orbit-db

OrbitDB

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OrbitDB is a serverless, distributed, peer-to-peer database. OrbitDB uses IPFS as its data storage and IPFS Pubsub to automatically sync databases with peers. It’s an eventually consistent database that uses CRDTs for conflict-free database merges making OrbitDB an excellent choice for decentralized apps (dApps), blockchain applications and offline-first web applications.

Test it live at Live demo 1Live demo 2, or P2P TodoMVC app!

OrbitDB provides various types of databases for different data models and use cases:

  • log: an immutable (append-only) log with traversable history. Useful for “latest N” use cases or as a message queue.
  • feed: a mutable log with traversable history. Entries can be added and removed. Useful for *”shopping cart” type of use cases, or for example as a feed of blog posts or “tweets”.
  • keyvalue: a key-value database just like your favourite key-value database.
  • docs: a document database to which JSON documents can be stored and indexed by a specified key. Useful for building search indices or version controlling documents and data.
  • counter: Useful for counting events separate from log/feed data.

All databases are implemented on top of ipfs-log, an immutable, operation-based conflict-free replicated data structure (CRDT) for distributed systems. If none of the OrbitDB database types match your needs and/or you need case-specific functionality, you can easily implement and use a custom database store of your own.

Project status & support

Status: in active development

NOTE! OrbitDB is alpha-stage software. It means OrbitDB hasn’t been security audited and programming APIs and data formats can still change. We encourage you to reach out to the maintainers if you plan to use OrbitDB in mission critical systems.

This is the Javascript implementation and it works both in Browsers and Node.js with support for Linux and OS X (Windows is not supported yet). The minimum required version of Node.js is now 8.6.0 due to the usage of ... spread syntax. LTS versions (even numbered versions 8, 10, etc) are preferred.

To use with older versions of Node.js, we provide an ES5-compatible build through the npm package, located in dist/es5/when installed through npm.

Community Calls

We also have regular community calls, which we announce in the issues in the @orbitdb welcome repository. Join us!

Table of Contents

Usage

Read the GETTING STARTED guide for a more in-depth tutorial and to understand how OrbitDB works.

CLI

For the CLI tool to manage orbit-db database, see OrbitDB CLI.

It can be installed from Npm with:

npm install orbit-db-cli -g

Module with IPFS Instance

If you’re using orbitd-db to develop browser or Node.js applications, use it as a module with the javascript instance of IPFS

Install dependencies:

npm install orbit-db ipfs
const IPFS = require('ipfs')
const OrbitDB = require('orbit-db')

// OrbitDB uses Pubsub which is an experimental feature
// and need to be turned on manually.
// Note that these options need to be passed to IPFS in
// all examples even if not specified so.
const ipfsOptions = {
  EXPERIMENTAL: {
    pubsub: true
  }
}

// Create IPFS instance
const ipfs = new IPFS(ipfsOptions)

ipfs.on('error', (e) => console.error(e))
ipfs.on('ready', async () => {
  const orbitdb = new OrbitDB(ipfs)

  // Create / Open a database
  const db = await orbitdb.log('hello')
  await db.load()

  // Listen for updates from peers
  db.events.on('replicated', (address) => {
    console.log(db.iterator({ limit: -1 }).collect())
  })

  // Add an entry
  const hash = await db.add('world')
  console.log(hash)

  // Query
  const result = db.iterator({ limit: -1 }).collect()
  console.log(JSON.stringify(result, null, 2))
})

Module with IPFS Daemon

Alternatively, you can use ipfs-api to use orbit-db with a locally running IPFS daemon. Use this method if you’re using orbitd-db to develop backend or desktop applications, eg. with Electron.

Install dependencies:

npm install orbit-db ipfs-api
const IpfsApi = require('ipfs-api')
const OrbitDB = require('orbit-db')

const ipfs = IpfsApi('localhost', '5001')
const orbitdb = new OrbitDB(ipfs)
const db = await orbitdb.log('hello')
...

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