manage CouchApps in Erlang
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Made couchapp development easy

Erica is a tool compatible with couchapp that helps you to create and manage your couchapps (CouchDB embedded applications).


  • Erlang R13B04 or sup
  • gcc


Couchapp requires Erlang R13B04 (or higher) with crypto support.

$ git clone git://
$ cd erica
$ make

Then you can use the generated script erica .

To install it on your system, run the command line:

$ make install


$ erica -h
Usage: erica [-h] [-c] [-v] [-f] [-V] [--is-ddoc <is_ddoc>] [--docid <docid>] [--atomic <atomic>] [...] <command,...>

  -h, --help		Show the program options
  -c, --commands	Show available commands
  -v, --verbose		Be verbose about what gets done
  -f, --force		Force
  -V, --version		Show version information
  --is-ddoc		Tell to push command if you send a design document or not.
  --docid		Set docid with push command
  --atomic		Send attachments inline with push command
  command		Command to run (e.g. push)

Available commands are:

init                                 initialize a erica
push        [options...] [dir] dest  push a document to couchdb
clone       [option] source dir      clone a document from couchdb
browse                               display the erica in the
create-app  appid=AppID lang=Lang    Create a blank couchapp, Default:
                                     appid=myapp, lang=javascript
create      template= [vars...]      create an application using a
help                                 Show the program options
version                              Show version information

Provided templates are for now:

  • simpleapp (the default create used for create-app command)
  • example: a simple couchapp exampole
  • couchapp: a simple template with the good old couchapp javascript library.

You can add your own template in ~/.erica/templates.

First steps

Here we will show you how to create your first application and main usages of commands.

1 . create your first application

You can use a template to create your first application. Like the generic one. It will create a simple project that you can use for a start:

$ erica create-app appid=myapp lang=javascript
==> tmp (create-app)
Writing myapp/_id
Writing myapp/language
Writing myapp/.couchapprc

$ ls -fla myapp/
total 24
drwxr-xr-x   6 benoitc  wheel  204 Jun  7 11:13 .
drwxrwxrwt  13 root     wheel  442 Jun  7 11:13 ..
-rw-r--r--   1 benoitc  wheel   18 Jun  7 11:13 .couchapprc
drwxr-xr-x   2 benoitc  wheel   68 Jun  7 11:13 _attachments
-rw-r--r--   1 benoitc  wheel   13 Jun  7 11:13 _id
-rw-r--r--   1 benoitc  wheel   10 Jun  7 11:13 language

Erica has created an _attachments folder in the myapp folder. This is where you can put all the attachments. You can put your views functions in views/viewname/{map,reduce}.js , shows in shows folder, lists in lists, ... See the wiki for more info (soon).

  • _id is where you set the document id
  • languages is where you set the language of your application
  • .couchapprc is where you set some config infos for your app.

Note: erica is language agnostic, so if you want to create your couchapp in coffescript, just replace javascript by coffescript or yuse the language you want if an couchapp server exists for it.

2. Let's create a simple hello world

Add an index.html in your attachments folder:

$ cd myapp
$ echo "hello world" > _attachments/index.html

Then push it to your couchdb node

$ erica push

Then visit the result on

That's it.

Note: By default the CouchDB Node uri is so you could just use the db name in push command line if you want:

$ erica push testdb

This is fully configurable in your .couchapprc.

3. Clone

Did you see an interresting couchapp you want to reuse? Or just working with a friend on the same couchapp ? With the clone command you can replicate a couchapp on your filesystem, edit it and push the results after:

$ erica clone 

This command will clone the couchapp myapp in the myapp folder. If you want to clone it to another folder, just do:

$ erica clone mynewapp


If you have any question contact us on irc freenode #couchapp or on the mailing-list: .