I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Portland, OR (Portland means Portland, ME when here in EST) last week. Along with Benjamin Young and Ali Dodson, I was representing Couchbase in the Expo Hall at OSCON 2012. We occupied what Benjamin referred to as "database alley." Couchbase was one of a few database companies in our row. In what is truly a sign of the times in our industry, a certain large, RDBMS company's booth went largely unvisited over the course of the event. You might say, they were an "island" unto themselves...
By contrast, the Couchbase booth had near constant traffic for most of the week. As you might expect, the audience at OSCON is made up of a diverse group of developers. Some visitors stopped by to learn what NoSQL was, others wanted to understand how Couchbase fits into the NoSQL ecosystem and others were already Couchbase users who wanted to learn more about the upcoming 2.0 release.
Our tagline at Couchbase is "Simple. Fast. Elastic." As I explained Couchbase to NoSQL newbies, it became obvious to me just how right we got that first adjective. It's so easy for programmers to understand a key/value API. Whether you call it a dictionary, map or hashtable, key/value pairs are first-class objects in pretty much every modern programming environment. Understanding a database that's built around such a programming model is, well, simple.
And for those who found the idea of a key/value store possibly limiting in terms of application design, Couchbase Server 2.0's Map/Reduce Views quickly opened eyes. The ability to create indexes on properties in JSON documents - without having to define schemas - was also easily understood. JSON itself is essentially a structured notation for grouping key/value pairs. So understanding how Couchbase's primary key/value store API is extended with views is again, well, simple. After a less than 5 minute demo, I often heard from developers that they could see how Couchbase could fit into their applications. That's the power of simple.
OSCON is a great conference with a fantastic group of attendees. It was awesome being able to introduce so many people to both NoSQL and Couchbase. For those of you who haven't been, I hope to see you at OSCON 2013. And if you're looking for some data to hack away with in Couchbase, checkout http://c2q5k.com. They should be releasing some data points to what was a fun race.