If you are confused whether to choose CouchDB or MongoDB among the NOSQL database architectures as the backend of your application, the understanding of the differences between the two is exactly what you need. Both of them are open source database software and CouchDB is a product of Apache while MongoDB itself is the company. Without further ado, let us go directly into their differences.

Understanding the differences Between CouchDB and MongoDB –

Storage –

CouchDB uses JSON for data storage but unlike any regular relational database, CouchDB does not have its data and relationships in tables. Each database is stored in a separate document along with its schema. The databases can be on multiple servers and even on mobile phones and an application can connect to multiple databases seamlessly. With the help of RESTful HTTP API, applications can read, edit, and delete database documents. Its lockless mechanism makes it a perfect choice for any application and the database structure is highly scalable from global servers to mobile devices.

On the other hand, MongoDB stores data without any schema and the database is stored in a document as well but in BSON format. The documents do not need to have a particular structure but there are various features of relational databases that are included in it. If one is making a transition from a relational database to NoSQL database, MongoDB is the best choice for such applications.

Winner – CouchDB as JSON is more efficient and faster as it requires less computation time and the data size is smaller.

Replication –

Replication is a key concept in the database whereby data is copied from a database to another, so that a distributed database system can be created. A distributed database system ensures that users can access any data required without delaying others who are accessing or willing to access the same data.

When it comes to CouchDB, it allows master-master and master-slave replication. This ensures that data can be accessed at various locations without the slightest delay. Sending requests to access the database is served instantly. Furthermore, the append-only modifications mechanism of CouchDB ensures the least chances of conflicts. Moreover, there is an option for selective replication whereby you can control the documents that will be copied. In this way, you can save a lot of space and time.

On the other hand, MongoDB offers only master-slave replication. Setting up master-master replication is extremely complicated in MongoDB and there are greater chances of having conflicts. Hopefully, in the upcoming versions of MongoDB, a simpler method of replication will be unveiled.

Winner – CouchDB is the clear winner for robust replications in all departments.

Support For Programming Language –

Database software is always a backend thing and at the end of the day, you have to see whether the database you want to use supports your frontend programming language or not. When it comes to CouchDB, it is available for mobile platforms like Android, iOS, as well as for computer operating systems like Linux, Windows, and OS X. But MongoDB is only available for computer operating systems and not for mobile operating systems.

As far as supporting programming languages go, CouchDB supports all the different genres of programming languages like C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Lisp, Objective C, Perl PHP, Python, Ruby and likewise. MongoDB supports all these programming languages too and more except for Objective-C. But if your frontend is in C++, it is always better to go for MongoDB as it is developed in C++.

Winner – It depends on your requirements but CouchDB has the edge due to its support for mobile OS.

Community Support –

Big international companies like Adobe, Electronic Arts, CERN and more are using MongoDB while CouchDB is being used by reputable companies like Akamai Technologies, Vivint Solar, GenCorp and likewise. MongoDB is slightly more popular than CouchDB even though CouchDB was released fast. Both the database offers a lot for the developers. Community support is a crucial factor in determining which NoSQL database to use because at some point or the other, you will need the help of active communities to help you out in solving the critical problem you are facing.

If you visit CouchDB website, you will find a diverse community and there are many supporting members to help out newcomers. But MongoDB stands out here as they have much more resources for the developers starting from organizing different events, webinars, MongoDB University and an active community of different user groups.

Winner – MongoDB has an organized active community and the company takes initiative to organize different resources for the developers.

Final Verdict – Which Database To Choose?

Depending on your requirements, you have to choose between MongoDB and CouchDB. If you are looking for higher read speed, rapid growth, and scalability, MongoDB is the best choice. But if you need a database that can run on mobile devices like Apple iOS and Google Android and you need rapid replication, CouchDB is the only choice you have.


Kitty Gupta