MongoDB Launches Bevy of New Features for Its NoSQL Platform

Release of MongoDB 4.0, database as a service, Atlas serverless platform, MongoDB Stitch, MongoDB Mobile, Kubernetes support and a number of other new capabilities headline conference news.

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MongoDB, among the most popular freely available open-source NoSQL databases in the market for more than a decade, made several product announcements June 27 at its annual conference in New York--including a version optimized for Kubernetes and microservices.

The general availability of v.4.0 is the headliner. This release features the addition of multi-document ACID transactions, making it easier for admins to address a complete range of use cases. By providing a consistent view of data across replica sets and enforcing all-or-nothing execution to maintain data integrity, MongoDB transactions will be familiar to developers already accustomed to working with transactions in legacy relational databases, the company said.

The New York City-based database company also announced the general availability of MongoDB Stitch, the company’s new serverless platform, which facilitates DevOps approaches and rapid development of mobile and web applications. The services provided in Stitch give developers wide access to database functionality while providing robust security and data privacy controls.

Announced Last February, Now It's All GA

“The new version had a few rough edges, but for the most part it was really solid during the beta period,” CTO and co-founder Elliot Horowitz told eWEEK. “We’re quite confident in it, to be perfectly honest.”

MongoDB Stitch brings four important services to the table:

  • Stitch QueryAnywhere exposes the full power of the document model and the MongoDB query language directly to application developers building mobile and web applications. This is done through a powerful rules engine that also lets customers define security policies at a fine-grained level to ensure sophisticated controls for data access are in place.
  • Stitch Functions allow developers to run JavaScript functions in Stitch’s serverless environment, allowing them to create secure APIs and to build integrations with microservices and server-side logic. Functions also enable integration with popular cloud services such as Slack and Twilio, enriching apps with a single method call to Stitch.
  • Stitch Triggers are real-time notifications that automatically invoke functions in response to changes in the database, taking actions as they happen in applications, other services, or the database itself. These can be used to initiate other database operations, push data to other systems or send messages to end-users, such as SMS or emails.
  • Stitch Mobile Sync (beta)automatically synchronizes data between documents stored locally in the newly announced MongoDB Mobile and the backend database. MongoDB Mobile allows developers to have the full power of MongoDB on mobile devices locally. Combined with Stitch Mobile Sync, they can easily make sure data is synchronized and up to date in real-time across mobile devices and the backend database.

“MongoDB has always been about giving developers technology that makes their lives easier,” Horowitz said. “Our products enable developers to focus on writing high value code, like building new or different feature, and not on writing mundane code or standing up application servers. Our serverless platform Stitch means developers focus their energy on building great apps.”

Puts Data Where It’s Most Needed

As properly-handled data becomes a critical imperative for businesses in every industry, organizations have to be far more thoughtful about where their data lives–whether to meet strict regulatory requirements such as GDPR or to provide a low-latency user experience. As regulatory policies and business requirements change, organizations need to be able to adapt quickly to new requirements without any downtime.

To satisfy this growing requirement, MongoDB announced Global Write Clusters in Atlas, which enable customers to create sophisticated policies to position data for geographically distributed applications. By dynamically configuring these policies, users can be sure that data is distributed and isolated within specific geographic boundaries. This is a central tenet of the GDPR.

Horowitz said he was most excited about this new feature.

"It's a bit of a mouthful of a name, but you can have a cluster that is deployed around the world, in as many countries as you want, and what it allows you to do is keep certain data in certain places," Horowitz said. "You can keep data for U.S. citizens in the U.S., Australian data for Australians, European citizens' data in Europe, very easily. You can move it anywhere, and fast. In a matter of minutes you can deploy one of these clusters; the data is now spread around the world where it is supposed to be. You tag your data and it just goes where it's supposed to go."

There are two huge advantages to this: 1) data is close to the users (for optimizing websites, applications, etc.); and 2) it satisfies geographical regulations, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), for data storage.

Using Global Write Clusters, relevant data can be moved with the click of a button close to end-users for worldwide, low-latency performance, Horowitz said. This was hardly the case with legacy databases, which was challenging, if not impossible, for most companies to handle. This capability enables organizations of any size to easily serve customers around the world while securely managing their data.

Mobile Version Now Out in Beta

MongoDB Mobile, which came out in beta June 27, enables users to run MongoDB anywhere. Users now can use MongoDB all the way out to the edge of the network on IoT assets--in addition to iOS and Android devices.

The new mobile database allows developers to build faster and more responsive applications, enabling real-time, automatic syncing between data held on the device and the backend database. Previously, this could only be achieved by installing an alternative or feature-limited database within the mobile application, which resulted in extra management, complicated syncing and reduced functionality, Horowitz said.

MongoDB 4.0’s new MongoDB Kubernetes Operator (now in beta) supports provisioning stateful, distributed database clusters, coordinating orchestration between Kubernetes and MongoDB Ops Manager. Adding to the previous Cloud Foundry integration, support for Kubernetes gives customers the freedom to take advantage of on-premise, hybrid and public cloud infrastructure, the company said.

MongoDB Atlas gives users more choice by extending the Atlas Free Tier to Google Cloud Platform, in partnership with Google. This allows the growing developer community relying on GCP services to build applications using fully-managed MongoDB with no cost of entry. The Atlas Free Tier offers 512 MB of storage and is ideal for prototyping and early development, the company said.

Finally, MongoDB announced a number of new security features for Atlas, such as encryption key management, LDAP integration, and database-level auditing. MongoDB Atlas also now enables covered entities and their business associates to use a secure Atlas environment to process, maintain, and store protected health information, under an executed Business Associate Agreement with MongoDB, Inc., for those organizations subject to the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

For more information, download and read this whitepaper.

Image: Dev Ittycheria, MongoDB President and CEO (center), and members of the Quest Software Foglight team at MongoDB World 2018. Image by Jason Hall of Quest

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...