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A thin active record implementation for node.js/couchDB
tag: v0.1.4

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couch-ar is a thin active record implementation for couchDB


The idea behind couch-ar is to provide an easy to use active record implementation while keeping the speed of node.js. For this reason couch-ar does not add a lot of abstraction. My aim is to provide an easy way to have full domain constructors while writing only the required information to the db document.

Domain constructors are defined in advance with couch-ar in a simple format that includes a list of properties to write to the DB.

Please feel free to write with any comments or suggestions:


You can install in one of two ways:

1) Download the index.js file and place it in .node_libraries/couch-ar.

-- or --

2) npm install couch-ar

NOTE: You also need to install cradle

How to use

The best way to see how it works is to run the included tests. cd to test ./

The tests are written using jasmine-node. For information on how to run the tests using this module, please refer to the jasmin-node documentation. I have included only enough to run the tests.

The first step is to run the init method to generate the database and read your domain files.

        dbName: 'couch-ar-test',                    // The database name - couch-ar will create the database
        root: __dirname + '../testDomain'           // The root of the domain constructors
    }, function(db){ // passes back the cradle connection });

Next, create your domain files in ../testDomain like this:

var domain = require('couch-ar');
exports.TestUser = domain.create('TestUser',{
        username: {},
        password: {},
        lastName: {},
        fullName: {}
    views: {
        firstOrLastName: {map: function(doc) {
            emit(doc.firstName, doc);
            emit(doc.lastName, doc);
}, function(that) {
    that.beforeSave = function() {
        that.fullName = that.firstName + ' ' + that.lastName;
    return that;

I am using Douglas Crockford's parasitic inheritance and power constructors. To understand my code it is best to understand this style.

After running init() the domain constructors are available from the couch-ar object.

var domain = require('couch-ar');

Before Hooks

domain constructors can include a hook beforeSave() that will be run before a document is saved or updated in the DB.


couch-ar adds a static factory for constructing domain objects using a parameter map. Simply call Domain.create({}) passing a map of parameters to add to the object.

example: domain.TestUser.create({username:'me'})


Saves or updates an existing document., res){  })


Removes a document from the DB:

user.remove(function(err, res) {});


List all documents


findByXxx() / findAllByXxx()

Every property gets a findBy or findAllBy method. The usage is pretty simple:

domain.TestUser.findAllByUsername('scott', function(users){ // passed the user objects })
domain.TestUser.findById('xxxxxx', function(user){})

NOTE: findAllByXxx() can find documents in a range by passing an array as the value with the start and end keys

domain.TestUser.findAllByUsername(['a','aZ'], function(users) { // passed the user objects where username starts with 'a'})


id = the DB id

rev = the DB revision

dateCreated = the date the object was first saved to the DB

lastUpdated = the date the object was last updated

custom views

You can also add custom views to any domain constructor

The following example will create a view to find a user by first or last name:

exports.TestUser = domain.create('TestUser',{
        username: {},
        password: {},
        lastName: {},
    views: {
        firstOrLastName: {map: function(doc) {
            emit(doc.firstName, doc);
            emit(doc.lastName, doc);

This code will also add static finders:

domain.TestUser.findAllByFirstOrLastName('Test',function() {});
domain.TestUser.findByFirstOrLastName('Tester',function() {});


Provided under the MIT license. In other words, do what you want with it.


Feb 2, 2011 - released V0.1.1

new method list() properties dateCreated and lastUpdated create now allows undefined properties to be added to an object

Feb 22, 2011 - released v0.1.2

added custom views to domain constructors

Feb 22, 2011 - release v0.1.3

fix bug introduced in v0.1.2 - domain constructors without custom views throw errors

Mar 17, 2011 - release v0.1.4

added ability to do a findAllBy() with a start and end key

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