MongoDB And CouchDB – Which NoSQL Database Should You Choose?


Developers commonly choose databases as per the requirements of a project. The snapshot below is a pie chart which marks the database selected as per requirement analysis.
MySQL is used more frequently from the RDBMS collection but when it comes to NoSQL databases, MongoDB is used at a higher rate, while the second popular one is CouchDB.

Database Graph

MongoDB and CouchDB are the best examples of NoSQL databases. NoSQL databases are open source and document oriented. Both databases are known to provide a high performance and availability when it comes to scalable databases. MongoDB and CouchDB work in the concept of collection and document. Although both databases have similarities, they include major differences as per the requirements of business.

The variations are basically observed in data-model, interface and some object storage facilities and replication methods.

Both databases include document oriented structure where every document is designed as per JSON norms. JSON is an acronym for JavaScript Object Notation. JSON includes key value pair of objects which is defined in both MongoDB and CouchDB.

The biggest advantage of NoSQL database is that every document has its own schema unlike RDBMS databases where every row in a table should include columns compulsorily.

In this blog, we will be discussing the major concepts of comparison between MongoDB and CouchDB document oriented databases with following mentioned points.

  1. Data Model: 
    Data model uniquely defines the schema of the database. MongoDB and CouchDB are both document oriented databases. MongoDB includes JSON like structure called BSON short for Binary Structure Object Notation. CouchDB purely includes a JSON structure.

  2. Interface: 
    Interface involves various protocols for hosting and deployment of web applications. Interface is primarily important for managing access rights.Document oriented databases uses custom protocol to host the web applications. MongoDB uses custom protocol over TCP/IP. CouchDB on the other hand uses HTTP/REST protocol.

  3. Object Storage: 
    There is a variation of “Object Store” feature in MongoDB and CouchDB databases. MongoDB database consists of collections and every collection contain documents which are designed as per JSON structure.CouchDB databases contains documents (JSON documents) directly.

  4. Implementation Language: 
    Implementation Language refers to the basic language in which queries of database is written. MongoDB is written in C++ and CouchDB is written in Erlang language.

  5. Server Operating Systems: 
    MongoDB and CouchDB are platform independent and operates on various databases. MongoDB is functional with Linux, OSX, Solaris and Windows platforms. CouchDB operates with mobile operating systems like Android and BSD, Linux, OS X, Solaris and Windows.

  6. Supported programming languages: 
    MongoDB supports for a variety of programming languages like C, C++ and Java. It also supports server-side scripting languages like JavaScript, PHP, Ruby and Perl and numerical tool languages like MATLAB, R and Scala.CouchDB also supports the same languages which are supported in MongoDB. Apart from them, it supports Python, Smalltalk, LISP and Objective-C.

  7. Replication:
    The process of replication can be defined as the format of synchronizing data across multiple copies of servers. Replication increases data availability along with multiple copies of servers. There are various types of replication used in document oriented databases.
    MongoDB supports only one time of replication “Master-Slave Replication”.
    CouchDB supports two types of replications namely “Master-Master Replication” and “Master-Slave Replication”.

  8. Triggers
    Triggers are events which are used to execute some functionalities or procedures. MongoDB does not support triggers while CouchDB includes various trigger functionality.

  9. Developer:
    MongoDB is developed by MongoDB Inc and was released in 2009. CouchDB was released in 2005 and was developed by the Apache Software Foundation.

  10. Query Method:
    MongoDB uses Map/Reduce functions for creating collections. It also includes Object based query language. CouchDB uses Map/Reduce functions for creating views and range queries for database manipulation. It raises a major question “Which database is good depending on business requirements?” The analysis of perfect database as per requirements can be reviewed using the following points:
  • Speed:
    If speed is major concern as per the requirements, then MongoDB is faster and more scalable than CouchDB.
  • Mobile Support:
    CouchDB runs on various operating systems like Android, IOS platforms. There is no mobile support provided by MongoDB.
  • Size:
    While your database can grow with CouchDB, MongoDB is better suited for rapid growth when the structure is not clearly defined from the beginning.
  • Syntax:
    CouchDB includes queries which use map-reduce functions. It is quite difficult and critical to understand for people who have background experience of SQL. For users with SQL knowledge, MongoDB is easy to understand as it is closer in syntax.
  • Analysis:
    If you need a database that runs on mobile, need master-master replication or single server durability, then CouchDB is considered as the best choice for developers.If you need maximum throughput and productivity with rapidly growing database, MongoDB is the way to go. MongoDB is prominently used among developers who focus on creating or working with big data.


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