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MongoDB 6.0 set to bring analytics to NoSQL database

The vendor plans to update its database technology with new capabilities including queryable encryption and columnstore index to accelerate data analytics queries.

MongoDB is set to update its namesake database, along with its Atlas cloud service, with new capabilities the vendor introduced on Tuesday at its MongoDB World 2022 conference in New York City. 

The new MongoDB 6.0 database is set for general availability in July, the vendor said.

MongoDB is a NoSQL document database that has expanded in recent years beyond its document database roots. With the MongoDB 5.0 update introduced in 2021, the database vendor added time series data support and more on the platform in subsequent point releases including MongoDB 5.3, introduced in April.

With the upcoming MongoDB 6.0 update, time series data gets a performance boost to read data faster.

The new version will also include a queryable encryption feature that will enable users to search encrypted data.

MongoDB will also provide a preview in MongoDB 6.0 for a columnstore index for data analytics applications. The columnstore capability will be a preview in the initial 6.0 release and is set for general availability by the end of the year.

Beyond the core MongoDB 6.0 update, the vendor will also update its Atlas cloud database service with a new SQL interface as well as data federation capabilities to more easily connect different data sources.

While it has been able to carve out its own niche among developers, MongoDB faces competition from a number of different directions. AWS has its own MongoDB-compatible database called DocumentDB. Oracle also now provides MongoDB API support for its Autonomous Database service.

"MongoDB has done a spectacular job of capturing the developer community, which serves as a kind of unpaid indirect sales channel due to their enthusiasm for the product," said IDC analyst Carl Olofson.

MongoDB has done a spectacular job of capturing the developer community, which serves as a kind of unpaid indirect sales channel due to their enthusiasm for the product.
Carl OlofsonAnalyst, IDC

"One step they have not fully taken is to uplevel the message to appeal to the C-suite and other business managers in the enterprise, thereby moving from a tactical product used in many application development projects to a strategic product that fills a key role in enterprise data management," he added.

MongoDB 6.0 boosts database security

Being able to query encrypted data is typically difficult, as the data is not in a format that can easily be searched.

To address that challenge, while still protecting privacy, MongoDB quietly acquired a startup called Aroki Systems in 2021, for an undisclosed sum. Before the acquisition, MongoDB had helped Aroki build a capability known as client-side field level encryption that was first available in MongoDB 4.2 in 2019.

Queryable encryption enables users to encrypt data to protect private information, while still allowing authorized users to search and query the data.

Screenshot of MongoDB 6.0 queryable encryption feature
MongoDB 6.0 will include a queryable encryption feature that aims to enable users to query encrypted data in an approach that still preserves privacy.

Columnstore coming for analytics acceleration

A growing trend for database vendors is the convergence of transactional and analytical capabilities. Forrester refers to the technology as a translytical data platform, while IDC calls it analytics transaction processing. Among the database vendors merging transactional and analytics capabilities are Oracle with its MySQL Heatwave database and Google and its AlloyDB PostgreSQL cloud database.

MongoDB will soon join the list, as it will add a columnstore indexing capability to accelerate data analytics. The columnstore index optimizes complex queries for aggregating different sets of data uses for an analytics query, said Sahir Azam, chief product officer at MongoDB.

"This feature really allows live operational data to be analytically used in an application in real time, so it just broadens the types of apps that can be built on our platform," Azam said.

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