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HarperDB System Properties

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Editorial information provided by DB-Engines
DescriptionA distributed database focused on speed and ease of use. It has an intuitive REST API, and supports NoSQL and SQL including joins. HarperDB leverages standard interfaces, and users can be up and running in minutes.
Primary database modelDocument store
DB-Engines Ranking infomeasures the popularity of database management systemsranking trend
Trend Chart
Rank#238  Overall
#37  Document stores
Technical documentationharperdb.io/­developers/­documentation/­overview
Initial release2017
Current release3.1, August 2021
License infoCommercial or Open Sourcecommercial infofree community edition available
Cloud-based only infoOnly available as a cloud serviceno
DBaaS offerings (sponsored links) infoDatabase as a Service

Providers of DBaaS offerings, please contact us to be listed.
Implementation languageNode.js
Server operating systemsLinux
Data schemedynamic schema
Typing infopredefined data types such as float or dateyes infoJSON data types
XML support infoSome form of processing data in XML format, e.g. support for XML data structures, and/or support for XPath, XQuery or XSLT.no
Secondary indexesyes
SQL infoSupport of SQLSQL-like data manipulation statements
APIs and other access methodsJDBC
React Hooks
Supported programming languages.Net
JavaScript (Node.js)
Objective C
Server-side scripts infoStored proceduresCustom Functions infosince release 3.1
Partitioning methods infoMethods for storing different data on different nodesA table resides as a whole on one (or more) nodes in a cluster
Replication methods infoMethods for redundantly storing data on multiple nodesyes infothe nodes on which a table resides can be defined
MapReduce infoOffers an API for user-defined Map/Reduce methodsno
Consistency concepts infoMethods to ensure consistency in a distributed systemImmediate Consistency
Foreign keys infoReferential integrityno
Transaction concepts infoSupport to ensure data integrity after non-atomic manipulations of dataAtomic execution of specific operations
Concurrency infoSupport for concurrent manipulation of datayes
Durability infoSupport for making data persistentyes, using LMDB
In-memory capabilities infoIs there an option to define some or all structures to be held in-memory only.yes
User concepts infoAccess controlAccess rights for users and roles
More information provided by the system vendor
Specific characteristics

HarperDB is the first distributed database with hybrid SQL & NoSQL functionality & a REST API. Known as a structured object store with SQL capabilities, or NewSQL. HarperDB is focused on speed, ease of use, & flexibility. As a distributed database, HarperDB leverages a logical structure enabling ACID compliant efficient storage & retrieval without inconsistency, race conditions, or utilizing in-memory indexing. HarperDB is fully indexed & runs on any device from edge to cloud. HarperDB Cloud is their database-as-a-service offering.

Storage Algorithm 

HarperDB's unique storage algorithm built on top of LMDB enables HarperDB to ingest JSON documents & relational data in a single product.  


Insert JSON, query with performant SQL including joins & full CRUD operations. Regardless of how data is ingested, data is stored according to the HarperDB data model & can be queried via SQL or NoSQL.

Dynamic Schema

Ingest any type of data at scale. The schema reflexively creates attributes on ingest, creating new database fields as they are sent. Users can ingest unstructured data & retain SQL functionality.

Clustering & Replication

HarperDB leverages a publish/subscribe model to move data between instances. This enables configurable bi-directional, table-level replication. HarperDB’s clustering is fault tolerant, peer-to-peer, provides table level replication, has a globally shared schema, & enables distributed computing.


All database operations are available via a single endpoint HTTP API with a stateless microservices architecture. See API documentation in our Postman Collection.

Management Studio 

The HarperDB Studio enables users to manage both self-hosted & HarperDB Cloud managed instances. The Studio includes Marketplace & resources like SDKs, connectors, drivers, example code, & video tutorials.

Custom Functions
Serverless, highly customizable API endpoints that interact with our HarperDB Core operations. Visit the docs.


HarperDB is cross-platform, running natively on Linux, MacOS & Microsoft WSL2. It can be deployed via Docker container, & is available for download via npm or as a managed service via HarperDB Studio.

The HarperDB Studio is web-based & can be accessed via anything with a web browser.

Role Based Security

HarperDB uses a Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) framework to manage access to HarperDB instances. Visit the documentation

ACID Transactions

HarperDB is fully ACID compliant allowing users to follow the universal standard of SQL query language at the standards of atomicity, consistency, isolation, & durability. 

Industry Standard Interfaces & Drivers

HarperDB leverages standard interfaces and provides numerous drivers.

Competitive advantages

By combining the functionality of the best SQL, NoSQL, and NewSQL products on the market into one powerful tool, HarperDB makes data management easier and more cost effective. Effectively enabling SQL on JSON, users no longer have to choose a database based on the structure of their data. With HarperDB’s speed, flexibility, and customization, you can reduce time spent on database maintenance and reduce the number of systems needed to achieve your end goal. HarperDB is allowing developers from relational backgrounds to use their existing knowledge with SQL with a database that also allows their team to use NoSQL from the same data model (and vice versa).

HarperDB's Custom Functions 
combine serverless functions with the underlying database, collapsing the stack into a single solution with the ability to define custom API endpoints that have direct access to HarperDB core operations. HarperDB’s serverless Custom Functions, powered by Fastify, are just like AWS Lambda functions or Stored Procedures. Functions are low maintenance and easy to develop; define logic and choose when to execute.

Accessed via a simple REST API, HarperDB is super easy to use and built for developers and technology leaders of any skill level. Because HarperDB can run truly anywhere and ingest any type of data at scale, organizations can avoid cloud lock-in, latency, and complexity. From large industrial companies looking to activate a hybrid cloud or data warehouse, to developers looking to enable rapid development and integration, there are many applications that HarperDB can handle consistently and efficiently. 

HarperDB Cloud is fully managed and hosted to maximize operational efficiency and reduce cost and complexity.


On average, HarperDB was 37X faster than MongoDB, 6.8X faster than InfluxDB on writes, and 581% faster than SQLite. HarperDB scales out-of-the-box for concurrent operations, & has simplified work on database administration & maintenance. See the benchmarks.

Typical application scenarios

Use cases where HarperDB is a better fit than other solutions include:

  • Rapid app development
  • Edge computing
  • Hybrid edge/cloud and distributed computing 
    • Data pipeline that runs across multiple clouds with real-time data synchronization
    • Extend data fabric to edge data centers
    • Move serverless functions and API to the edge 
    • Eliminate vendor lock-in, reduce cost, lower latency, gain real-time capability
  • IoT
  • Integration
  • Real-time analytics
  • Machine learning
  • Reporting and charting

HarperDB enables developers and technology leaders to:

  • Leverage existing AWS, GCP, or Azure Infrastructure and migrate API to HarperDB easily, quickly, with little disruption
  • Lower costs, avoid “vendor lock-in” and provide a low-latency API 
  • Provide geo-redundant, cross-cloud DR and high availability architecture
  • Increase development velocity 
  • Reduce application latency 
  • Provide a better “end-user” experience 
  • Simplify architecture 
  • Have more negotiating power with AWS, GCP, and Azure 
  • Improve app speed and performance
Key customers

A few highlighted customers include: US Army, US Airforce, Chelan PUD, TATA, & Lumen.

Market metrics

Over 26K total HarperDB users
12,700+ npm downloads 
10,000+ on Docker Hub
3,400+ cloud & local signups

HDB users +137% from last year  (11k users in Feb 2021 to 26k users Feb 2022) 

Over 7,400 HarperDB community members/subscribers

Licensing and pricing models

HarperDB follows a freemium/premium model. A database is only as powerful as it is flexible, so we created a simple pricing model based on the memory of a machine. Pricing is per instance and is based on provisioned memory. For self-hosted instances, HarperDB will restrict itself to use only the RAM afforded by its license.

HarperDB includes a powerful free forever tier, enabling users to spin up a 0.5 GB RAM instance at no cost. The paid model starts at 1 GB RAM, at $19.99/month for HarperDB Cloud and $215.89/year for self-hosted.

Related products and services

We invite representatives of vendors of related products to contact us for presenting information about their offerings here.

More resources
Recent citations in the news

Jaxon Repp on HarperDB Distributed Database Platform
23 March 2022, InfoQ.com

HarperDB Releases HarperDB Cloud
22 April 2020, PR Newswire

Build a Hacker News Clone using React and HarperDB
18 October 2021, SitePoint

HarperDB: An underdog SQL / NoSQL database
7 February 2018, ZDNet

Jaxon Repp's InfoQ Profile
22 March 2022, InfoQ.com

provided by Google News

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HarperDB, Denver, CO

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HarperDB, Denver, CO

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HarperDB, Denver, CO

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