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From "Jason Huggins" <>
Subject Re: Inventory on CouchDB
Date Thu, 11 Sep 2008 08:13:27 GMT
On Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 7:39 PM, Brad King <> wrote:
> I have a vision for this great marriage of Postgres for inventory
> quantity managment and CouchDB for customer specific product data
> catalogs, but I'm struggling with what I think our Operations team can
> realistically manage for keeping these CouchDB systems up, running ,
> backed up, and easily deploying new servers for new customers.

I suspect you might be making things more complicated for yourself by
trying to use a Postgres *and* CouchDB solution. I think you'll have
less stress in your life if you can just pick one and run with it.

With that said, however, if you use a debian-based system like
ubuntu... I found these instructions remarkable easy and clear for
installing CouchDB:

And installing CouchDB on future versions of ubuntu will be as simple as:
"apt-get install couchdb"

Regarding data backups, I fell in love with CouchDB's simple
replication story after trying to figure out how to "architect" a
real-time-replication and backup/restore strategy for MySQL for my
Amazon EC2-based startup. Real-time replication (what MySQL people
would call a Multiple Master-Multiple Slave setup) and backup/restore
for CouchDB is child's play compared to the work involved for the
other databases. (I used to be an Oracle DBA.) Since my data storage
needs matched CouchDB's "document-centric" view of the world...
CouchDB was a better fit for me -- but my "conversion experience" to
CouchDB is mostly because of it's database backup and replication.
Long story short --- if you pick CouchDB -- your operations team will
probably love you for the work you just saved them. :-)

> Is anyone else in the SaaS business taking the plunge here with
> CouchDB.

Yes! But alas, I'm in "stealth mode" with my startup -- so I can't go
into any more detail, but I can say I'm betting on CouchDB in a big

> Am I insane for even considering it?

It depends... :-) Classic advice applies -- use the right tool for the
job... If your data is "document-y" -- invoices, purchase orders,
status reports, meeting notes -- a non-relational db like CouchDB
might make more sense... If you feel like you're struggling to fit
your data into CouchDB's world view... then it might be the wrong tool
for you...

Other great advice -- "your company's project isn't the school science
fair" -- using relatively new technology - no matter how promising it
is -- comes with higher risk for your project -- be prepared to find
bugs and deal with API changes as CouchDB is still "pre 1.0". If
"failure is not an option" for you -- don't treat your project as a
grand science experiment of new technologies. Try doing a few
proof-of-concepts with your idea and build-up technical experience
with the tools and your proposed design before going "all in".

Jason Huggins, happy CouchDB user

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