One CouchDB to rule them all

Cloudant merges distributed BigCouch code with Apache CouchDB

Chris Mayer

The database-as-a-service company cease production on their distributed NoSQL framework to help reignite the open source vehicle.

Database-as-a-service company Cloudant has pledged
to breathe life into NoSQL database Apache CouchDB, by pushing the
code behind its highly-tuned version,
into the larger open source project.

The code merger, which has been
in the works for some months
, allows CouchDB
users to reap the rewards from the distributed database, such
cluster management, higher concurrency access
performance and compactor technology, from the broader

After four years of production, Cloudant has
ceased BigCouch development in order to participate fully in the
CouchDB project. Development on the Amazon Dynamo-inspired
framework began in 2008 and was initially conceived as an easier
way of distributing petabytes, after Cloudant had been using
CouchDB for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider to manage data.

Cloudant CTO and co-founder Adam Kocoloski
explained that the merger was their way of “saying thanks and
helping to grow the community of CouchDB developers and

“There are a lot of reasons people love CouchDB,
like its elegant programming model, data durability, flexible
indexing, and, most of all, its unique way of replicating and
syncing data across data centers or devices.”

“We’re continuing work within the Apache project to integrate
the clustering technology of BigCouch, but now we’ve set the stage
and are welcoming more project committers to get involved,” said
Jan Lehnardt, Project Management Committee chair of the Apache
CouchDB project, before adding that the company’s “fine tuning”
work gives the project “a complete strategy for replicating data
across distributed systems.

Apache CouchDB has been in limbo since the decision of founder
Damien Katz in January 2012 to leave
behind the open source project
for a commercial version under
Couchbase, who have no direct input into Apache CouchDB. Most of
the core team followed suit, leaving the CouchDB community
fractured and potential customers/users confused.

The merger of the two open source CouchDB
options should help realign things and BigCouch’s distributed
donation should be the kickstart the Apache CouchDB project needs
moving forward, putting it theoretically on a par with Riak,
another DynamoDB-aspiring database.

A preview of the newly merged software is available
, with a general release expected in line with
the Apache release process.

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