On Monday Canonical announced that it will no longer use Apache CouchDB as the basis for its structured data synchronization in Ubuntu One and would replace it with a custom built solution. The news was met with indifference from Couchbase, the company formed after Membase acquired CouchDB sponsor company CouchOne earlier this year. “We’re not the CouchDB company, we will never be the CouchDB company,” James Phillips, senior vice president of products at Couchbase, told me in an interview. Phillips explained that Couchbase is integrating replication and mobile technology from CouchDB into Membase Server (now known as Couchbase Server) but the company has no business interest in CouchDB (though some of its employees are still committed to the project).
It’s another story at Cloudant, however. Cloudant was unavailable to comment on my initial story earlier this week, but I’ve since spoken with Cloudant CEO Alan Hoffman who told me that Cloudant is still committed to the Apache CouchDB project. “If you look at the commits, I think you’ll see that our employees are doing a lot of the heavy lifting,” he said.
Cloudant develops the open source project BigCouch, which adds Dynamo-like features to CouchDB to help it scale, sells an enterprise version of BigCouch and offers CouchDB/BigCouch hosting. It landed controversial agribusiness company Monsanto as a customer earlier this year.
As to the scalability issues Canonical faced, Hoffman said that Canonical and Cloudant about talked three years ago but that was early in Cloudant’s life as a company. The talks never went anywhere. But Hoffman is confident that Cloudant could make BigCouch work for Canonical. “We’ve got customers who are running at that scale and more,” he said.
As to the future of CouchDB, which as I noted as seen a small but steady decline in search queries on Google recently, Hoffman said that he believes the project is in good shape. “The passion is through the roof. We’re firmly behind the community,” he said.