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From Antony Blakey <>
Subject Re: The Blog
Date Mon, 09 Feb 2009 13:15:30 GMT

On 09/02/2009, at 11:19 PM, Mister Donut wrote:

> I would just, really really really, like to see an example that goes
> beyond schema-free. That handles replication. I think that would show
> where CouchDB shines, and where you'd fail with a RDBMS.

I presume you've seen 

CouchDB is useful even where you wouldn't fail with an RDBMS. The data  
model, HTTP API, and map/reduce materialised views are features that  
makes some applications considerable easier to conceptualise, design,  
write, deploy and manage, and that's ignoring replication.

Considering replication, I'm about to deploy an application platform  
that uses replication to distribute read-only data *and* applications  
that use that data in a p2p mesh. I don't know how I would do that  
using an RDBMS - I guess I'd end up replicating CouchDB's mechanism in  
some form.

A putative extension to that gig is to make it into a p2p read/write  
collaborative content development platform. Once again, CouchDB  
replication to the rescue.

I have another contract about to start for a server app where all the  
data is maintained on the client's desktop, previewed with full  
functionality, and then replicated to an EC2 instance. This can be  
done with traditional databases, but it's trivial with CouchDB, which  
has allowed me to both outcompete on price and improve my development  
margin. That's one definition of success.

Furthermore, in each of these gigs, having the content in JSON is  
amazingly convenient. In some cases I need joins and dynamic queries,  
but I can do that using Couch's _external mechanism that allows  
alternative indexing.

In one case I've gone through three delivered versions, from Java/ 
Spring/Hibernate/Postgresql, to VisualWorks Smalltalk/GLORP/Postgresql  
to CouchDB/Merb/Ruby. IMO Ruby/Smalltalk are to Java as CouchDB is to  
an RDBMS. I never want to go back. Well, apart from going back to  

Antony Blakey
CTO, Linkuistics Pty Ltd
Ph: 0438 840 787

If a train station is a place where a train stops, what's a workstation?

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