I recently caught up with Kristoffer Lundegren, CEO of Starcounter, to get an overview of his company, a producer of an in-memory database platform that understands the value of AI for the future of real-time computing. Chief Executive Officer Kristoffer brings more than 20 years of executive leadership and more than 13 years in executive roles in the enterprise software industry to his role as President and COO of Starcounter.
Daniel D. Gutierrez – Managing Editor, insideBIGDATA
insideBIGDATA: If Starcounter is an in-memory database, how are you different from other in-memory databases on the market, let’s say SAP Hana for example?
Kristoffer Lundegren: Starcounter is an application development platform for business applications. By bundling an in-memory database with a web application framework into a single server, it allows developers to quickly build a cooperating suite of fast micro applications.
In the core of Starcounter is a cognitive mapping engine that lets you playfully combine yours and others’ micro applications into large business systems without the need to write integration code. The combination of our in-memory platform and the cognitive mapping creates what we call the world’s first Information Operating System.
Starcounter believes that in-memory technology is a game changer. Our vision goes far past being just the fastest transactional database. This is a belief we share with SAP and its HANA project. What both our companies have in common is our belief in business intelligence, analytics and access to data in real time.
Let’s say that you have an ERP system built on an in-memory platform, this would mean that you simplify the system architecture dramatically, hence, the way operation data is handled. All data is managed centrally which means that you will always have access to real-time data for decision-making or other reports. Purchasers, stores, logistics and supply chain, and management all work on the same server and have access to the latest updated information in real time.
But, SAP is using the HANA technology to empower its installed based with new features and performance. The company’s vision is that SAP Business Suite will include all kinds of apps for all enterprises’ needs. A one-stop-shop, all inclusive.
Starcounter has chosen another path. We want to enable the 20 million talents and 100.000+ ISVs worldwide to participate in the enterprise software market and create their own ecosystem of ecosystems. Starcounter is using the technology to enable new business models. Open enterprise app stores and ecosystems of ecosystems will outcompete today’s outdated walled gardens. Like smartphone apps, the enterprise software market will transform into a transparent, open-app economy.
insideBIGDATA: What exactly is an “application platform?”
Kristoffer Lundegren: Starcounter does not believe that monolithic applications or APIs will ever serve the needs of a modern company – the things that a development team builds need to be small, focused on a single purpose, and easily deployable. But, it needs to be more than just an API that only developers can consume – users need to be able to use these micro-sized pieces that developers build.
insideBIGDATA: Is that what you would call a “micro application?”
Kristoffer Lundegren: Exactly! Just as a “micro service” is taking the concept of service-oriented architecture and slicing it into very domain-specific strips, Starcounter wants to bring the entire stack back-end, middle-tier, and front-end into a “micro application.” But whereas earlier attempts at “micro applications” were written in tools that didn’t compose well, or focused entirely on server-side APIs, Starcounter specifically constructs the micro app to be able to work together seamlessly across all the logical layers – this is micro services done right.
insideBIGDATA: What would this mean for a single developer or IT professional?
Kristoffer Lundegren: Simple, this means that you can build an entire business system – or parts of the system – in the fraction of the time and cost it takes today.
Starcounter collapses the application stack and therefore eliminates the need to write integration code. Without glue-code, developers spend less time coding and new apps are developed in a fraction of time. This allows for great scalability.
The collapsed stack frees your system from the burden of additional connectivity layers and minimizes the time to complete the full development cycle. Fast roll-out with fully operable platform, improved agility, competitiveness and reduced TCO.
And, the Information Operating System turns every app into combinable micro applications and allows developers to playfully combine many micro apps into large business systems. Apps are guaranteed to interoperate regardless of who developed them, or whether they have knowledge of each other. Multiple apps become a unified, single system – no matter how they are combined – and having best of breed apps working together seamlessly.
insideBIGDATA: What are the next steps for Starcounter?
Kristoffer Lundegren: The coming releases of Starcounter will fully utilize the benefits of the Information OS. On the business side, we are in the process of an international expansion, bringing Starcounter from the Nordic market to the global market.
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