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myYearbook Social Networking Site Expands Use of eXtremeDB In-Memory Database System

November 9, 2010 — myYearbook, the best place to meet new people and one of the 25 most-trafficked sites in the United States, has expanded its use of the eXtremeDB® in-memory database system (IMDS) from McObject®. myYearbook has incorporated eXtremeDB as a key component of many of its social games and applications including its location-based, real-time Feed, a feature it has positioned as a critical driver of its growth and financial success. In addition, myYearbook has recently expanded its business relationship with McObject.

Upgrading from a product-specific license to an umbrella license has given myYearbook the flexibility to choose from McObject's wide range of eXtremeDB editions and related software technology, thereby permitting the company to select the right tool for the job without having to manage multiple product-specific licenses. “As we conceive of new ways to make meeting new people as fun and easy as possible, our technologies must evolve in concert. To that end, eXtremeDB has proven uniquely suited to supplement our existing database systems and give us a competitive edge as a real-time database. We see great value in employing different eXtremeDB technologies, such as the Transaction Logging and Kernel Mode editions, to support various myYearbook services and features. Similarly, we are happy with McObject's flexible licensing options,” said Jonah H. Harris, Vice President of Database Administration.

Given the social network 's satisfactory experience with the performance and reliability of eXtremeDB at scale, myYearbook most recently deployed the 64-bit edition of eXtremeDB as the core of Feed, its real-time “stream” that keeps members up-to-date on friend, celebrity, and other member activities on myYearbook. Unlike other news feeds, myYearbook Feed is designed to also provide members with a dynamic, interactive, and customized user experience. To support this functionality, the Feed also includes additional items such as real-time polls, games, photo responses, and other content, resulting in a complex, multi-tiered system with strict performance and reliability demands.

When a member logs into myYearbook, the first thing they typically see is their Feed. Each member’s feed is unique, and consists of a customized stream which contains content posts they're interested in such as friends, celebrities, people near them, and world-wide members. Supporting this functionality is an eXtremeDB in-memory database which contains information about each member, such as their location, published Feed content, and biographical information. Each time a member views Feed, their request is processed by an eXtremeDB database system to determine what content should be displayed based on recency and the member's location, preferences, and social graph. After eXtremeDB returns the spatiotemporally-relevant content metadata, the content itself is retrieved from various other systems and is displayed to the member. This multi-tiered service includes not only eXtremeDB, but also systems such as the PostgreSQL relational database management system (RDBMS) and memcached, a distributed object-caching system.

In addition to being a popular feature with more than 1 million member posts per day, myYearbook Feed is strategically central to myYearbook as a means to differentiate itself from other social networking sites. As myYearbook CEO Geoff Cook explained in an article, “Building a Social Network in a Facebook and Twitter World,” polls show that the primary goal of myYearbook members is “to meet new people, to flirt and to connect with people,” in contrast to Facebook users, who seek to maintain contact with existing friends and family. Cook attributed myYearbook’s double-digit monthly growth rates to the Feed helping users achieve their social goals.

As an example of the myYearbook Feed’s appeal, Cook singled out Near Me, a location-based service that leverages eXtremeDB's strengths. Near Me shows members who are active and on-line in their area – for example, all girls in a particular age range within 10 miles. To accomplish this quickly, the eXtremeDB system uses an R-Tree to query members based on their geographic location information. An R-Tree is a specialized database index for handling geospatial data. Real-time performance is a top requirement for Near Me, and “with eXtremeDB’s in-memory optimizations and support for R-Tree indexes, our performance numbers blow even specialized geo-search software tools out of the water,” Harris said.

myYearbook already uses eXtremeDB as the real-time database in Blind Date, a social game to match users based on their interests and the attributes they would desire in a partner. With the technology license for the eXtremeDB product family in place, Harris says myYearbook is exploring the use of eXtremeDB as the basis of further projects.

“McObject built the eXtremeDB product family to meet the needs of the most demanding applications. Among our customers, myYearbook impresses with its ability to pinpoint areas where real-time data management can eliminate potential system bottlenecks, and to create application designs that turn these insights into breakthrough performance. Through our customer relationship with myYearbook, we better understand the unique challenges in the real-time enterprise/Web caching field, which is an increasingly important market for us,” said Steve Graves, McObject co-founder and CEO.

About McObject

Founded by embedded database and real-time systems experts, McObject offers proven data management technology that makes applications and devices smarter, more reliable and more cost-effective to develop and maintain. McObject counts among its customers industry leaders such BAE Systems, Siemens, Phillips, EADS, JVC, Tyco Thermal Controls, F5 Networks, CA, Motorola and Boeing. McObject, based in Issaquah, WA, is committed to providing innovative technology and first-rate services to customers and partners. The company can be reached at +1-425-888-8505, or visit www.mcobject.com.

About myYearbook

myYearbook makes meeting new people fun and easy, both online and on your mobile phone. myYearbook combines innovative social games, virtual goods and a robust virtual currency called "Lunch Money" to facilitate introductions and break the ice. According to comScore, myYearbook is one of the 25 most trafficked sites in the United States as measured by total minutes per month, and by minutes per visitor per month. myYearbook started in a single high school in 2005 and has grown to over 27 million members worldwide. For more information please visit: www.myYearbook.com.

McObject and eXtremeDB are registered trademarks of McObject LLC. All other company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.