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CouchDB: a database for the Web

Apache CouchDB is one of a new breed of database management systems. It is a document-oriented, noSQL database. Unlike traditional relational databases who store both data and the relationship among data into different tables, CouchDB does not have tables and stores data as JSON documents in the database and within each document fields are stored as key-value maps. Each document is given a document-level unique identifier (_id) as well as a revision (_rev) number for each change that is made and saved to the database. All the documents are accessible as JSON via URL.

Features:

Document-oriented: A CouchDB document is a JSON object that consists of named fields. Field values may be strings, numbers, dates, or even ordered lists and associative maps. A CouchDB database is a flat collection of these documents. Each document is identified by a unique ID.

Accessing data via HTTP: all documents are accessible via HTTP url, it does not need any SQL queries to retrieve data, this make data indexing and retrieve very fast, especially for large scale database.

Schema-less: Unlike SQL databases, which are designed to store and report on highly structured, interrelated data, CouchDB is designed to store and report on large amounts of semi-structured, document -oriented data. CouchDB does not need schema, so new document types with new meaning can be safely added alongside the old.

JSON-based document format: JSON-based document format makes the translation across different language very seasy.

Some useful links:

Apache CouchDB: http://couchdb.apache.org

The definitive guide: http://guide.couchdb.org

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