MongoDB customers and community members are the people who realize GIANT ideas. We are excited to begin highlighting some of our community members, our MongoDB Giants, who are tackling challenging problems and bringing solutions to life with MongoDB.
This month’s MongoDB Giant is Doug Duncan, a DBA at Alteryx, who is making a meaningful impact to the MongoDB community. Alteryx is a leader in data preparation, blending, and advanced analytics.
Doug has worked with RDBMSs for longer than he cares to admit, focusing in both development and administration. Through his experience, Doug grew to embrace new data storage technologies. He began working with MongoDB several years ago (starting with the MongoDB 1.8 release in early 2011) both professionally and recreationally. Doug acted as an online TA the first two years following MongoDB University’s founding, working closely with the team by answering students’ questions about the M101J, M101JS and M202 courses, as well as providing questions used in the courses. For his contributions to the education team Doug was awarded the first ever MongoDB DBA certification back in November of 2013.
In his spare time, if Doug’s not reading up on MongoDB, Hadoop, or other distributed data stores, you can find him walking around the foothills of Colorado with his wife, two boys and two dogs.
Become an important part of the MongoDB community. Join our Advocacy Hub and start getting involved today.
Leaf in the Wild: SilkRoute Chooses MongoDB Over SQL Server for Critical Quality Assurance Platform
Leaf in the Wild posts highlight real world MongoDB deployments. Read other stories about how companies are using MongoDB for their mission-critical projects. MongoDB chosen for development productivity, operational efficiency with Cloud Manager, and “truly outstanding” professional services From manufacturing to retail, every part of the supply chain is starting to see the value of data. Whether it’s developing IoT quality assurance applications in manufacturing to ensure your products are defect-free or building data-driven customer loyalty programs so that brands can connect with and reward their fans, the top companies are working to improve their approach to data. SilkRoute Global is a software-as-a-service company focused on this industry. Its analytics products automate processes and present consumable, useful information to its customers. To understand the benefits they get from MongoDB, I spoke with Devin Duden, CTO of OmniSky (a division of SilkRoute) & Senior Software Engineer, and Amjad Hussain, CEO & Chief Data Scientist. Tell us a little bit about SilkRoute. SilkRoute is a passionate team of designers, machine learning scientists, and software engineers with tremendous industry knowledge of manufacturing, distribution, and retail. We live for solving big problems. Our industry-specific predictive and prescriptive analytics platform creates immense operational and strategic value for our customers. Our customer footprint is global and growing. Applied machine learning, business process automation, and mobility are woven into the fabric of everything we build. We offer a unique risk-free rapid implementation and integration approach for our customers to enjoy our solutions. Please describe how you’re using MongoDB. The application SilkRoute is building is a mobile application performing RFID inspections on industrial manufactured products. The application provides a centralized data store of customers’ products and the inspections associated with a product, and allows those customers to easily share the inspection records with others. MongoDB was chosen for this application based on: Simplified schema design Increased flexibility for modeling complex relationships (e.g., using MongoDB eliminated recursive relationships necessary in a SQL-based solution) Easier capture of user generated data Reduced development timeline Durability, scalability, and disaster recovery SilkRoute Enterprise mobile RFID inspection architecture What were you using before MongoDB? Was this a new project or did you migrate from a different database? The current version of the application is a client-server implementation using SQL Server as a cloud sharing data store and Windows CE on the mobile device. The application is a rewrite. How did you hear about MongoDB? Did you consider other alternatives, like relational or NoSQL databases? I was introduced to MongoDB three years ago when I started working at SilkRoute. We were working on a social network at the time, which was using MongoDB as its primary data store. The RFID mobile application’s technical requirements were originally to use MS SQL Server. This technical requirement was provided by the client. During our working Joint Application Design session with the client, we suggested using MongoDB, but didn’t make headway. When we attended MongoDB World 2015 , we gathered enough details about MongoDB’s capabilities, along with real-world examples of high-volume, transaction-based applications being developed on MongoDB, that we were able to persuade the client to switch from SQL Server to MongoDB. Please describe your MongoDB deployment, technology stack, and the version of MongoDB that you are running. The MongoDB deployment is a 5 node replica set using Cloud Manager for operational management and deployment. The replica set is deployed in the US East AWS region across all availability zones. At this point, we have not implemented sharding. The MongoDB replica set has been deployed in AWS following MongoDB’s best practices using Amazon Linux AMIs. Each production node will be running on EC2 instances with 16 GB memory and 4 core CPUs, with three 100GB provisioned IOPS EBS volumes. Each volume is XFS format. One volume is mapped for “data”, one volume is mapped for “log”, and one volume is mapped for “journal”. The API stack is written in .NET 5 using C# MVC/Web API framework. We are using the MongoDB .NET driver version 2.0. Are you using any tools to monitor, manage and backup your MongoDB deployment? If so what? Do you use Ops Manager / Cloud Manager? The replica set has been deployed and managed using Cloud Manager. Cloud Manager simplified and streamlined replica set deployment and operations. This solution is the first time the majority of team members used MongoDB. To reduce time spent with MongoDB replica set deployment and configuration, Cloud Manager was a great fit. Following Cloud Manager’s directions to create AWS EC2 instances made it very easy for us to create images, and build/tear down replica sets quickly. Streamlining manual tasks allowed the team to focus more time on development than deploying a fully managed MongoDB replica set. In addition to Cloud Manager, the team just started using MongoDB Compass to analyze collections and document sizes. Are you integrating MongoDB with other data analytics, BI or visualization tools? If so, can you share any details? At this point we have not integrated any BI. One of our objectives is to connect with the client’s BI system using the MongoDB Connector for BI and/or extract data from a tagged node to hydrate a SQL-based BI system. We’re planning to perform a POC on the Connector for BI, now that it has been released. How are you measuring the impact of MongoDB on your business? SilkRoute measures MongoDB’s impact by many factors, including ease of use with deployments, a code first approach, increased agile development model, reduced total cost of ownership, and reduced time to market. The ease of deployments reduces or eliminates maintenance windows when spinning up a replica set or upgrading database versions, which means higher uptime for customers and less productive time eaten up for developers. A code first approach adds to increased savings by eliminating daunting DDL script management and aids with better agile development. These factors result in reduced total cost of ownership and faster time to market. Do you use any commercial subscriptions or services to support your MongoDB deployment? SilkRoute is a MongoDB OEM partner. For the RFID application we will be embedding MongoDB Enterprise Server 3.2 and managing the deployment with Cloud Manager. We allocated a budget for MongoDB’s professional services in the early stages of the project. The professional services were tailored to the team’s skill set and agenda. With two separate onsite sessions, we covered topics from deployment, management, and recovery using Cloud Manager, to schema modeling and scaling. The value gained working hands-on directly with a MongoDB consulting engineer was twice the investment. During one session, we encountered a disaster recovery situation in a non-production environment. Unexpected though the situation was, I personally gained the most from the experience of working through the issue with a MongoDB expert in a very collaborative fashion. The professionalism and knowledge of our MongoDB consulting engineer was truly outstanding. Do you have plans to use MongoDB for other applications? If so, which ones? Yes, both internal initiatives and client initiatives. These include BI, a Warehouse Manager SaaS solution, a customer loyalty/couponing app, and client SaaS solutions, which we are not at liberty to disclose at this point. We would prefer to use MongoDB for all application and system development projects. Our preference to use MongoDB for development is based on ease of use, an emphasis on a code first approach for projects going forward, and built-in scalability and durability. Have you upgraded to MongoDB 3.2? What most excites you about this release? We’ve been developing the solution using MongoDB 3.0.x. We are actively migrating the database to version 3.2.1, and the production deployment will use 3.2.1. The most exciting features of MongoDB 3.2 for us are the BI connector, document validation, $lookup, and WiredTiger's in-memory option. We feel the biggest value add to our clients are the BI connector and the in-memory storage engine. The BI connector will allow our clients’ BI environments to integrate directly with the solution we are building, eliminating the need to write ETL processes from MongoDB to a BI environment. The in-memory storage engine will increase performance with read operations, which will reduce latency with API requests. Anything to increase overall performance is a plus. What advice would you give someone who is considering using MongoDB for their next project? I would highly recommend allocating a budget for MongoDB’s professional services to help with operations, deployment, and schema modeling. The value gained with their best practices approach really reduces learning curves and POC time. Coming from a SQL world, prepare ERDs and break the ERDs into schema designs. This approach will help bridge team members from a relational to a non-relational data store. Take a top-down development approach as it will uncover access patterns that may help with schema modeling. Thank you for sharing your MongoDB experiences with us! If you’re comparing MongoDB with relational databases, read our RDBMS to MongoDB Migration Guide to learn more. Read the RDBMS to MongoDB Migration Guide About the Author - Eric Holzhauer Eric is a Product Marketing Manager at MongoDB.
Hear From the MongoDB World 2022 Diversity Scholars
The MongoDB Diversity Scholarship program is an initiative to elevate and support members of underrepresented groups in technology across the globe. Scholars receive complimentary access to the MongoDB World developer conference in New York, on-demand access to MongoDB University to prepare for free MongoDB certification, and mentorship via an exclusive discussion group. This year at MongoDB World, our newest cohort of scholars got the opportunity to interact with company leadership at a luncheon and also got a chance to share their experience in a public panel discussion at the Community Café. Hear from some of the 2022 scholars, in their own words. Rebecca Hayes, System Analyst at Alliance for Safety and Justice I did an internal transition from managing Grants/Contracts to IT and just finished a data science certificate (Python, Unix/Linux, SQL) through my community college. My inspiration for pursuing STEM was wanting to understand how reality is represented in systems and how data science can be used to change the world. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? Most impactful were the conversations I had with other attendees at the conference. I talked to people from all sectors who were extremely knowledgeable and passionate about shaping the future of databases. The opportunity to hear from MongoDB leaders and then understand how the vision behind the product was being implemented made me feel inspired for my future in STEM. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? MongoDB World inspired me to understand the real world applications of databases. I left knowing what's possible with a product like MongoDB and the limits of SQL and traditional databases. After the conference, I wrote this article on Medium reflecting on what I learned at the conference. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? Embrace what makes you unique. Just because things take time doesn't mean they won't happen. When learning programming and data science, think about how your work relates to the real world and share those thoughts with others. Seek out new perspectives, stay true to yourself, and keep an open mind. Delphine Nyaboke, Junior Software Engineer at Sendy I am passionate about energy in general. My final year project was on solar mini-grid design and interconnection. I have a mission of being at the intersection of energy and AI What inspired me to get into tech is the ability to solve societal problems without necessarily waiting for someone else to do it for you. This can be either in energy or by code. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? My most impactful experience, apart from attending and listening in on the keynotes, was to attend the breakout sessions. They had lovely topics full of learnings and inspiration, including Engineering Culture at MongoDB; Be a Community Leader; Principles of Data Modeling for MongoDB; and Be Nice, But Not Too Nice just to mention but a few. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? MongoDB World has inspired me to keep on upskilling and being competitive in handling databases, which is a key skill in a backend engineer like myself. I will continue taking advantage of the MongoDB University courses and on-demand courses available thanks to the scholarship. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? STEM is a challenging yet fun field. If you’re tenacious enough, the rewards will trickle in soon enough. Get a community to be around, discuss what you’re going through together, be a mentor, get a mentor, and keep pushing forward. We need like-minded individuals in our society even in this fourth industrial revolution, and we are not leaving anyone behind. Video: Watch the panel in its entirety Raja Adil, Student at Cal Poly SLO Currently, I am a software engineer intern at Salesforce. I started self-teaching myself software development when I was a junior in high school during the COVID-19 pandemic, and from there I started doing projects and gaining as much technical experience as I could through internships. Before the pandemic I took my first computer science class, which was taught in C#. At first, I hated it as it looked complex. Slowly, I started to enjoy it more and more, and during the pandemic I started learning Python on my own. I feel blessed to have found my path early in my career. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? My most impactful experience was the network and friends I made throughout the four days I was in New York for MongoDB World. I also learned a lot about the power of MongoDB, as opposed to relational databases, which I often use in my projects. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? The MongoDB World conference was amazing and has inspired me a ton in my learning path. I definitely want to learn even more about MongoDB as a database, and in terms of a career path, I would love to intern at MongoDB as a software engineer down the line. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? My advice would be to network as much as you can and simply make cool projects that others can use. Evans Asuboah, Stetson University I am an international student from Ghana. I was born and raised by my dad, who is a cocoa farmer, and my mum, who is a teacher. I got into tech miraculously, because my country's educational system matches majors to students according to their final high school grades. Initially, I wanted to do medicine, but I was offered computer science. I realized that computer science could actually be the tool to help my community and also use the knowledge to help my dad on the farm. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? The breakout room sessions. As scholars, we had the chance to talk to MongoDB employees, and the knowledge and experiences changed my thoughts and increased my desire to persevere. I have learned never to stop learning and not to give up. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? Meeting these amazing people, connecting with the scholars, being at the workshops, and talking to the startups at the booths has made me realize the sky is the limit. I dare to dream and believe until I see the results. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? 1. Explore MongoDB; 2. You are the only one between you and your dream; 3. Take the initiative and meet people; 4. Never stop learning. Daniel Erbynn, Drexel University I love traveling and exploring new places. I am originally from Ghana, and I got the opportunity to participate in a summer program after high school called Project ISWEST, which introduced me to coding and computer science through building a pong game and building an Arduino circuit to program traffic lights. This made me excited about programming and the possibilities of solving problems in the tech space. What was your most impactful experience as part of the Diversity Scholarship? My most impactful experience was meeting with other students and professionals in the industry, learning from them, making lifelong connections, and getting the opportunity to learn about MongoDB through the MongoDB University courses. How has the MongoDB World conference inspired you in your learning or your career path? This conference has inspired me to learn more about MongoDB and seek more knowledge about cloud technology. What is your advice to colleagues pursuing STEM and/or on a similar path as you? Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you want to learn from, and create projects you are passionate about. Build your skills with MongoDB University's free courses and certifications . Join our developer community to stay up-to-date with the latest information and announcements.