Document DB News: Protocol support for MongoDB lands!


The DocumentDB team have been quiet of late, but that’s because the DocumentDB team have been working extremely hard on some new exciting developments, based on industry, customer and user feedback.

Let’s have a look at the biggest news: DocumentDB now has protocol support for MongoDB. From the industry perspective, this is great news. Mongo is one of the most easily-recognised NoSQLs databases. Now that DocumentDB can be a great supporting act for MongoDB, it means that architects have a broader range of tools to support business needs in the enterprise data architecture, whilst increasing business capability using the Azure cloud.

How does it work? Well, Microsoft have protocol support for MongoDB at the wire protocol level, which means that the existing MongoDB drivers will function against DocumentDB. For IT departments, it means that enterprises can persist data in DocumentDB behind the scenes. With it, it brings the reliability, stability and resilience of the Azure cloud. It also means that these technologies are accessible for small to medium enterprises in a way that they can afford, backed up with stability and support from Microsoft Azure that they may find difficult to service on their own.

How will it work in practice? If organisations have already written a MongoDB application, then they could put the data into the Azure DocumentDB data store because the APIs are supported. This means that the team haven’t created new APIs, but now they support existing ones so you can re-use what you already have and know.

Getting started

How does an organisation get started? If their applications use MongoDB to create, read, update and delete documents, as well as query over those documents, then they can leverage the same patterns and code to communicate with DocumentDB. At the time of writing, TTL support is on the radar to be rolled out in the near future. This means you can replay the documents held in DocumentDB, which is particularly useful in an R&D environment.  It is also extremely important in an Internet of Things environment where you need to see exactly what the devices recorded.

Pricing model

In a further step to meet the demands of small to medium enterprises, the pricing model for DocumentDB will be decoupled from throughput, although the throughput will still be reserved. Instead, it is moving towards a consumption model which is easier for people to understand. Furthermore, it also brings it in line with other Microsoft technologies.

Server-side sharding

Another feature that will please the technologists is server-side sharding for DocumentDB with the introduction of partitioned collections. Briefly, when the user creates a collection, there will be a partition collection which has a key. Based on this key, DocumentDB will automatically shard behind the scenes. This will make DocumentDB more accessible by increasing its user-friendliness; after all, it is a relatively new technology. This is particularly applicable in the Internet of Things scenario, where the organisation could be logging a lot of data in a very short period of time. The ability to conduct server-side sharding is critical to support these scenarios, and it is great news to see it happen for DocumentDB.

Great features for architects and developers alike

To summarise, DocumentDB have produced some great new features for architects and developers alike, with the needs of the organisation in mind. In particular, it’s great to see the applicability of the changes to organisations of different sizes: the small to medium ambitious and data-savvy business, as well as larger organisations. To learn more, head on over to Channel 9 to catch some great BUILD sessions on this topic.

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