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Andrew Richards
Re: FCP X as a database
on Nov 6, 2012 at 5:03:22 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I'd be very curious about your opinion on SQLite performance at scale. As others in this thread talk about larger numbers of events and projects (with unknown amounts of footage, ranges, and edits), does scalability come into play with SQLite versus other database solutions? How big does the data set have to get before SQLite struggles?"

SQLite would not scale well in terms of multiple user access, but then it isn't meant to serve more than a single-user local data store. Core Data has an obscure function called NSIncrementalStore that permits the use of data stores beyond the persistent stores native to Core Data (XML, Atomic, SQLite).

As soon as I noticed FCPX using CoreData and SQLite for Project and Event databases, I immediately began wishing for a successor to Final Cut Server that would essentially be live shared Events that FCPX would hook into as a native client. The hooks are there in Core Data, and one of the senior product managers for FCPX/Motion/Compressor came to Apple with the Proximity acquisition that begat Final Cut Server in the first place.

So what I'm wishing for isn't completely improbable. Highly improbable maybe, but not completely improbable. But to your main point, yes, most of the bluster about databases is misguided, and even my brand of it amounts only to fringe speculation about functionality only a tiny niche would be interested in. There is no inherent superiority in FCPX due to is use of Core Data, and indeed I think it contributes to a lot of the sluggishness observed when a project gets complex and necessarily performs a lot more I/O on its SQLite database for each new timeline input.

Best,
Andy


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