Couchbase has released its first product since its formation: Couchbase Server. It's powered by Apache CouchDB and is available in both Enterprise and Community editions. Couchbase is the result of the merger between the companies CouchOne and Membase.

According to J. Chris Anderson, chief architect of mobile at Couchbase, the new product isn't a huge infusion of Membase into CouchDB. But it's not just CouchDB either. "Couchbase Server includes CouchDB, Geocouch, and a pinch of Couchbase magic," he says.

According to Couchbase's announcement, here are the differences between the two editions:

Couchbase Server Enterprise Edition is recommended for organizations that plan to use the product in production. It is subjected to a rigorous quality assurance process and delivered with a "long-tail" maintenance guarantee, including indemnification and SLA-backed support options to minimize system downtime and revenue uptime. The API is fully compatible with Couchbase Server Community Edition.

Couchbase Server Community Edition is for developers or hobbyists who want a compiled, easily installed binary distribution. Applications developed with the Community Edition can be deployed into production using the Enterprise Edition without modification.

Couchbase claims that CouchDB is the most widely deployed NoSQL database in the world. The database is used by organizations such as AppleThe BBC, CERN and Mozilla. You can read our coverage of CERN's use of CouchDB here. CouchDB also powers Canonical's Ubuntu One service.

The company also announced the members of its advisory board, including: SQLite creator Richard Hipp, Facebook Director of Infrastructure Software Engineering Robert Johnson, Zynga CTO Cadir Lee, Cloudera CEO Michael Olson and several other high-profile business people and database experts. A full list of the advisors is here.

Couchbase also recently released a developer preview of its Mobile Couchbase package.

CouchOne was founded in Oakland, California in 2009 as Relaxed. It changed its name first to Couchio and then to CouchOne in 2010. Membase was founded as NorthScale in 2010 in Mountain View, California. It changed its name to Membase later that year.

Couchbase competes with other big data-oriented and NoSQL databases, especially the CouchDB-based BigCouch from Cloudant.

You can read our interview with Anderson on the subject of CouchDB here.