We released another round of UI beautification for MMS on September 9th, and we wanted to make sure our customers knew about all of the changes:
- An overhaul of the settings page. This is now named “Administration” and has tabs within it for billing, API keys, personal settings, group settings, user administration, and more. Billing has also been moved from the backup tab to this tab, along with invoice history.
- The Billing and Payment History page itself received a UI refresh as well.
- A new agent widget, located in the top right hand corner, will give tips about the status of all the agents along with a shortcut to their logs.
- The Monitoring Icon was renamed to “Deployment”, and a “Servers” icon was added. Clicking the servers icon will show all the information we currently have about the servers hosting your MongoDB deployment.
We also added a new alert - customers who are backing up a sharded cluster can now be notified if that cluster does not have a MongoS.
Both the monitoring agent and backup agent received fixes and new functionality for authentication using MongoDB 2.4 style client certificates. See the release notes for the agents here for more details.
MyDealerLot Transforms Car Dealership Customer Service with MongoDB
MyDealerLot (MDL), the country’s leading provider of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies for the retail automotive market, uses MongoDB to power its cloud-based applications. The retail automotive industry has shifted: instead of making money on the front end of the sale, dealers now get paid varying percentages from the manufacturer based on results of Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) scores. No longer is it sufficient to simply sell a car; today, financial benefit hinges on the customer experience. Greater customer satisfaction translates directly to dollars. MDL captures RFID data in real-time and stores it in MongoDB to show the precise location of every car as it moves through the dealership. By immediately associating the customer with data related to service, inventory, equity and in the future, dealers are able to instantly recognize customers as they pull into the lot and take advantage of new upsell opportunities. Some of the most recognized Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and BMW dealerships across the country use MDL to drive highly personalized customer service. These dealerships generally report an average of 10-15% increase in sales, reduced time for guest check-in and reduced vehicle pickup time by 60% or more. As a result, they benefited from an immediate boost in CSI scores, which is helping them capitalize on increased retention, sales and profits. With MongoDB, MDL has cut development time from weeks to mere days. “Some of our developers have said that for the first time, everything makes sense since they’re not trying to cram an idea into a structure that doesn’t fit,” said David Strickland, CTO, MDL. “I’ve never had so much fun in my life; using Twitter Bootstrap, Knockout.js and MongoDB is like programming at hypersonic speed. Everybody’s excited because we’ve embraced an innovative way of developing that is really good for business.” MongoDB sharding makes it easy for MDL to handle hardware load balancing geographically, while MongoDB’s performance and availability ensure a great customer experience. MDL can now deliver sub-second updates to tens of thousands of users, and will store terabytes of data by 2015. MongoDB’s performance also allows MDL to conduct real-time motion studies, such as how long it takes a car to go from car wash to delivery, or analyzing the impact of whether the customer scheduled an appointment on CSI scores. Are you a startup with a big vision? Learn more about how we can help you build applications never possible before and get a preview of our expertise in scaling by joining us for our upcoming webinars: How to Achieve Scale with MongoDB (Sept 18) Sharding Methods for MongoDB (Sept 25)
MACH Aligned for Retail: Cloud-Native SaaS
MongoDB is an active member of the MACH Alliance , a non-profit cooperation of technology companies fostering the adoption of composable architecture principles promoting agility and innovation. Each letter in the MACH acronym corresponds to a different concept that should be leveraged when modernizing heritage solutions and creating brand-new experiences. MACH stands for Microservices, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS, and Headless. In previous articles in this series, we explored the importance of Microservices and the API-first approach. Here, we will focus on the third principle championed by the alliance: Cloud-native SaaS. Let’s dive in. What is cloud-native SaaS? Cloud-native SaaS solutions are vendor-managed applications developed in and for the cloud, and leveraging all the capabilities the cloud has to offer, such as fully managed hosting, built-in security, auto-scaling, cross-regional deployment, automatic updates, built-in analytics, and more. Why is cloud-native SaaS important for retail? Retailers are pressed to transform their digital offerings to meet rapidly shifting consumer needs and remain competitive. Traditionally, this means establishing areas of improvement for your systems and instructing your development teams to refactor components to introduce new capabilities (e.g., analytics engines for personalization or mobile app support) or to streamline architectures to make them easier to maintain (e.g., moving from monolith to microservices). These approaches can yield good results but require a substantial investment in time, budget, and internal technical knowledge to implement. Now, retailers have an alternative tool at their disposal: Cloud-native SaaS applications. These solutions are readily available off-the-shelf and require minimal configuration and development effort. Adopting them as part of your technology stack can accelerate the transformation and time to market of new features, while not requiring specific in-house technical expertise. Many cloud-native SaaS solutions focused on retail use cases are available (see Figure 1), including Vue Storefront , which provides a front-end presentation layer for ecommerce, and Amplience , which enables retailers to customize their digital experiences. Figure 1: Some MACH Alliance members providing retail solutions. At the same time, in-house development should not be totally discarded, and you should aim to strike the right balance between the two options based on your objectives. Figure 2 shows pros and cons of the two approaches: Figure 2: Pros and cons of cloud-native SaaS and in-house approaches. MongoDB is a great fit for cloud-native SaaS applications MongoDB’s product suite is cloud-native by design and is a great fit if your organization is adopting this principle, whether you prefer to run your database on-premises, leveraging MongoDB Community and Enterprise Advanced , or as SaaS with MongoDB Atlas . MongoDB Atlas, our developer data platform, is particularly suitable in this context. It supports the three major cloud providers (AWS, GCP, Azure) and leverages the cloud platforms’ features to achieve cloud-native principles and design: Auto-deployment & auto-healing: DB clusters are provisioned, set up, and healed automatically, reducing operational and DBA efforts. Automatically scalable: Built-in auto-scaling capabilities enable the database RAM, CPU, and storage to scale up or down depending on traffic and data volume. A MongoDB Serverless instance allows abstracting the infrastructure even further, by paying only for the resources you need. Globally distributed: The global nature of the retail industry requires data to be efficiently distributed to ensure high availability and compliance with data privacy regulations, such as GDPR , while implementing strict privacy controls. MongoDB Atlas leverages the flexibility of the cloud with its replica set architecture and multi-cloud support, meaning that data can be easily distributed to meet complex requirements Secure from the start: Network isolation, encryption, and granular auditing capabilities ensure data is only accessible to authorized individuals, thereby maintaining confidentiality. Always up to date: Security patches and minor upgrades are performed automatically with no intervention required from your team. Major releases can be integrated effortlessly, without modifying the underlying OS or working with package files. Monitorable and reliable: MongoDB Atlas distributes a set of utilities that provides real-time reporting of database activities to monitor and improve slow queries, visualize data traffic, and more. Backups are also fully managed, ensuring data integrity. Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) increasingly rely on capabilities like these to build cloud-native SaaS applications addressing retail use cases. For example, Commercetools offers a fully managed ecommerce platform underpinned by MongoDB Atlas (see Figure 3). Their end-to-end solution provides retailers with the tools to transform their ecommerce capabilities in a matter of days, instead of building a solution in-house. Commercetools is also a MACH Alliance member, fully embracing composable architecture paradigms explored in this series. Adopting Commercetools as your ecommerce platform of choice lets you automatically scale your ecommerce as traffic increases, and it integrates with many third-party systems, ranging from payment platforms to front-end solutions. Additionally, its headless nature and strong API layer allow your front-end to be adapted based on your brands, currencies, and geographies. Commercetools runs on and natively ingests data from MongoDB. Leveraging MongoDB for your other home-grown applications means that you can standardize your data estate, while taking advantage of the many capabilities that the MongoDB data platform has to offer. The same principles can be applied to other SaaS solutions running on MongoDB. Figure 3: MongoDB Atlas and Commercetools capabilities. Find out more about the MongoDB partnership with Commercetools . Learn how Commercetools enabled Audi to integrate its in-car commerce solution and adapt it to 26 countries . MongoDB supports your home-grown applications MongoDB offers a powerful developer data platform, providing the tools to leverage composable architecture patterns and build differentiating experiences in-house. The same benefits of MongoDB’s cloud-native architecture explored earlier are also applicable in this context and are leveraged by many retailers globally, such as Conrad Electronics, running their B2B ecommerce platform on MongoDB Atlas . Summary Cloud-native principles are an essential component of modern systems and applications. They support ISVs in developing powerful SaaS applications and can be leveraged to build proprietary systems in-house. In both scenarios, MongoDB is strongly positioned to deliver on the cloud-native capabilities that should be expected from a modern data platform. Stay tuned for our final blog of this series on Headless and check out our previous blogs on Microservices and API-first .