This is the first post in a small series about RavenDB – a document database in .NET. I will try to touch the same areas as I did in my series on MongoDB, possibly comparing the two where I see fit.

Now, first – let’s see if the raven can fly…

Getting started

I am extremely happy to see that Ayende has created the same installation experience as I got with MongoDB… i.e., to get the server running, perform the following steps (assuming the .NET 4 framework is installed on your system):

  1. Grab a ZIP with the lastest build here
  2. Unzip somewhere
  3. Go to /Server and run Raven.Server.exe

– and now the RavenDB server will be running on localhost:8080. That was easy. Now, try visiting http://localhost:8080 in your browser – now you should see the administration interface of RavenDB.

By the way, have you ever tried installing Microsoft SQL Server? Shudder!! šŸ™‚

Connecting with the .NET client

I’m old school, so I am still using Visual Studio 2008. If you’re old school like me, add a reference to /Client-3.5/Raven.Client-3.5.dll – otherwise add a reference to /Client/Raven.Client.Lightweight.dll.

Now, to open a connection, do this:

– and then store the DocumentStore as a singleton in your program.

Inserting a document

Now, let’s try inserting a document… say we have a POCO model representation of a person that looks like this (allowing Address to be either DomesticAddress or ForeignAddress):

Then, do this:

Now, let’s visit http://localhost:8080/raven/documents.html in the browser… it will probably look something like this:

Document in RavenDB

As you can see, RavenDB stores all documents in a single collection. Right now, there’s one person in there, and then there’s a document that RavenDB uses to generate integer IDs based on the hi-lo-algorithm. Rob Ashton has an explanation here on the design decisions made for this particular piece of RavenDB.

I like this particular decision, because it makes for some really nice human-readable, human-typeable IDs.

Note how the ID of the document is people/1 – RavenDB is smart enough to pluralize most names, which is pretty cool. Let’s click the document to see what’s in it:

Document in RavenDB

Note also how RavenDB puts type information in the document, allowing the proper subtype to be deserialized. Now, let’s try this out:

– which results in the following console output:

How cool is that?! (pretty cool, actually…)

Note that the pretty UI is based on the actual RavenDB interface to the world, which is REST-based. That means we can go to a DOS prompt and do this:

Now, that was a short dive into storing documents and retrieving them again by ID. We need to do more than that, though – otherwise we would have been content using a simple key/value-store. Therefore, in the next post, I will take a look at querying

Fun with RavenDB 1

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