A Beginner’s Guide to MongoDB Features

MongoDB is a free and open-source NoSQL database system that utilises a document-oriented data model. This database system has been widely acclaimed for its comprehensive query language and rapid data access. Rather than utilising the traditional table-and-row structure, MongoDB stores data as collections of documents, which it keeps track of with the C++ programming language. This makes it easy for developers to access and manipulate data as needed.

MongoDB’s History

In 2007, entrepreneurs Kevin Ryan, Dwight Merriman, and Eliot Horowitz founded 10gen with the goal of developing an open-source platform as a service to compete with existing products such as Heroku, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and Google App Engine. With this product, 10gen sought to provide an alternative to the existing solutions and open up the market to a wider variety of users.

Later that year, the 10gen team created MongoDB, an advanced document-oriented NoSQL database technology.

What is the MongoDB database architecture?

MongoDB stores data in the form of documents, composed of key-value pairs referred to as fields. Every document contains an _id field that serves as a unique identifier, and may contain a variety of other fields as well.

A collection in MongoDB is a group of documents. MongoDB, unlike traditional databases, stores a large amount of data in a single collection.

Here are a few more MongoDB features:

Simple to use

MongoDB is renowned for its simplicity, with its primary focus on documents. Unlike Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) which rely on the row concept to store data, MongoDB utilises the document concept. A document is a single record which can contain complex, hierarchical relationships. This makes MongoDB exceptionally versatile, as it does not necessitate a pre-defined schema, allowing users to easily add or remove fields from documents.

Designed to be smaller

Scalability is a common MongoDB feature that greatly benefits developers. There are two common methods for scaling databases:

  • Scale up – Replace the current server with a larger, more resource-rich server equipped with faster CPUs and RAM.
  • Scale down – Add more servers to the current server.

MongoDB is designed with scalability in mind. Developers can leverage various features of MongoDB to facilitate the distribution of data across multiple servers. Moreover, MongoDB provides load balancing across the cluster, enabling data to be redistributed as needed and ensuring that any updates are automatically routed to the appropriate servers.

A lot of features

MongoDB provides developers with the ability to perform basic database operations such as insertion, updating, deletion, and selection of data. Additionally, MongoDB offers several additional features that make it a powerful database management system. These features include replication, sharding, flexible data models, ad-hoc queries, aggregation and indexing, and server-side JavaScript execution. Through the use of these features, MongoDB is able to provide developers with high performance, scalability, and reliability.

  • Indexing
  • Aggregation
  • Collection and index type specifications
  • Storage of files

Outstanding performance

MongoDB has excellent performance because its primary function is to create full-featured databases that are scalable, flexible, and fast.

Why are developers drawn to MongoDB?

  1. Speed

    MongoDB is renowned for its lightning-fast performance due to its utilisation of BSON (Binary JSON) documents to store data. This allows for a much faster rate of calculation and encourages data denormalization by duplicating data where necessary, further increasing its efficiency.
  2. Flexibility

    Unlike Structured Query Language (SQL) databases, MongoDB collections are not bound by a specific data structure, a feature referred to as being “schemaless”. This is advantageous in the prototyping stage of a project, when the organisation of data may still be in flux. The lack of a set schema allows for greater flexibility in data management.
  3. Infrastructure

    MongoDB provides stability and reliability by keeping multiple copies of the database. This double redundancy guarantees that data is quickly accessible, even if the host system experiences a failure. Additionally, the ability to replicate the database across multiple machines in multiple locations increases the horizontal scalability of the database.

What are the primary features of MongoDB?

  1. JSON

    JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a structured collection of fields and values.
  2. BSON

    BSON is a serialisation of JSON-like documents that is binary-coded.
  3. Documents

    MongoDB stores data in the form of BSON documents. A document in MongoDB is a collection of field-and-value pairs.
  4. Collections

    MongoDB organises documents into collections. A collection is a collection of documents.
  5. Databases

    MongoDB is a database that stores collections.
  6. Namespace

    A namespace is established when a database name is associated with a database collection. This process allows developers to clearly identify collections, making it easier to work with them. For example, if the collection name is ‘books’ and the database name is ‘bookdb’, the namespace of the ‘books’ collection would be ‘bookdb.books’.

MongoDB vs. RDBMS

Additionally, there are several related terms which have been coined differently in both databases. For example, in MongoDB, what is referred to as a Table in Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) is known as a Collection. In MongoDB, a Tuple is a Document, and a Column is a Field. Despite these similarities, there are several distinctions between the two. Some of these distinctions include:

  • MongoDB is schemaless and document-oriented, whereas RDBMS has a traditional schema design that shows the number of tables and their relationships.
  • MongoDB’s document structure is both versatile and scalable. RDBMS, on the other hand, is very strict.
  • Because of effective indexing, MongoDB is faster than RDBMS.
  • MongoDB employs a default ‘_id,’ a 12-byte hexadecimal integer that ensures the uniqueness of each document, whereas RDBMS does not.

In the following scenarios, developers prefer MongoDB over RDBMS:

  1. If developers need to store a large amount of data in tables, the MongoDB framework includes a built-in partitioning and sharding solution.
  2. Inserting a new column into a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) can be a complex process; in contrast, MongoDB does not require a schema. Because of this, it is relatively straightforward to add a new field to MongoDB, without impacting existing documents.

MongoDB provides language support.

MongoDB is officially compatible with an extensive selection of programming languages, including Perl, PHP, Python, C, C++, Rust, C#, Java, Ruby on Rails, Scala, Go, Erlang, and numerous others. This broad range of language compatibility ensures that developers and businesses can choose the best language for their projects.

How do I set up MongoDB?

  • Select your operating system from https://www.mongodb.org/downloads.
  • Further instructions vary depending on the operating system you select. However, all steps are simple and require little effort.

Which companies use MongoDB?

MongoDB features are heavily used by major companies such as EA, Cisco, Shutterfly, Adobe, Ericsson, Craigslist, eBay, and Foursquare.

Quick Recap

MongoDB is renowned for its many features, which make it a fast and reliable database. It is one of the most widely used databases for the development of web-based applications that need the storage of unstructured data. Its scalability is one of its most lauded traits, making it an ideal choice for enterprises looking to expand their storage capabilities.

So, if you want to create a clustered application with fast performance, you should think about MongoDB.

Most importantly, experienced software developers will be required to design and develop a good application.

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