FluidInfo is on to something, and it could be big. They’re creating FluidDB, a database that lives in the cloud. It’s not old-school hierarchical style. It has a new structure and way of doing things that, among other things, make it ideal for social networking and the real time web. Basically, everything is tags with values attached to them. You can configure them however you want, and share them too.
FluidDB is conceptually very simple: it holds a large number of objects, all of a single flexible kind, and it provides the means to create, modify, and retrieve these objects.
A FluidDB object is just a collection of tags, usually with values.
So, for example, I could search Facebook, Twitter, and Friendfeed looking for people knowledgeable in cleantech then post information about them on FluidDB. Others could add their own information to it, and soon we could be building a shareable database about cleantech experts. This is just a little example off the top of my head. FluidDB is in alpha now. Once it goes live no doubt all manner of fascinating apps and uses will appear.
The FluidDB blog has a fascinating post called Kaleidoscope: 10 takes on FluidDB. Here’s a few of them.
1. A database with the heart of a wiki
4. A platform for mashups
8. A communication system
9. An evolutionary data system
Their About Page says they were formed in 2007 funded in part by Esther Dyson “a long-time catalyst of start-ups in information technology in the US and other markets.” She clearly thinks they have something special here. So do I. FluidDB has the potential to transform how databases work. Databases live at the heart of the Internet. They are how we do what we do on the net. Old style databases aren’t going away, nor should they. However, with FluidDB, something special in databases might be about to happen.