CouchDB Developer Profile: Garren Smith

On the road to CouchDB 2.0 last fall, Garren Smith introduced us to Fauxton, the new CouchDB web interface. Garren is the founder of Red Comet Labs, frequent PouchDB contributor, and an Apache CouchDB Project Management Committee (PMC) member.

He recently shared what’s new with Fauxton and his favorite latest feature in the project.

Do you want to talk about your background, or how you got involved in CouchDB?

I first discovered CouchDB in 2010, when I was investigating NoSQL databases. I really liked the way CouchDB worked. My first real usage was in 2012, where I used it in a product, Classroom 7, that I built with my wife. CouchDB was a very effective database to use for Classroom 7. The CouchDB community was also really friendly; so much so that I started looking for ways I could contribute. Around that time Cloudant had also started development on a new web dashboard, which was part of CouchDB, called Fauxton. Because I knew JavaScript, this was the perfect side of the project for me to get involved with.

What areas of the project do you work on?

I have done quite a lot of work on Fauxton, the CouchDB 2.0 web user interface. I am also a PouchDB contributor: my main contributions have been to pouchdb-find, which is PouchDB’s implementation of CouchDB Mango, the new query interface for CouchDB 2.0. Doing the PouchDB work has led me to work on CouchDB Mango, where I make sure that the two play nicely together and also squash any bugs I find along the way.

What’s a recent development/event/aspect of the project that you’re excited about?

There are a few new features that we are currently working on, or have just finished, that I think are really exciting.

The new Replicator and Replicator API, which has just landed in master, is exciting and brings some great performance and stability improvements.

We are working on making it possible to add different storage backends to CouchDB, so in the future it might be possible to use something like RocksDB or InnoDB as the backend for CouchDB. I think this could open up some interesting use cases and possibilities.

I’ve also noticed an increased usage of CouchDB and PouchDB together. This is really fantastic, as it allows developers to create great offline-first applications. For me offline-first applications have such great user-experience advantages, so I’m excited to see PouchDB growing in popularity.

What do you think are the top three benefits of using CouchDB as a database solution?

  • CouchDB’s replication, combined with PouchDB, allows developers to build interesting applications that work even when the user is offline.
  • CouchDB 2’s support for clustering means that CouchDB is a lot more fault-tolerant.
  • CouchDB is a proven technology. It’s been around for a while and has been used in a variety of applications. It’s a database you can trust.

What do you look forward to in the future of CouchDB?

Short term, I’m excited by a lot of the performance and stability fixes we have made since the release of CouchDB 2.0. I’m looking forward to our next release which will include all of these improvements.

The new Replication user interface in Fauxton is really cool and it supports the new Replication API. These two together will make replication more powerful and much easier to use.

In the long term we have planned a set of features that will improve the database per user paradigm; I think this will have massive benefits for people using PouchDB with CouchDB.

CouchDB has a vibrant community and a dedicated team of developers – the future is bright.

What advice do you have for someone who just discovered CouchDB?

CouchDB is an exciting and interesting database to use. If you are coming from the SQL world, it could be a little daunting, since it requires a bit of a mind shift in how you store and retrieve your data. It’s a good idea to first understand the concept of a document-orientated database before diving in completely. Start with the basics, use Mango for querying, and then add a dash of PouchDB for maximum enjoyment.


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CouchDB Weekly News, June 22, 2017


Releases in the CouchDB Universe

  • clusterpost-provider 2.2.4 – This is an Hapi plugin to Execute jobs in remote computing grids using a REST api.
  • couchdb-creator 1.0.0 – Utility for dynamically check for, and creating if their existence is doubtful, a specified DB in CouchDB via nano.
  • ember-cli-sofa 2.0.2 – Sofa is full featured and easy to use CouchDB model persistence library for Ember.js.
  • putdoc 1.0.2 – PUT a folder as JSON, in CouchDB “traditional couchapp” style, via simple Node.js tool.
  • spicy-action 10.0.1 – Web proxy for CouchDB and others, plus Socket.IO relay


Opinions and other News in the CouchDB Universe

CouchDB Use Cases, Questions and Answers

Stack Overflow:

no public answer yet:

PouchDB Use Cases, Questions and Answers

Stack Overflow:

no public answer yet:

For more new questions and answers about CouchDB, see these search results and about PouchDB, see these.

Get involved!

If you want to get into working on CouchDB:

  • We have an infinite number of open contributor positions on CouchDB. Submit a pull request and join the project!
  • Do you want to help us with the work on the new CouchDB website? Get in touch on our new website mailing list and join the website team! –
  • The CouchDB advocate marketing programme is just getting started. Join us in CouchDB’s Advocate Hub!
  • CouchDB has a new wiki. Help us move content from the old to the new one!
  • Can you help with Web Design, Development or UX for our Admin Console? No Erlang skills required! – Get in touch with us.
  • Do you want to help moving the CouchDB docs translation forward? We’d love to have you in our L10n team! See our current status and languages we’d like to provide CouchDB docs in on this page. If you’d like to help, don’t hesitate to contact the L10n mailing list on or ping Andy Wenk (awenkhh on IRC).

We’d be happy to welcome you on board!


Job opportunities for people with CouchDB skills

Time to relax!

  • “But what exactly is stressing people out about their jobs? According to the study, about 16 percent report complicated work as being their number-one stressor, and another 15 percent name long hours. Other factors people commonly cite as the most stressful part of their jobs include a lack of control, a lack of resources, tough deadlines, and too much work.” – Here’s How Most People De-Stress After Work
  • “Employees are encouraged to bring their cats to work, and Fukuda says that he will even give 5,000 yen (just under R600) to those who want to adopt a rescue cat. When not chasing their toys, the cats can be seen wandering about and lolling on desks.” – De-stress with pets in the workplace
  • “Incorporating meditation into a chaotic day can be challenging. Who has time to sit down and clear the mind when you have a million other things to do? But here’s the kicker—even though it may seem like you have no time for it, meditation can actually help you feel more focused and productive.” – A 2-Minute Meditation to De-Stress and Feel Happier
  • “When you are triggered, the emotional part of your brain takes over. You are flooded with adrenaline and cortisol, the same neurotransmitters and hormones that have evolutionarily protected us from threats like bear attacks (freeze, fight, or flight). Your logical brain temporarily shuts down, and you lose the ability to solve problems, make decisions, and think rationally.” – Handle Your Stress Better by Knowing What Causes It

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