Introducing Horizon: build realtime apps without writing backend code

Today we are pleased to announce the first official release of Horizon, an open-source backend that lets developers build and scale realtime web applications. Horizon includes:

  • A backend server built with Node.js and RethinkDB that supports data persistence, realtime streams, input validation, user authentication, and permissions
  • A JavaScript client library that developers can use on the frontend to store JSON documents in the database, perform queries, and subscribe to live updates
  • A command-line tool that can generate project templates, start up a local Horizon development server, and help you deploy your Horizon application to the cloud

The Horizon server is a complete backend that developers can use to power their applications. It’s great for rapid prototyping: simply run the Horizon server from the command-line and develop your frontend user experience with the Horizon client library. Frontend developers can use Horizon to create full applications without writing any backend code.

Horizon is open-source software, which means that you can use and modify it as you see fit. Run a local instance on your laptop during development and then deploy your application anywhere you want: low-cost VPS hosting environments, scalable public cloud platforms, or your own bare metal. Horizon takes advantage of RethinkDB’s battle-tested clustering, which makes it easy to scale as your audience grows.

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