A review of CouchDB, the Definitive Guide by Anderson, Lenhardt, and Slater

CouchDB, the Definitive Guide. By J. Chris Anderson, Jan Lehnardt, and Noah Slater, O’Reilly 2010. About 260 pages.

This is a good introduction to CouchDB. I would like more information about server internals from a book titled “definitive guide.” But it orients the reader well and shows CouchDB’s strengths and use cases clearly. The writing is straightforward and well organized. I think it does a great job at helping the reader see the possibilities and the elegance inherent to the data model and conventions built into CouchDB. I ended up feeling very enthusiastic about CouchDB.

My complaints about the book are that it sometimes doesn’t go into enough depth, and it is a little wide-eyed in places. One example is the section explaining how CouchDB can scale to exabyte datasets. I would also like to see a little more formal or rigorous treatment of some topics; I saw the phrase “crash-only design” in several places, but the book never explained what that means.

I haven’t read any of the other books on CouchDB yet, but this book was fun enough to read and made me interested enough that I would like to.

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I'm Baron Schwartz, the founder and CEO of VividCortex. I am the author of High Performance MySQL and lots of open-source software for performance analysis, monitoring, and system administration. I contribute to various database communities such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, Redis and MongoDB. More about me.