Cloudant is a great choice for DBaaS for mobile apps on multiple platforms and devices...
September 09, 2016

Cloudant is a great choice for DBaaS for mobile apps on multiple platforms and devices...

Wes Wilson | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Cloudant

We use Cloudant as our online cloud database solution for our mobile health app. Our solution had to work cross platform with Android and iOS and allow syncing to local databases for offline use. Cloudant allowed for easy integration into our stack with very little setup. By not having to worry about converting between database architectures we were able to focus our development time on building features into our app.
  • Easy Setup
  • Simple API's
  • Great Documentation
  • Open Standards / Works with CouchDB and mobile PouchDB
  • Built in live listeners to watch for data changes would be a nice addition
Our mobile app runs on a wide variety of devices, many only supporting SQL databases to limited capacity, and some are under-powered for their use in offline storage modes. It was very important our app be usable offline but still have the most current medical information available to update when connection was re-established. The types of queries being conducted on older and under powered devices lead a NoSQL solution in our stack as a positive choice to enhance the user experience. Ultimately the ability to sync without converting data structures between 4 completely different technologies has been the greatest benefit of using Cloudant for our NoSQL solution
The service scales incredibly well. As you would expect from CloudDB and IBM combination. The only reason I wouldn't score it a 10 is the fact that document trees can get nested and nested very quickly if you are attempting to do very complex datasets. Which makes your code that much more complex to deal. Its very possible we could find a solution to this problem with better database planning to begin with, but one of the reasons we chose a service over a self-hosted solution was so we could set it up quick and forget about it. So we weren't going to dedicate a team to architecture optimization.
We have saved a tremendous amount of time. Cloudant works out of the box with practically no setup to create your first database. The time it would take me to just spool up a AWS server is the amount of time it takes to start putting data into your DB. I would spend hours more installing node/git/couch on a linux AWS server, configuring ports and routing tables, not to mention time updating and maintaining the server (both from an O/S security standpoint and from database management perspective). IBM Cloudant really just made it simple to check off DBaaS off our production todo list.
It's easier to use than Dynamo, more open than Firebase, and has better documentation that CouchDB... it might not be fair to compare Modulus, Modulus obviously suffers from some scalability issues and might not be in the same class... but its a hosted DB service we had some experience with in the past....
Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service), IBM Bluemix, OpenShift, GitHub, NetBeans, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), GoDaddy, FatCow, Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, Mixpanel, Heap
If you are using MEAN stack and require a 3rd party cloud database it really is up there with firebase. Firebase has a couple extra features attached to its non-sql DB, and if you need those particular features then that might be a best choice. But if you don't, cloudant is far more open and most scripts and tools that work with CloudDB will work with cloudant. Firebase is far more proprietary which gives it a steeper learning curve also. Another thing to consider is how many different types of software will interact with your DB. If you are just building a web app and only one application needs the data then arguably the pros and cons against any hosted solution like Amazon Dynamo, Modulus (MongoDB), or Firebase is going to be minimal and subjective. But if you are using lots of different technologies and many different devices there is a major advantage to going with a less proprietary solution. You get all the compatibility of CouchDB but the reliability of having IBM behind your DBaaS.