Questions and Answers
What, exactly, does the service do?
We provide relational databases as a web service. The database engine we use is the widely respected open-source PostgreSQL engine. We provide this service by demand-pricing, meaning you only pay for what you use.
How does it work, or how do I use it?
See the How It Works page.
Why would I use it, instead of ... (Amazon EC2, Google AppEngine, my VPS, etc)?
See the Comparisons page for a set of thumbnail comparisons with other services.
Does it support binary data?
From python, the DB API module supports 'buffer' values like any value.
Can I use Rdbhost databases from the browser directly?
Yes, the jQuery plugin facilitates accessing Rdbhost databases from pages hosted elsewhere.
Yes, see http://www.paginaswww.com/rdb/examples.
Does it scale?
- Most of the dynamic web is built on relational databases. It seems to work well for many of us.
- 'Slashdot.org', the root of 'slashdotting', stores its data in an SQL database.
- Most sites do not need the scalability of Google.com. If you start here and are fortunate to grow sufficiently to reach scaling limits, our API is fairly easily replicated elsewhere. There is no lock-in.
- For a very irreverent, but relevant, perspective on scaling, read Ted Dziuba.
Do you support SSL-encrypted content?
Yes, requests can be handled on https, or http. Just change the request url. We even support your using your own SSL certificate, with SNI supporting browsers.
Do you support SQL transactions?
Yes, all SQL operations are executed as transactions. See How It Works for details.
Is it fast enough? Google Application Engine (GAE) has a runtime limit of a 'few seconds'.
We allow 8 seconds for a typical web-page type query, but simple queries generally complete in under 300 milliseconds. We will not be causing any GAE timeout problems.
Isn't GAE all about scaling up? Why would someone use GAE and not want to use the datastore?
Google has presented GAE in terms of scaling up, partly because that is a powerful selling point for them. The internal creators have indicated, in interviews, that the scaling down issue (make development and deployment easier) was a motivation for them. Some links elaborating the scaling down appeal:
What restrictions apply?
Ordinary queries must complete within 8 seconds. The server will abort the query and return an error page at 8 seconds.
For those queries that cannot be tuned to complete in 8 seconds, we offer a deferred request option, where the slow query is queued to run in a background task, and the request returns immediately. The server will, at your option, call a postback page with results when the slow query completes. The time limit for slow queries is 10 minutes.
How do I get my data out? Am I locked in?
There is a bulk transfer utility, that will transfer complete databases, in ascii or other formats, to and from your browser or other client. The utility also provides for transferring databases to and from Amazon S3.
What does it cost?
- Free for low volumes.
- Priced by bandwidth and disk usage above the free limits.
- See Pricing and Quotas page.
How can I pay?
Amazon direct pay click here.