As you probably know by now, we are using Couchbase for caching data on our web site. However Couchbase contains support for not just cache data, but also for persistent data that is stored on disk using a NoSQL architecture. Once we were actively using Couchbase for our caching tier, the next step was to use it for storing data. The first thing we decided to move to Couchbase, was our session data, which up until that point had been stored in MySQL.

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The software that runs our site originally started out based on an Open Source project called osCommerce, which is written in PHP. The back end database has always been MySQL, so all our initial code was originally written in PHP. As the business grew, we quickly realized that we needed some back end software that ran natively on the desktop, rather than in the browser as we needed to integrate with barcode scanners, label printers and other hardware devices, which simply cannot be done easily from a web site running in a browser. To build the software, given my background in device driver development I naturally decided to use C++ on the desktop and write the programs with a cross platform user interface called Qt. So off I went and started writing a C++ desktop application that would communicate with our PHP based web server running on Linux.

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