MACH Aligned for Retail: API-First
Retailers must constantly evolve to meet growing customer expectations and remain competitive. Both their internal- and external-facing applications must be developed using principles that promote agility and innovation, moving away from siloed architectures. As discussed in the first article of this series , the MACH Alliance promotes the development of modern applications through open tech ecosystems. MACH is an acronym that represents Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS, and Headless. MongoDB is a proud member of the Alliance, providing retailers with the tools to build highly flexible and scalable applications. This is the second in a series of blog posts focused on MACH and how retail organizations can leverage this framework to gain a competitive advantage. In this article, we’ll discuss concepts relating to the second letter of MACH: API-first. What is an API-first approach and why is it important? An application programming interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools that allow applications, or services within a microservices architecture, to talk to each other. APIs can be seen as messengers that deliver requests and responses. Applications built around APIs are said to be API-first. With this approach, the design and development of APIs come before the software implementation. Typically, an interface is created that is used to host and develop the API. The development team will then leverage the interface to build the rest of the application. This methodology enables developers to have access to specific functionalities of external applications or other microservices within the same application, depending on their needs. It promotes reusability because functionalities are interoperable with mobile and other client applications. In addition, applications developed with an API layer in mind can adapt to new requirements more easily because additional services and automation can be integrated into production when new requirements arise, therefore remaining competitive for longer. An API-first approach to developing applications The role of API-first in retail APIs play a crucial role in deeply interconnected systems that need to interface with other internal applications, third-party partners, and customers — all key areas when it comes to developing powerful retail applications. Think about how an e-commerce platform connects to the different systems making up the purchase process, such as inventory management, checkout, payment processing, shipping, and loyalty programs. The use of APIs is deeply interlinked with the concept of microservices . Software and data need to be decoupled to enable retailers to meet ever-increasing requirements, including omnichannel and cross-platform integration, seamless experiences across physical and online stores, and the ability to leverage real-time capabilities that enable differentiating features, such as live inventory updates and real-time analytics. APIs can be seen as a bridge for loosely coupled microservices to communicate with each other. Besides enabling a microservices architecture, an API-first approach offers the following additional benefits: Avoid duplication of efforts and accelerate time to market . Developers can work on multiple frontends at the same time, being confident that functionalities can be integrated by embedding the same APIs once ready. Think of multiple development teams working on an e-commerce web application, mobile portal, and internal inventory management system all at the same time. An API enabling the placement of a new order can be seamlessly leveraged by the web and mobile application and fed into the inventory management system to aid warehouse workers. Bug-fixing and feature enhancements can happen simultaneously, avoiding duplication of efforts and allowing new capabilities to be released to market more quickly. Reduce risks and operating costs . An API-first approach enables system stability and interoperability from the beginning because API efficiency is placed at the center of the development lifecycle and is no longer an afterthought once the application or functionality has been developed. This approach reduces the risk for retailers and saves money and effort in troubleshooting unstable systems. Enable new opportunities and scale faster . A flexible approach revolving around APIs provides more opportunities when it comes to integrating and refactoring the way different client applications and microservices communicate with each other, allowing retailers to improve and scale their IT offering in a fraction of the time. This approach also changes the way retailers can interact with external partners and do business with them since they can be provided with the tools to easily integrate with the retailer’s offering. Achieve language flexibility . Effective retailers need to have the capability to adapt their digital offering to different regions and languages. The plug-in capabilities of API-first allow developers to offer language-agnostic solutions that different microservices can integrate with, leveraging region-specific frontends. Steps to an API-first application What is the alternative? The four MACH Alliance principles combined (Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS, Headless) act as a disrupting force compared to the way applications were built until recently. Adapting to a new technology paradigm requires effort and a different developer mindset. But what was there before? From an API-first perspective, it can be said that the opposite is code-first. With this approach, application development starts in the integrated development environment (IDE), in which code is written and the software takes shape. Development teams know that they will need to build an interface to be able to interact with each function of the code, but it is seldom a priority; developing core functionalities takes precedence over the interface where those functionalities will be hosted and accessed. When the time comes for the interface to be developed, the code has already been defined. This means the API is developed around existing code rather than vice versa, which poses limitations. For example, developers might not be able to return data the way they want because of the underlying data schema. The code-first approach Bottlenecks can also occur as other teams requiring the API will need to wait until the code is finalized to be able to embed it in their underlying applications. Any delays in the software development lifecycle will hold them up and delay progress. Although a code-first approach might have worked in the past, it is no longer suitable for dealing with highly interconnected applications. Learn more about how MongoDB and MACH are changing the game for ecommerce. How MongoDB helps achieve an API-first approach Simply lifting and shifting monolithic applications to a microservice and API-first architecture will only provide minimal benefits if they are still supported by a relational data layer. This is where most of the bottlenecks occur. Changes to application functionalities will require constant refactoring of the database schemas, object-relational mapping (ORM), and refining at the microservice level. Moving to a modern MACH architecture requires a modern data platform that removes data silos. The MongoDB developer data platform provides a flexible data model, along with automation and scalability features to adapt to even the most challenging retail use cases and to multiple platforms (e.g., on-premises, cloud, mobile, and web applications). MongoDB Atlas, MongoDB’s fully managed cloud database, also provides capabilities to manage the data layer end to end via APIs, such as the MongoDB Atlas Data API . This is a REST-like, resilient API for accessing all Atlas data that enables CRUD operations and aggregations with instantly generated endpoints. This is a perfect answer to an API-first approach, since developers can access their data using the same principles leveraged to connect to other applications and services. The MongoDB Atlas Data API workflow MongoDB’s Atlas Data API provides several other benefits, allowing developers to: Build faster with developer-friendly data access. Developers work with a familiar, REST-like query and response format, no client-side drivers are necessary. Scale confidently with a resilient, fully managed API that reduces the operational complexity needed to start reading and writing your data. Integrate your MongoDB Atlas data seamlessly into any part of your stack — from microservices to analytics workloads. This article has provided only a sample of what can be leveraged via MongoDB’s APIs. The MongoDB Query API provides a comprehensive set of features to seamlessly work with data in a native, familiar way. It supports multiple index types, geospatial data, materialized views, full-text search, and much more. In the next part in this MongoDB and MACH Alliance series, we will discuss how a cloud-native SaaS architecture can enable full application flexibility and scalability.
Launching Your Tech Career at MongoDB: 2 Interns Share Their Stories
Finding the right job in the tech industry isn’t easy. It’s even more challenging when you’re a new graduate or soon-to-finish college student trying to understand the opportunities for your career in tech. MongoDB aims to make that transition easier with its summer internship program and a new grad program that are designed to provide students and recent grads an opportunity to get their foot in the door of a growing tech company. Betsy Button, a MongoDB software engineer, participated in the MongoDB internship program in 2020. Betsy Button is a former intern from the class of 2020, and she now works full-time at MongoDB as a software engineer. Due to the COVID pandemic, Button’s internship was fully remote — a much different experience than past MongoDB internships. “While a remote internship would never have been my first choice experience, the MongoDB Campus Team’s dedication to making the most out of the summer shined through all of their virtual intern events, network programming, and frequent check-ins,” Button said. She said her challenging work as an intern prepared her for her full-time role today. “I really enjoyed the high-impact project that my intern team worked on throughout the summer,” she said. “Product managers estimated that our work saved the company a significant amount of money every month, which is an awesome outcome for ‘just an internship.’” Becoming a MongoDB Intern MongoDB’s summer internship program launched in 2011 with four interns and has grown to include more than 150 interns around the world working in over a dozen roles, from engineering to product design to marketing. Mentorship is the cornerstone of the MongoDB internship experience. Each intern is paired with a mentor on their team; a Campus Team mentor; and an optional Affinity Group mentor. Interns also participate in sessions that promote professional growth, including learning and development sessions, social events, a guest speaker series, and a roundtable discussion that allows them to meet with company executives and employees across different business units. MongoDB’s New Grad Program provides a seamless transition for interns to continue their career journeys with the company. “We view the 11-week internship program as an extension of the interview process,” said Natalie Chwalk, the program manager for early talent at MongoDB. “Our interns are our pipeline of future leaders at MongoDB, so we are evaluating them on performance as much as they are evaluating us as a potential employer.” Chwalk added: “The end goal is that we convert our interns to entry-level employees. This is the ultimate win-win because we are retaining strong talent, and the new grads are able to begin their careers with a company culture they know and love.” After graduating, software engineer enrollees have three options to choose from if they return to MongoDB to work full-time: Full rotation: The new graduate will rotate on three different engineering teams every six weeks, for 18 weeks total. At the end, the employee will be permanently placed with a team based on feedback, evaluations, and business needs. Department rotation: The new graduate will rotate on three teams within their department on different sub-teams for 18 weeks. At the end, they will be permanently placed with a team, based on the same criteria above. Direct to intern team: The new graduate returns directly back to their intern team. Tristan Wedderburn, a software engineer at MongoDB, found a permanent role after his MongoDB internship. Tristan Wedderburn is a former MongoDB intern and now a software engineer on the Atlas Serverless team at MongoDB. A highly complex project he worked on as an intern led him to realize how valuable the program was. “The project was technically challenging, and it was exciting to see the project shipped into production shortly after the internship, highlighting the impact that interns have the ability to make,” Wedderburn said. Wedderburn found the Affinity Group mentorship as a particularly valuable part of the intern program. “In our sessions, we would discuss technical concepts that I hadn’t been exposed to in my engineering classes, which was cool,” he said. As for what advice he would give to prospective interns and recent graduates? It’s on you to make the most of it, he said. “Your experience is directly related to how much you want to get out of it,” Wedderburn said. “Adopt a learning mindset and ask questions when you don’t understand things. Your team is there to support you.” Button agrees with how to make the most of your time as a MongoDB intern. “Take advantage of the networking opportunities available to interns,” she said. “The people at MongoDB are some of the brightest and kindest that I’ve ever met. It’s worth spending time getting to know others outside your team.” Interested in learning more about MongoDB’s opportunities for students and recent graduates? Check out our intern video or visit our Careers page .
MongoDB and Clarity Business Solutions: Enabling Modernization for Public Sector Clients
Cloud-based transformation is now a must-have for federal agencies. And, in partnership with Clarity Business Solutions, MongoDB is making that transformation easier for government agencies, particularly those that work in closed, air-gapped environments and that require security clearances for their support staff. In this article, we’ll look at specific ways MongoDB and Clarity Business Solutions are working together to support public sector clients. Cloud challenges IT teams within government agencies want many of the same cloud benefits that their colleagues in the private sector enjoy: better performance, the ability to outsource the management of their infrastructure, and a path to building more resilient applications. And government leaders, at the national level, are pushing for more cloud adoption. A May 2021 executive order from President Joe Biden called on all federal agencies to “accelerate movement to secure cloud services.” In the mission to support U.S. troops, Danielle Metz, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Deputy CIO for Information Enterprise, said , “It all comes down to harnessing the power of cloud compute and then being able to natively build applications continuously and often in that space.” For government agencies, security is an overriding concern. However, some of the precautions that enable the highest levels of security also make it more difficult to keep applications up to date, to modernize them, and to move them to the cloud. Government agencies often work in closed networks, without access to the internet. The need for security clearances makes it difficult for agencies to take advantage of support from software companies, consultants, and other members of the technology ecosystem. Even personnel with appropriate security clearances aren’t always allowed to go on-site to assist their government clients. These extra layers of security can also make it difficult for MongoDB to support public sector clients that require top secret clearances. Now, we’re pleased to announce that our ability to service these clients has been enhanced through our partnership with Clarity Business Solutions , a software and systems engineering company that focuses on data analytics, processing, and data flow. Clarity specializes in working with the federal government and understands the constraints under which government agencies operate — as well as the requisition procedures and security protocols unique to the federal government. The company has experience working in closed, air-gapped environments, and all but two of Clarity’s employees hold security clearances. Joint solutions In the first phase of our partnership, MongoDB and Clarity are jointly offering three unique solutions to better support our public sector clients: Application modernization Trusted Tier Support Rapid start Let’s look at each of these solutions in turn. Application modernization Together, Clarity and MongoDB offer public sector clients a proven, iterative approach to application modernization. Clarity’s security clearances allow them to sit side-by-side with public sector clients when necessary, and Clarity has deep experience with the environments common to government agencies. Clarity and MongoDB leverage a strategic process for analyzing legacy applications and modernizing and migrating them iteratively, rather than trying to update an entire system in a “big bang” approach. This iterative approach allows clients to modernize without downtime. Legacy and modernized systems can run in parallel for a period of time, enabling troubleshooting and increasing confidence. Clarity and MongoDB combine the power of the MongoDB application data platform with Clarity’s extensive client domain knowledge. This partnership allows teams to focus on the application feature development and quickly get the data platform operational. Public sector clients often operate systems with significant accumulated technical debt. Clarity and MongoDB are partnering to help clients increase efficiency, improve performance and scalability, and optimize maintenance as each monolithic application is modernized, rather than waiting years for an entire system to be replaced. Trusted tier support MongoDB and Clarity Business Solutions are offering a concierge support service specifically for the public sector. Trusted Tier Support engages U.S.-only technical staff, with appropriate clearances, to provide phone, online, or even on-site support for MongoDB government customers. Trusted Tier Support provides continuity between call-in support and support offered by individuals with on-site clearance. Clarity TrustedTier Support engineers are tightly integrated with the MongoDB support team and can rely on the expertise of the broader MongoDB engineering organization while ensuring that all necessary details remain confidential. Service-level agreements are twice the MongoDB published response times for commercial support. Rapid start This new service helps public sector clients get operational with MongoDB as quickly and efficiently as possible. This intense, short engagement ensures the following: Networking layouts are optimized and secured using appropriate firewall rules and TLS to encrypt all data in transit. Data storage is set up to meet applications’ needs. Backup and recovery are properly enabled. Agencies have the proper guidance to achieve environment security requirements. For example, data at rest is encrypted according to client requirements through disk encryption and/or MongoDB’s encrypted storage engine. Data in use can be protected with client-side field-level encryption. Additionally, Clarity engineers can consult and provide input on schema design, leveraging key MongoDB features and working with training staff on the best practices for using MongoDB. We believe these three new offerings will significantly ease the way for our government clients, enabling them to make the best use of MongoDB and cloud technologies and to better serve their end customer — all of us. Learn more about Clarity Business Solutions .
How Telcos Are Transforming to Digital Services Providers
The telecommunications industry is in the midst of a digital revolution, shifting from a traditional service delivery model to one that is increasingly customer-centric and that extends beyond the provision of traditional connectivity services to include diverse digital services. Telcos undergoing this modernization journey are digital services–focused first, offering apps, streaming services, retail platforms, peer-to-peer payment platforms, and more. As telcos delve into the complex 5G, IoT, and AI technologies powering personalized and real-time user experiences, pressure is increasing on aging networks and business support system (BSS) infrastructures. MongoDB customers like TIM and Telefónica are using the MongoDB Atlas developer data platform to deliver a robust platform-focused experience that complements existing technologies. Through an integrated modernization approach, telcos are improving both customer and developer experiences, building innovative new applications. In a recent roundtable discussion , Boris Bialek , MongoDB global head of industry & solutions, sat down with telco IT leaders Paolo Bazzica , head of digital solutions at Italy’s TIM, and Carlos Carazo , global CTO of Spain’s Telefónica Tech IoT and Big Data division. This article provides an overview of the discussion and insights into how platform thinking is invigorating telco IT teams. From communications services providers to digital services providers The shifting value chain in telecommunications. Source: Kearney The shift and expansion from traditional communications services to a comprehensive digital services suite requires global telecommunications companies to rethink their monetization strategies. Even before the pandemic, an evolution was well underway for telecommunications providers. From 2010 to 2020, overall revenue coming from connectivity services grew by only 2%, according to research compiled by Kearney. During the same period, digital services experienced a five-fold increase. Although telecommunications providers successfully sparked a revolution that grew into a $6.3 trillion digital economy, only those capitalizing on digital services reaped the benefits. In 2020, digital services like e-commerce and online advertising surged, capturing nearly 80% of growth. Leveraging platform thinking As network operators evolve to digital service providers, the idea of platform thinking is rippling across the industry. Network connectivity was tested with the hardships of the March 2020 COVID-19 lockdown in Italy, but TIM’s digital platform project Fly Together , which was initiated in 2018, helped bridge the divide. “People went from their normal lives to a full lockdown in one day. People realized that telco was a key point, because you need to stay at home, but you still need to communicate to work and go to school,” said Bazzica in the virtual roundtable discussion hosted by MongoDB. “Our digital platform was the way to refill or top up your account, and access ebooks and so on, so I think it’s more than just an evolution for the business; it's a different positioning.” Today, customer trust is a key differentiator and essential focus for TIM. People rely on TIM’s services to keep the country going. And TIM continues to modernize the digital experiences of its customers through the Fly Together platform. “From my perspective, this is definitely a trend, and I think it’s the evolutionary stalwart of the digital life of the people to be relevant and continue to be their trusted partner,” Bazzica said. A similar dynamic led to the creation of Telefónica Tech two years ago, a division of Spain’s Telefónica SA, according to Carazo. The new business is split into two units: one dedicated to offering cloud or cybersecurity solutions and the other offering IoT or big data digital services, which are the services customers need to pursue their own digital transformations. “We are strongly convinced that connectivity is the basis for any new digital economy, so we are really proud to offer connectivity for these customers,” Carazo said. At the center of Telefónica Tech’s transformation is its Kite Platform , run on MongoDB, which is a managed connectivity platform running close to 30 million IoT devices all over the world. The platform provides connectivity, but it goes beyond IoT connectivity and provides multidimensional benefits across all IoT environments from the devices to the product connecting the clouds. This is the foundational component of Telefónica Tech’s portfolio, which delivers new business use cases across industries. Modernizing applications and evolving to microservices and APIs How can a telco simplify this complex journey to modernization? For TIM, the change was driven by a desire to modernize 700 different applications before effectively going into the digital business. TIM launched Fly Together to build a digital layer that serves the scalability and latency needed to transform customers’ digital service experiences. Before, a customer could be querying up to 14 systems, depending on which apps were open. Without the digital experience layer, you can’t express an SLA or determine how long it takes to open an app, according to Bazzica. The first task of Fly Together was to build the layer that decoupled the backend systems from the model that helps run TIM’s digital channels. Through its work with MongoDB over the past four years, TIM launched a resilient platform that doesn’t require exotic hardware to run efficiently. Because the platform was developed in a cloud-native environment, it comprises containerized microservices and RESTful APIs, setting a new standard for the company’s development of applications. “We are able to modernize, but gradually. We still have our mainframe running,” Bazzica said. “The real experience is seeing the company learning and experimenting. That’s another value with this type of technology; we can try a lot of different things with minimum effort and make big discoveries.” Four digital services trends to watch IoT is driving many exciting use cases for Telefónica Tech’s new business division. Within the B2B sector, there is healthy growth across four key industry use cases, according to Telefónica’s Carazo. Connected Industry and IoT — Telefónica starts with providing private network solutions. These technologies are expected to evolve to more complex use cases like robotics and predictive maintenance in small and medium factories within the next five years. Smart metering — Massive growth is expected in smart metering, which uses electronic devices to measure energy consumption. The implementation of this trend could spur demand for millions of connected devices. Connected cars — This sector is expected to grow significantly in the next five to 10 years as operators deploy new digital services like infotainment, security, and safety applications. Smart cities — Cities around the world are seeking services for their digital citizens looking to live in more sustainable and flexible communities. These use cases are critical to building modern cities, societies, and industries. Platform thinking and an integrated approach to modernization will help telcos create modern applications, extending their businesses beyond conventional services to include novel digital services. Watch our webinar to learn more about TIM and Telefónica’s transformation to digital services providers.
10 Things We Learned at MongoDB World 2022
When you return to a normal routine after a long break, you find out how much you miss your old routine. After hosting MongoDB World remotely for two years, we were happy to get back to seeing people in person — almost 3,000 of them. Here’s a quick rundown of the top 10 things we learned at MongoDB World 2022. 1. Queryable Encryption was a hit How many times have you been to a concert and the opening act winds up being as good as the band you actually went to see? Queryable Encryption was like that at MongoDB World 2022. While a lot of attendees came to learn about MongoDB Atlas Search or Atlas Serverless Databases , they were equally intrigued by the ability to encrypt data in use and perform rich, expressive queries on encrypted data. This groundbreaking innovation is the result of a collaborative effort between Brown University cryptographer Seny Kamara, his longtime collaborator Tarik Moataz, and MongoDB. 2. Developers are in the driver's seat Starting with the opening keynote by MongoDB CEO Dev Ittycheria, MongoDB World reinforced the notion that developers are the key to the future success and productivity for today’s organizations. “Every product we build, every feature we develop, is all geared toward developer productivity,” Ittycheria said. In fact the entire event centered on powerful new tools that are now available in our developer data platform. In the Partner Promenade, dozens of vendors showed how they’re helping developers become faster and more productive. As Søren Bramer Schmidt, chief architect and founder of Prisma, explained, “New generations of developers are much bigger, and we can invest in better tooling for them. It’s an exciting time to be building tools for developers.” As the world increasingly goes digital, developers will be the key to companies’ success. Services, products, and advancements are inherently tied to the ability of developers to quickly build, iterate, and release. 3. Everyone's data is in motion The volume of data moving to the cloud is unprecedented. In a session titled “Connecting Distributed Data to MongoDB With Confluent,” Joseph Morais, cloud partner solutions architect for Confluent , cited a study that predicted 75% of all databases would be on a cloud platform by 2022. MongoDB senior vice president of product management, Andrew Davidson, said, “MongoDB has really broken through with the MongoDB Relational Migrator at the perfect time, since so many enterprises are accelerating their efforts to get off legacy relational databases and legacy on-premises estates to move to MongoDB Atlas.” 4. Public cloud security is not as easy as some people think While scores of businesses are increasing their cloud footprints with new cloud-native services and applications, securing them is becoming increasingly complex. Steve Walsh, senior solutions architect at MongoDB, gave a session titled “Securing Your Application's Data in the Public Cloud” and cited constantly changing cloud deployments and security policies in multi-cloud environments as reasons why security can be three times more complex in a multi-cloud environment. According to an ITRC study that Walsh cited, failure to configure cloud settings properly caused 30% of data breaches in 2021. MongoDB Atlas is designed to be secure by default , which simplifies the process of restricting access to sensitive data. 5. Ray Kurzweil might be even more prescient than he realizes On Day 3 of MongoDB World 2022, best-selling author, pioneering inventor, and futurist Ray Kurzweil delivered a wide-ranging keynote address covering everything from computational power to vaccine trials to life expectancy and literacy rates. In the address, Kurzweil said it was likely that an AI would pass a Turing test by 2029. Just days later, news reports came out about a Google engineer who’d been fired after claiming that an artificial-intelligence chatbot the company developed had become sentient , though the company dismissed the claims. 6. Attendees were eager to try MongoDB It’s easy to assume that everyone who came to MongoDB World was already using it and wanted to know about new features and capabilities. But in the Learn Booth at the event, plenty of visitors weren't using MongoDB at all — they were there to discover and evaluate. In the Ask the Experts booth, roughly one in 10 people asked about how to prepare to migrate to MongoDB. One of the most common questions we heard was, "How do I convert relational schemas to the document model?" We have tools like Relational Migrator to help with that. We also recommend training for developer and ops teams, including our MongoDB for SQL Pros university course and our Developer-Led Training programs to ramp them up on what makes MongoDB different from SQL. 7. Developer friction comes in many forms The opening keynote address and product announcements set the stage for many of the conversations we had over the next few days. We consistently heard from developers about the friction points that we could help eliminate for them, and how reducing developer friction results in real benefits — apps and services get launched that could not have existed otherwise because of the toll that complexity takes on development teams’ bandwidth. Atlas Serverless databases are going to be a big part of getting those new services off the ground because it’s one less thing developers have to worry about. And the MongoDB CLI allows developers to interact with our services using the method they’re familiar with — especially advanced developers who prefer control and speed over a more visual interface. 8. @MarkLovesTech draws the crowds MongoDB CTO Mark Porter was the center of the action at the event. Wherever he went, a crowd would gather, eager to meet, exchange thoughts, and ask questions. His talks during the Builder’s Fest were standing room only. Mark Porter delivers a short talk on scaling and managing teams at MongoDB World 2022. Photo by Eoin Brazil. 9. Every software company needs custom track jackets Our field marketing team knocked it out of the park with the custom track jacket. After MongoDB CEO Dev Ittycheria debuted the jacket during the Day 1 keynote , it immediately became the most desired piece of swag of the show. A few lucky contestants won their own track jackets during the Builder’s Fest. Developers are either highly fashion-conscious or avid joggers. 10. There's no replacement for in-person gatherings For almost three years, we’ve been getting by with remote events and Zoom calls, but we learned at least two more things from MongoDB World 2022: There’s no replacement for real-life, in-person experiences, and remote interactions actually require a different set of skills. “It is not impossible to talk with people on Zoom. But it requires so much more intentionality,” Mark Porter said. “My takeaway from MongoDB World is making sure that in this new hybrid world, we can talk with people! But even on Zoom, we must become much more focused on the intentionality of talking with them because it is so much different."
Building Together: MongoDB Is Google Cloud’s Technology Partner of the Year for Data Management
Few companies can credibly claim to understand and work with data as effectively as Google, so when Google Cloud announced this week that MongoDB is the Google Cloud Technology Partner of the Year for Data Management, the award felt particularly meaningful. But if the honor was just a matter of two leaders in data management slapping each other on the back, it wouldn't be that interesting. No, what makes the award compelling is the customer success that Google Cloud and MongoDB have jointly enabled. We agree with Google Cloud's vision that "True transformation spans the entire business and enables every person to transform," and together have helped customers to achieve this. Some customers elect to run MongoDB Atlas, our fully managed database service, on Google Cloud because of its broad footprint (Atlas is available in 29 Google Cloud regions), cost/performance benefits, seamless security and scalability, and the recently launched pay-as-you-go option that simplifies subscriptions and can reduce costs. Others have gone further, choosing to take advantage of combining the best services from both companies, like using Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) or Google Cloud Run for their application tier and MongoDB for their data tier. And some choose Google Cloud so they can tie into Google services that are tightly integrated with MongoDB, including BigQuery, Datastream, and Dataproc. A few examples that show the ambition and innovation MongoDB and Google Cloud customers are bringing to their products: Precognitive combines device intelligence, advanced behavioral analytics, and a real-time decision engine to accurately detect and prevent fraud for online businesses. Using Google Cloud Bigtable as their data store for behavioral and device data, and MongoDB as the data store for everything else, Precognitive is able to capture and analyze vast amounts of data from around the world, in near real time, to combat fraud. Read our full story on how Precognitive uses MongoDB Atlas . Forbes , the world's largest business media brand, reaches more than 140 million people worldwide every month across a number of online and offline channels. The company needed to innovate its way through the global COVID-19 pandemic and turned to MongoDB Atlas running on Google Cloud to enable dramatically better agility. Among other initiatives, the publishing giant married MongoDB's flexible data schema with Google Cloud’s machine learning services to deliver a trending story recommendation engine for journalists. Read our full story on Forbes’ migration to Atlas — and the successes of that move . One of the things we love about working with Google Cloud is the company's pragmatic approach to solving customer problems. Customers tend to choose a predominant cloud vendor upon which to build the majority of their applications, and Google Cloud often serves this role. At Plaid , which helps retailers decipher the complexities of consumer behavior, the company chose to migrate its legacy databases to MongoDB Atlas running on Google Cloud, allowing it to tap into Google Kubernetes Engine, Google Cloud Engine (GCE), Cloud BigTable, and BigQuery. But Plaid also needed to ensure it could run across multiple clouds, which Google Cloud enables with its Anthos service . MongoDB and Google Cloud, working together, deliver that multi-cloud experience for customers. Read our case study on Plaid, MongoDB, and Google Cloud . If you’re ready to experience the fruits of the MongoDB and Google Cloud partnership, take a look at MongoDB Atlas in the Google console . You can get started for free. Read more stories about MongoDB and Google Cloud customers doing great things: How Humanitix uses MongoDB Atlas Device Sync to close the education gap, one great app experience at a time Powering France’s Yellow Pages: How Solocal Turned to MongoDB Atlas and Google Cloud to Manage Two Billion Visits a Year How Macquarie Bank Built a Real-Time Payments Platform in Weeks KODE Labs: Advanced smart building management delivers on promise of sustainable buildings
Built With MongoDB: Overcoming Employee Burnout Through Pioneera
Everyone can feel burned out from time to time. Working late hours to meet that project deadline, checking your phone on the weekend for any missed Slack messages from coworkers, an endless stream of Zoom calls — workplace stress can add up quickly and does not leave much room for taking care of yourself. With so much on your plate at any given time, it can be hard to pick up on the warning signs of burnout. One Australian startup has made its mission to prevent employees from reaching burnout with software trained to pick up on those warning signs and alert you. The application, Indie , from Australian startup Pioneera , sends personalized notifications in real time, when employees need them the most. Similar to a spellchecker, Indie helps individuals, teams, and companies prevent burnout. Built With MongoDB spoke with our 2022 MongoDB Savvy Startup Innovation Award winner , Danielle Owen Whitford , who founded Pioneera in 2018. Whitford discussed how she came up with the idea, how the software works, and what the future of Pioneera holds. Built With MongoDB: What is Pioneera all about? Danielle Owen Whitford: Pioneera uses early warning indicators to help reduce workplace stress and prevent burnout in a confidential and safe way. And when we see those early warning signs, helping that person get the help they need in real time to reduce their stress, promote wellness, improve productivity — all that good stuff. Essentially we are trying to use technology to prevent mental health issues in the workplace, which are rising at an alarming rate. Where did the names Pioneera and Indie come from? Our mission is to pioneer a new era of work, and it just came out as Pioneera! As for the name Indie, it’s actually named after my daughter. Our first MVP had a different name, and we had some mixed responses to the name. I was part of SheStarts, an accelerator program in Australia, and I was talking to my fellow founders about some of the experiences I had with my daughter and how she courageously called me out on working too hard. They said, “Why don’t you call the bot Indie?” Customers and users loved it, so Indie bot was a keeper. What are some examples of common stress signals that Indie picks up? We assess language, linguistic markers, and behaviors as the three key areas. From a language point of view, we see that there are certain types of words that are used within a workplace context that are exhibitors of stress. For example, when we’re stressed in real life, we say that we’re stressed, but at work we’re more likely to say, “I feel stretched.” And that’s a word that we have built into our scoring system, which we developed with a psychologist. On the positive side, we look for words like achievement and win. We also look for behavior — how we act in the workplace, particularly around our communication systems, because that’s where Indie sits. What made you decide to start Pioneera? I burned myself out in 2016. I spent 20 years in big companies and had a whole range of senior roles, from running retail networks and call centers to large-scale transformation. It’s not like I was hidden away in the organization — I reported into the executive team and was very visible, so we all saw the signs. I loved what I did, but I didn’t see the warning signs. I left because I felt like I had no other options. In hindsight I know that I did, but at the time, I just couldn't see past where I was at. That is a classic sign of burnout. I took a bit of time off. I started looking at my former colleagues and my peers, and I realized this burnout phenomenon was happening everywhere. I used to see emails from my team that said, “Here we go again” and “I don’t want to do this anymore.” My first degree was in psychology and my second was a Masters in Communication, so I instinctively responded to that language. So if I saw it, I would call them up and ask what was going on. My teams didn’t burn out and they always delivered. But clearly nobody had seen that for me, and I missed all the signs myself, so I burned out. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could automate that for everyone?” The naivete in me thought that if Microsoft created a spell-checker, surely it can’t be that hard to create a spell-checker for stress. We know the language is there — we’ve all gotten emails from people where we know they’re having a bad day. That’s what I set out to do, to take my 20 years of experience and turn that into how I could help prevent this burnout from happening. I wanted Indie to do for the world what I had done for my colleagues. Burnout happens at an individual level, but the impacts are pretty significant — not just for that person or their family, but also for the workplace and then for society in general. We’re seeing health care costs that are through the roof, and we’re going to see long-term impacts on the next generation in terms of the ability to educate. These serious social issues are something I knew I needed to turn my attention to. In terms of employees, can you explain who has access to what information? We’re obsessed with privacy and confidentiality, and it's built into every part of the product. Everything is done in a way that protects the confidentiality and privacy of the individual. We did a lot of user testing before we started building the product, and users said that they really love this and the fact that their company would buy this for them. So it contributed to an employer value proposition. But, and it is a big but, they did not want their boss to know that they were stressed, because they thought they’d miss out on a project or HR would contact them or something like that. So that feedback has become the core of everything we do. What does the future of Pioneera look like? We’ve really upped our game on patterns of behaviors that indicate action is needed and the tips we provide to encourage action. We have partnered with expert psychologists to deliver content that is evidence- and research-based and proven to work. We’ve revolutionized our user experience to build connection and trust from the first moment a user hears about Indie. We’re looking to scale internationally with our vision for everyone globally to have Indie’s personalized, real-time support. What have you enjoyed the most about building Pioneera? It feels like there’s real meaning to what we’re doing and we’re actually making a difference in people's lives. I’ll get a call from a customer who says they were headed toward burnout and Indie stopped them. Or a call from a team manager delighted that they acted on Indie’s recommendations and their team is thriving. That sort of thing is always delightful to hear. I feel like we’re doing something positive for the world. How has working with MongoDB enabled Pioneera to succeed? The way the database is set up and structured has enabled us to focus on the things that we need to focus on, because we know MongoDB has our back. We’re a technology company building innovative technology, and we need to deliver our product to the market in a scalable, reliable way. You can run the risk of building a great technology, but it’s not actually a product that solves a problem for customers because the product features aren’t delivering value. MongoDB does technology really well, and that’s what we use it for — to make sure we’re delivering great product features and value to the customer today and tomorrow. Learn more about using Pioneera to overcome employee burnout and find out more about our MongoDB for Startups program .
Celebrating Pride at MongoDB
For Pride 2022, members of MongoDB’s affinity group the Queer Collective shared sentiments about what this month means to them, why Pride is important, how they’re celebrating, and what the future holds for LGBTQIA+ visibility and acceptance. Why does Pride matter? Ryan Francis , VP of Worldwide Field Marketing “While I love the parades, the parties, and the color palette, they all serve Pride’s primary objective, which is to create visibility. That visibility has a ripple effect: It emboldens a young kid in Indiana to come out to his family and friends. And, as research has shown, knowing a queer person tends to be the driving factor toward greater acceptance of queer people generally. And then that kid lives their life proudly, which emboldens future kids to come out, and acceptance grows. But we’re under no illusion that it’s a straight line toward progress, so it is more important than ever to be proud.” Angie Byron , Principal Community Manager “Pride helps folks who are struggling to exist or who lack a sense of belonging in the world to instead find a welcoming new home among others who truly get them. Pride is embracing and respecting the differences between us and our experiences, but coming together as our whole, authentic selves in celebration.” Seán Carroll , Senior Marketing Operations Manager “Visibility and representation matter. Pride is the most visible time for people of the LGBTQIA+ community as it provides an opportunity for us to show our pride and express who we are unashamedly. People view Pride as a party, but it’s more than that. It is a time to remember the origins of Pride, which was a protest, and provide hope for a more honest and open future where we can all live in a free and equal society.” What does Pride mean to you? Shane O’Brien , Senior Manager of Regional Employee Experience, EMEA “Pride to me is not contained in one day or month. It’s a living, breathing, and evolving experience. It’s our past, our present, and our future. It’s a reminder of where we came from and where we are going. Pride is living every day without fear. Pride is knowing when to call someone in and not out. Pride is holding someone’s hand and not thinking twice. Pride is the critical relationship we have with ourselves that is not based on shame.” Robyn Anderson , Senior Director, International Finance “Pride is being myself, defying expectations. It’s about showing love for humanity. It’s about having representation. It’s building a community that respects each other and shouts loudly when there’s injustice. It’s about taking my wife’s hand in public and feeling safe, just like everyone else. Pride is allyship, growing, and embracing. It’s taking responsibility for tomorrow.” Tiffany Green , Executive Assistant “Pride means authenticity. It means standing in your truth, fully embracing who you are, and choosing authenticity each and every time. For many years, I tried to limit who I was in fear of rejection. It wasn’t until I decided to lean into my truth that I really started living.” How do you celebrate Pride? Eddie Aramburo , Team Lead, Corporate Account Strategy “I celebrate Pride every day for giving me and others in our community an unintended strength and euphoria when we let our colors burst. You know that feeling when you listen to Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’? Yeah, that’s the feeling!” Cara Silverman , Manager, Executive Support “When I celebrate, I’m not doing it just for myself. I’m waving my flag high for those who can’t anymore, for those who fought (and continue to fight) for the freedom for our community to exist and be celebrated. I fight so that younger folks questioning their identity can feel empowered to step into their own light, because living authentically is Pride.” What does the future hold for Pride? Paul Sokolson , Senior Program Manager, GTM & Product Commercialization “I look forward to continuing to raise awareness that as humans, we share more similarities than differences. I look forward to continuing the fight for equality for the generations of LGTBQ youth that come after me.” Ashley Brown , Lead Technical Writer, Server “The fight isn’t over yet, and this Pride, I’ll be supporting not only my queer community, but also people of color, women, people with disabilities, and all members of marginalized communities who are working to secure the same rights as the historically privileged.” Tara Hernandez , VP of Developer Productivity “Acceptance starts within! Pride is more than just a month celebrated each year. For many of us, it’s celebrated every day. While things today are not perfect, seeing how far we have come despite the challenges we’ve faced gives me hope for the future.” At MongoDB, we celebrate Pride all year round. Join us in embracing the power of differences!
MongoDB Compatibility With Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux
At MongoDB, our mission is to help innovators unleash the power of software and data. To do that, we know that users expect to be able to deploy MongoDB on industry-standard operating systems. To that end, MongoDB now officially supports MongoDB products on AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux . At the end of 2021, Red Hat shifted CentOS from being a downstream, enterprise-stable, production-ready operating system to an upstream source of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). As stated by CentOS, its new operating system, CentOS Stream, will serve as the development branch of RHEL. With this news, many organizations faced the decision between continuing to use CentOS Stream or switching to a different distribution. With this potential market need, two new players emerged: Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux. Both Rocky Linux and AlmaLinux have one-to-one compatibility with RHEL 8.x and promise to maintain compatibility with future RHEL versions. With this compatibility, users will be able to download and run the MongoDB RHEL binaries on Rocky Linux or AlmaLinux. We have completed testing to ensure the RHEL binaries work on AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux. For more information, please visit our Platform Support and Installation documentation . To get started downloading MongoDB on Rocky or Alma, visit our download center .
Building a Modern App Stack with Apollo GraphQL and MongoDB Atlas
Delivering new app experiences with legacy architectures is slow and painful. Many organizations invest massive amounts of resources to make their infrastructure more resilient and flexible yet find they’re still not delivering products at the speed they seek. API complexity means that, rather than delivering new experiences, frontend and backend teams must navigate scattered microservices, versioned REST endpoints, and complex database management. This article explains how teams can reduce complexity through the use of Apollo GraphQL and MongoDB Atlas . GraphQL can help teams integrate these scattered REST APIs and microservices into a unified schema that frontend developers can query, fetching only the data required to power an experience while being agnostic to where the data is sourced from. However, running everything through a single GraphQL server (read: monolith) with multiple teams rapidly contributing changes creates a bottleneck. The complexity of the API layer grows exponentially as the number of client devices, applications, and developers increases — and backend teams can no longer work autonomously or push changes on their own releases schedules. To be efficient with GraphQL, developers need: A unified API, so app developers can rapidly create new experiences A modular API layer, so each team can independently own their slice of the graph A seamless, high-performance data layer that scales alongside API consumption An app stack that delivers A supergraph is a GraphQL API designed to benefit frontend and backend teams simultaneously. It’s a unified API layer built with Apollo Federation , which is a declarative, modular GraphQL architecture. Unlike a monolithic schema, a supergraph is composed of smaller graphs called subgraphs, each with their own schema. Teams can evolve their subgraphs independently, and their changes will be automatically rolled into the overall supergraph, allowing them to deliver autonomously and incrementally. However, the efficiency of a supergraph depends on the capabilities and reliability of the underlying data layer. MongoDB Atlas — MongoDB’s fully managed developer data platform — comes with that promise. It offers a flexible document model that gives developers an intuitive way to work with GraphQL’s nested data structure, while providing a reliable data layer that can run anywhere, be deployed across multiple regions and cloud providers, and scale horizontally due to its distributed nature. Together, a supergraph and MongoDB Atlas create a composable app stack that eliminates complexity and empowers teams to innovate faster than ever before. Figure 1: Simplify app architecture with a composable supergraph and unified data access layer using Apollo Federation and MongoDB Atlas App dev experience When crafting a new app experience, developers will want to browse a unified schema, create queries that fetch exactly the data needed, measure API performance, and use the API in minutes instead of dedicating days or weeks trying to find the right API to stitch into each web, Android, iOS, tablet, and watch app individually. However, when apps have to use lots of REST APIs directly, the developer experience and end-user performance suffers. According to PayPal , UI developers were spending less than one-third of their time actually building UI. The remainder of that time was spent figuring out where and how to fetch data, filtering/mapping over that data, and orchestrating API calls. With a supergraph , developers can query a single GraphQL endpoint for all the data they need and discover, consume, and optimize without having to navigate a sea of REST APIs and microservices. A key characteristic of a principled GraphQL API is an abstract, demand-oriented schema , which provides the data needed to power the customer experience and abstracts the microservices and data layer underneath. The most powerful graphs serve as a facade on top of existing microservices by abstracting the lower-level backend domain models into a curated customer experience model that provides the high-level information displayed in the UI. This experience model allows for a consistent UX across web, mobile, and wearable apps. API dev experience Backend developers want the freedom to build and evolve services and capabilities autonomously. But this is a tall order when clients are simultaneously consuming services. It’s nearly impossible to refactor without introducing breaking changes and harder still to understand what the impact of those breaking changes will be. The result is that almost any change to the API requires coordination with all the client teams. With a supergraph and a flexible data layer behind it, teams can deliver changes independently to modular subgraphs that compose into the overall supergraph. Apollo Federation’s declarative architecture and powerful directives keep teams working autonomously without breaking clients. Choosing the right graph-native data layer Building a scalable supergraph starts with choosing the right data layer to power backend services. In the past, relational databases required ORMs or manual mapping of the underlying relational format to an object/document structure that apps could use, such as JSON. An impedance mismatch between what the database provided and what client apps needed resulted in performance and maintenance issues that slowed down app development and app performance. In contrast to relational databases, MongoDB’s document model and GraphQL share a simple nested data structure, which means developers can easily use them together without having to map GraphQL to relational data and define relationships. The added composability of Apollo Federation lets developers easily federate across multiple collections or databases, between single and multi-cloud Atlas clusters running in different regions, and even between Atlas and on-premises clusters. In this way, developers gain the flexibility of MongoDB’s document model and the freedom to iterate on their GraphQL schema with safety and confidence ensured by automated schema checks . Choosing the right subgraph architecture When it comes to choosing how to connect the subgraphs to the data layer, a few options are available: Traditional subgraph (microservices plus database) In many environments, there are years’ worth of existing microservices, REST APIs, and SOA services in production. Subgraphs ( written in any of 20-plus languages and frameworks ) can be added as a new layer on top of these existing microservices and composed into an experience-driven supergraph that serves as a ViewModel backend to power new app experiences for web, mobile, and wearable devices. This is a highly effective and proven model. Graph-native subgraph (direct to MongoDB) When new subgraphs are added in greenfield environments or to add net-new capabilities, the subgraphs can be designed to talk directly with the database without microservices or REST APIs in the middle. This approach isn’t always the right answer, especially for companies that have standardized on REST or gRPC in the backend. However, it is a simpler setup that can improve performance by removing a layer. Traditional subgraph (microservices plus MongoDB Atlas) MongoDB Atlas is a fully managed, multi-cloud, multi-region data layer for traditional microservices. With options such as the official MongoDB Drivers for 16 languages, a fully managed HTTPS–based Data API, or community managed ODMs such as Mongoose, developers have a range of options to build their supergraph's data layer with Atlas. Developers get the flexibility of choosing a path that provides them with an idiomatic and familiar way to work with the database in the language and development style that they are most familiar with. MongoDB Atlas GraphQL API (hosted subgraph API) MongoDB Atlas’s GraphQL API is automatically generated based on the underlying database document schema and can be directly composed as part of a supergraph. Developers who choose this approach can reduce the amount of time spent writing custom GraphQL resolvers, as these are automatically generated by MongoDB Atlas. When the Mongo document model closely matches the query shape — a paradigm that is common within document databases such as MongoDB — the queries can be served without transformation or mapping. This setup also applies to relationships between different types of documents in different collections; thus, the generated GraphQL schema will also allow devs to query collections that other teams may own in the same graph. If developers’ desired query shape differs from the underlying document model, such as when shaping schemas in a Server Driven UI (SDUI) pattern, they can leverage the @requires schema directive to pull in and transform multiple document fields into an experience-oriented property tuned for rendering by frontend apps. In this way, devs can benefit from both efficient data access and custom model mapping when needed. Figure 2: Composing a supergraph with Apollo Federation, custom built resolvers for MongoDB, and the hosted MongoDB Atlas GraphQL API endpoint Expand business use-cases with subgraphs Supergraphs make it easy to compose microservices, but when it comes to hosting, managing, and storing the data that performs the business logic, the MongoDB Atlas Application Data Platform can help teams build their app requirements faster. Need a search bar? The same data stored in an Atlas Cluster can be search-indexed and use Atlas Search to perform full-text search operations without additional setup or syncing data to another search technology. Want to embed graphs and charts? A time series collection can make it easy to query large chunks of data by timestamp, and MongoDB Atlas Charts lets devs use the same MongoDB database to build these inside applications. Other services, like custom Data APIs and data federation, help ensure that data can be queried and stored in the way that best fits a team’s needs. Focused on scale Engineering teams need to be able to anticipate both current and future needs. MongoDB Atlas delivers an application data platform that spans multiple regions, clouds, and deployment types to solve the data challenges of transactional workloads, modern apps, and microservices. Self-healing clusters ensure that developers are not scrambling to diagnose issues with their data nodes, and multi-region and multi-cloud deployments provide automatic failover for both models, respectively. Together, Apollo and MongoDB are committed to providing developers with the effective tools they need to simplify their architecture, improve app performance, ship faster, and grow their businesses. Register for Atlas today Learn more about the supergraph on the Apollo blog .
Highlights From MongoDB World 2022, Day 3
As we said on Day 1 , MongoDB World is a developer-focused event. And on Day 3, we really set out to prove it. The day got going with a keynote from best-selling author, pioneering inventor, and futurist Ray Kurzweil. His encyclopedic knowledge covers a wide range of topics and subject areas, and his talk was equally broad and freewheeling, touching on everything from computational power to vaccine trials to life expectancy and literacy rates. Kurzweil’s general viewpoint was overwhelmingly positive. He cited global poverty and literacy rates, per capita income, and the spread of democracy as examples of how the world is steadily becoming a better place to live. Not shy of making predictions, Kurzweil anticipates computational power roughly doubling each year, bringing AI ever closer to emulating human intelligence. In fact, he predicts that some AI systems will be able to pass the Turing test by 2029. And he sees humans eventually connecting directly to AI systems, expanding our emotional and intellectual intelligence far beyond our current state. He refers to this eventuality as the “ singularity ” and with it, human life will be changed forever. Minds were blown, but not so much that the developers in attendance weren’t ready to get down to doing what they love to do: building apps and writing code. Immediately after the keynote, Builder’s Fest kicked into gear in the Partner Promenade. The floor of the Jacob Javits Center was transformed by dozens of pods where MongoDB experts, partners, and customers gave hands-on tutorials showing how their services and applications integrated with the MongoDB developer data platform. Booming over the main sound system was a super-sized, four-person Mario Kart battle royale, where the victors won prizes like a Nintendo Switch. Another pod hosted a Price is Right–style game show, The Database is Right, where contestants drawn from the audience answered trivia questions about MongoDB, document databases, and database functions. Adjacent to the Bob Barker cosplay, MongoDB senior product manager Rob Walters gave an eager audience a live demo of how to configure the MongoDB Connector for Apache Kafka to use MongoDB as a source or a sink. Our Kafka connector enables developers to build robust, reactive data pipelines that stream events between applications and services in real time. Over on the Google Cloud Coding Stage, four developers competed to see who could build the closest version of the Google homepage in 20 minutes — without previewing their work. The blind coding test resulted in some fairly primitive approximations of the real thing, but all four contestants were praised for their high pressure creations. The winner of each round took home a limited edition MongoDB track jacket. MongoDB CTO Mark Porter joined in a number of Builder’s Fest activities, delivered several short talks, and often drew a crowd for impromptu Q&A. At one point he gave a “Chaos Presentation” — an improvised talk guided by randomly selected imagery — about the outages that inevitably occur in the public cloud, despite the exceptionally resilient infrastructures and high service levels. “Mirror image is an illusion,” Porter said. “A laptop is not staging, staging is not production, and production is not production.” Different regions have different hardware and configuration patterns that can build up over time, he said. “Staging has had far more rollbacks than production,” he said. “Find weaknesses in your architecture by doing post-mortems after an outage. Make staging environments reproducible by blowing them away from time to time. By making staging more predictable, over the course of a few years, you can make production more predictable.” In response to an audience question about what’s more important, implementing a culture of committing to rollbacks or automating it, he said, “The culture of rollbacks is what’s important, but at scale — meaning a couple thousand engineers — culture won’t be enough. You’ll need to automate some of it. But make it so rollbacks are not a bad thing.” A few pods over, developer advocate from Prisma , Sabine Adams, gave a talk entitled, “Giving MongoDB Guardrails.” His talk included step-by-step instructions, using the brand new MongoDB Atlas CLI , on how to ensure data consistency by providing an easy-to-read schema and a type-safe database client. First, he set up a MongoDB cluster in the CLI, then he initialized a TypeScript project with Prisma to model the data, and then used the Prisma CLI to create and retrieve some data. The Prisma client provides an API for reading data in MongoDB, including filters, pagination, ordering, and relational queries for embedded documents. If you want more highlights about MongoDB World 2022, read our Day One and Day Two recaps. For all those who attended the event, we’re happy you made it. For anyone who missed it, we hope to see you at next year's event.
Highlights From MongoDB World 2022, Day 2
Day Two of MongoDB World 2022 was all about the breakout sessions — more than 80 were on tap for the day. Things kicked off shortly after 8 a.m. with a discussion on empowering women and other underrepresented groups in the workplace, held in the IDEA Lounge . The 9 a.m. slot was packed with 10 sessions that ranged from building a sustainable ecosystem to the principles of data modeling to using Rust to build applications. Steve Westgarth, senior director of engineering at GSK (formerly GlaxoSmithKline) dove into the weighty topic of morality in the digital world and what developers ought to do when the software they build leads to unintended consequences. All too often, there’s immense pressure to release MVPs early — before all potential vulnerabilities have been vetted. Westgarth’s session sprang from a rhetorical question: “Do we as engineers have an ethical and moral responsibility to anticipate unintended consequences and how much personal responsibility should an individual take to ensure ethical management of data?” His discussion answered that with a Yes — developers do have to weigh the risk of unintended consequences, such as data breaches, versus the desire to maximize market opportunity. Westgarth urged developers to ask themselves what the unintended consequences are of the software they have in production, and to raise awareness of these issues in their organizations. A 15-minute lightning talk followed, with a session name that made it a popular draw for fans of worst-case scenarios: “Strange Cases From the Field.” Adam Schwartz, MongoDB director of technical services in EMEA, walked attendees through some especially challenging real-life technical support stories. He gave a detailed account of such curious cases as The Mistaken Hypotheses and The Unsuccessful Mitigations, and shared lessons he learned during years in the trenches as a support specialist. Closing on a positive note, he assured attendees that problem cases are rare, most cases have straightforward solutions, and exceptional cases are always a learning experience. Day One saw Mark Porter announce the MongoDB Relational Migrator , including a live demo of the product. On Day Two, lead product manager Tom Hollander did a deep dive into use cases, justifications, and future capabilities for the tool. MongoDB Relational Migrator imports and analyzes relational database schemas, maps them to an appropriate MongoDB schema, and transforms and migrates the data into MongoDB. Hollander said organizations can experience a 3x to 5x increase in development velocity and up to 70% in cost reductions by migrating away from relational models in favor of a more modern deployment such as MongoDB Atlas . Hollander said he anticipates future capabilities to include continuous replication, Kafka integration, application code generation, schema recommendations, and more. One company thriving in its legacy modernization efforts is Vodafone. The global head of engineering and transformation, Felipe Canedo, described Vodafone’s transition from a traditional telecommunications company to a Telco-as-a-Service (TaaS) provider. At the core of this transition was the creation of a scalable and open platform for the company’s engineers to innovate with complete freedom and flexibility. Canedo said Vodafone chose MongoDB because of its security, cloud-native high availability, support for multi-region and multi-cloud deployments, agile delivery, professional services, and ease of integration. The ultimate goal, Canedo said, was to provide Vodafone engineers with the best software experience possible. Day One also saw MongoDB CPO Sahir Azam announce the general availability of MongoDB Atlas serverless instances . On Day Two, MongoDB advisory solutions architect Carlos Castro gave a live demo of deploying a serverless database. In 15 minutes, starting from the Atlas dashboard, Castro took the audience step-by-step through the process of selecting a cloud provider, spinning up the instance, creating an app service, authentication, and users, and then setting up rules to allow users to access data on the instance. Serverless instances always run the latest version of Atlas, include always-on security, and enable customers to only pay for operations they run. Day Two also featured several discussions with leading experts and MongoDB partners. MongoDB senior vice president, product management, Andrew Davidson hosted a panel with three leaders in the effort to close the Developer Experience Gap : Peggy Rayzis, senior director of developer experience for Apollo GraphQL; Lee Robinson, director of developer relations for Vercel; and Søren Bramer Schmidt, chief architect and founder for Prisma. Rayzis cited Apollo’s supergraph as one way it's helping developers be more productive by unlocking their flow state. “When you’re in that flow state, you’re writing better code, making better decisions, and developing better value for consumers,” she said. Schmidt pointed out how the newest generation of developers stand to benefit the most from the proliferation of developer tools. “New generations of developers are much bigger and we can invest in better tooling for them,” Schmidt said. “It’s an exciting time to be building tools for developers.” Lee emphasized the important role the open source community plays in these tools. “People hear about Vercel through Next.js,” Lee said, “and we invest to give back to the open source community.” As gratifying and fun the first two days of World were, we really have something special in store for Day Three. It kicks off with a final keynote address by best-selling author, pioneering inventor, and futurist Ray Kurzweil. Day Three also features our Builder’s Fest , where even MongoDB CTO Mark Porter is expected to lend his considerable expertise to a few promising projects. With live game shows, chaos presentations, nerd battles and more, MongoDB World 2022 will finish on a high note. Check back tomorrow for more highlights from MongoDB World 2022.