If it fits your need, you'll never have problems or complaints.
Updated July 29, 2016

If it fits your need, you'll never have problems or complaints.

Bryan Redeagle | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Cloudant

We currently use Cloudant to store call detail records for our faxing platform. The platform itself stores these records, but the API is not easy to query. So we take every single record and store them in Cloudant. This includes not only the basic sender and receiver information, but also per minute costs for each fax. This allows us to easily present incoming and outgoing faxes to our users via our client portal. It's also great for the billing department in that they can quickly query the recordings for profit and cost analysis.
  • It stores a very large amount of information very efficiently. Granted, we're just storing call detail records, but we're storing 200K records in 50MB.
  • Querying isn't as fancy as SQL-based databases. But if you know what you need and can get it in a view, it is very fast. I'm querying both date and phone number without any issues.
  • The UI for managing your databases is top notch. We can build views and searches, and query those with issues. This lets us refine and perfect our JS functions and queries very easily.
  • Search Queries. They work when they work, but some of the documentation is a tad confusing and the bookmark system of pagination is not great.
I already knew about Cloudant before choosing it as our solution. I've always had issues with MySQL and others choking at 10K records, and I had no desire to be a DBA. So after looking over a few options, I felt that Cloudant fit our needs best. It's mix of JSON documents and view system fit perfectly the kind of data I needed to store and query.
I'm storing 200K records, and a query takes millimseconds. I've never had timeout issues in our Client portal where we pull the information. I haven't taken benchmarks, but perceptually I've noticed no slowness. I've thought about future scaling, but With no slowness already I'm wondering if I'll even see any.
Yes. The impact is that I'm not spending all day every day looking at database servers, and adding and scaling database servers. I never worry about system performance, or tuning, or scaling resources. That means a lot to me when I'm not just doing fax data storage, but also developing a client portal, and troubleshooting phone systems. I have enough to manage, and it's nice not to have to manage this.
The technology behind Cloudant (BigCouch) is no better or worse than any of these. They are all good for different reasons. What makes Cloudant my choice against them is the hosted portion. These are all just databases that I would have to manage. Cloudant is managed for me, and still runs the queries I need.
It's great for storing large datasets where you need to access records directly or can sort them into easily parseable lists. It's not good for complex queries. Don't think of it as a complete replacement for SQL. It fits certain needs, and SQL-like expression is not that.

Using Cloudant

5 - They don't realize they are using it. They are not developing with Cloudant, but instead it's being used as their back end. It's used mainly for Call Detail Record and billing storage for a faxing server. As faxing occurs on the server, the details are sent to Cloudant. This allows us to more quickly query and parse the data. Using three views I can pull up incoming andoutgoing faxes and billing information for each number. So our clients use it to look at their faxes, our employees use it for support, and our accounting staff uses it for billing.
1 - It's not difficult. Any web developer should be able to get going with it. It takes some knowledge in JS, APIs, JSON, and how Cloudant stores and queries for information. You should start by knowing the first three. The last one can be figured out using Cloudant's documentation (which is pretty thorough. The most difficult part for many developers I think would be throwing out the SQL way of doing things. That doesn't work here. You need to think like a document database.
  • Call Detail Record Storage
  • Billing Data Storage
  • Faxing Data
  • I use complex keys with Cloudant views to query not just CDRs by phone, but by date as well. Range queries on views are great!
  • I would really like to integrate it with InfluxDB and some monitoring software to create a more performant and efficient monitoring platform. Many software out there like to use ElasticSearch, but ElasticSearch is very costly resource-wise.

Evaluating Cloudant and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
It was the features. I needed to store a lot of data quickly, and be able to query it without bringing down a server.
I would not change a thing. The core problem arose when querying for fax data would bring down our client portal on every single load. The fax server just refused to cooperate. Then and now, there are few products that would do what I need for little upfront costs. Most would require that I self-host, which I do not have time for.

Cloudant Implementation

Views and Keys can do a lot if you're clever about what information you need to check.
Change management was minimal - Most of the company didn't notice a change. This was a brand new tool being built for a brand new service. The support team is used to changing how they work so they grabbed hold and moved on.
  • Getting queries working correctly. I was new to how views worked so I went down the full text path only to find it didn't quite worked out how I thought. Then I realize that phone numbers are just long number and went that route with ranged keys on views.

Cloudant Support

Simple. It has yet to fail me. I've had almost no experience with support staff due to it's reliability.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Slow Initial Response
No - I have yet to need it. In fact, I've contacted support once. I don't even think it was because of something they've done. Cloudant is reliable enough that I honestly don't think about it's status most of the time. In fact, any time my product stops working it's never been related to Cloudant.

Using Cloudant

It's mostly just a straight forward API to a data store. I knock one off for the full text search thing, but I don't need it much anyways. Also, the dashboard UI they give is pretty nice to use. It provides syntax-highlighting for writing views and queries are easy to test. I wish other DBs had a UI like this.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Consistent
Convenient
Feel confident using
Requires technical support
  • It does what it says on the box. Stores data, retrieves data, queries data with Map/Reduce and full text search.
  • Full text search can be really tricky to get working correctly. It works, but then you find it's not quite querying the way you expect it.