Access to data can be a challenge when developing software.
Seed data allows you to generate a simple and consistent dataset, but such a dataset is unlikely to be reflective of what your application will be accumulating in production. As your application changes, access to data becomes yet another problem to manage.
A more optimal solution to the problem of accessing data would be to have a pool of data resources in various forms – such as in a database or cache, in search infrastructure, and so on – ready to be used immediately by an environment for the duration of the environment's life.
This is the solution Instant Datasets provides. With minimal set up, you can have production-replica data available to any of your environments instantly, regardless of dataset size.
Instant Datasets currently supports databases on AWS with Google Cloud coming soon.
At Release, we've used Amazon RDS to power our production application from the beginning. Amazon RDS automatically takes daily snapshots of your application databases and provides them to you in a readily accessible manner.
One of the major drawbacks to using RDS for environments other than production is the long spin-up time for any particular database, making it less than ideal for non-production environments.
Instant Datasets solve this problem, while also providing your development or staging environments with production-like data.
Instant Datasets are a collection of databases that are ready to be used by any environment. These datasets are based on the production snapshots created for you by Amazon RDS. Each time an environment that requires an Instant Dataset is created, another dataset is generated from the production snapshot so that you never run out of databases or have to wait for one to spin up. This process allows access to production-like data instantly for any environment you create.