A Fast Local Database for nodejs Projects

LevelDb is a key/value store written three or four years ago by engineers at Google. Since then it has been adopted by many projects including Google Chrome, Bitcoin, Apache ActiveMQ, and others. It was introduced to the node community as levelup/leveldown in July of 2012. Since then there have been over 13K downloads and many extensions.

When I first started experimenting with LevelDb I was pleased with it’s speed and ease of use but also surprised as how easy it was to configure. Simply give it a file name and you are good to go. Or if you want an in-memory database, use memdown as the database backing store.

SimpleNodeDb is an extension to LevelDb that adds query, insert, update, delete and backup/restore capabilities. The keys are domain specific and data values are stored as objects with JSON encoding.

The project is published to the npm registry and can be installed using this:

	npm install simple-node-db

Here is a more complete description as pulled from the published npm page:

A database implementation on top of levelup, leveldown, and memdown. SimpleNodeDb leverages the document store aspects of level up to provide a data-model centric implementation.

Models are stored as JSON strings with domain-scoped keys. For example a user data model’s key of ‘12345’ would have an associated domain key of ‘user:12345’. So querying for users as opposed to orders or inventory parts is as easy as including records where keys begin with ‘user:’. Automatic model attributes include dateCreated, lastUpdated and version. The version attribute is used to enforce optimistic locking.

Typically SimpleNodeDb is well suited for small to medium datasets (less than 100K rows) or data stores that don’t require complex querying. It also provides robust caching when used as an in-memory data store. To support more than 100K rows you should probably create alternate indexing schemes or stick with redis, mongo, or a traditional SQL database.

The project includes a full suite of unit tests and examples. If you get a chance to try it out, let me know what you think. For more info on leveldb, check out this video from Richard Astbury.

Written on May 25, 2014