HTAP and the Future of Data

Space and Time is an end-to-end data solution for Web3

Catherine Hickox

Content Lead

If there’s one thing every business on the planet has in common—from Microsoft, to McDonald’s, to Morgan Stanley—it’s data. Enterprises aggregate and utilize data to make business decisions, streamline processes, improve customer experiences, and ultimately increase profits. This data is managed in databases (where data is stored for quick lookups) and data warehouses (where data is analyzed to generate insights). Just as every business is utilizing data, every business is leveraging these tools to manage it. According to some projections, global data warehousing revenue is expected to reach $51.2 billion this decade. Data is a massive industry, but it still has a long way to go, especially for utility in Web3.

Space and Time’s novel solution

Space and Time is solving many of the problems found in the data industry today. For one, today’s data warehouses are centralized, meaning they’re controlled by a single, corruptible party and vulnerable to tampering or manipulation. Space and Time is the first fully decentralized, community-operated data warehouse built to deliver trustless data to dapps and smart contracts. Space and Time also generates cryptographic proofs of query execution, proving that query computations were run accurately and that the underlying data hasn’t been tampered with. 

But the value of Space and Time as a data warehouse isn’t only that it’s trustless, it’s also extremely efficient. One of the most important benefits of a decentralized system is data availability. By distributing and replicating data across the network, no single participant failure will result in data loss, which can be detrimental to businesses. But the real secret to the efficiency of the Space and Time platform lies in its hybrid query engine architecture: HTAP.

What is HTAP?

The term HTAP (which stands for hybrid transactional/analytical processing) was coined in 2014 to describe a new kind of data platform that can perform both online transaction processing (OLTP) and online analytical processing (OLAP). HTAP platforms are designed to combine the low-latency tactical query workloads of a transactional database with the scalable workloads of an analytic data warehouse, all within a single cluster.

One of the key benefits of HTAP is its ability to handle both transactions and analytics in real time. This allows businesses to make faster and more informed decisions, as they can access and analyze the latest data as soon as it becomes available. For example, an e-commerce company may leverage an HTAP system to both process customer orders and analyze sales data in real time, enabling them to adjust their pricing and inventory levels in response to changing market conditions.

Another advantage of HTAP is its ability to scale to meet the needs of applications. By combining the strengths of transactional databases and analytic data warehouses, HTAP can handle both large volumes of data and high levels of concurrency, and is therefore able to support the growing demands of modern applications. This makes HTAP a powerful tool for businesses that need to analyze large amounts of data in real time, such as social media platforms or IoT applications.

HTAP for Web3

Right now, this doesn’t exist in Web3. Today, dapp developers are relying on costly point-solutions to manage their data. To power a dapp, developers have to ingest blockchain data, clean and structure that data, use ETL tools to move the data around, run transactional queries in a database, and run analytics in a data warehouse. Oh, and it’s all centralized. 

Space and Time is an end-to-end decentralized data platform that enables developers to build dapps and scale easily to 10s of terabytes and thousands of concurrent requests. Space and Time provides access to relational, real-time blockchain data and allows it to be connected to off-chain data loaded from any source. Developers can execute both low-latency cached queries and large analytic jobs to transform and mold data into a schema specific for their business. Most importantly, Space and Time enables users to send tamperproof query results to smart contracts in a trustless way, or publish query results directly on-chain, using novel Proof of SQL cryptographic guarantees.

The adoption of HTAP is growing, as more and more businesses recognize the need to combine fast transactions and complex analytics in a single data platform. Space and Time’s decentralized HTAP architecture allows any query workload run against both on-chain and off-chain data to be connected directly to smart contracts with cryptographic guarantees. Space and Time is building data solutions for the future, and we invite you to come build with us.

This article is also available to read on Medium.

Catherine Hickox

Content Lead

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