Innovation Cast uses RavenDB as their main data store for transactional data

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“We’ll talk about it later”, says your supervisor. “I’m in a meeting right now”, SMS’s your VP. “Is this what you barge into my office for?”, growls the CEO.

Ever had a great idea that has to fight its way for everyone’s attention? Innovation Cast has the answer.

Based in Portugal, they develop Enterprise Innovation Management Software to help companies innovate faster and get their ideas to market quicker with collaborative idea management software. The goal of the software is to bring people together to collaborate on new ideas.

An idea is like a plant. At first, it is a simple seed. After a short time, it sprouts to a stem with multiple branches extending outgrowing leaves and eventually flowers.

You need to water the plant, give it sunlight, and make sure it sits at a proper temperature for that to happen. Any signal that can endanger the plant, like a rainstorm or the owner being away for a week, needs immediate attention. A signal that can help the plant, like a week’s worth of sunny weather, or exceptional plant food on sale at the local store, are also signals that need to be acted on in real time.

That’s Innovation Cast.

How it works

It works a little bit like a social media page.

Someone has an idea. They enter their idea into the system and invite others to follow that idea. They can share information, comment on these ideas, like signals and related updates surrounding ideas, and more.

The idea gets debated online. An idea pipeline is added that can include experiments and projects to test the value of that idea.

The online conversation can produce something interesting. It is tested in a project. The results are shared, creating a variety of new signals that are discussed. The idea collects all sorts of news and articles based on the context of that idea, constantly refreshing itself with new information.

This gives people the chance to brainstorm an idea without taking concrete action. It allows them to get everyone’s options, approval, and recommendations for further actions around that idea. It also starts off meetings about that idea with everyone updated and in the loop.

NoSQL for transactional data

RavenDB is their main data store for transactional data.

Every entity is stored in RavenDB. Entities are users, ideas, signals, interfaces, projects, comments, votes, and other features. The development process of an idea is based on all the information coming back and forth from their NoSQL database.

Their entity model is based on JSON objects. They use C#, so there is zero impedance mismatch between the data they are collecting in their application and what they are storing in RavenDB. This saves them significant time in development as well as boosting performance for their users.

Innovation Cast has been with RavenDB since the 2.5 version. The development team is comprised of .NET developers who see RavenDB as the ideal fit for their codebase. They prefer a document model to work with many different types of data a collaborative platform like theirs would be working with.

MongoDB proved insufficient in persisting data reliably, not being ACID at the time. It wasn’t a native .NET solution, and relational models were too risky for dealing with such varied types of data.

As an open-source solution, RavenDB gives developers an edge in fine-tuning the database to their specific needs.

Bruno Lopes, CTO of Innovation Cast, summed it up: “RavenDB is ideal. It just works.

See for yourself! Enjoy a live one-on-one demo of RavenDB.