fastest data stream network...

    Table of contents

    1. Realtime on the Up
    2. Ably Network News
    3. Ably Community - Business
    4. Ably Community - Developers
    5. Ably Research
    6. Ably Team
    7. Grow with us

    Realtime on the Up

    In line with the realtime data adoption curve, the past 18 months have been good for Ably and for users of our network...

    See the yellow line above: By 2023 the amount of data being consumed in real time will be the same as the entire amount of data consumed today (Source The IDC)

    Over the last year, substantial additions to Ably’s products, team, and community changed our core description from ‘simply better realtime’ to ‘serious realtime infrastructure’, serving the emerging realtime economy. Use of Ably’s data stream network is up almost 200%. Each day 2bn+ messages are sent to more than 30m globally-distributed end-users, sub 250ms.

    2018 - 2019 saw Ably’s commercial and engineering teams expand significantly. We have also enjoyed growing private and public endorsement, including an Innovate UK grant to support further maturation of our tech. A culmination of this has been the launch of the Ably API Streamer, the internet’s first realtime-native API management tool - more on this next month!!

    As we prepare for new phases of growth, we want to thank everyone who is part of our realtime network; customers, engineers, investors, dev community and all those interested in live online experiences.

    The text below shares some highlights from within our team, tech and community, as featured elsewhere on our blog. We look forward to sharing new developments with you over the next 12 months!

    Ably Network News

    1) Data Stream Network

    Detailed below, the most notable optimizations to our platform include:

    Enhanced interoperability

    MQTT protocol and Server-Sent Events (SSE) were added to the Ably Adapter, which now supports five open Pull Subscription Protocols as well as multiple proprietary protocols.

    Next-gen APIs

    JWT Auth/JSON Web Tokens introduced to ensure trust between data producers and consumers. Channel Metadata API added to update users on changes in channel metadata or request information as required.

    Improved enterprise packages

    Business packages added to help companies scale, in addition to improved account management tools.

    Enhanced performance

    • Backwards-compatible release Ably 1.1 Client Library SDKs brought improvements such as batch processing; clients only receive the messages they want on a given channel.
    • Native Push Notifications graduated from beta so you can deliver native push notifications to iOS and Android devices from within the Ably Network with a simple, unified API.
    • Idempotent Publishing introduced across all Ably client library SDKs, eliminating the possibility of unintentional message duplication.

    Coming soon...

    Data Deltas

    Ably now generates binary data deltas, helping to optimize bandwidth requirements and performance for stream subscribers by sending changes instead of the entire payload for each message.

    Realtime API Management

    There’s a reason ‘realtime’ is largely absent from API Management conversations. The internet’s first realtime-native API Management tool - the Ably API Streamer - changes this. Keep an ear to the ground ready for the big launch or get in touch to join early adopters.

    Stay up to date with all new features, SDK releases, and bug fixes with our changelog.

    Ably Community - Business

    As realtime consumer expectations reshape retail, SaaS, sports data, mobility and other industries, the Ably platform has welcomed aboard a number of new enterprise users from across sectors. The Ably network now powers realtime data distribution in 73 countries.

    A few highlights from recent Ably/client collaborations include:

    Find out more about these and similar collaborations in Ably’s case study section.

    Ably Community - Developers

    This year saw Ably launching its Open Data Streaming Program, removing barriers to open data being widely distributed and consumed in realtime.

    TfL’s decision to open access to realtime data streams famously attracted 13,000 developers, gave rise to 650 new apps, resulting in economic benefits worth £130m. We want to see the ‘TfL effect’ elsewhere… A growing number of data producers are publishing and distributing open realtime data - for free - on the Ably API Streamer. New open data sets are listed on the Ably Hub, our app-store-like dataset portal, used by a growing number of developers. If you want to find out more about publishing or consuming live open data, get in touch.

    Ably Research

    The Future of Sports Data

    FAQs from our customers in the sports and entertainment sector all point to ‘connected fans’ reshaping the way sport is broadcast and consumed. Several white-papers commissioned by Ably, and produced in collaboration with OnePulse, shed light on the specific UX expectations of mobile sports fans, and how to build apps and services guaranteeing their custom.

    Read about new UX Expectations driving the future of sports entertainment

    The 'state' of transport APIs

    Questions from transport providers about how to offer better live data led us to investigate the smartness of cities. In terms of deployable, developer-friendly APIs, that in turn give rise to better UX for passengers, who is leading the way? Our latest API Maturity Report ranks global metropolitan transport systems according to their realtime data offering, with universally applicable recommendations for creating better developer ecosystems around your data.

    Read an overview of the current state of realtime data sharing in transport

    Ably Team

    This year has seen our team expand, including meaningful additions to the engineering and commercial functions, notably CCO Gary Barnes, who joined Ably  from Thoughtworks, where he led revenue growth in the millions.

    Our new phase of growth sees us bringing on board new engineers, marketeers, HR specialists, dev-rel and outreach experts. If you fall into one of these categories (and are driven, motivated et al, with a sense of humour), reach out.

    Grow with us

    Ably exists to help solve problems related to streaming data and we look forward to paving many more paths into the burgeoning realtime API economy.

    Whether you are just adding ‘next-gen’ realtime UX to your app or service, or wondering whether the time is right for hosted realtime APIs (see our build vs buy scale curve above), our tech team will be happy to help. As developers ourselves, we try to stay as neutral as possible.

    Happy August!
    The Ably Team

    31 July 2019

    Ably is a global cloud network for streaming data and managing the full lifecycle of realtime APIs.