Cloudant pitches one CouchDB for all

Cloudant is pledging to merge its CouchDB NoSQL database, known as BigCouch, into the open-source Apache CouchDB Project — a move that has been in the works for a while.
That means the broader Apache project will benefit from clustering and other improvements Cloudant has made to its code, Cloudant CTO and Co-founder Adam Kocoloski said via email.
“Apache CouchDB didn’t have the ability to do clustering for very large databases, and it didn’t have the failover piece for when something went wrong,” Kocoloski wrote.
Boston-based Cloudant paints itself as a distributed database-as-a-service company. It runs on the Amazon Web Services(s msft), Joyent, Microsoft (s msft), SoftLayer (now IBM(s ibm)) and Rackspace(s rax) clouds, with Rackspace recently investing in the company.
This move may give more clarity to CouchDB’s direction, especially since Damien Katz, who created the database, last year opted to converge his CouchOne version of CouchDB with Membase into a commercial database called Couchbase. That raised concerns among the CouchDB faithful. Katz said that while his team would build on existing CouchDB and Membase projects, they would also nix what didn’t work. He said his company could work faster than a “community-based project.”
Kocoloski acknowledged that this caused problems. “CouchBase has dropped compatibility with Apache CouchDB [and] the fact that both projects have [similar] names is an unfortunate source of confusion for users — they’re two rather different beasts at this point.”