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Re: FCP X as a database

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Walter Soyka
Re: FCP X as a database
on Nov 6, 2012 at 12:15:02 am

[Andrew Richards] "This is true with respect to single-user desktop NLEs, but there is a lot of upside to FCPX's use of the Core Data API for multiple-user scenarios, live sharing, etc. I continue to wish for there to be a shared Event database that FCPX can address as a client to enable live sharing of Events, but that seems less and less likely to happen. Flat file datastores cannot permit that kind of granular multi-user transaction, which is why for instance shared bins on Avid Unity are read-only for everyone sharing the bin."

Actual flat files with no controlling process mediating access -- of course. But a database need not be modeled relationally to be multi-user. A monolithic database with a single table (so frequently derided here as a spreadsheet) could be multi-user if accessed through a database server rather than a database file.

My point is that there is a lot of red-herring arm waving here about the relational database, and a lot of FCPX functionality that I suspect is incorrectly attributed to relational database model. The "database" part is more important to us in most contexts than the "relational" part.

Of course there are very good reasons to choose a relational database: constraints (encouraging integrity), normalization (avoiding data duplication), and query simplicity and speed surely factor in here. On to CoreData/SQLite -- I think it's a very good thing for an NLE developer to use a modern, well-featured, robust database engine instead of wasting resources developing their own.

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?

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
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