Sean Coates talks about CouchDB and MongoDB

May 6, 2011


coates_sean_frontIt is no big secret that Sean Coates and friends have been working on a project called Gimme Bar. Like most projects though, not much has been written about the technologies under the covers. Personally, I don’t think that’s because they are trying to keep it a secret, they are just too busy building to stop and explain.

Recently though, Sean did come up for air long enough to talk about at least one aspect of the underlying technologies of Gimme Bar, the data storage engine. Here’s a quote from the first post, “Gimme Bar no longer on CouchDB”

Having just spent the best part of a year and a half working with PostgreSQL at OmniTI, I felt it was time to try something new. We knew this carried risks, but the timing was good, and—quite frankly—I was simply bored of hacking on stored procedures in PL/pgSQL. We wanted something that could be expected to scale (eventually, when we need it), without deep in-house expertise, but also something that I’d find fun to work on. I love learning new things, so we thought we’d give one of the NoSQL solutions a whirl.

Sean goes on to give a very brief but informative explanation of how CouchDB works. He finishes up the rather lengthy post describing the problem they were trying to solve and why CouchDB wasn’t the answer they needed for Gimme bar.

In his next post, “Gimme Bar on MongoDB”, Sean discusses how difficult (or not) that the move between CouchDB and MongoDB was. He talks about mainly about the pros of MongoDB and how they impacted his particular problem. He ends the post with a few paragraphs of opinion on the two products.

After using both, extensively (for a very specific application, admittedly), I firmly believe that MongoDB is a superior NoSQL datastore solution for PHP based, non-distributed (think Dropbox), non-mobile, web applications.

Even if you are not currently thinking about NoSQL datastores, Sean’s pair of posts make for a good read. Sean’s writing style is easy to read and he takes the time to explain complex issues in a way that can be understood by programmers of all levels. Taken together, the pair of posts makes for a great lunch break read or for just sitting outside at the end of the day, winding down with a beverage of your choice.

About Cal Evans

Many moons ago, at the tender age of 14, Cal touched his first computer. (We're using the term "computer" loosely here, it was a TRS-80 Model 1) Since then his life has never been the same. He graduated from TRS-80s to Commodores and eventually to IBM PC's. For the past 10 years Cal has worked with PHP and MySQL on Linux OSX, and when necessary, Windows. He has built on a variety of projects ranging in size from simple web pages to multi-million dollar web applications. When not banging his head on his monitor, attempting a blood sacrifice to get a particular piece of code working, he enjoys building and managing development teams using his widely imitated but never patented management style of "management by wandering around". Cal is currently based in Nashville, TN and is gainfully unemployed as the Chief Marketing Officer of Blue Parabola, LLC. Cal is happily married to wife 1.28, the lovely and talented Kathy. Together they have 2 kids who were both bright enough not to pursue a career in IT. Cal blogs at and is the founder and host of Day Camp 4 Developers

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