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In a number of previous posts on this site, we’ve talked about the unique nature of Tropo to support persistent sockets for real time applications.

With this in mind, I decided to have a play with Redis – one of the more interesting entries in the wide and varied world of NoSQL databases. How exactly Redis fits into this paradigm of using persistent socket connections for real time apps might not be immediately obvious, but when you learn about some of the more interesting properties of Redis, it becomes very clear. has lot of information about Redis, and instructions on how to download and install the software to run it on your local machine.

Redis stores data as key/value pairs, where the value can be a simple string, or one of several more advanced data types.

There are lots of benefits to using Redis for your application, but one of the more interesting features of this NoSQL DB caught my attention immediately – Redis’ ability to act as a publish/subscribe messaging platform.

The following screencast walks through an example that uses Tropo, Redis, Node.js and HTML/jQuery to let a user on a telephone control a web browser.

Here is an overview of the technical components of this example application (opens in new window).

All of the source code for this example can be found on GitHub.

There are a lot more interesting features in Redis, and with services like Redis to Go it’s super easy to get started.

We’ll be doing more experimenting with Redis in the weeks ahead – stay tuned for more cool stuff!

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