Couchbase Lite is an embedded NoSQL database for iOS, Android and .Net platforms. The framework’s API supports native platform bindings for Android(Java), iOS (Swift, ObjC) and UWP/Xamarin (csharp). This implies that if you are building a Cordova app and you want to use Couchbase Lite as your embedded data persistence layer, you will have to find a way to access Couchbase Lite’s native APIs from within your Cordova web application. You can accomplish that with Cordova Plugins. Cordova plugins allow web-based apps running in a Cordova webview to access native platform functionality through a Javascript interface.


At a high level, the architecture of a Cordova application that uses Cordova Plugins to access native code libraries is pretty straightforward.
– The UI layer or the web app layer is written using HTML/Javascript and is common across mobile platforms.
– The WebView is used for rendering the web app
– The web app uses plugins to access native functionality. The Couchbase Lite Cordova Plugin is written in native platform language and is responsible for interfacing with Couchbase Lite. The plugin exposes a JS API that is accessible to the web app.


We have put together two tutorials, one for Android and one for iOS. Each tutorial will walk you through the steps on how you can build a Cordova plugin that will interface with Couchbase Lite 2.x on specific platform. This Couchbase Lite plugin will allow Cordova applications to use Couchbase Lite for data persistence. In our sample app, we will use Ionic for building our the frontend web app layer.

We will be working with a very simple app called the “Hotel-Lister”. This app allows users to
– Query for and to display a list of hotels.

The hotels are queried for from a local pre-built Couchbase Lite database and displayed in the Ionic web app.

So let’s get started! If you are developing for iOS, you can get started with the iOS tutorial) and if you are developing for Android, follow the instructions in the Android tutorial).

Next Steps

After completing the tutorial, you should have a good idea of how to use Couchbase Lite as a local data store within your Cordova Application on iOS and Android. Check out our tutorials site for more sample apps.

If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment below or feel free to reach out to me at Twitter @rajagp or email me at The Couchbase Forums are another good place to reach out with questions.


I would like to thank James Nocentini for his contributions to the tutorials and development of the sample apps.



Posted by Priya Rajagopal, Senior Director, Product Management

Priya Rajagopal is a Senior Director of Product Management at Couchbase responsible for developer platforms for the cloud and the edge. She has been professionally developing software for over 20 years in several technical and product leadership positions, with 10+ years focused on mobile technologies. As a TISPAN IPTV standards delegate, she was a key contributor to the IPTV standards specifications. She has 22 patents in the areas of networking and platform security.

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