MongoDB

Photo by Marcus Löfvenberg on Unsplash
Photo by Marcus Löfvenberg on Unsplash

MongoDB is a free and open-source cross-platform document-oriented database program. Classified as a NoSQL database program, MongoDB uses JSON-like documents with schemas. MongoDB is developed by MongoDB Inc., and is published under a combination of the GNU Affero General Public License and the Apache License.

The software company began developing MongoDB in 2007 as a component of a planned platform as a service product. In 2009, the company shifted to an open source development model, with the company offering commercial support and other services. In 2013, 10gen changed its name to MongoDB Inc.

On October 20, 2017, MongoDB became a publicly-traded company, listed on NASDAQ as MDB with an IPO price of $24 per share.

Main features

Ad hoc queries

MongoDB supports field, range queries, regular expression searches.[8] Queries can return specific fields of documents and also include user-defined JavaScript functions. Queries can also be configured to return a random sample of results of a given size.

Indexing

Fields in a MongoDB document can be indexed with primary and secondary indices.

Replication

MongoDB provides high availability with replica sets.[9] A replica set consists of two or more copies of the data. Each replica set member may act in the role of primary or secondary replica at any time. All writes and reads are done on the primary replica by default. Secondary replicas maintain a copy of the data of the primary using built-in replication. When a primary replica fails, the replica set automatically conducts an election process to determine which secondary should become the primary. Secondaries can optionally serve read operations, but that data is only eventually consistent by default.

Load balancing[10]

MongoDB scales horizontally using sharding. The user chooses a shard key, which determines how the data in a collection will be distributed. The data is split into ranges (based on the shard key) and distributed across multiple shards. (A shard is a master with one or more slaves.). Alternatively, the shard key can be hashed to map to a shard – enabling an even data distribution.

MongoDB can run over multiple servers, balancing the load or duplicating data to keep the system up and running in case of hardware failure.

File storage

MongoDB can be used as a file system with load balancing and data replication features over multiple machines for storing files.

This function, called grid file system,[11] is included with MongoDB drivers. MongoDB exposes functions for file manipulation and content to developers. GridFS is used in plugins for Nginx[12] and lighttpd.[13] GridFS divides a file into parts, or chunks, and stores each of those chunks as a separate document.[14]

Aggregation

MapReduce can be used for batch processing of data and aggregation operations.

The aggregation framework enables users to obtain the kind of results for which the SQL GROUP BY clause is used. Aggregation operators can be strung together to form a pipeline – analogous to Unix pipes. The aggregation framework includes the $lookup operator which can join documents from multiple documents, as well as statistical operators such as standard deviation.

Server-side JavaScript execution

JavaScript can be used in queries, aggregation functions (such as MapReduce), and sent directly to the database to be executed.

Capped collections

MongoDB supports fixed-size collections called capped collections. This type of collection maintains insertion order and, once the specified size has been reached, behaves like a circular queue.

Transactions

The current stable release does not support transactions, but transactions are scheduled to be available in a new major release.[15]

About the author

WCD

Karen Freeman-Smith lives near Portland, OR with her partner, two grown children (in and out of the basement), and a cat named Shiva. Karen maintains two personal websites as well as several topical websites about: Programming, Web Development, Foreign Languages, International Students, Fiction Writing, and Typing.
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