Is CouchBase a practical solution for chat applications?

I’m investigating a few technical options for building a chat Server that works with Android+iOS client applications. CouchBase is one option, so I would like to hear from the community:

  • Is a chat application a good use-case for couchbase (together with couchbase lite and sync).
  • How quickly do messages sync to the client after being “created” on the server? Are we talking milliseconds or seconds?

We have a chat example app, though it’s out of date and may not build without some fixups.

Couchbase Mobile may or may not be suitable for your app. Its basic assumption is that content is persistent, so if you use it for chat, every message will persist as a document. (You can delete documents, but even then a small ‘tombstone’ sticks around as a record of the deletion.)

Latency for document propagation is on the order of a second, assuming the docs are small and the server isn’t heavily loaded. It seemed pretty reasonable for chat in our limited usage.

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Just what I needed to know. Thanks Jens.

@jens - did the chat example app use the Couchbase Sync Gateway? Also wondering if any new improvements have been made in Couchbase to allow for a better chat experience. And lastly, what other cloud backend services would you recommend if someone wanted to implement a chat program in their app.


@jens whats your comment after 2 years… any major improvements as a complete CB components itself… with cbl 2.0 around the corner…


I think it depends on the number of user and servers used at the back end. For us we have implemented chat application even with 1.4.1 because the usage are very limited. Maximum 5500 users. But with sync gateway accelerator, latest couch base mobile framework it must be good.