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Write CouchDB Changes Listeners. Easy.

var CouchDBChanges = require("CouchDBChanges");
var config = {
  url: "",
  filter: "pommes",
  persistent_since: true

var changes = new CouchDBChanges(config, function(error, change) {
  // do dat change!

Wow, easy!

CouchDB, The Definitive Guide has a chapter on the Changes feed.


CouchDB has this amazing feature called the “Changes Feed”. Think of git log for your database. There’s all sorts of awesome you can do with this. For example, have a database called outbox and connect a CouchDB changes listener to it and whenever your application creates a new document, say

    "from": "",
    "to": "",
    "subject": "Hey there!",
    "body": "I think you get the idea"

the changes listener then gets notified right when the document gets created, but asynchronously from your application and send the email that is described. When the email is sent, it can write back a new field

"status": "sent"

or, if anything went wrong:

"status": "error",
"error_message": "that email address is bogus you twat!"

that the application can then use again to update the user interface accordingly.

So yeah, quick example, but there’s tons of things you can do with this. We should collect nice examples, but for now you can check out


CouchDBChanges(config, change_cb)

  • config

    • url: string or url-object: URL to the database. Can include a username and password.
  • All parameters for the follow library

  • All parameters for the CouchDB Changes API.

  • follow_options: (object) configurations for following {

  • persistent_since: (bool) false whether or not to persist the latest seq_id from the server. This allows us to avoid processing a change more than once.

  • change_cb: (callable) function to call for each change


  • Make persistent_since storage configurable.


This is just a very thin wrapper around Jason Smith’s / Iris Couch’s excellent follow library.

Thanks Jason!

License & Copyright

(c) 2012 Jan Lehnardt
Licensed under the Apache License 2.0.