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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, BigCouch 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 as cluster management, higher concurrency access performance and compactor technology, from the broader project.

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 users.”

“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 now, with a general release expected in line with the Apache release process.

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