Differences between PouchDB and CouchBase Lite + LiteGap

 

Questions


In a Phonegap offline/online project:

  • What is the difference between using PouchDB and using CouchBase Lite with the new LiteGap plugin?

  • Are they two different solutions to the same problem?

  • Can the PouchDB API be used to interact with a local CouchBase Lite database?

 

 

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Answer

After some research and being a relatively new topic, i thought it would be interesting to share my experiences replying my own question:

What is the difference between using PouchDB and using CouchBase Lite with the new LiteGap plugin?

PouchDB can create a local database (websql or IndexedDB) on the device and replicate it with an external CouchDB. Also can be used as a client for an external CouchDB.

Couchbase Lite creates a iOS/Android database on the device, accesible by default on http://localhost:5984. You can then replicate the local Couchbase Lite with other external Couchbase/CouchDB services. LiteGap allows you to create and use a Couchbase Lite db in a PhoneGap project.

Both solutions are available to use on a Phonegap project.

Are they two different solutions to the same problem?

In short, no.

PouchDB is cross-platform so you can use it in a web project and also in a hybrid app. Also it provides a useful API to interact directly with a local db or external CouchDB. Being based on websql/IndexedDB technologies, you have storage limitations that keep asking the user to allow more local storage space for your web/app.

Couchbase Lite is a native iOS/Android solution that sets a Couchbase database in the device localhost. Together with the LiteGap plugin, you can use it in a Phonegap project.

Can the PouchDB API be used to interact with a local CouchBase Lite database?

Yes, but some functionality was not working as expected in my tests.

First, Couchbase Lite has no javascript HTTP API so i thought to use Pouch to act just as client. PouchDB can use external Couch services, so we setup Pouch to use the device Couchbase Lite on localhost:5984.

Now, with Pouch you can create a database, put() or replicate from local to the cloud. However, i found problems replicating from cloud to local using Pouch’s replicate.from method. One workaround to that is to setup 2-way replication using good old $.ajax to post to the device’s http://localhost:5984/_replicate as if you were using node curl (passing object data with source, target, continous etc..).

I hope this helps to someone taking decisions on which technologies use when creating a offline/online syncable hybrid app.

cordova,couchbase,couchbase-lite,pouchdb

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