Announcing MongoDB 4.4: Available Now in Beta

Mat Keep

#MongoDB Atlas

At MongoDB.Live, we announced the beta of 4.4, the latest version of the MongoDB database.

In this post, I’ll cover the highlights of what’s new in MongoDB 4.4, and provide the resources you need to get started with it. You can see demos of the key 4.4 features by watching our MongoDB.Live keynote highlights.

What’s special about this new release?

We think of MongoDB 4.4 as “user-driven engineering”, delivering the features and enhancements most demanded by the community. With 4.4 developers can:

  • Build almost any class of transactional, operational, and analytical application faster and more efficiently.
  • Scale out applications globally, with the flexibility to define and refine data distribution at any time as requirements evolve.
  • All while offering some of the most sophisticated latency, resilience, and security controls anywhere.

So let’s get into what’s new.

Extending the MongoDB Query Language and introducing new drivers

The MongoDB Query Language (MQL) is rich and expressive, enabling you to solve for multiple use-cases. A key part of MQL is the Aggregation Pipeline. With dozens of stages and over 150 operators and expressions, you can process, transform, and analyze data of any structure at scale, using any programming language.

MongoDB 4.4 continues to enhance the power of the Aggregation Pipeline with the new Union stage. Now you can blend data from multiple collections for deeper exploration and analysis. With Custom Aggregation Expressions you can extend MongoDB with your own functions, executed as part of an aggregation pipeline.

Global Read and Write Concerns enable you to configure cluster-wide read isolation and write durability guarantees. The official MongoDB Rust and Swift drivers are also now generally available, extending MongoDB support to some of the industry’s fastest-growing languages.

Even more flexible scale-out and lower latency performance

MongoDB’s native sharding is highly valued by developers. It enables you to horizontally scale-out your database across multiple nodes and geographic regions to accommodate application growth and to colocate data with your distributed applications and users. It’s elastic so you scale your database cluster out and in at any time to align consumption with resource requirements, and it’s transparent to your applications.

With the enhancements in MongoDB 4.4, sharding your database is now even easier, giving you more flexibility in selecting your shard key and making ongoing scaling operations more seamless as your applications evolve.

With Refinable Shard Keys you can define and refine your shard keys on-demand, with no system downtime. Compound Hashed Shard Keys more evenly distribute load across the cluster’s shards without losing data locality, for example keeping data pinned to shards located within specific regions for data residency.

Hedged Reads minimize p95 and p99 latencies in sharded clusters by submitting read requests to multiple replicas and returning results as soon as the quickest node responds.

Streaming Replication reduces replica lag across the cluster to serve fresher data to your users. We’ve measured latency reductions of up to 50% when using majority committed writes.

Making it faster and more efficient for you to tune performance as your application evolves, you can now hide an index from the query planner to evaluate the impact of removing it, without actually dropping the index.

More resilience and security

Maintaining application uptime and secure access to data are non-negotiable for pretty much every business and developer today. MongoDB continues to enhance these capabilities in the latest 4.4 release.

Reducing user impact of replica set elections following a primary failure or after a planned maintenance event, MongoDB keeps the caches of secondaries warm by continuously mirroring a subset of reads to them.

Resumable Initial Sync makes it easier and faster to scale-out when adding new replicas or recover nodes that have fallen too far behind the rest of the cluster.

AWS IAM Authentication simplifies cloud-native security by reusing existing regular and temporary Amazon IAM credentials when connecting to our fully-managed MongoDB Atlas global cloud database service. Starting with 4.4, MongoDB supports TLS 1.3 when used with a compatible OpenSSL library. TLS 1.3 and the accompanying forward secret ciphers can further help meet strict encryption-in-motion requirements. TLS 1.3 has also been backported to all supported MongoDB releases and will be available in Atlas within the next couple of quarters.

Getting started with MongoDB 4.4

MongoDB 4.4 is currently a beta release and ready for evaluation today. There are multiple ways you being putting it through its paces:

  • Spin it up in the cloud on MongoDB Atlas. To help you on your way, use the code try_mongodb4.4 for $200 worth of free Atlas credits.
  • Download it to run on your own infrastructure (select 4.4.x under Version).

You can learn more about all that’s new in our Guide to MongoDB 4.4 and signing up for our walkthrough in the 4.4 webinar on June 24.

Thanks to all of you in the MongoDB community who have provided the feedback and feature requests that have made MongoDB 4.4 our best release ever!

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