A build of Apache CouchDB optimized for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch

Mobile Couchbase for iOS

Apache CouchDB on iOS provides a simple way to sync your application data across devices and provide cloud backup of user data. Unlike other cloud solutions, the data is hosted on the device by Couchbase Mobile, so even when the network is down or slow (airplane, subway, backyard) the application is responsive to users.

What this means for you:

  • You can embed the rock solid distributed database, Mobile Couchbase, on your iOS device.
  • Your iOS apps can use Apache CouchDB’s well-proven synchronization technology.
  • If you CouchApps, you can deploy them as iOS apps.

Beta Release

If you just want to get started, jump to Building the Demo App. We’ve recently moved to Xcode 4, so for best results you should be on Xcode 4 also.

The biggest thing we need help with is size optimization - currently a Release build adds about 15 MB to your application. We are targeting 5 MB for our initial round of optimizations. It can definitely go lower but that work might take longer.

Join us

There is a Google Group here for Mobile Couchbase. Let’s talk about how to optimize the Erlang build, what the best Cocoa APIs are for CouchDB, how to take advantage of replication on mobile devices. It’ll be fun.

Getting Started

These instructions assume you are familiar with how to make an iPhone app because you’ve done it a lot already.

If you have questions or get stuck or just want to say hi, email [email protected] and let us know that you’re interested in Couchbase on mobile.

Using Mobile Couchbase

For details on how to use Mobile Couchbase in your own apps see doc/

Building the Demo App

The following instructions can be used to build Mobile Couchbase for devices and simulators, using Xcode 4.

Get the main repository

git clone git://

Get the submodules

cd iOS-Couchbase/
git submodule init
git submodule update

Open the Xcode workspace

open Couchbase.xcworkspace

To build and run the Demo App in the simulator:

  • Select “CouchDemo-iphonesimulator | iPhone 4.3 Simulator” from the popup
  • Click the Run button

To build and run the Demo App on a device:

  • Make sure a properly provisioned device is attached
  • Select “CouchDemo-iphoneos | DeviceName(osversion)” from the popup
  • Click the Run button


Portions under Apache, Erlang, and other licenses.

The overall package is released under the Apache license, 2.0.

Copyright 2011, Couchbase, Inc.

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Top Contributors

jchris ironwolf mschoch schwa afh grantwood


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