NoSQL databases have been around for a while and they offer a lot of attractive features. I’ve been meaning to have a look at CouchDB for a while and having some time I’ve spent some time over the last few days trying to get a basic webapp running using CouchDb and CouchApp. I’d like to say that I’ve been impressed by how easy it is as that would fit with the hype, but sadly I’ve found it annoyingly difficult to get a handle on.

The issue isn’t with CouchDb which really has been as simple to install and setup as I thought it would be. It took me a very short time to install, configure and then write a small script to import the dataset I wanted to use for my test webapp. The Futon interface works as well as others say it does and overall I was very impressed. The CouchDb guys deserve a large amount of praise for their efforts.

The next step is to figure out some way of using the data for a small webapp. CouchApp is the one that gets the most attention and praise, so this was where I went next. Installing it was no problem. Starting a new app was easy and after a simple push I had the sample webapp on my screen. Of course the next step is to start modifying it to do what i wanted and this was where it all went wrong. CouchApp seems to have undergone radical development in the last year and so much of what you find on the web is out of date and no longer works. The sample apps that you get pointed to have little documentation and aren’t clear.

It’s been annoying as CouchDb looks really useful, but CouchApp just doesn’t seem to tick any of the boxes I need and none of the alternatives look as though they do either. If anyone has suggestions, drop me a line 🙂