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couch_peruser Build Status

couch_peruser is a CouchDB application that ensures that a private per-user database exists for each document in _users. These databases are writable only by the corresponding user. Databases are in the form:

userdb-{hex encoded username}

For example, the user bob will have a database named userdb-626f62.

The reason for hex encoding is that CouchDB usernames have no restrictions, but CouchDB databases have restrictions. Hex encoding the UTF-8 representation of the username is a transformation that's easy to correctly implement in just about any language, especially JavaScript and Erlang. Other encodings would be possible, but would require additional client and server-side code to support that encoding. This is the simplest scheme that is obviously correct.

Implementation Notes

The module itself is a gen_server and it implements the mem3_cluster behaviour.

In a CouchDB cluster, the module runs on each node in the cluster. On startup, it launches a changes listener for each shard of the authentication_db (_users).

In a cluster, when a change notification comes in (after a user doc has been created/updated/deleted), each node independently calculates if it should handle the notification based on the current list of active nodes in the cluster. This ensures that we avoid trying to update the internal _dbs concurrently and causing conflicts. It also ensures that at least one node does handle a notification. The mechanism that handles this does survive cluster reconfigurations transparently.