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CouchDB Progresses As IBM Acquires Cloudant

by Alex Giamas on Mar 21, 2014 |

IBM announced recently a definite agreement to acquire Boston-based cloud database startup Cloudant.

Cloudant has been an active contributor to the Apache CouchDB project. Cloudant has been offering an online Database as a Service (DBaaS) based on CouchDB. CouchDB is an eventually consistent, JSON based scalable NoSQL database. CouchDB offers MapReduce functionality through Javascript and an HTTP API for data access. The DBaaS offering and contribution to CouchDB are not going to be affected by the acquisition. A month ago, Cloudant also started expanding in the Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) space by offering a synchronization service for Android and iOS offline based applications.

Adding CouchDB to IBM’s arsenal of technologies together with SoftLayer acquisition and MongoDB partnership creates an ecosystem of technologies bringing IBM in direct comparison with Amazon. IBM is collaborating with MongoDB on a new standard for interchangeable access of DB2 and MongoDB back end from mobile apps. With Cloudant and SoftLayer, IBM is able to offer a CouchDB DBaaS offering comparable to Amazon’s DynamoDB or Rackspace’s ObjectRocket.
A comparison of these three technologies by Cloudant shows the strong points of Cloudant’s offering. Lucene powered full text search is the major selling point. Advanced Geo-spatial capabilities based on R-trees is also supported. Durability, multi-master replication and fault tolerance are also listed as advantages over competing platforms.

Commercial support for CouchDB has not been uninterrupted throughout the past years with CouchOne withdrawing support after the merge with MemBase into CouchBase. Cloudant stepped in contributing its own fork of CouchDB, BigCouch into the open source codebase and picking up on commercial support. With backing from IBM, enterprise architects can be assured that commercial support will be available and development will continue as planned.

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