See how Atlas and Capella compare in the DBaaS performance report

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 supports ACID transactions, and is built to deliver consistent data to everyone working with it. Couchbase’s architecture 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 operations (including 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 and shards documents and 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: Speed of memory performance with SQL capabilities

Deliver superior query capabilities


A Couchbase strength is its support for a wide range of flexible operations. Query with SQL++, a full SQL implementation for JSON or key-value lookups, which do not require the creation of any additional indexes and will read data directly from the built-in managed cache. Further, Couchbase includes multi-dimensional scaling of its services including: 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. Data can be retrieved through a system of views, which can be cumbersome and limited. Also, there is a lack of a subdocument API, which means you can only read and write a full document using its key, which can affect performance on large documents.

Challenge 3: Support for your favorite development tools

Work with a wide range of development tools


Couchbase Server supports a robust and flexible development environment with smart SDKs that can automatically detect changes in the cluster. It is written in popular languages, like C, C++, and Go, and includes connectors and SDKs to popular solutions (Java, .NET, Node.js, PHP, Ruby, and more). 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, Key-value
Consistency Strong, including distributed ACID transactions Eventual
Replication Master-Master Master-Master by default with optional clustering for quorum writes and reads
Locking Optimistic and pessimistic Optimistic with modified MVCC
Query language Yes, SQL++ (SQL for JSON) Yes, using a limited find API derived from MongoDB™
Secondary indexes Yes Yes
Notifications Yes,
Database Change Protocol/Eventing service
Changes feeds
Services Data, Query, Index, Full-Text Search, Analytics, Eventing, Backup, Mobile Sync Data, Query, and Index
Performance at scale
Couchbase Server Apache CouchDB
Storage (performance) Append-only B-Tree Append-only B-Tree
Integrated cache (performance) Yes No
Managed cache (performance) Yes No
Manage with ease
Couchbase Server Apache CouchDB
Automatic failover (management) Yes Not by default; can be configured for quorum reads
Cross data center replication (management) Yes Yes

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