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Comment: Updated as per latest discussion on mailing list (no more history db!)
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Proposal for CouchDB history support

  • Every time a document is changed, store the existing document as an attachment before writing the updated document.
  • For space efficiency, historical attachments are stored separately i.e. not inline with the historical JSON document.
  • The special "history" attachments will be stored using a special prefix of "_history/<_rev>".

  • If people need to add meta-data to the history, e.g. "last changed by", "last changed date/time", then the recommended way would be to use a custom _update handler to add these fields to the doc being saved, and these would propagate to the history attachment.
  • In future we can add delta support to further improve efficiency.

Use cases

The main use case we want to support is the ability to recover from catastrophic user errors e.g. if they delete an important document, or overwrite something important. I don't think supporting use cases such as rolling back to particular snapshots is within the scope of this proposal.


Native Erlang patch to core CouchDB. We probably want the ability to turn this on/off on a per-db basis via a .ini config option.

History (last edited 2009-09-20 21:45:05 by localhost)