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MongoDB unveils Atlas for Retail, Partner Ecosystem Catalog

The database vendor is making industry verticalization a significant part of its product roadmap to help customers in various industries develop applications that meet their needs.

MongoDB unveiled MongoDB Atlas for Retail, a new industry-specific set of programs and partnerships tailored to enable retail enterprises to better develop relevant data products on the vendor's database platform.

In addition, MongoDB introduced the MongoDB Partner Ecosystem Catalog to provide customers with access to the vendor's network of partners and the many data products those partners offer.

Atlas is MongoDB's developer platform. Atlas for Retail and the Partner Ecosystem Catalog were revealed on Nov. 7 during MongoDB.local Paris, an in-person event for customers in France.

Based in New York City, MongoDB is a database vendor with a NoSQL database that provides an alternative to traditional relational databases.

Relational databases, which were first developed in the 1970s, are sometimes overwhelmed by the volume and complexity of modern data. As a result, alternatives such as graph databases and document-based databases have been developed.

Graph databases such as Neo4j and TigerGraph discover relationships between data points to speed data discovery while document-based databases including MongoDB Atlas and Couchbase provide tools designed to work with large sets of distributed data.

New capabilities

Many data management and analytics vendors have made industry-specific versions of their platforms a significant part of their product offerings.

The tailored versions are essentially accelerators, coming with prebuilt features that enable new customers to get started faster than they could with a general-purpose platform.

For example, SAS has long offered versions of its analytics tools geared toward customers in industries from agriculture to telecommunication, transportation and utilities. Recently, rivals Databricks and Snowflake have recognized the benefits of industry verticalization and released a spate of industry-specific versions of their platforms.

Now MongoDB is doing something similar with Atlas for Industries, which the vendor unveiled in June.

In the sense that MongoDB is offering industry-specific features, the vendor is not unique, according to Stephen Catanzano, an analyst at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group.

"Most competitors are talking about industry-specific solutions," he said.

However, rather than develop industry-specific versions of its database to accelerate developing data products, the vendor is instead cultivating relevant programs and partnerships along with technology to accelerate and inform what developers can do with MongoDB Atlas.

That different approach makes Atlas for Retail and the other Atlas for Industries programs a bit unique, according to Catanzano.

Since June, MongoDB has unveiled Atlas for Financial Services, Atlas for Insurance, Atlas for Healthcare, Atlas for Manufacturing and Automotive, Atlas for Telecommunications, Atlas for Media and Atlas for Public Sector.

"Atlas for Retail is an innovator to both educate retail enterprises and provide solutions to help enable them," Catanzano said. "It's a good vertical use case approach for this distributed network."

But while different, MongoDB's approach is not necessarily better, he continued.

"It's a good positioning, but [MongoDB] doesn't show how it will make things better compared to any competitors," Catanzano said. "It's just a solution announcement."

Doug Henschen, an analyst at Constellation Research, similarly noted that industry-specific capabilities aren't a new idea but that MongoDB's Atlas for Industries takes a different approach by including partnerships.

"Vertical industry solutions from tech vendors are commonplace," he said. "The new wrinkle is calling them 'industry clouds' and getting more partners involved. It's a way to get closer to what organizations need for specific industry use cases, such as [improving] sales appeal and presumably speeding time to value."

Among the features and services included in Atlas for Retail are the following:

  • Atlas for the Edge, which enables retail enterprises to deploy applications where their data is generated, including mobile devices and on-premises servers in retail locations.
  • Optimization for different retail use cases including content personalization, inventory management, supply chain management with AI, and sustainability.
  • Training that includes tailored MongoDB University courses.
  • Engagement with MongoDB's professional services team to develop applications that meet organizations' specific needs.
  • Access to relevant technology partnerships and innovation workshops with MongoDB experts and industry experts from the vendor's Partner Ecosystem to conceptualize and develop customer-specific applications.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of Atlas for Retail is its inclusion of Atlas for the Edge, according to Catanzano.

The feature enables users to work with data where it's created and is part of an emphasis among many data management vendors to let customers access and analyze data as early as possible in the data pipeline to fuel real-time decisions.

Atlas for Retail is an innovator to both educate retail enterprises and provide solutions to help enable them. It's a good vertical use case approach for this distributed network.
Stephen CatanzanoAnalyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

"Many are pushing toward getting more data from the edge," Catanzano said. "[That includes] Snowflake and Databricks but also other database companies. Data insights from the edge is becoming increasingly important. It's not just about enabling the edge but about getting the data and integrating it for decision making."

Industry verticalization, meanwhile, is a core part of the MongoDB Atlas roadmap, according to a MongoDB spokesperson.

Every industry has its own unique challenges and regulations, so one of MongoDB's goals is to help users develop data products that fit their individual needs, the spokesperson continued. For example, in retail, challenges include seasonal traffic surges and dips that make it essential to scale up and scale down cloud-based tools to avoid overspending.

In addition to Atlas for Retail, MongoDB is now offering a Partner Ecosystem Catalog in a move aimed at helping customers find both data products developed by MongoDB users and partners as well as discover potential partners of their own to develop data products.

MongoDB currently has more than 1,000 partners, according to the vendor.

Future plans

Beyond industry verticalization, generative AI is a focal point of MongoDB's roadmap, according to the vendor.

In June, MongoDB unveiled an integration with Google's large language model suite. In September, the vendor unveiled both natural language processing and vector search capabilities.

On Nov. 6, MongoDB revealed a collaboration with AWS to optimize AI-powered coding assistant Amazon CodeWhisperer to provide suggestions for application development, including generative AI, on MongoDB.

Catanzano, meanwhile, said MongoDB's focus on industry verticalization is a smart strategy. He noted that Oracle is, perhaps, the database vendor with the most comprehensive suite of industry-specific tools, and others are wise to follow suit.

"I do like [MongoDB's] industry-specific approach," Catanzano said.

Eric Avidon is a senior news writer for TechTarget Editorial and a journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He covers analytics and data management.

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