MongoDB debuts new encryption tool and analytics features at MongoDB World

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MongoDB Inc. today introduced new features that will enable enterprises to query their data without decrypting it and carry out large-scale analytics projects more easily. 

The features were announced at the company’s annual MongoDB World conference.

Publicly traded MongoDB provides an open-source NoSQL database that is widely used among developers. The database has been downloaded more than 265 million times, while developers at north of 35,000 organizations use it to power applications.

Some of the product updates that MongoDB announced today are rolling out for its namesake open-source database. Other features will become available as part of MongoDB Atlas, a managed cloud version of the database. Atlas removes the need for customers to manage infrastructure and automates a number of other administrative tasks. 

“Our vision is to offer a developer data platform that provides a modern and elegant developer experience, enables broad support for a wide variety of use cases, and delivers the performance and scale needed to address the most demanding requirements,” said MongoDB Chief Executive Officer Dev Ittycheria.

Enhanced encryption

Companies keep the business information in their databases encrypted most of the time to ensure that hackers can’t read records in case they gain network access. However, records have to be decrypted when they’re queried by an application or a user. MongoDB is rolling out a new release of its open-source database, MongoDB 6.0, that it says makes it possible to query data without decrypting it.

MongoDB 6.0’s Queryable Encryption feature, as it’s known, doesn’t require specialized cryptography know-how to use. Queryable Encryption keeps records encrypted while they’re in a server’s memory. Information also remains encrypted while it travels through the server’s central processing unit, according to MongoDB.  

Cybersecurity researchers have long sought to develop a way of processing data without having to decrypt it. Some of the technologies that have been created to facilitate encrypted processing, such as fully homomorphic encryption, are impractical to use because they significantly slow down queries. MongoDB says Queryable Encryption facilitates speedy queries and doesn’t impact application performance. 

Streamlined data analytics

Another set of features introduced by MongoDB today focuses on helping companies carry out large-scale data analytics initiatives more easily. Some of the capabilities are rolling out for the MongoDB database, while others are part of the Atlas managed database service.

MongoDB 6.0 introduces a feature called Column Store Indexes that will speed up common analytical queries. The feature speeds up queries by creating an index, a collection of data shortcuts that makes it possible to find specific records in a database faster. Reducing the amount of time that it takes to find records enables the database to return results quicker.

For administrators, MongoDB is adding a feature that makes it easier to manage the hardware resources assigned to a MongoDB deployment. According to the company, the feature will help administrators avoid provisioning too little or too much infrastructure for a MongoDB deployment that is used to support analytics workloads.

Atlas, the managed version of MongoDB, is also receiving improved support for analytics workloads. A tool called Atlas Data Lake will provide managed cloud object storage to facilitate analytical queries. For business analysts, MongoDB is rolling out Atlas SQL Interface, a capability that makes it possible to query data using SQL syntax.

New use cases

MongoDB’s revenue grew 57% year-over-year, to $285.4 million, during the quarter ended April 30. As part of its revenue growth strategy, MongoDB has been adding support for more enterprise use cases, which helps expand its addressable market and unlock new sales opportunities. 

MongoDB 6.0 adds improved support for use cases that involve time series data. That’s the term for data used to describe a trend, such as how a server’s performance changes over the course of a week. Time series data is used for tracking the health of technology infrastructure, monitoring shifts in product demand and a range of other use cases that MongoDB can now support more effectively.

Website development is another use case on which MongoDB is increasing its focus. The company is upgrading its managed Atlas database service by adding an integration with Vercel, a popular website development tool. MongoDB says that the integration will save time for joint customers by automating certain manual configuration tasks.

For developers using Atlas to power mobile apps, MongoDB is adding the ability to sync data to and from the popular Realm mobile database. Meanwhile, companies that rely on Atlas to power the search features of their applications and websites are also receiving new features. The company is making it easier to let users filter search results by category, a feature that usually requires significant amounts of custom code to implement.

Simplifying large-scale deployments

Some MongoDB customers run multiple deployments of its database to support their applications. As part of the  product updates announced today, the company is adding a set of features to simplify such customers’ information technology operations. 

Cluster-to-Cluster Synchronization is a new tool that can automatically sync records between MongoDB databases to ensure they all have the latest version of a dataset. The tool can sync records across Atlas deployments, as well as MongoDB databases running in the cloud and on-premises.

Another new addition to the company’s feature set is Data Federation. Available as part of Atlas, the capability makes it possible to centrally run a query across multiple MongoDB deployments. Data Federation could simplify large-scale analytics projects that draw on information from multiple databases.

Photo: MongoDB

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