CouchQueue is a module that enables queuing systems to be built out of CouchDB databases.
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A Node.js queuing system for CouchDB.

##Basics Sometimes, you are unable to or unwilling to use a specialized queuing system like Amazon SQS or Redis for your project. This project is intended to fill that gap for users of CouchDB. With couchQueue, you have the ability to:

The queueing itself is performed using views and map/reduce strategies on those views.




npm install couchqueue

Alternatively, you can get the source from github.

###Importing To use CouchQueue, simply require it:

CouchQueue = require("couchqueue");

###Setting Up Your Queue

queue = new CouchQueue(queueName, hostUrl, port, auth, [config], [debug]);

Example usage:

queue = new CouchQueue('idQueue', '', 3000,
        {username: 'myusername', password: 'mypassword'},
        {order: 'fifo', override: false}, false);
  • queueName (required)
  • The name that you're using for your queue. If this queue or database already exists, you must ensure that the name is identical to the database name.
  • hostUrl (required)
  • The URL at which your CouchDB database is hosted.
  • port (required)
  • The port at which your database is accessable. Likely 3000.
  • auth (required):
  • format: {username: <database username>, password: <database password>}
  • These are the credentials you use to access your CouchDB databases.
  • config (optional):
  • Optional parameters that you may pass to your queue instance to configure its behavior. Current options are:
    • order: 'random', 'lifo', or 'fifo'. Defaults to 'random'. See below for more detail.
    • override: true or false. Defaults to false.
  • To pass empty but still provide a value for debug, pass config as {}.
  • debug (optional):
    • If you want your queueing activity to log to the console. Defaults to false.


These config parameters are passed upon the construction of the queue, but since they publicly accessible, you can change these configurations later in your program by changing queue.config. For example:

    queue.config.order = 'lifo';


  • Options: 'random', 'fifo', 'lifo'. Default: 'random'.
  • These options can be abbreviated as 'r', 'f', and 'l'.
  • This determines the queueing strategy that your queue will use to deliver items when queue.nextItem(...) is called.
  • 'random' means that your still-queued items will be returned in a random order. 'fifo' stands for "First In First Out", and 'lifo' stands for "Last In First Out". These two strategies use a timestamp attached to the items when they are enqueued using queue.enqueue(...).
  • Alternatively, you can select one of the strategies for individual item retrievals by calling queue.randomNext(...), queue.fifoNext(...), or queue.lifoNext(...).


  • Options: true and false. Default: false.
  • This determines whether queue.enqueue(...) and queue.enqueueMany(...) will re-enqueue an item if it already appears in the database and you try to enqueue it. Be careful when setting this to true, because you may accidentally be re-enqueueing items that have already been dequeued.
  • false is the default behavior of only enqueueing items if they are not already present in the database. This way, dequeued items are not re-enqueued. true disables this protection.
  • You have the option of overriding the config.override setting on an individual basis when calling queue.enqueue(...) or queue.enqueueMany(...) by passing it a separate configuration object.

###Creating Your Queue (if it hasn't been already) You only need to create your queue once--this means physically adding it as a database to your CouchDB instance, and setting up all of the views necessary for CouchQueue to work.

  • This function takes an optional callback of form callback(error).

Please note that this method should (and can) only be called one time, in isolation, when you are creating the queue, and should not be called in production. You should run this function once separately before running any other code that relies on CouchQueue, sinc otherwise the other functions will have no database to refer to. It is not recommended to set up the database yourself in CouchDB, since you might not get the views exactly as CouchDB needs them. You can, of course, add additional views to your CouchDB database, so long as they don't override any of the view names that CouchQueue uses.

###Exists ####Exists and is Queued

queue.checkIfItemIsQueued(message, callback);


queue.checkIfItemIsQueued('ID3445', function(error, isIt) {
    if (!!err) {
        if (err.hasOwnProperty('reason') && err.reason === 'missing') {
            console.log("Item isn't in the database.  Should have called queue.checkIfItemExists!");
        } else {
    } else {
        if (isIt) {
            console.log("The item is queued!");
        } else {
            console.log("The item is not queued.");
  • message (required)
    • The name or ID of the item you're checking to see is queued.
  • callback (required)
    • A callback in form callback(err, response), where response will be true or false, depending on whether it's queued or not.

If the item actually isn't in the database at all, error will be returned as { error: 'not_found', reason: 'missing' } and response will be null. Do not use this function to check if the item is in the database, use queue.checkIfItemExists(...) instead.

####Exists in the Database

queue.checkIfItemExists(message, callback)


queue.checkIfItemExists('ID33445', function(error, isThere){
    if (isThere) {
        console.log("The item is in the queue database!");
    } else {
        console.log("Aw, it's not in the queue database...");

Note: this function will tell you whether the specified item is in the database, not whether or not it is queued.

  • message (required)
    • The name or ID of the item you're checking to see is in the database.
  • callback (required)
    • A callback in form callback(err, response), where response will be true or false, depending on if it's in the database or not.

###Enqueueing ####queue.enqueue

queue.enqueue(message, [config], [callback]);


queue.enqueue('34234', {override: true});
queue.enqueue('myusername', function (err, response) {...});
queue.enqueue('96884', {override: false}, function (err, response) {...});
  • message (required) (string)
  • The item that you intend to queue. This will be used as the document's _id in the CouchDB database.
  • config (optional)
  • Configuration parameter that for this function call overrides queue.config.
  • Options: { override: [true | false] }
  • callback (optional, but suggested)
  • Callback function of form callback(error, response).


queue.enqueueMany(messages, [config], [callback]);

Same as queue.enqueue(...), except messagesshould be a list of string items that you intend to queue. The optional local configuration will apply to all of these items, and the callback will be called only upon the completion of all enqueueings. messages can also be passed as a single string item, just like queue.enqueue(...).


queue.enqueueMany(['1', '2', '3'], {override: true});
queue.enqueueMany('john', function (error, response) {...});

###Retrieving Records ####Strategy-Independent Function



queue.nextItem(function (err, doc) {
  • Takes a required callback of form callback(err, doc), where doc is the retrieved CouchDB document. The document's name or ID that you used to queue it can be retrieved with doc._id, and any other parameters like doc.insert_time, doc.queued, and doc.dequeue_time can be retrieved similarly.
  • This function retrieves the next item randomly, by FIFO, or by LIFO according to the queue's global queue.config.

####Strategy-Specific Functions


Each of these follows the same rules as queue.nextItem(...), except that they will use the specified ordering strategy, no matter what queue.config.order says.


queue.dequeue(message, [callback]);


queue.dequeue('12345', function(err, reponse) {...});

Note that the dequeued item will continue to be in the database, but will be removed from the queue itself by having the document's queued parameter set to false and the views updated accordingly.

  • message (required)
    • The item name or ID that you intend to dequeue from the queue.
  • callback (optional)
    • A callback function in form callback(error, response).

##Future Releases

For future versions, I hope to add the following features:

  • Ability to add your own custom queueing strategies in addition to random, FIFO, and LIFO
  • Dequeueing more than one item at once