Announcing CrabNebula Cloud

January 30, 2024

Building applications with Tauri has always been an incredibly joyful experience. Developers across the community have shared their excitement with posts like these: by Lukas, by Aris, and by Max. However once the applications are built, distributing them and rolling out updates has always been cumbersome. This is why we are thrilled to announce our latest product: CrabNebula Cloud! Let’s explore this in some more detail.

The Problem

As highlighted in our earlier blog post, reliably distributing applications and their updates can be a complex and expensive process. Here are some of the ways this can go sideways:

  • Cost

    Distributing applications, especially at scale, can get very expensive where bundle size compounds with number of users, which further compounds with frequency of application updates.

    A 500MB application distributed to 500 users with nightly updates leads to a total of around 7.5 million megabytes (7.5 terabytes) transferred in a month. Based on popular cloud pricing, this could easily lead to a bill in the ballpark of over $90000 for a popular month.

    In the case of improperly configured CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) or updaters, users can often have hard times, as evidenced by @pie6k on 𝕏.

  • Security

    Distributing updates requires complex cryptography to ensure that an update is the original, safe artifact for users to download, install and execute, preventing tampering via malware insertion and protecting against common and newly discovered vulnerabilities.

    Furthermore, delivering updates seamlessly to applications helps reduce version fragmentation and ensures all users have the latest, safest, and most reliable version of your applications. Ensuring the delivery of these updates, however, is another complex and difficult task.

  • Feedback and Analytics

    Collecting meaningful analytics is more challenging with desktop applications compared to web-based services, impacting the ability to make informed updates and improvements. Beyond tracking the number of downloads, versioned and turnkey releases are, at present, less streamlined than they could be.

Enter CrabNebula Cloud

Today, we’re releasing CrabNebula Cloud to the world which solves some of these problems and more. Let’s explore how.

1. Purpose-Built CDN

At the heart of CrabNebula Cloud is a purpose-built CDN ready for global scale, ensuring seamless integration with any CI/CD pipeline and first-class support for GitHub Actions. Using our Cloud CLI, developers can automatically draft releases and upload artifacts to CrabNebula Cloud for immediate global cross-platform distribution.

2. Secure Updates as a First-Class Citizen

Leveraging the power of the Tauri updater, CrabNebula Cloud provides an out-of-the-box update server that any application can call to check for signed updates and, if an update is available, immediately download and apply it in an instant over the air.

3. Smart Organization

Similar to GitHub where developers work frequently, Cloud leverages the use of identical hierarchical structures for quick orientation.

In Github,

  • Organizations contain repositories
  • Repositories contain code and releases (tags)
  • Releases contain binaries

In CrabNebula Cloud,

  • Organizations contain applications
  • Applications contain releases
  • Releases contain binaries

This orientation should have developers feeling immediately at home, and also allows for the appropriate analytics and team-oriented feedback channels developers would expect.

Giving Back

As a company born out of open source, we feel it exceedingly important to give back to the open source community and support open-source projects. Today, we are also announcing subsidized community seats for open source projects built with Tauri.

In a nutshell, this community seat entitles an organization to distribute their applications using CrabNebula Cloud at a steep discount capped at €5 for unlimited downloads of an application, where this would normally cost €5/10k downloads.

To learn more about this offer and to apply for it, please fill out this form.

Get Started

To get started, navigate to the CrabNebula Cloud website and follow the instructions. We have helpful documentation that should serve as a guide through your first steps in the product.

We’re excited to release Cloud to the general public today and are looking forward to hearing your feedback and success stories. Please feel free to connect with us on Discord or 𝕏. Happy building!