Kinto is a minimalist JSON storage service with synchronisation and sharing abilities. It is meant to be easy to use and easy to self-host.
Kinto is used at Mozilla and released under the Apache v2 licence.
Why use Kinto?¶
We believe data belongs to the users, and not to the application authors. When writing applications, data should be made available to any device, connected or offline, and everything should be in sync.
Rather than spending a non-trivial amount of time and expertise on implementing all that (and then maintaining it!), you could use Kinto, that does all that for you:
- Expose your data over an HTTP interface, unlike databases like PostgreSQL
- Use simple HTTP requests rather than SQL
- Use Kinto.js to easily implement offline first clients
- Choose the database you want from those that Kinto supports, and use a unified API to access its data
- Manage your data using the handy admin UI
- Easily set up live push notifications for live updates of your application
- Make it possible to share data between users (using fine-grained permissions)
- Take advantage of schema validation if you need it
- Track changes on your application data
- A generic Web database for frontend applications.
- Build collaborative applications with fine-grained permissions.
- Store encrypted data at a location you control.
- Synchronise application data between different devices.
At Mozilla, Kinto is used in Firefox for global synchronization of frequently changed settings like blocklists, and the Web Extensions storage.sync API; as well as in Firefox for Android for A/B testing and delivering extra assets like fonts or hyphenation dictionnaries.
|Synchronisation||Fined grained permissions|
|JSON Schema validation||Universal and multi clients|
|Open Source and Self-hostable||Designed in the open|
- HTTP best practices
- Pluggable authentication
- Pluggable storage, cache, and permission backends
- Configuration via a INI file or environment variables
- Built-in monitoring
- Cache control
- Push notifications using the Push API (under construction)
- Storage quotas
- Review and validation workflows
(See our roadmap)
Bi-directional synchronisation of records is a very hard topic.
Kinto takes some shortcuts by only providing the basics for concurrency control and polling for changes, and not trying to resolve conflicts automatically.
Basically, each object has a revision number which is guaranteed to be incremented after each modification. Unless the history plugin is activated, Kinto does not keep old revisions of objects.
Clients can retrieve the list of changes that occurred on a collection of records since a specified revision. Kinto can also use it to avoid accidental updates of objects.
Kinto synchronisation was designed and built by the Mozilla Firefox Sync team.
Kinto can execute some code when a particular event occurs. For example, when a record is created or updated in a particular collection.
See our tutorials for more in-depth information on these topics.