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From Jan Lehnardt <>
Subject Re: Design doc index switching
Date Thu, 16 May 2019 13:55:33 GMT
+1 on solving this for all users, and same caveats as Stefan raises :)

> On 16. May 2019, at 09:38, Stefan du Fresne <> wrote:
> Hey Garren,
> Having this a native part of CouchDB seems like a really cool idea: we have automated
the manual dance you're talking about with our deployment tooling, but it would be really
nice not to have to!
> I'm not clear how it would work though, at least in terms of coherent deployments. View
changes are, like SQL migrations, an often non-backwards compatible change that has to occur
as your new code deploys.
> Currently the naive approach is you deploy your new code alongside design doc changes,
which then block view queries on first request until they're ready to go.
> The better approach is what you describe, which is what we do now, where we extract our
design documents out of our deployment bundle and place them in a "staging" location to allow
them to warm, then rename them and do the actual code deployment once that's complete (managed
by an external deployment service we built). This importantly lets us split the "warming"
bit from the deployment bit: we only deploy new code once the design documents that are shipped
with that code is ready to go.
> How would you foresee this kind of flow happening here? Would there be a way to query
the design doc to know if it had flipped to the new version yet? Would you be able to control
when this flip occurs? Or would the expectation be that your code handles both versions gracefully?
> As an example to mull over, let's say you have design doc v1, which has view a. You push
design doc v2, which has added view b, but has also changed view a in some backwards incompatible
way. While v2 is still building and is not yet the active doc:
> - If you queried view a you'd get the v1 version, that's clear
> - If you queried view b you'd get... a 404? Some other custom code?
> - If you GET the design document what doc would you see? Presumably v2?
> - Could you query something to determine which version is currently active? Or perhaps
just whether there is a background version building at all?
> Cheers,
> Stefan
>> On 16 May 2019, at 07:51, Garren Smith <> wrote:
>> Hi Everyone,
>> A common pattern we see for updating large indexes that can take a few days
>> to build, is create a new design docs with the new updated views. Then once
>> the new design doc is built, a user changes the new design doc’s id to the
>> old design doc. That way the CouchDB url for the views remain the same and
>> any requests to the design doc url automatically get the latest views only
>> once they built.
>> This is an effective way of managing building large indexes, but the
>> process is quite complicated and often users get it wrong. I would like to
>> propose that we move this process into CouchDB and let CouchDB handle the
>> actual process. From a users perspective, they would add a field to the
>> options of a design document that lets CouchDB know, that this build needs
>> to be built in the background and only replace the current index once its
>> built:
>> ```
>> {
>> "_id": "_design/design-doc-id",
>> "_rev": "2-8d361a23b4cb8e213f0868ea3d2742c2",
>> "views": {
>>   "map-view": {
>>     "map": "function (doc) {\n  emit(doc._id, 1);\n}"
>>   }
>> },
>> "language": "javascript",
>>   "options": {
>>       "build_and_replace": true
>>   }
>> }
>> ```
>> I think this is something we could build quite effectively once we have
>> CouchDB running on top of FoundationDB. I don’t want to implement it for
>> version 1 of CouchDB on FDB, but it would be nice to keep this in mind as
>> we build out the map/reduce indexes.
>> What do you think? Any issues we might have by doing this internally?
>> Cheers
>> Garren

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