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libcouchbase node.js access
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couchnode - node.js access to libcouchbase

As you probably have guessed already couchnode is my first attemt on buiding JavaScript API on top of libcouchbase so that you may use it from node.js.

Before you start looking at the stuff you should probably be aware of that this is currently work under heavy development.

Given the above; and the fact that I've never written a single line of JavaScript before I started on this project, the API may look really ugly for anyone experienced with JavaScript. This is where I'm really hoping for your contribution! PLEASE don't hesitate sending me an email telling me how the API should look like (just telling me that the API is crap doesn't help anyone, because I know that already. I need to know how it is supposed to look).

Install description

I've only tested this on my laptop running macosx, but I would expect it to be easy to get it to work on other platforms. You need to install three dependencies before you may build this module. If you're using homebrew all you need to do is:

trond@ok> brew install v8 node trond@ok> brew install

You would need some of the new features in libcouchbase that will be released when Couchbase Server 2.0 is released, so that's why we're using the preview version from libcouchbase.

To build and install the module, simply execute:

trond@ok> node-waf configure build install

API description

So lets walk through the API so you'll get a feeling on how to use it. Please bear with me for using the wrong terms for things (remember that I don't know much JavaScript ;-))

The first thing we need to do is to load the driver and create an instance of libcouchbase to use:

var driver = require('couchbase');
var cb = new driver.Couchbase("server:8091");

The constructor takes multiple arguments. In its simplest form (as shown above) all you specify is the location of the REST port for your cluster. This will connect you to the default bucket in the cluster. You may also specify credentials and the name of another bucket to connect to. The full prototype for the constructor is:

Couchbase(String hostname,
          String user,
          String password,
          String bucket)

After creating a new instance, you should ask cb to connect to the cluster:

cb.connect(function() {
    console.log("I am connected!");

If connection fails, the errorHandler will know about this.

You may also register for the "connect" event by doing:

cb.on("connect", function() {
    console.log("I am connected!");

Due to a limitation within Couchnode, you must wait for the connection to complete (though this itself is a purely asynchronous process) and not schedule any operations before the handle has been connected.

This is because the internal key hashing depends on VBucket configurations which can only be known once connect has completed


The API in this version of Couchnode is meant to be easy for use C and C++ developers to modify and adjust to, therefore some of the arguments are fairly weird.

Couchnode exposes the basic commandset offered by libcouchbase:


    function (data, error, key, cas, value) {
            console.log("Got %s=>%s for request '%s'", key, value, data);

Expiration time should be set to 0 or undefined if you do not wish to set an expiration time.

The callback is mandatory (but it can be a global function and not necessarily an inline one). The 'data' argument is an opaque value of your choosing to be passed to the callback as its first argument. This is useful if you wish to use a global callback but still be able to distinguish between requests.

On success, error will be false, otherwise, it is an error number as described in <libcouchbase/types.h>


So how do we store stuff in the couchbase cluster? We do that by using one of the storage methods: add, set, replace, append, prepend. Even though they return a boolean, the methods does not return the final action of the operation (you need to check the callback for that), but if the operation was intitated or not.


    function (data, error, key, cas) {
            // ....

Stores the value for the key. If you specify a cas value the operation will only succeed if the cas value for the object stored on the server is the same as the one you specified.

The following functions also conform to this calling convention

// replace value, if the key exists

// set the value only if it does not exist

// prepend to existing value

// append to existing value

Arithmetic (AKA incr and decr)


Perform arithmetic on an operation, this is equivalent to the traditional 'incr' and 'decr' functions in memcached APIs (and may be wrapped as such)

The signed offset is a positive or negative value by which to modify the stored integer value; for incr, this value would be 1 and for decr this would be -1.

If the value does not exist, it will be set to initial_value (set this argument to undefined if you do not desire an initial value`

cas is a no-op for this function.

The callback for this function is identical to that of the get callback.

Miscellaneous Operations

    function (data, error, key) { ... },

Removes the key; if cas is specified, only removes the entry if it exists on the server with the specified CAS value.

    function (data, error, key) { ... },

Updates the expiration time of the key.

If you're having problems or suggestions on how I may improve the library please send me an email!

Happy hacking!

Trond Norbye

Mangled by Mark Nunberg

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