Up and Running with NoSQL Databases
Illustration by John Hersey

Nesting document data


From:

Up and Running with NoSQL Databases

with Joseph LeBlanc

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Video: Nesting document data

Flat fields are just one of the many options you have for storing data in CouchDB. Arrays and objects allow you to nest data within documents. Right now, we have the Futon interface loaded with the restaurant database in place. So let's navigate to restaurant. We already have a couple of documents ready to go. Click on the one with the second revision. Here we have the document with the hours. Let's say we want to add the hours as an object where we can more readily access that data in a structured format.
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Watch the Online Video Course Up and Running with NoSQL Databases
56m 57s Intermediate Nov 30, 2012

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Explore the possibilities NoSQL databases offer developers for unparalleled flexibility and performance. In this course, author Joseph LeBlanc shows how to build an entire web application with CouchDB and introduces techniques such as querying with JavaScript, working with nested data, and creating views. He also explains some of the trade-offs you might encounter with NoSQL databases, such as the complexity of partitioning data across multiple servers, and presents five commonly used NoSQL databases: CouchDB, MongoDB, Cassandra, Riak, and Redis.

Topics include:
  • What is NoSQL?
  • Installing CouchDB on Mac, Windows, and Linux
  • Storing data
  • Nesting document data
  • Specifying search criteria
  • Reducing data
  • Attaching and retrieving images
  • Deploying applications
  • Securing CouchDB
  • Understanding the CAP theorem
Subjects:
Developer IT
Software:
NoSQL CouchDB MongoDB Cassandra Riak Redis
Author:
Joseph LeBlanc

Nesting document data

Flat fields are just one of the many options you have for storing data in CouchDB. Arrays and objects allow you to nest data within documents. Right now, we have the Futon interface loaded with the restaurant database in place. So let's navigate to restaurant. We already have a couple of documents ready to go. Click on the one with the second revision. Here we have the document with the hours. Let's say we want to add the hours as an object where we can more readily access that data in a structured format.

Let's go to the exercise files to paste that in. Copy this object, and then create a new field for it by clicking Add Field. I'm going to call this field Hours, and now I am going to paste that data into this field, and then click the green check. You'll notice now we have each day of the week bolded, and the value is in quotes.

If we click over to the source, you'll see that hours is structured within this document. One thing that's very important to remember is that the JSON format is very strictly adhered to. If we edit this field and change to single quotes, the field is then just interpreted as plain text. Then we lose the structure of this field.

When we change it back to proper JSON, the structure returns. Let's click on Save Document, and then add a new document. Navigate to restaurant and click New Document. We're now going to create a document about the delivery options. Copy the word Delivery, and then click Add Field, and then add the name name as a field. Paste in Delivery, and then click Add Field again, and now copy the content.

Name this field content and now paste in the content. Finally, we're going to add the phone numbers as an array. This business has two phone lines. We're only advertising the one phone line for the moment, but at some point in the future, we might have an application that uses both. So copy the array, click Add Field, and then type numbers as the field name.

Then paste in the array. Finally, check off all four fields. You'll notice that we used proper JSON and the field was interpreted as an array. Now that we have all the data entered into this document, be sure to save it. JSON makes it possible for you to nest data in CouchDB as well as other NoSQL databases. Just make sure the syntax is correct, so that your data is recognized as JSON.

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