July 14, 2009

Apache CouchDB and Lotus

For my Lotus readers out there, I'd like some help. Part of my job is to help IBM understand and build with Apache CouchDB. Right now I'm exploring some ideas of integrating CouchDB with some Lotus technologies, and perhaps creating some new browser-based applications called CouchApps.

CouchApps are web applications that are served directly from CouchDB, no intermediate server is needed, it's all HTML, Javascript, JSON and of course CouchDB. The killer feature of CouchApps is the ability to replicate the Apps -- both the data and the design -- for distributed and offline usage. With a local instance of CouchDB (soon to be included as part of Ubuntu), you can replicate the apps locally and access them in your web browser just as if you were online.

What sorts of applications? The obvious ones are email, calendaring, a Sharepoint type App (I'll call it Chairpoint) and I'd really like to see web based IDE for users to build their own simple Apps. Most anything that can be built on Domino can also be built with CouchDB, as they share very similar data models. And because of this similarity, interop and replication between the 2 platforms is much easier than a RDBMS.

So I want to know what the Lotus community thinks about CouchDB, do you see a future for Lotus and Apache CouchDB? What do you see it looking like? What sorts of tools, support, applications ,etc would you need to make it something viable?