Oracle Adds MongoDB API Support and Advocates Converged Database Value
When a giant in the $40 billion database industry cares enough about a technology to create its own application programming interface, that’s an indication that the technology has legitimate appeal.
This was validation from NoSQL document database vendor MongoDB received in early February when Oracle Corp. announced the availability of the Oracle Database API for MongoDB. Companies will now be able to take advantage of the Oracle Autonomous Database without having to rework the MongoDB environment.
“The MongoDB API is now the next step in giving developers this advanced programming interface they love and use,” said Gerald Venzl (pictured), Distinguished Product Manager at Oracle. “This is the continuation of the converged database story. It brings together the many features of single-purpose databases that people love and use together in one technology so that everyone can benefit.
Venzl spoke with Dave Vellante, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s live streaming studio, in a recent exclusive interview. They discussed the latest announcement, use cases for Oracle’s Autonomous Database, the merits of SQL and NoSQL in the enterprise, and the future expansion of Converged Database.
SQL queries for JSON data
The new API gives Oracle users the ability to run MongoDB data applications on Oracle’s Autonomous JSON database and the company’s Autonomous Database cloud service. The MongoDB API will enable SQL queries for JSON data.
The addition of Oracle’s API also allows MongoDB applications to connect to an online transaction processing database, or OLTP relational database applications to access MongoDB-based data.
“It’s a database cloud service on Oracle Cloud where it lets you do anything,” Venzl said. “You can start as a document store if you want; if you want to write sql queries on top of it, you can do that.
Oracle’s latest move should be welcomed by a number of developers. MongoDB is ranked as the fifth most popular database platform, consistently ranked at the top of NoSQL options.
A key ingredient in Oracle’s announcement is the API’s link to the cloud-based Autonomous Database. Developers want automation and in-database access to various enterprise features, such as analytics or machine learning, without having to rework database applications to achieve them. Oracle’s cloud services framework provides a way to take advantage of the functionality provided by a cross-platform, document-oriented database program such as MongoDB.
“We strongly believe that Autonomous Database is the next generation of cloud services with all the self-driving features built in,” Venzl said. “No developer likes to tweak the database. With cloud services, the reason developers choose them is because they don’t have to manage them.”
Rise of NoSQL
It’s been well over 40 years since structured query language became the industry standard in the database world, but not everything fits in the rows and columns. The subsequent rise of NoSQL, which has flexible schemas for applications with large amounts of data, helped fuel the growth of MongoDB. The company added more than 2,000 customers in its third quarter alone last year.
Oracle’s view of the SQL versus NoSQL landscape is one in which there are many opportunities for both. Despite NoSQL’s popularity for unstructured data, SQL isn’t going away anytime soon. Even MongoDB introduced SQL compatibility for its aggregation pipeline, Venzl noted.
“SQL has always been in demand; we don’t think it’s ever going to go away,” Venzl said. “We had the same discussion in the 2000s with XML and databases and the same discussion in the 90s with object databases. We have frankly all forgotten it.
Oracle is not the first to offer a MongoDB compatible API. Amazon DocumentDB is a fully managed database service for running MongoDB workloads. Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB offers a NoSQL database service backed by APIs for MongoDB and Cassandra.
The differentiator from other vendors is that Oracle has integrated the MongoDB API into its multimodal converged framework, according to Venzl. This means Oracle Autonomous Database can drive MongoDB applications and data across the enterprise using familiar tools and schemas. XML, graphics, spatial, and JSON document data can all be managed in the core Oracle database engine.
“With the others, you don’t get any of the benefits of a converged database,” Venzl said. “If you ever want to create a different data model, run analytics, you still have to use many other services. In Oracle, whatever format of data you want to store in the database, you can take advantage of all database functionality on this data format without compromise.
As an example, Venzl cited an anonymous customer, “one of the largest logistics companies on the planet”, which tracked every package shipped in a JSON document. This company wanted to know where to intervene when a shipment got stuck in transit. So the company migrated to Oracle and rewrote applications to accommodate this use case.
This is apparently one of many migration stories Oracle has had as it positions itself as the cloud platform that can support the entire enterprise. It’s no secret that customers have a lot of data in many different formats, and Oracle is building a big tent to accommodate anyone looking to get the most out of business-critical information.
“What we see from a majority of our customers is that there is no one data model for everything,” Venzl said. “All of these models were built for different purposes. They have all this data in different data formats. They want to bring it all together, analyze it together, get value from the data together. »
Here is the full video interview, one of many CUBE conversations from SiliconANGLE and theCUBE: