Altoros Benchmark: Compare Couchbase Cloud™, MongoDB™ Atlas, and AWS DynamoDB

Couchbase delivers superior data consistency, performance, and development tool support compared to Apache CouchDB

Challenge 1: Ensure data consistency

Support for distributed ACID transactions


Couchbase is an ACID database, built to deliver consistent data to everyone working with it. The solution is built from the ground up to operate on a cluster of nodes. Writes are made to an active node and immediately replicated to its peers to complete distributed ACID transactions. Read your own writes are made to the original server so data remains consistent in that context. Couchbase Server replicates data at the document level as well as across nodes and automatically stores document replicas on separate servers to eliminate single points of failure.

Apache CouchDB

Each CouchDB server operates as an individual node and each server contains a full copy of the data, to ensure both availability and fault tolerance. Those replicas can be problematic when application servers read from and write to any different CouchDB servers found on the network. The result? Different CouchDB instances carry different information that must be reconciled by a master copy. It’s a slow process that introduces points of failure: unexpected errors or changes at the master can corrupt the whole system.

Challenge 2: Streamline performance with superior query capabilities

Deliver superior query capabilities


A Couchbase strength is its support for a wide range of query functions. Its REST API provides three ways to query: N1QL, a SQL-like query language for JSON; Views, including multi-dimensional querying, similar to CouchDB views; and Key-value lookups, which do not require the creation of any additional indexes. Further, Couchbase includes multidimensional scaling of its services including: Query, Index, Full Text Search, Analytics and Eventing.

Apache CouchDB

CouchDB functions as a pure document store. As a result, developers often find the database system is difficult to query. They must instead retrieve data through a system of views, which can be cumbersome. Also, they can only pull out a full document using its key.

Challenge 3: Support for your favorite development tools

Work with a wide range of development tools


Couchbase Server has an open source design that supports a robust and flexible development environment with services that can scale multi-dimensionally. It is written in popular languages, like C, C++, and Go and includes connectors and SDKs to popular solutions. Individual and community-supported SDKs are available.

Apache CouchDB

CouchDB is an open source project. The solution was written in Erlang, which is a rigid environment, one that runs on top of the OTP framework. Its connectors are not available as a core project. Their SDKs and integrations are available via a REST interface.

Feature set: CouchDB vs. Couchbase

Developer agility
Couchbase Server Apache CouchDB
Data models JSON document, Key-value JSON document
Consistency Strong, including distributed ACID transactions Eventual
Replication Master-Master JSON document
Locking Optimistic and pessimistic Optimistic with modified MVCC
Query language Yes, N1QL (SQL for JSON) Yes, using a limited find API derived from MongoDB™
Secondary Indexes Yes Yes
Notifications Yes,
Database Change Protocol
Yes, using a limited find API derived from MongoDB™
Secondary Indexes Yes Yes
Notifications Yes,
Database Change Protocol
Changes feeds
Services Data, Query, Index, Full Text Search, Analytics, Eventing Data, Query & Index
Performance at scale
Performance at scale Apache CouchDB
Storage (performance) Append-only B-Tree Append-only B-Tree
Integrated cache (performance) Yes No
Managed cache (performance) Yes No
Memcached compatible
Yes No
MapReduce (views)
Yes Yes
Manage with ease
Couchbase Server Apache CouchDB
Automatic failover (management) Yes Not by default; can be configured for quorum reads
Cross datacenter replication (management) Yes Yes

For more on Couchbase architecture