When it rains, it pours. Right on the heels of being named DB-Engines' 2013 Database of the Year and Linux Journal's Best NoSQL Database, InfoWorld has given MongoDB its 2014 Technology of the Year award, alongside Amazon Web Services and GitHub, among others. More than just point solutions to finite business problems, InfoWorld's list includes technologies that "point the way to the data centers, clouds, and applications of tomorrow. They’re the innovations that are changing the way we work and do business," as Doug Dineley, executive editor of InfoWorld’s Test Center, declares.
Sometimes innovation is about lower costs. For example, one of the biggest advantages Hadoop brings is enabling data analytics on commodity hardware, as opposed to the expensive, proprietary solutions of yesterday. The real value of Linux, in its early years, was arguably less about product innovation and more a matter of helping enterprises transition away from expensive UNIX servers.
MongoDB enables a different type of innovation. Yes, MongoDB is dramatically less expensive than licensing and running a proprietary relational database. But that's not what has made it the fastest-growing, most popular non-relational database (by a wide, wide margin). Instead, MongoDB is popular because it reinvents data management, enabling developers to write a new breed of application that is impossible, or exceptionally difficult, with a relational database.
Part of this is a matter of simplifying data schema:
And part of it is allowing the developer to focus on her application (pictured as a car in the graphic below), and not the unnecessary overhead of object relational mapping and upkeep on a rigid, relational schema:
But the overall value is about enabling and enobling developers, giving them power to get work done for the line of business tasked with new marketing initiatives, optimizing business processes and more. Ultimately, then, MongoDB has won InfoWorld's 2014 Technology of the Year award because it brings innovation back to the data management market, something that has been sorely lacking for a long time.