Couchbase Releases Couchbase Server 2.0

On December 12 Couchbase, the Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of database management systems built with the Apache CouchDB, released the latest version of its flagship NoSQL database system. Couchbase Server 2.0 adds to the system's existing key-value database capabilities with a flexible document data model, which the company claims will "enable developers to rapidly build and modify their web and mobile applications without the constraints of relational database schemas."

CouchDB is a document-oriented database that can be queried and indexed in a MapReduce fashion using JavaScript. It's a member of the growing category of NoSQL databases -- the non-relational, distributed, schema-free, open-source, horizontally scalable DBs that emerged around 2009. CouchDBs store data as JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) documents, which are lightweight, text-based and human-readable.

NoSQL databases have been getting attention as the most effective DBs for the Web, the cloud, and mobile computing. There are quite a few of these "document databases" out there today: Google, Amazon, Facebook, and LinkedIn all have NoSQL DBs.

"New use cases and data requirements for high usage, massive scale-out and flexible, rapidly changing design needs are pushing RDBMS products beyond their limits," said Gartner analyst Merv Adrian, in a statement. "Those products were designed for fixed schemas, where data structure varies little over time. NoSQL offerings are drawing a great deal of attention because they are designed for greater flexibility and less-fixed data definition, in line with the expectations of programmers building today's new systems."

The latest release of Couchbase Server adds some new document-oriented features, including a JSON-based data model that eliminates the need to create and manage schemas (database blueprints). Developers can also incorporate simple, real-time analytics into their application using a new incremental map reduce capability. MapReduce is a programming model for processing the large data sets that supports parallel computations on so-called unreliable clusters.

This release also adds distributed indexing and querying capabilities that allows users to access stored data through queries. The idea here is to support a "broader baseline" of use cases, including things like content-oriented Web apps and metadata management.

Another new feature, Cross Datacenter Replication (XDCR), aims to enable "automatic replication of databases across geographically disparate data centers, ensuring data availability in the event of catastrophic infrastructure failures and improving application response time by locating data closer to the users accessing it."

This release also comes with such operational enhancements as online data and index compaction.

Couchbase CEO Bob Wiederhold calls the launch of the latest version of his company's flagship product "the most important release to date in the life of Couchbase NoSQL technology."

Couchbase Server 2.0 can be downloaded now from the company Web site.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].