couchdb 0.7.0
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CouchDB client written in Dart

A CouchDB client written in Dart #

Created under a MIT-style license.

Overview #

CouchDB is a database system that completely embraces the web. Store your data as JSON documents. Access them via HTTP.

A basic understanding of CouchDB is required to use this library. Detailed information can be found at the official documentation site.


The connection to the database, along with authentication, is handled via CouchDbClient for both web and server environments.

Three types of authentication are available:

- Basic
- Cookie
- Proxy

For Basic authentication simply pass username and password to constructor:

final c = CouchDbClient(username: 'name', password: 'pass');

For Cookie authentication you also must provide auth parameter, then call authenticate() method (note that cookies are valid for 10 minutes by default, you may specify other expiration in the Expiration header):

final c = CouchDbClient(username: 'name', password: 'pass', auth: 'cookie');
final res = await c.authenticate();

authenticate(), logout() are suitable only for cookie authentication. userInfo() are suitable for all auth types.

For Proxy authentication pass username to constructor and provide:

  • X-Auth-CouchDB-UserName: username (by default the username passed to the constructor is used, so it can be skipped);
  • X-Auth-CouchDB-Roles: comma-separated (,) list of user roles;
  • X-Auth-CouchDB-Token: authentication token. When proxy_use_secret is set (which is strongly recommended!), this header provides an HMAC of the username to authenticate and the secret token to prevent requests from untrusted sources (by default the username and secret passed to constructor are used, so it can be skipped).


final c = CouchDbClient(username: 'name', auth: 'proxy', secret: '92de07df7e7a3fe14808cef90a7cc0d91');
c.modifyRequestHeaders(<String, String>{
  'X-Auth-CouchDB-Roles': 'users,blogger'

Note that X-Auth-CouchDB-Token is not required if proxy_use_secret sets to false.

proxy_use_secret = false

Otherwise you may provide secret option which is used to generate token. The secret key should be the same on the client and the CouchDB node:

secret = 92de07df7e7a3fe14808cef90a7cc0d91

To use this authentication method make sure that the {chttpd_auth, proxy_authentication_handler} value in added to the list of the active chttpd/authentication_handlers:

authentication_handlers = {chttpd_auth, cookie_authentication_handler}, {chttpd_auth, proxy_authentication_handler}, {chttpd_auth, default_authentication_handler}

Anonymous user

You can configure access to your database to anonymous users. To achieve this you must provide the following option (and don't set username and password to CouchDbClient constructor):

require_valid_user = false

Otherwise, no requests will be allowed from anonymous users.


If you wish you can communicate with the server directly via the client's methods such as get() and post(), however, other classes provide functions which can abstract away the particulars of the protocol. Therefore using the client's methods directly is not the way you will typically use this library.

Every supported HTTP method: HEAD, GET, POST, PUT, and COPY has an Accept header with a default value of application/json, and POST and PUT both have a Content-Type header with a default value of application/json. You can override this if you need.

Most of the client's methods return a Future<ApiResponse> object. When the future completes normally, it will contain:

  • an ApiResponse.json property (Map type) containing JSON that was sent by CouchDB,
  • an ApiResponse.raw property (String type) for responses that are not a JSON object (numbers, lists, files,)
  • an ApiResponse.headers property that contains headers of the HTTP response.

In case of failure, the exception payload response will be an ErrorResponse object.

Because of the sheet number of response information, the package has been organized around categories, each providing a more specific ...Response class.

You can find more information below and in the package API.


The API is divided into five categories, or areas, each representing a different aspect of the database overall. These five categories are:

1. Server
2. Databases
3. Documents
4. Design documents
5. Local documents
1: Server

Represented by the Server class. This class provides server level interaction with CouchDB, such as managing replication or obtaining basic information about the server. It also includes info about authentication and current user (methods in CouchDbClient class).

The Server class methods return a Future<ServerResponse>.

2: Databases

A Database in CouchDB is a single document store located on the given database server. This part of the API is represented by the Databases class. You use this class for interacting with your data on a database level; for example creating a new database or preforming a query to search for certain documents.

The Databases class methods return a Future<DatabasesResponse>.

3: Documents

You use the Documents class to interact with the data on a document level. This would include functions such as fetching a specific document, adding a new document, or attaching a file to a document. Note that this class does not model the documents themselves, but rather your interactions with them. The documents themselves are represented as Maps.

The Documents class methods return a Future<DocumentsResponse>.

4: Design Documents

Design documents provide views of data in the database. You interact with them with the DesignDocuments class.

The DesignDocuments class methods return a Future<DesignDocumentsResponse>.

5: Local Documents

Local documents are no different than normal documents, with the exception that they are not copied to other instances of CouchDB during replication. You interact with them via the LocalDocuments class.

The LocalDocuments class methods return a Future<LocalDocumentsResponse>.


CORS is a method of enabling a web app to talk to a server other than the server hosting it. It is only necessary if the application is running in the browser.

CouchDB Server Configuration for CORS

If the application is not on the same origin with CouchDB instance (or you using different ports on server), then the remote CouchDB must be configured with the following options:

enable_cors = true
origins = *
credentials = true
headers = accept, authorization, content-type, origin, referer, x-csrf-token

Change these settings either in Fauxton configuration utility or in the CouchDb local.ini file. For better security, specify specific domains instead of * in the origins section.

Browser Client Configuration for CORS

Depending on the browser, you might also need to pass cors=true to the CouchDbClient constructor. However, most of the time the browser will handle this for you and this shouldn't be necessary. In fact, it might cause an "Unsafe Header" message in the browser console.

Usage #

A simple usage example:

import 'package:couchdb/couchdb.dart';

Future<void> main() async {
  final client = CouchDbClient(username: 'name', password: 'password');
  final dbs = Databases(client);
  final docs = Documents(client);

  try {
    final DatabasesResponse response1 = await dbs.allDocs('some_db');

    for (var i in response1.rows) {
      // Some code here

    final DocumentsResponse response2 = await docs.doc('another_db', 'some_id');

    var thing = response2.doc['some_attribute'];

  } on CouchDbException catch (e) {
    print('$e - error');

Features and bugs #

Please file feature requests and bugs at the issue tracker.

With ❤️ to CouchDB

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CouchDB client written in Dart

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