MongoDB expands its developer data platform to a wider variety of use cases

Derek du Preez Profile picture for user ddpreez June 8, 2022 Audio mode
Summary:
MongoDB’s vision is to position its platform as the data platform of choice for developers in the enterprise, no matter the use case.

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(Image by Yan Wong from Pixabay )

MongoDB rapidly grew in popularity with buyers that were looking for an alternative to traditional databases, with developers recognizing that the relational model wasn’t always suited to scalable web applications. MongoDB’s NoSQL document model is flexible and serves API-driven architectures well, and so developers saw an opportunity to work in a different way, with something new. 

However, what Mongo has always done very well is focus on the developer experience. Making it easy for those influential people in the enterprise that build applications to get their work done - driving a groundswell of support that has since brought MongoDB higher up the C-suite agenda. 

In recent years we’ve already seen how Mongo has expanded to be multi-cloud, has launched a database-as-a-service (Atlas), has built mobile visualization tools and has pushed its services closer to the front-end with Stitch. This context is important as we take a look at announcements out this week that take MongoDB’s developer data platform further, to incorporate a wider variety of use cases. 

Mongo is currently hosting its annual user event in New York City this week, where the executive team said that with the launch of MongoDB 6.0, development teams will be able to innovate faster, service more of their data life cycles, optimize for modern architectures and implement sophisticated levels of data encryption - all within its single integrated data platform. 

Commenting on the announcements, Dev Ittycheria, President & CEO of MongoDB, said: 

Hundreds of millions of new applications will be developed over the coming years that deliver compelling customer experiences, enable new capabilities to transform businesses, and increase operational efficiency via more sophisticated automation – and these applications all require a highly scalable, cloud-native, globally distributed data platform.

Our vision is to offer a developer data platform that provides a modern and elegant developer experience, enables broad support for a wide variety of use cases, and delivers the performance and scale needed to address the most demanding requirements.

Broader data use cases

MongoDB is extending its approach to working with data beyond operational and transactional use cases, to include areas such as search and analytics. The aim is to let developers do more, but within a consistent experience. The platform announcements this week include: 

  • MongoDB announced new capabilities that are focused on allowing developers to leverage in-app analytics. For instance, Column Store Indexes, available later this year, will allow users to create and maintain a purpose-built index that speeds up common analytical queries without requiring any changes to the document structure or having to move data to another system. MongoDB said that the analytics nodes can now also be scaled separately, allowing teams to independently tune the performance of their operational and analytical queries without over- or under-provisioning.

  • MongoDB time series collections aims to make it easier, faster, and lower cost to build applications that monitor physical systems, track assets, or deal with financial data. Time series collections will support secondary indexes on measurements, and feature read performance improvements and optimizations for sorting time-based data more quickly.

  • Atlas Search allows developers to build relevance-based search capabilities into applications. Now, with Search Facets, developers will be able to build search experiences that allow end users to more seamlessly browse, narrow down or refine their results by different dimensions, according to Mongo.

Improved flexibility

In addition to broadening the use cases, MongoDB’s latest release will see it optimizing for modern application architectures. This includes: 

  • Atlas Serverless - now generally available and allows users to support a range of application requirements with little to no initial configuration and ongoing capacity management. Users can scale to zero and deploy in all three major cloud providers, and tiered pricing automatically reduces the cost for large workloads without upfront commitments.

  • Cluster-to-Cluster Synchronization - providing continuous data synchronization of MongoDB clusters across environments, whether in Atlas, in private cloud, on-premises, or on the edge. Mongo says that Cluster-to-Cluster Synchronization allows users to migrate data to the cloud, create test environments, create dedicated analytics environments, and support data residency requirements.

  • Atlas Device Sync - will connect a fully managed backend database in Atlas to Realm, Mongo’s mobile database on edge and mobile devices. 

  • The Data API - a secure API for accessing Atlas data over HTTPS without any operational overhead. This aims to provide developers a way to extend Atlas data into other apps and services in the cloud or into their serverless architectures.

Encryption 

MongoDB has also this week announced Queryable Encryption. The company said that whilst encryption solutions (in motion and at rest) cover many use cases, this isn’t the case for protecting sensitive data while it is in use. 

Queryable Encryption, available in preview, is an encrypted search scheme using cryptography engineering. It allows developers the ability to query encrypted sensitive data, without impacting performance, and without the need for any cryptography experience. 

MongoDB says that the data remains encrypted at all times on the database, including in-memory and in the CPU, where keys never leave the application and cannot be accessed by the database server. Mongo adds: 

This end-to-end client-side encryption uses novel encrypted index data structures in such a way that for the first time, developers can run expressive queries on fully encrypted confidential workloads. Queryable 

Encryption is based on well-tested and established standard NIST cryptographic primitives to provide strong protection from attacks against the database, including insider threats, highly privileged administrators and cloud infrastructure staff.

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