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CouchDB vs Couchbase: What are the differences?

Introduction

In this comparison, we will explore the key differences between CouchDB and Couchbase, two popular NoSQL database management systems.

  1. Data Model: One key difference between CouchDB and Couchbase is their data model. CouchDB is a document-oriented database that stores data in JSON documents, making it easy to work with unstructured or semi-structured data. On the other hand, Couchbase is a key-value store that combines the flexibility of JSON documents with the speed of key-value lookups.

  2. Consistency Model: Couchbase has a strong consistency model, ensuring that data is updated consistently across all replicas. In contrast, CouchDB allows users to choose between eventual consistency for better performance or strong consistency for data integrity.

  3. Scaling: When it comes to scaling, Couchbase provides built-in support for efficient data distribution and replication, making it easier to scale horizontally as the workload grows. CouchDB, on the other hand, requires more manual intervention and setup to achieve the same level of scalability.

  4. Query Language: Couchbase uses a query language called N1QL (pronounced Nickel) that allows users to perform SQL-like queries on JSON documents. CouchDB uses MapReduce for querying, which can sometimes be more complex and less intuitive than N1QL.

  5. Deployment Options: Couchbase offers both an open-source community edition and an enterprise edition with additional features and support. CouchDB is entirely open source, with no enterprise version available, but it offers a more straightforward deployment process compared to Couchbase.

In Summary, the key differences between CouchDB and Couchbase lie in their data model, consistency model, scaling capabilities, query language, and deployment options.

Advice on Couchbase and CouchDB
Ilias Mentzelos
Software Engineer at Plum Fintech · | 9 upvotes · 232.9K views
Needs advice
on
CouchbaseCouchbase
and
MongoDBMongoDB

Hey, we want to build a referral campaign mechanism that will probably contain millions of records within the next few years. We want fast read access based on IDs or some indexes, and isolation is crucial as some listeners will try to update the same document at the same time. What's your suggestion between Couchbase and MongoDB? Thanks!

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Replies (2)
Jon Clarke
Enterprise Account Exec at ScyllaDB · | 4 upvotes · 82.9K views
Recommends
on
CouchbaseCouchbaseScyllaDBScyllaDB

I am biased (work for Scylla) but it sounds like a KV/wide column would be better in this use case. Document/schema free/lite DBs data stores are easier to get up and running on but are not as scalable (generally) as NoSQL flavors that require a more rigid data model like ScyllaDB. If your data volumes are going to be 10s of TB and transactions per sec 10s of 1000s (or more), look at Scylla. We have something called lightweight transactions (LWT) that can get you consistency.

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Recommends
on
MongoDBMongoDB

I have found MongoDB highly consistent and highly available. It suits your needs. We usually trade off partion tolerance fot this. Having said that, I am little biased in recommendation as I haven't had much experience with couchbase on production.

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Needs advice
on
CouchbaseCouchbase
and
MongoDBMongoDB

We Have thousands of .pdf docs generated from the same form but with lots of variability. We need to extract data from open text and more important - from tables inside the docs. The output of Couchbase/Mongo will be one row per document for backend processing. ADOBE renders the tables in an unusable form.

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Replies (3)
Petr Havlicek
Freelancer at havlicekpetr.cz · | 12 upvotes · 203.7K views
Recommends
on
MongoDBMongoDB

I prefer MongoDB due to own experience with migration of old archive of pdf and meta-data to a new “archive”. The biggest advantage is speed of filters output - a new archive is way faster and reliable then the old one - but also the the easy programming of MongoDB with many code snippets and examples available. I have no personal experience so far with Couchbase. From the architecture point of view both options are OK - go for the one you like.

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Ivan Begtin
Director - NGO "Informational Culture" / Ambassador - OKFN Russia at Infoculture · | 7 upvotes · 203.8K views
Recommends
on
ArangoDBArangoDB

I would like to suggest MongoDB or ArangoDB (can't choose both, so ArangoDB). MongoDB is more mature, but ArangoDB is more interesting if you will need to bring graph database ideas to solution. For example if some data or some documents are interlinked, then probably ArangoDB is a best solution.

To process tables we used Abbyy software stack. It's great on table extraction.

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OtkudznamDamir Radinović-Lukić
Recommends
on
LinuxLinux

If you can select text with mouse drag in PDF. Use pdftotext it is fast! You can install it on server with command "apt-get install poppler-utils". Use it like "pdftotext -layout /path-to-your-file". In same folder it will make text file with line by line content. There is few classes on git stacks that you can use, also.

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Decisions about Couchbase and CouchDB

I’m newbie I was developing a pouchdb and couchdb app cause if the sync. Lots of learning very little code available. I dropped the project cause it consumed my life. Yeats later I’m back into it. I researched other db and came across rethinkdb and mongo for the subscription features. With socketio I should be able to create and similar sync feature. Attempted to use mongo. I attempted to use rethink. Rethink for the win. Super clear l. I had it running in minutes on my local machine and I believe it’s supposed to scale easy. Mongo wasn’t as easy and there free online db is so slow what’s the point. Very easy to find mongo code examples and use rethink code in its place. I wish I went this route years ago. All that corporate google Amazon crap get bent. The reason they have so much power in the world is cause you guys are giving it to them.

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Karan Kaushik
Senior Software Developer at Shyplite · | 5 upvotes · 37.3K views

So, we started using foundationDB for an OLAP system although the inbuilt tools for some core things like aggregation and filtering were negligible, with the high through put of the DB, we were able to handle it on the application. The system has been running pretty well for the past 6 months, although the data load isn’t very high yet, the performance is fairly promising

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James Bender
Lead Application Architect at TekPartners · | 4 upvotes · 7.3K views

Our application data all goes in SQL. We will use something like Cosmos or Couch DB if one or both of these conditions are true: * We need to ingest a large amount of bulk data from a third party, and integrating it straight into an RDBMS with referential integrity checks would create a performance hit * We need to ingest a large amount of data that does not have a clearly defined, or consistent schema. In either case, we will have a process that migrates the data from Cosmos/Couch to SQL in a way that doesn't create a noticeable performance hit and ensures that we are not introducing bad data to the system. Because of this, there is a third condition that must be met: the data that is coming in must be something that the users will not need immediately, i.e. stock ticker information, real-time telemetry from other systems for performance/safety monitoring, etc.

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Gabriel Pa

After using couchbase for over 4 years, we migrated to MongoDB and that was the best decision ever! I'm very disappointed with Couchbase's technical performance. Even though we received enterprise support and were a listed Couchbase Partner, the experience was horrible. With every contact, the sales team was trying to get me on a $7k+ license for access to features all other open source NoSQL databases get for free.

Here's why you should not use Couchbase

Full-text search Queries The full-text search often returns a different number of results if you run the same query multiple types

N1QL queries Configuring the indexes correctly is next to impossible. It's poorly documented and nobody seems to know what to do, even the Couchbase support engineers have no clue what they are doing.

Community support I posted several problems on the forum and I never once received a useful answer

Enterprise support It's very expensive. $7k+. The team constantly tried to get me to buy even though the community edition wasn't working great

Autonomous Operator It's actually just a poorly configured Kubernetes role that no matter what I did, I couldn't get it to work. The support team was useless. Same lack of documentation. If you do get it to work, you need 6 servers at least to meet their minimum requirements.

Couchbase cloud Typical for Couchbase, the user experience is awful and I could never get it to work.

Minimum requirements The minimum requirements in production are 6 servers. On AWS the calculated monthly cost would be ~$600. We achieved better performance using a $16 MongoDB instance on the Mongo Atlas Cloud

writing queries is a nightmare While N1QL is similar to SQL and it's easier to write because of the familiarity, that isn't entirely true. The "smart index" that Couchbase advertises is not smart at all. Creating an index with 5 fields, and only using 4 of them won't result in Couchbase using the same index, so you have to create a new one.

Couchbase UI The UI that comes with every database deployment is full of bugs, barely functional and the developer experience is poor. When I asked Couchbase about it, they basically said they don't care because real developers use SQL directly from code

Consumes too much RAM Couchbase is shipped with a smaller Memcached instance to handle the in-memory cache. Memcached ends up using 8 GB of RAM for 5000 documents! I'm not kidding! We had less than 5000 docs on a Couchbase instance and less than 20 indexes and RAM consumption was always over 8 GB

Memory allocations are useless I asked the Couchbase team a question: If a bucket has 1 GB allocated, what happens when I have more than 1GB stored? Does it overflow? Does it cache somewhere? Do I get an error? I always received the same answer: If you buy the Couchbase enterprise then we can guide you.

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Gabriel Pa

We implemented our first large scale EPR application from naologic.com using CouchDB .

Very fast, replication works great, doesn't consume much RAM, queries are blazing fast but we found a problem: the queries were very hard to write, it took a long time to figure out the API, we had to go and write our own @nodejs library to make it work properly.

It lost most of its support. Since then, we migrated to Couchbase and the learning curve was steep but all worth it. Memcached indexing out of the box, full text search works great.

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Pros of Couchbase
Pros of CouchDB
  • 18
    High performance
  • 18
    Flexible data model, easy scalability, extremely fast
  • 9
    Mobile app support
  • 7
    You can query it with Ansi-92 SQL
  • 6
    All nodes can be read/write
  • 5
    Equal nodes in cluster, allowing fast, flexible changes
  • 5
    Both a key-value store and document (JSON) db
  • 5
    Open source, community and enterprise editions
  • 4
    Automatic configuration of sharding
  • 4
    Local cache capability
  • 3
    Easy setup
  • 3
    Linearly scalable, useful to large number of tps
  • 3
    Easy cluster administration
  • 3
    Cross data center replication
  • 3
    SDKs in popular programming languages
  • 3
    Elasticsearch connector
  • 3
    Web based management, query and monitoring panel
  • 2
    Map reduce views
  • 2
    DBaaS available
  • 2
    NoSQL
  • 1
    Buckets, Scopes, Collections & Documents
  • 1
    FTS + SQL together
  • 43
    JSON
  • 30
    Open source
  • 18
    Highly available
  • 12
    Partition tolerant
  • 11
    Eventual consistency
  • 7
    Sync
  • 5
    REST API
  • 4
    Attachments mechanism to docs
  • 4
    Multi master replication
  • 3
    Changes feed
  • 1
    REST interface
  • 1
    js- and erlang-views

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Cons of Couchbase
Cons of CouchDB
  • 3
    Terrible query language
    Be the first to leave a con

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    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is Couchbase?

    Developed as an alternative to traditionally inflexible SQL databases, the Couchbase NoSQL database is built on an open source foundation and architected to help developers solve real-world problems and meet high scalability demands.

    What is CouchDB?

    Apache CouchDB is a database that uses JSON for documents, JavaScript for MapReduce indexes, and regular HTTP for its API. CouchDB is a database that completely embraces the web. Store your data with JSON documents. Access your documents and query your indexes with your web browser, via HTTP. Index, combine, and transform your documents with JavaScript.

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    What companies use Couchbase?
    What companies use CouchDB?
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    What tools integrate with Couchbase?
    What tools integrate with CouchDB?

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    What are some alternatives to Couchbase and CouchDB?
    MongoDB
    MongoDB stores data in JSON-like documents that can vary in structure, offering a dynamic, flexible schema. MongoDB was also designed for high availability and scalability, with built-in replication and auto-sharding.
    Cassandra
    Partitioning means that Cassandra can distribute your data across multiple machines in an application-transparent matter. Cassandra will automatically repartition as machines are added and removed from the cluster. Row store means that like relational databases, Cassandra organizes data by rows and columns. The Cassandra Query Language (CQL) is a close relative of SQL.
    Redis
    Redis is an open source (BSD licensed), in-memory data structure store, used as a database, cache, and message broker. Redis provides data structures such as strings, hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets with range queries, bitmaps, hyperloglogs, geospatial indexes, and streams.
    HBase
    Apache HBase is an open-source, distributed, versioned, column-oriented store modeled after Google' Bigtable: A Distributed Storage System for Structured Data by Chang et al. Just as Bigtable leverages the distributed data storage provided by the Google File System, HBase provides Bigtable-like capabilities on top of Apache Hadoop.
    Oracle
    Oracle Database is an RDBMS. An RDBMS that implements object-oriented features such as user-defined types, inheritance, and polymorphism is called an object-relational database management system (ORDBMS). Oracle Database has extended the relational model to an object-relational model, making it possible to store complex business models in a relational database.
    See all alternatives