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Last active March 13, 2021 21:08
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Solving "one database per user" in CouchDB/IrisCouch/Cloudant


Security in a single CouchDB can only be set up to do either:

  • Everyone can read/write everything (admin party)
  • Everyone can read, some can write
  • Some can read everything, and those same people can write everything

So in the very common situation where you want user data to be private, the current best practice is to give every user a database. This sounds nuts at first, but it turns out that databases are cheap in CouchDB; Cloudant boasts that 100k databases in a single Couch is not uncommon (source).

However, actually implementing one database per user is not open-and-shut. You need a separate server process outside of CouchDB to handle it. Everyone has their own solution; here are some popular ones:

Update: the CouchDB docker image now has a built-in couch-per-user support, making this much easier to implement:

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danielfoxp2 commented Jul 24, 2019

I loved the possibility of auto sync between front and back end databases using PouchDB and CouchDB, plus resolving conflicts it's a beauty. But I am not being able to wrap my head around these security strategies and make it work with my needs. Probably I am missing something, but neither per_user or for all seems to fit in my app.

This is so frustrating.

The last sentence of this doubt below is one of the issues for me too, besides others:
pouchdb/pouchdb#3732 (comment)

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zim32 commented Nov 10, 2020

I know this is old post, but what if you make an http proxy between.browser and global db, intercept replicate requests add view or filter function to request and pass to original database?

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