Thoughts about Damien’s CouchDB, his new company couch.io, trends and Lotus Notes
Julian Buss, July 27th, 2010 09:49:54
Most of you know Damien Katz, ex Loti and the inventor of CouchDB. I just look at the progress of CouchDB from time to time, and I have some thoughts I want to share:
If you look at CouchDB, you'll find many, MANY similarities to Lotus Notes databases. It's document orientated / schema less, it has the concept of views, it can replicate, it can be clustered and app code and data can be in the same container.
I does not have in-depth knowledge of CouchDB, but from the view of an outsider I think one could say: Damien took all the greatness of Lotus Notes databases and re-created it from the scratch, using another technology as platform and giving it another interface, thus making it more "web 2.0" like.
Damien seems to be a hell of a coder, and he deserves the most respect for creating such a beast pure on his own. He showed that he is a good one back in the R5 days, as he rewrote the formula engine (a story well worth reading).
What I find most interesting is the attention his new baby gets. Schema less databases are kind of trendy nowadays, and there are lots of articles in the web and printed press (at least here in germany) about that "new" technology. And CouchDB is present in every of these articles. CouchDB gets the image of a new, modern database approach for the web 2.0 world.
And now guess what product is never present in those articles. Yes, Lotus Notes.
Despite the fact that Lotus Notes has all this technology since decades, it is non-existend in this "new-modern-hip-web-2.0-database-world". All these non relational, schema less databases are treated as pretty new and cool stuff, while the whole technology is as old as Lotus Notes is.
Damien even managed to get good funding and is now building a new company called couch.io. Again, don't get me wrong, he deserves all respect for that, and I'm very happy to see that he makes his way. His website is trendy, he is just about to host his first event (think of Lotusphere, but much smaller and cooler) and he seems to get some attention with his new company.
Now imagine the very same company, the very same website - only offering Lotus Notes databases instead of CouchDB. Instantely, it feels so much less cool, doesn't it?
Would anyone founding a new company about Lotus Notes database services get such a modern, good image? Certainly not.
I think my point is that while the technology of CouchDB and Lotus Notes is very similar, Notes is treated as old-school and big and ugly and so on, while CouchDB is lean, fast, nice, modern, trendy, shiny etc. I wonder what would happen if one codes a REST API for Lotus Domino databases like the CouchDB API and builds a company around that while completely hiding the fact that it's based on Lotus Domino.