4.4. JavaScript development tips

Working with Apache CouchDB’s JavaScript environment is a lot different than working with traditional JavaScript development environments. Here are some tips and tricks that will ease the difficulty.

  • Check the JavaScript version being used by your CouchDB. As of version 3.2.0, this is reported in the output of GET /_node/_local/_versions. Prior to version 3.2.0, you will need to see which JavaScript library is installed by your CouchDB binary distribution, provided by your operating system, or linked by your compilation process.

    If the version is 1.8.5, this is an old version of JavaScript, only supporting the ECMA-262 5th edition (“ES5”) of the language. ES6/2015 and newer constructs cannot be used.

    Fortunately, there are many tools available for transpiling modern JavaScript into code compatible with older JS engines. The Babel Project website, for example, offers an in-browser text editor which transpiles JavaScript in real-time. Configuring CouchDB-compatibility is as easy as enabling the ENV PRESET option, and typing “firefox 4.0” into the TARGETS field.

  • The log() function will log output to the CouchDB log file or stream. You can log strings, objects, and arrays directly, without first converting to JSON. Use this in conjunction with a local CouchDB instance for best results.

  • Be sure to guard all document accesses to avoid exceptions when fields or subfields are missing: if (doc && doc.myarray && doc.myarray.length)...