Geo Location & Spatial Searches with RavenDB–Part VII–RavenDB Client vs. Separate REST Service

time to read 4 min | 623 words

In my previous post, I discussed how we put the GeoIP dataset in a separate database, and how we access it through a separate session. I also asked, why use RavenDB Client at all? I mean, we might as well just use the REST API and expose a service.

Here is how such a service would look like, by the way:

public class GeoIPClient : IDisposable
    private readonly HttpClient httpClient;

    public GeoIPClient(string url, ICredentials credentials)
        httpClient = new HttpClient(new HttpClientHandler{Credentials = credentials})
            BaseAddress = new Uri(url),

    public Task<Location> GetLocationByIp(IPAddress ip)
        if (ip.AddressFamily != AddressFamily.InterNetwork)
            return null;

        var reverseIp = (long)BitConverter.ToUInt32(ip.GetAddressBytes().Reverse().ToArray(), 0);

        var query = string.Format("Start_Range:[* TO 0x{0:X16}] AND End_Range:[0x{0:X16} TO NULL]", reverseIp);

        return httpClient.GetAsync("indexes/Locations/ByRange?pageSize=1&" + query)
            .ContinueWith(task => task.Result.Content
                .ContinueWith(task1 => task1.Result.Results.FirstOrDefault())).Unwrap();


    public void Dispose()

I think that you can agree that this is fairly simple and easy to understand. It make it explicit that we are just going to query the database and it is even fairly easy to read.

Why not go with that route?

Put simply, because it is doing only about 10% of the things that we do in the RavenDB Client. The first thing that pops to mind is that this service doesn’t support caching, HTTP ETag responses, etc. That means that we would have to implement that ourselves. This is decidedly non trivial.

The RavenDB Client will automatically cache all data for you if it can, you don’t have to think about it, worry about it or even pay it any mind. It is just there and working hard to make sure that you application is more performant.

Next, this will only support Windows Authentication. RavenDB also support OAuth, so if you wanted to run this on RavenHQ, for example, which requires OAuth. You would have to write some additional stuff as well.

Finally, using the RavenDB Client leaves us open to do additional things in the future very easily, while using a dedicate service means that we are on the hook for implementing from scratch basically anything else that we want.

Sure, we could implement this service using RavenDB Client, but that is just adding layers, and I really don’t like that. There is no real point.