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What is MongoDB and Should You Use It?

People spend an unbelievable amount of time online. They browse websites, make purchasing decisions, search for consultants, and even ask for advice from strangers. With such easily accessible data, people prefer the anonymity and ease that accompanies the Internet. The increasingly advanced technology that surrounds the Internet has led to a collective desire to produce open source databases for every day users along with businesses, developers, and large-scale organizations.

What is MongoDB and Should You Use It?

These open source databases, also known as NoSQL databases, allow people to organize their data in a clear and concise manner. However, many NoSQL systems don’t do much else. That’s where MongoDB comes in and people are saying that it’s changing the way we work with data.

But what is MongoDB exactly?

MongoDB is an open source database that’s used like a management tool to more efficiently organize, sort, and oversee the large influx of data available on the web. It is considered one of the most powerful NoSQL databases and includes impressive scalability and flexibility without compromising integrated and helpful features. You can use MongoDB to query and index any document you need, making accessibility far easier than with other database system.

When you compare MongoDB to other database management tools, the underlying architecture is much different—it allows you to build your collections and store your documents in a more user friendly way. Rather than seeing information in defined columns and rows, MongoDB allows you to digitalize your information almost how you would store documents in physical containers. The different online storages are called collections. You can create multiple collections that include different documents adhering to a theme or just strewn randomly about. The key is increased organization with easier navigation.

Once you’ve created these collections, MongoDB has an integrated distribution system, which includes horizontal scaling, geographic distribution, and high availability—all of which are easy to use. You can analyze data quickly and easily, which wasn’t possible with other NoSQL databases.

The user has a lot of control when working on MongoDB, which is why people enjoy using it—especially growing businesses and web developers.

How to use MongoDB

Learning how to use MongoDB can be tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature. First you need to start up your MongoDB service, then you need to connect your data. Once you do this, you’ll be able to enter a number of commands to manipulate and define your information.

Some common commands include creating a database, searching current available databases, and selecting databases to query. You also have access to a number of CRUD commands that allow you to read, update, delete, and search through your current selections.

People enjoy using MongoDB because the configuration process is fast and can be used with a number of outside applications or on its own. For more specifics on how to use MongoDB, we recommend looking through forums or running a specific search. You can also find a great guide on their company website, here.

Why Use MongoDB

There are a number of reasons to choose MongoDB over other NoSQL database management systems, but the main reason is scalability. MongoDB keeps up with the ever-evolving business world and makes it painstakingly easy to find needed data and integrate it into a new or old project. Since it includes text search, it’s convenient when looking for specific parameters in documents and allows businesses to scale it without any downtime.

Some other benefits to using MongoDB include:

  • More thoroughly distributed data plans that allow increased scalability with less down time.
  • The ability to store massive amounts of data in an organized fashion that previously had no structure.
  • Faster, more flexible development plans and applications.
  • A more user-friendly and realistic data model that changes with your business.
  • Integrate popular cloud software, such as large scale computing and storage.
  • Reduced costs and increased global support systems.
  • Access to real time applications without the addition of over-the-top technology that causes lagging.
  • Stronger analytics features.
  • When using MongoDB, businesses report decreased costs, time being used more efficiently, and fewer problems due to the fewer risks than other NoSQL systems. It goes above and beyond what you’d imagine in a traditional database management system.

    However, as with everything, there is a time and a place to use MongoDB and a time to avoid it.

    When to Use MongoDB (and When Not to)

    So, if you’re asking yourself when to use MongDB, it’s important to first look at your business and what its application will be. You’ll need to decide what to do based on that information and that information only, and since every business is different, it’s a decision that you’ll have to make on your own—or with the help of a trusted professional.

    Businesses differ depending on their challenges, needs, and client base. Consider the following to help make an informed decision.

    1. What are your team’s skills and what tools are you currently using in your daily work?

      Depending on what your team is currently doing, you may not want to switch from your previous NoSQL database. If you have experts who have invested time and research regarding how to best manage your current system, a complete overhaul might be difficult to adapt to and may waste time. While MongoDB is quite easy to start, use, and continually manage, it still takes time to transition and many people live by the “don’t fix something if it’s not broken” mentality.

      If you’re a smaller company, it’s a good idea to make the switch. Using MongoDB can help free up resources elsewhere and will be fast for individual or small development teams to pick up.

    2. How is your network structured?

      Take a look at the current architecture of your infrastructure. Do rows and columns better suite your style or is MongoDB’s categorical organization more complimentary? Using MongoDB offers you a way to approach your data in a more hybrid manner.

    3. Do you need more information on where your data originates?

      Depending on your business, you may need to invest more time in finding out exactly where your data is coming from. Conversely, you might need to look for data from only one specific location. Regardless of your localization needs, MongoDB allows you to hone in on the details and create specific queries and inventories based on geography.

    4. What is your current security situation?

      If you work with extremely sensitive customer information and you don’t currently have strong security parameters in place, it’s probably time to make a change.

    5. Do you expect your incoming data to grow exponentially?

      Some NoSQL databases don’t let you scale data horizontally. While that’s not an issue with businesses that have less data, it gets troublesome when your database grows. You’ll start to need other tools and things may get complicated and messy. Since MongoDB offers scalable search features, it’s a good solution to exponentially growing data.

    If it doesn’t seem plausible to use MongoDB for your business, a relational database management system (RDBMS) might be better.

    In general, MongoDB is good for the following1:

    • Cataloging for Ecommerce products
    • Blogs or simple content management
    • High-speed logging, caching, and high scalability
    • Real-time analytics
    • Configuration management
    • Maintaining location-based data
    • Mobile and/or social networking sites
    • Evolving data requirements

    It’s not great for systems that are highly transactional or tightly coupled.1

    How to Install MongoDB

    Depending on whether you have a Mac or a PC, installation for MongoDB will be different. You’ll need to know which edition you’ll be installing, either Community or Enterprise, and then proceed forward in one of two ways according to the edition’s instructions. As with all installation processes, things will vary based on your computer’s software system and the current edition that you’re running on.

    Currently, MongoDB is only supported by the following platforms2:

    • x86_64
    • ARM64
    • PPC64LE
    • S390x

    Community can be run on Linux, macOS, and Windows while Enterprise can also be run on Docker.

    To help you get started and make sure that you’re installing the database correctly for your specific computer and platform, check out the comprehensive guide on MongoDB’s website. Each of the options will take you through step-by-step process on what you need to do to get MongoDB up and running.

    Final Thoughts

    MongoDB is a great resource that allows your team to easily organize, use, and enrich data regardless of where you are. It creates a seamless database that can be used anywhere through cloud integration, but sometimes it’s not the best option for your business. If you need help making a decision on which database is best for you, or are looking for help managing thing externally, don’t hesitate to get in contact with the professionals at Plego Technologies. We’re always here to help you with all of your web development and design needs and more. Visit our website or give us a call today.

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