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Flexible tool for populating CouchDB with generated documents
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CouchPopulator: The Idea

The idea behind this tool is to provide a framework for populating your CouchDB instances with generated documents. It provides a plug-able system for easy writing own generators. Also the the process, which invokes the generator and manages the insertion to CouchDB, what I call execution engines, are easily exchangeable. The default execution engine uses CouchDB's bulk-docs-API with configurable chunk-size, concurrent inserts and total chunks to insert.


This project is in a very early state. I'm sure it has some serious bugs and it's interface and structure for writing own generators and execution engines will definitely change (maybe significantly). I only test it with Ruby 1.8 on OS X 10.6.2.

Use with caution!

BUT: Please, feel free to comment, fork or fill a ticket with bugs and wishes. You may also drop me a message via GitHub, @tisba or at @couchdb on freenode.


"there is tool xy already doing that" - I don't care (okay, thats not true, I care and I'm always eager to see how others implement stuff). I know that there are some tools providing dumping/loading support for CouchDB. But none is written in ruby and non satisfied my needs (e.g. dynamically generating documents). Nevertheless I wanted to learn how you can write such a tool and get more familiar with CouchDB.

Getting Started


sudo gem install couchpopulator

Building the gem yourself

sudo gem install json trollops
git clone
cd couchpopulator
rake build

Getting help

CouchPopulator tries to give good help on command line options by using:

couchpopulator --help

To get command line options to a specific execution engine, simply use:

couchpopulator [EXECUTOR] --help

Custom Generators

Custom generators only need to implement one method. Have a look:

module CouchPopulator
  module Generators
    class Example
      class << self
        def generate(count)
          # ...heavy generating action goes here...
          # return array of hashes (documents)

generate(count) should return an array of documents. Each document should be an hash that will be encoded in JSON. You can include any object-type you want. CouchPopulator provides some "special" encoding support for Ruby's time and date. For your own objects you can provide to_json and json_create used by the JSON gem to serialise and deserialise it properly.

Custom Execution Engines

Custom execute engines need to implement two methods command_line_options and execute. See executors/standard.rb for an example.

Using the CouchPopulator API

This is the very first version of the CouchPopulator API (introduced in v0.2.0). The interface is still very ugly and will change significantly in the future.

The options for CouchPopulator::Base's initializer are the same as the command line options. No rules without exceptions:

  • :logger needs to be set to a instance of CouchPopulator::Logger
  • :generator_klass needs to be set to the generator constant CouchPopulator::Initializer.generator() tries to load it
  • :executor_klass needs to be set to the executor constant CouchPopulator::Initializer.executor() tries to load it


require 'rubygems'
require 'couchpopulator'

options = { :logger =>,
            :generator_klass => CouchPopulator::Initializer.generator('example'),
            :executor_klass => CouchPopulator::Initializer.executor('standard'),
            :couch => 'http://localhost:5984/test',
            :docs_per_chunk => 1,
            :rounds => 1,
            :concurrent_inserts => 1 }


  • make the API suck less
  • Add support for using a configuration YAML
  • Find out the best strategies for inserting docs to CouchDB and provide execution engines for different approches
  • Implement some more features, like dumping-options for generated documents or load dumped JSON docs to CouchDB
  • Think about a test suite and implement it
  • hunting bugs, make it cleaner
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