Couchbase Unleashes Open Source NoSQL Database

What happens when you bring together two open source database technologies? In the case of vendors Membase and CouchOne, you end up with a new company called Couchbase and a new product called the Couchbase Server.

Membase and CouchOne announced their merger last month. Couchbase is now out with its first product release called Couchbase Server, which extends the capabilities of the open source NoSQL Apache CouchDB database.

“Couchbase Server is a binary distribution of the Apache CouchDB open source software from Couchbase, Inc.,” James Phillips, co-founder and SVP Products for Couchbase, told “In addition to the CouchDB software, the distribution includes GeoCouch, an open source software project founded by Volker Mische, a Couchbase employee, and packaged with easy to use installers for 32- and 64-bit Linux (Red Hat and Ubuntu), Mac OS X, and Windows platforms.”

Phillips added that Couchbase Server is a binary distribution of CouchDB. Users of CouchDB can easily migrate to Couchbase Server, which is fully compatible with their existing database files. The Couchbase Server is based on the open source Apache CouchDB 1.02 release.

Unlike Couchbase’s predecessor company, CouchOne, Couchbase does not offer standalone support for Apache CouchDB, only Couchbase Server. Phillips noted that Couchbase Server is the binary that his company has built, tested, certified and added supportability tools into.

“Couchbase Server is primarily intended to be an easy way for devs to get their hands on the Apache CouchDB technology – it is packaged for ease of download and installation across a variety of environments,” Phillips said. “In addition, we build, test, add supportability tools and certify the binaries across various platforms and operating systems.”

Phillips added that Couchbase’s goal is to help users get a packaged version of CouchDB that can be used to support users since Couchbase knows precisely what was built and because there are tools to help easily diagnose, troubleshoot and fix problems remotely.

Couchbase Server is available in both community and Enterprise versions. The Enterprise version adds legal indemnification and support to productions usage.

“Couchbase Server Enterprise Edition is a binary, and is provided under the terms of a Couchbase end-user license agreement governing use of the binary,” Phillips said. “But it is built from completely open source software entirely available via the Apache open source license.”

The other half of Couchbase is the Membase side, which includes memcached memory caching capabilities for NoSQL databases. Phillips noted that Membase Server continues to be available as a standalone project and product.

“This summer we will release what is currently being called Elastic Couchbase Server which is an evolution of Membase, using CouchDB as the storage layer and CouchDB index and query capabilities to Membase,” Phillips said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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