Been meaning to spend time looking into a NOSQL solution, but don't have time to do the research? Now is your chance! We've broken it down for you so you can get at this topic from dev to production.


It's often tough to justify spending time learning something new, regardless of how shiny it is, and when it doesn't necessarily pertain directly to something you tackle in your day job.

It may be close, but just not close enough for you to sink a ton of time into. Well, I'm gonna give you two reasons to kick that fallacy to the kerb:

  1. You never know when you'll find yourself in a job or perhaps interviewing for a job where slightly alternative skills will put you a notch above the competition;
  2. RavenDB really is so freakin' easy to learn, that if you follow the stuff laid out below, you could probably come away from it after your lunch break (skipping the hand-holding) with a significantly well informed opinion.

So, don't be tentative and let procrastination hold you back. Learn this stuff! You'll be happy you gave it the time it deserves...

Get the goods direct from the pantry

As with most technologies, the authors themselves are the most likely to keep their information up to date - it's in their best interests, and so for a very brief, no frills look at getting your environment set up, take a look at this.

Many devs only want the basics to get going so they can just start playing, and if that's what you're looking for, then you've found it - off with you!

Add 16 parts hand-holding

On the other hand, if you're looking for something a little more in depth that'll take you through from soup to nuts, then this 16 part series written by Rob Ashton quite a while ago, but still relevant today, will guide you bit by bit in more detail.

Unfortunately, Rob seems to have gone all Zen minimalist and forgotten that blogs have tags for a reason ;-) and so I've cobbled together a search result that covers all the posts in this series.

As is often the case with longer (and older) tutorials, there are bound to be slight discrepancies with current version of the software, but this stuff is too good to pass up, so there it is in all its glory - check it out!

And a pinch of embedding to taste

Just in case you were wondering if you could possibly get a SQL Express/Compact experience with RavenDB instead of having to deploy it as a separate service, the answer is yes of course!

Justin Schwartzenberger shows us just how to go about it in this post, and with it comes all the power of RavenDB as a service in a nice deployable chunk.

This may or may not be the right solution for you depending on what you want to achieve, but it's always good to have options, even if you're just looking at a proof of concept project at first...

Crank up the oven to 200 deg F

OK, so you've built this thing, so now, where to put it? We need to find a place to host this bad boy. You could pretty much get it up on any shared, dedicated or virtual hosting solution you'd like, but few could claim to make it as easy as AppHarbor do.

I'm a huge fan of AppHarbor, and if you haven't checked them out, I highly recommend you try out their free option and take it for a spin!

To that end, this section links to a brief, and excellent tutorial created by Gregor Suttie to show you just how easy it is. If you prefer the animated kind, check out the next section...

Here's one they baked earlier

We all know that websites are not necessarily just about a single process - sometimes we need background workers running around keeping the blood pumping through the system. This video goes through exactly that process from start to finish in double-quick time...

From zero to deployed in little over 10 minutes - yes 10 minutes!

You probably couldn't even drink a cup of coffee in that time, so the next time you've made yourself a hot brew, and are thinking about what you could spend some time on, put your headphones on, kick back and watch this video.

Make sure you taste your own concoctions often

It's never a good idea to just let your creations run wild without making sure they behave themselves - but how do we know if they're behaving?! That is so often the biggest bugbear that developers have against software - the lack of tools to tell us things are still going strong.

Well, never fear, RavenDB has a profiling solution that really is gorgeous in its simplicity. To take you through it, once again we have Gregor Suttie who has written this short and sweet nugget.


Surely it can't be true, they didn't think if everything did they? Did they?! RavenDB is so incredibly young compared with much of the competition out there, and yet it displays admirable maturity for its age, with about a billion (slight hyperbole) add-on bundles already out there, and I think pretty soon, it will be the benchmark by which other products that come to market will be measured against.

So there you have it! No more excuses... If you enjoy claiming that you continuously seek simplicity in the software you create, then you owe it to yourself as a developer in that camp to take a look at RavenDB.

The beauty of it is, once you've genuinely taken the small amount of time needed to follow this recipe, you'll be sold! So go ahead and have some fun...

Until next time...