Getting Started

HarperDB is designed for quick and simple setup and deployment, with smart defaults that lead to fast, scalable, and globally distributed database applications.

You can easily create a HarperDB database in the cloud through our studio or install it locally. The quickest way to get HarperDB up and running is with HarperDB Cloud, our database-as-a-service offering. However, HarperDB is a database application platform, and to leverage HarperDB’s full application development capabilities of defining schemas, endpoints, messaging, and gateway capabilities, you may wish to install and run HarperDB locally so that you can use your standard local IDE tools, debugging, and version control.

Installing a HarperDB Instance

You can simply install HarperDB with npm (or yarn, or other package managers):

npm install -g harperdb

Here we installed HarperDB globally (and we recommend this) to make it easy to run a single HarperDB instance with multiple projects, but you can install it locally (not globally) as well.

You can run HarperDB by running:


You can now use HarperDB as a standalone database. You can also create a cloud instance (see below), which is also an easy way to get started.

Developing Database Applications with HarperDB

HarperDB is more than just a database, with HarperDB you build "database applications" which package your schema, endpoints, and application logic together. You can then deploy your application to an entire cluster of HarperDB instances, ready to scale to on-the-edge delivery of data and application endpoints directly to your users. To get started with HarperDB, take a look at our application development guide, with quick and easy examples:

Database application development guide

Setting up a Cloud Instance

To set up a HarperDB cloud instance, simply sign up and create a new instance:

Note that a local instance and cloud instance are not mutually exclusive. You can register your local instance in the HarperDB Studio, and a common development flow is to develop locally and then deploy your application to your cloud instance.

HarperDB Cloud instance provisioning typically takes 5-15 minutes. You will receive an email notification when your instance is ready.

Using the HarperDB Studio

Now that you have a HarperDB instance, if you want to use HarperDB as a standalone database, you can fully administer and interact with our database through the Studio. This section links to appropriate articles to get you started interacting with your data.

  1. Load CSV data (Here’s a sample CSV of the HarperDB team’s dogs)

Administering HarperDB

If you are deploying and administering HarperDB, you may want to look at our configuration documentation and our administrative operations API below.

HarperDB APIs

The preferred way to interact with HarperDB for typical querying, accessing, and updating data (CRUD) operations is through the REST interface, described in the REST documentation.

The Operations API provides extensive administrative capabilities for HarperDB, and the Operations API documentation has usage and examples. Generally it is recommended that you use the RESTful interface as your primary interface for performant data access, querying, and manipulation (DML) for building production applications (under heavy load), and the operations API (and SQL) for data definition (DDL) and administrative purposes.

The HarperDB Operations API is single endpoint, which means the only thing that needs to change across different calls is the body. For example purposes, a basic cURL command is shown below to create a database called dev. To change this behavior, swap out the operation in the data-raw body parameter.

curl --location --request POST '' \
--header 'Authorization: Basic YourBase64EncodedInstanceUser:Pass' \
--header 'Content-Type: application/json' \
--data-raw '{
  "operation": "create_schema",
  "database": "dev"

Support and Learning More

If you find yourself in need of additional support you can submit a HarperDB support ticket. You can also learn more about available HarperDB projects by searching Github.

Video Tutorials

HarperDB video tutorials are available on our YouTube channel. HarperDB and the HarperDB Studio are constantly changing, as such, there may be small discrepancies in UI/UX.

Last updated