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emortal app



We built Emortal - the social media platform where your memories are kept safe for all time.

The Situation

Emortal, a tech company that helps preserve digital family memories for generations to come, asked Rocketmakers to design a photo, video, and document sharing app for its customers.

The Task

The leadership of Emortal had a very clear vision for this first version of their app, and emphasised the need for data storage that was both widely accessible but highly secure. After an initial discussion, Google’s Cloud Spanner (a relatively unusual option) was selected as the optimal choice for building the app’s database.

Sharing photo and video files across borders meant making sure the Emortal app was compliant with international privacy laws. For this first version, the decision was made to ensure met all GDPR and equivalent American standards. 

Our Approach

Cloud Spanner provides the certainty and precision that normally comes with a database located on a single server, but does this across a global network of servers that provide world-wide coverage. The typical Cloud Spanner customer is a very large company that needs to synchronize transactions internationally, such as financial institutions and airline reservation systems.

While Cloud Spanner provides an extremely robust service, it is only used by a relatively small and exclusive list of customers and lacks many of the tools typically provided by more commonly used database hosting choices. Early on, Rocketmakers developers discovered that one key tool they would need to help the Emortal app communicate with Cloud Spanner, known as an Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) tool, did not exist.

The Solution

Without a fully-functioning ORM tool, the Emortal app would not be compatible with Cloud Spanner, but there was no other database provider that fulfilled Emortal’s other requirements.

To square the circle, the Rocketmakers back-end development team designed a bespoke ORM tool just for the Emortal app. While an unconventional approach, the new ORM worked and the opportunity to create a Cloud Spanner database for Emortal was realised.

The database was also set up to store two different versions of every photograph and video: a compressed version for sharing via the app, and an original copy (which photo and video sharing systems do not normally store). 

The Result

With a front-end built using React and the back-end built with JS Node and hosted on Cloud Spanner, the Emortal app contains a range of features that have made it a hit with early adopters.

Users can share photo and video albums with up to 10 family members, store private documents in a highly secure “safe” file, and create virtual time capsules which will share documents with family members at a future designated time.

The Impact

Emortal were delighted with the first iteration of their file-sharing app, and it is now available on both the App Store and Google Play, and thousands of users quickly downloaded and signed up. 

Rocketmakers’ partnership with Emortal is set to continue, with the app now entering a “continuous development” stage, and plans for a desktop version well underway.

Colin Culross

Microsoft were staggered by how much we had achieved with so little budget and in such a short amount of time, they couldn't quite figure it out. Would I recommend Rocketmakers? I already have - to two companies! And both of them have contracted with them.

Colin CulrossFounder & CEO

Once we had built the software, Microsoft was so impressed it offered to buy it from Colin for $15.1m.

He decided not to sell, and we're now helping him to set up an in-house development team.

Waqar Munir, emortal Product Manager

Rocketmakers take the guess work out of software development - working closely with the developers directly lets us see exactly what is being worked on, and how long it will take.

Waqar MunirProduct Manager

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