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CouchDB and CouchOne – Brief Notes


The company behind the NoSQL database CouchDB has renamed itself from CouchIO to CouchOne. Below is my summary of the last briefing I had with Damien Katz, CEO and founder of the company.

CouchDB is an document-oriented DB, in the “NoSQL” category. One of it’s strengths is built in replication and synching between database instances. This makes it appeal in scenarios where your application will be spanning different devices (desktops, mobile, cloud, etc.) and you don’t want to spend too much time managing keeping that data synchronized between each device. In the mobile and cloud space, this also helps with what James Governor early on labeled “the synchronized web”: your network is going to go down at some point (usually not by choice) and you’ll want to continue operating off-line, and then having everything mesh back together – synchronize – when you connect back up to the web.

CouchApps, a Couch PaaS

Having an embedded web server, CouchDB also can serve up “CouchApps,” making Couch into an application development platform as well. Interestingly, just as data is synced between Couch instance, these applications can be synced as well, providing interesting distribution and updating channels for apps. Again, you can see how this is attractive in the mobile space where your application might span the handset and the cloud, not to mention other devices that connect to whatever the “master” application is. Also, this sort of self-contained, database-driven application puts Couch in the RAD, Line-of-Business category (read: avoiding long running, complex IT-driven custom development projects): the area of things like Lotus Notes, WaveMaker, and many custom build .Net applications.

Also, in the cloud area, there’s the CouchOne Platform which seeks to provide a “hosting platform” for CouchApps, those built on HTML5, a PaaS, it’d seem. Having that centralized place for CouchApps both has the potential to make developers lives easier and provide an easier revenue source for CouchOne than open source support sales. Clearly, this is an area an open source company can, and should be, monetizing – see OpsCode for similar example.


Speaking of that, there’s the usual metallurgical bands of support you can get, with pricing at $10k, $25k, and $40k a year. I’m not sure what the hosting pricing is, or will be. Other revenue sources, of course, would be embedded partnership deals in the mobile space and perhaps deals for embedded support in other types of software where ISVs are seeking to swap out relational databases.

Mobile, however, is still a major focus for CouchOne (the company, vs. just the open source software). Whether app development itself or finding partners in frameworks and hardware (someone like Alcatel-Lucent who’s building a suite for developing mobile apps targeted at telcos would find CouchOne interesting).


Disclosure: Alcatel-Lucent is a client, as are IBM, Microsoft, and WaveMaker.c

Categories: Brief Notes, Cloud, Open Source, Programming.

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