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nStore is a simple, in-process key/value database for node.js
Tag: v0.1.3

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A simple in-process key/value document store for node.js. nStore uses a safe append-only data format for quick inserts, updates, and deletes. Also a index of all documents and their exact location on the disk is stored in in memory for fast reads of any document. This append-only file format means that you can do online backups of the datastore using simple tools like rsync. The file is always in a consistent state.


All the examples assume this basic setup. Currently it reads an existing file if it exists using blocking I/O. Then means the nStore function is blocking and doesn't need a callback. The cost of this is that large databases take a long time (relatively) to load. My test with a 1,000,000 document collection takes about 14 seconds to load. I may change this api in the future to use the faster non-blocking I/O.

Creating a database is easy, you just call the nStore function to generate a collection object.

// Load the library
var nStore = require('nstore');
// Create a store
var users = nStore('data/users.db');

Creating a document

To insert/update documents, just call the save function on the collection.

// Insert a new document with key "creationix""creationix", {name: "Tim Caswell": age: 28}, function (err) {
    if (err) { throw err; }
    // The save is finished and written to disk safely

// Or insert with auto key, {name: "Bob"}, function (err, meta) {
    if (err) { throw err; }
    // You now have the insert id

Loading a document

Assuming the previous code was run, a file will now exist with the persistent data inside it.

// Insert a new document with key "creationix"
users.get("creationix", function (err, doc, meta) {
    if (err) { throw err; }
    // You now have the document

Streaming an entire collection

Sometimes you want to search a database for certain documents and you don't know all the keys. In this case, simply create a readable stream from the store and filter the results.

// Create a stream with a pre-filter on the results
var userStream = (doc, meta) {
    return doc.age > 18 && doc.age < 40;

userStream.addListener('data', function (doc, meta) {
    // Do something with the document

userStream.addListener('end', function () {
    // that's all the results

userStream.addListener('error', function (err) {
    throw err;

This is a full stream interface complete with pause and resume. Any rows that are read from the disk while it's paused will be queued internally, but will call the pre-filter function right away so it doesn't buffer results we don't want to keep.

Searching for documents

You can search for documents using streams with a filter, but sometimes it's easier to just get the aggregate result after filtering. For this you can use the all() function.

// Search for several things at once (doc, meta) {
    return doc.age > 18 && doc.age < 40;
}, function (err, docs, metas) {
  if (err) throw err;
  // Do something with the results

Removing a document

Remove is by key only.

// Remove our new document
users.remove("creationix", function (err) {
    if (err) { throw err; }
    // The document at key "creationix" was removed

Clearing the whole collection

You can also quickly clear the entire collection

// Clear

This clears all the keys and triggers a compaction. Only after the compact finishes is the data truly deleted from the disk, however any further queries cannot see the old data anymore.

Special compaction filter

There are times that you want to prune stale data from a database, like when using nStore to store session data. The problem with looping over the index keys and calling remove() on them is that it bloats the file. Deletes are actually appends to the file. Instead nStore exposes a special filter function that, if specified, will filter the data when compacting the data file.

// Prune any items that have a doc.lastAccess older than 1 hour.
var session = nStore('data/sessions.db', function (doc, meta) {
  return doc.lastAccess > - 360000;
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