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Why an Engagement Database

Scale up your innovation – the success of your business depends on it

Technology is transforming every industry, from retail to healthcare to transportation. At the heart of this transformation is the ability to engage with employees, customers, and partners through exceptional digital experiences. Yet to create these experiences, organizations need to use data in an agile, responsive, and scalable manner.

The cost of poor CX


89% of consumers will leave for your competitors based on their experience

By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator
The cost of failing to innovate


Companies that don’t deliver good customer experience will fail within 4 years

Innovation powered by Couchbase drives an average of $5.41M in new revenue every year
The cost of legacy tech


74% of companies report that their legacy databases have hindered their end user’s experience

Adopting an Engagement Database can improve response times by 40% and shorten application development lifecycles by 20%
When customers spend more time interacting than transacting, you need to make every click more rewarding.

Only an engagement database is up to the job.

See Why


Customer Interactions


Customer Transactions

Why today’s digital transformation projects fail

The traditional approach

You’ve typically used two databases: transactional and analytical. This approach has proved to be inflexible, costly, and has failed to deliver the richer customer experiences today’s consumers require.

Make the switch from RDBMS
Point solutions everywhere

You’ve attempted to add new functionality through point solutions – at the expense of manageability, agility, and, ultimately, your customers’ experience. What now?

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Welcome to the Engagement Database

An integrated data platform that delivers exceptional customer experiences, while simultaneously accelerating innovation and reducing complexity.

Why Engagement Database

Attributes of an Engagement Database

Hello cloud, hello world
Hello cloud, hello world

Seamless global data distribution, flexible data locality, and built-in recovery.

Seamlessly mobile
Seamlessly mobile

Exceptional mobile experiences for offline or online access with auto sync back to the cloud.

Built-in smarts
Built-in smarts

Create personalized, intelligent apps for ever-richer customer experiences.

Built for change – at scale
Built for change – at scale

Supporting millions of ever-richer customer interactions, while responding to ever-changing business requirements.

Always on, always fast
Always on, always fast

Consistent high performance with built-in fault tolerance to get the data when and where you need it.

Secure, secure, secure
Secure, secure, secure

Secure data everywhere – on the wire, on the device, in the cloud, in the data center.


Meet the Couchbase Data Platform

Memory-first architecture

Customers expect and demand fast, responsive applications. Many enterprises will add an in-memory caching product in front of their relational and NoSQL database to increase performance and throughput, and to ensure responsiveness. However, this adds operational and management complexity as well as additional cost.

Built on a memory-first architecture, Couchbase ensures that all operations occur in-memory and supports special memory-optimized data management options, including 100% memory resident indexes and data buckets. This optimizes data-access performance and throughput while also simplifying operational management and reducing costs. By achieving memory-speed data transfer between nodes in the cluster, Couchbase avoids traditional database disk I/O bottlenecks.

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The Couchbase Data Platform leverages its memory-first architecture to transfer data between nodes in the cluster at the speed of memory, thus avoiding traditional database disk I/O bottlenecks.

Elastic-scale architecture

As part of the core database engine, Couchbase provides an elastic Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS) architecture that supports both scale-up and scale-out approaches.

MDS allows you to separate the different data processing workloads as distinct, independently scalable services. You can independently configure and scale (up or out) the data, index, query, Full Text Search, and Analytics Services based on your data management processing requirements and application workloads. This gives you both the scalability to deliver responsive customer applications and the flexibility to adapt to new and changing workloads and application requirements.

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MDS is particularly well-suited for the cloud where compute, storage, and memory resources are typically allocated and expensed separately. MDS allows you to independently configure and scale your compute, storage, and memory resources for each service. This results in a more efficient allocation and use of resources, ultimately reducing your overall cost of operations in the cloud. 


Couchbase Server’s architecture guards against most forms of failure, and protects against data loss. Buckets can be configured for replication to create data redundancy and to allow for the failure of copies – as long as the data is available somewhere, it’s not lost. Data is also written to the disk, so in the case of a power outage or software crash, data can be retrieved from the disk during recovery. Depending on durability and performance requirements, users can configure the right durability options to meet their application needs.

Core database engine

Couchbase’s core database engine provides the fundamental capabilities for document management and indexing. It’s based on a modern memory-first, async everywhere, elastically scalable architecture that includes capabilities such as caching, data persistence, auto-sharding, replication, disaster recovery, and cluster management.

You can store data either as JSON documents or binary formats, automatically sharded and distributed across the cluster based on a hash of the primary key. All read and write operations occur in-memory, and data that needs to be indexed, persisted, and/or replicated is placed on appropriate queues for each type of operation. This ensures maximum performance, scalability, and reliability within the core engine.

core database engine
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The core engine runs on each of the nodes in a Couchbase cluster. Based on your deployment strategy, services, and workload requirements, you can have individual services enabled or disabled per node. For more information on Couchbase Server architecture, see the Architecture Overview. 

Analytics built in

Powerful parallel query processing over JSON data allows you to:

  • Efficiently execute complex, long-running SQL-like queries that contain complex joins and set, aggregation, and grouping operations
  • Address the challenges of supporting responsive, scalable apps and ad hoc analytics on the same dataset

Couchbase Analytics powerfully combines a common JSON data model with:

  • A SQL-like query language extended for JSON 
  • Effective analytical workload isolation
  • Up-to-date data freshness via a fast memory-to-memory transfer protocol in a single platform 

This allows app developers and DevOps to build intelligent applications and dashboards that surface insights to customers and business users in real time without the overhead and latency of performing separate extract, transform, load (ETL) operations.

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The Couchbase Analytics Service is currently in developer preview and is scheduled for general availability in 2018.

Query without limits

Build and evolve web, mobile, and IoT apps faster using Couchbase’s own query language, N1QL (“nickel”). N1QL combines the power and familiarity of SQL with the flexibility and agility of the JSON data model.

N1QL is a declarative query language that extends SQL for JSON data. You can query data via native framework and language integrations, a fluent and easy-to-use API, several Couchbase utilities, or available JDBC/ODBC drivers.

With N1QL you can query JSON documents without any limitations: sort, filter, transform, group, and combine data with a single query. You can combine data from multiple documents with a JOIN. And you’re not limited to the “single table” and “table per query” data models often found in other NoSQL products.

query table document key select
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In the Couchbase Mobile 2.0 release, N1QL has also been added to Couchbase Lite. This allows mobile application developers to leverage their existing SQL programming skills along with the flexibility of JSON.

Full Text Search

Built-in Full Text Search (FTS) makes it simple for developers to add intelligence to apps. Full-text indexes are automatically managed within the Couchbase cluster, avoiding the delay, overhead, and complexity of managing a separate full-text search product and infrastructure.

FTS enables you to create, manage, and query full-text indexes on JSON documents stored in a Couchbase bucket. It provides powerful capabilities for natural language queries, including:

  • Stemming, which provides a language-aware manner of searching (e.g., users can type "beauties" and find results for "beauty")
  • Scoring, which provides relevance ranking for results
  • Fast multipurpose indexes where a single index can support a wide range of possible text searches 
Full Text Search FTS
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In the Couchbase Mobile 2.0 release, Full Text Search has also been added to Couchbase Lite. This allows mobile application developers to incorporate device-local FTS queries and intelligence into their mobile applications. 

Key-value simplicity

Customer experience depends on app performance and behavior, which in turn depends largely on database performance and throughput.

At the heart of the Couchbase Data Platform is a distributed key-value (KV) data store. It’s an extremely simple, lightning fast, schemaless data management system that stores a unique ID (key) and a piece of arbitrary information (value). The key is hashed by the Couchbase client library, automatically sharded, and directly sent to the appropriate data service node in the Couchbase cluster.

The KV store is accessed using simple create, read, update, delete (CRUD) APIs, and thus provides a simpler interface when accessing documents using their IDs (primary keys). Due to their simplicity, KV operations execute with extremely low latency, often sub-millisecond.

Applications can access data stored in the Couchbase Data Platform using a variety of interfaces, including the KV API, MapReduce views, N1QL queries, Full Text Search, and the Analytics Service. For simple CRUD operations using the primary key, the KV API is the fastest and most efficient way of accessing the data.


An index is a data structure that provides a quick and efficient means to query and access all your data without scanning every document. Applications can query Couchbase Server in one of the following ways:

  • Using key-value access – Applications directly access data through the data service with document keys for fastest access
  • Using N1QL – Applications use SQL-like syntax with global secondary indexes or MapReduce views to speed up queries
  • Using Couchbase View API directly – Applications directly query the MapReduce view indexes or spatial views for purpose-built precomputed indexes


Couchbase Server provides high availability for reading and writing of data through a variety of features. Couchbase provides high availability using intra-cluster replication and index replication, and disaster recovery using cross datacenter replication (XDCR).

Intra-cluster replication 
Intra-cluster replication involves replicas that are placed on another node in the same cluster. In the event of failure of a single node, this ensures that data is still available on other nodes that can provide full read and write ability to the applications.

Cross datacenter replication
Using the cross datacenter replication (XDCR) capability, you can set up replication of data between clusters. XDCR helps protect against datacenter failures and also helps maintain data locality in globally distributed mission-critical applications.

Index replication
Index replication support has been added to improve high availability and manageability of indexes. Users can specify the number of replicas to create, and the system will manage the placement of the index replicas on different index nodes, server groups, and availability zones.

Designed for mobile and IoT

Couchbase gives you a full-stack data platform for your mobile and IoT apps, including built-in real-time data synchronization, enterprise-level security, and data integration with your existing ecosystem.

Your mobile and IoT apps leverage the full power of the Couchbase Data Platform by using Couchbase Server, Couchbase Sync Gateway, and Couchbase Lite to enable secure online and offline data access, as well as automatic data synchronization from device to the backend.

Data integration APIs let you integrate with your existing systems of record, data warehouses, and other legacy systems via Sync Gateway or Couchbase Server.

mobile iot design
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Whether you have hundreds, thousands, or millions of devices, Couchbase Server and Sync Gateway are independently scalable in real time, enabling you to keep up with changing demands.

Big data and SQL integrations

Rich, immersive apps need to leverage data across the entire data management ecosystem, including SQL and big data databases and tools. Couchbase includes built-in big data and SQL integration to allow you to build intelligent apps in less time by leveraging your tools, processing capacity, and data – wherever it may reside.

Big data integration is provided via high-performance scalable connectors for Hadoop, Kafka, Spark, and Elasticsearch that leverage the latest advances and features available in these rapidly emerging technologies.

SQL integration is enabled in a couple of different ways. The JDBC and ODBC drivers by Simba and the ODBC, JDBC, ADO.NET, OData, SSIS, BizTalk, and Excel drivers by CData allow you to use any standards-compliant tool with Couchbase. Couchbase also provides instructions and connector technology for specific BI, visualization, and ETL tools, including Tableau, Qlik, SlamData, Knowi, Excel, Power BI, Looker, Informatica, Talend, TIBCO, and many others.

Unified programming model

Couchbase gives you simple connectors and tools and uniform application development APIs across multiple programming languages, making it easier to build applications and reducing your time to market. Are you a Mobile or IoT developer? Couchbase lets you seamlessly move data from the datacenter to the cloud and the edge.

The Couchbase SDKs provide native support for synchronous, asynchronous, and event-driven programming models in the languages that support them. A set of Server and Mobile REST APIs are also available for queries, system configuration, and administration.

Additional SDKs – including specific API implementations and SDKs for Java, PHP, Ruby, Erlang, Perl, TCL, and ColdFusion – are available from the open source community. For more information, see the open source projects from the community list.

Full-stack security

Although security is fairly standard in the relational database world, in the NoSQL world it varies significantly from product to product.

With Couchbase, your data is secure everywhere – on the wire, on the device, in the cloud, and in the datacenter. The Couchbase Data Platform provides built-in and configurable full-stack security for authentication, authorization, encryption over the wire, and auditing. Via our technology partners, we also provide encryption, data masking, and field-level security.

Container and cloud deployments

A cloud-first strategy is key to constant innovation and the ability to respond to fast-changing business needs. However, a successful cloud-first strategy must weigh the options of public, private, hybrid, and multi-cloud deployments, while trying to avoid vendor lock-in and unforeseen operational issues.

The Couchbase Data Platform is cloud-native and architected to work on any cloud. Differentiated functionality like auto-sharding, shared-nothing, memory-first architecture, Multi-Dimensional Scaling, cross datacenter replication (XDCR), zone- and region-aware replication, and a cloud-based Sync Gateway make Couchbase uniquely suited for cloud deployments.

Couchbase provides easily deployed pre-built modules on AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure marketplaces. Couchbase also supports a variety of container and virtualization technologies, including partnerships with Joyent, Docker, and Red Hat OpenShift, to enable operational excellence across any kind of public, private, hybrid, or multi-cloud deployment. 


Solutions in focus

Big Data

Big Data

Couchbase provides best-in-class Big Data streaming integration with Hadoop, Spark, and Kafka to create better highly customized customer experiences.



Couchbase provides data management across the full IoT stack, from devices at the edge, over the internet, to the backend database.



Couchbase is built for any cloud – public, private, or hybrid. Couchbase is cloud-native and even supports seamless data migration cloud to cloud.



Couchbase provides one unified mobile platform for managing data across the entire mobile application stack: cloud, web, device, or all the above.

Couchbase is the most powerful NoSQL data platform.

Learn the benefits of NoSQL


LinkedIn keeps over 450 million members engaged on
the world's biggest professional network.

Learn more





Office Depot ensures seamless shopping by serving rich
product information at blazing speed.


online commerce

Verizon supports over 16,000 developers and 3.5 million
operations per second with Couchbase Mobile.

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operations per second

Marriott relies on Couchbase to process billions of dollars in
reservations annually with 99.995% availability.

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tommy hilfiger customer

Tommy Hilfiger transformed the buying experience with a powerful digital showroom, replacing the shipment of sample garments to retail customers.

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reduced sample production time

Couchbase news and events

Couchbase Takes the Cloud with AWS Quick Start

Businesses are increasingly adopting cloud-first strategies to quickly create and deliver innovative approaches and adapt to constantly changing business needs and customer demands. By 2020, Gartner estimates the public cloud market will be worth $411 billion, therefore we recognize the […]

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Businesses are increasingly adopting cloud-first strategies to quickly create and deliver innovative approaches and adapt to constantly changing business needs and customer demands. By 2020, Gartner estimates the public cloud market will be worth $411 billion, therefore we recognize the […]

Continue reading
Couchbase Day - Charlotte

You’re invited to our FREE event featuring the Couchbase Data Platform. Come see how we built it on the most powerful NoSQL technology to give your customer-facing apps unmatched agility, manageability, and performance at any scale. You'll learn how we designed the world's first Engagement Database and how leading companies are using it to deliver amazing customer experiences across their web, mobile, and IoT apps. 

Continue reading

You’re invited to our FREE event featuring the Couchbase Data Platform. Come see how we built it on the most powerful NoSQL technology to give your customer-facing apps unmatched agility, manageability, and performance at any scale. You'll learn how we designed the world's first Engagement Database and how leading companies are using it to deliver amazing customer experiences across their web, mobile, and IoT apps. 

Continue reading
Couchbase to Present at KeyBanc Capital Markets’ 13th Annual Emerging Technology Summit in San Francisco
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