MongoDB Kingdom fails in 1 key area
Database company MongoDB (NASDAQ: MDB) Much of its growth is derived from Atlas, a cloud-based database service that frees developers from managing their own infrastructure. Atlas now accounts for about half of the company’s total revenue, and it is growing at a breakneck pace.
Realm, MongoDB’s mobile and web application development platform, represents a longer-term growth opportunity for the company. Realm is built around and requires Atlas, giving developers the ability to host static content, perform cloud backend functions that would normally reside in a server application, and easily sync data between Atlas and mobile devices. A developer can build their entire application on MongoDB Realm.
Some key features are missing
For a developer already using Atlas to support their application, adopting Realm makes a lot of sense. Realm manages user authentication and Atlas database access rules, allowing developers to integrate Atlas into their applications without much hassle.
The problem is, Realm doesn’t offer any alternatives in a big way. Consider a web application. Modern web development is complicated. Frameworks like React, built by Facebook, have facilitated the process of developing a web application. But any modern web application has to go through a build process to turn the source code into a set of optimized end files ready to be served to end users. Depending on the tools, frameworks and systems used by the developer, this build process can involve many steps.
Platforms like Netlify and DigitalOceanThe application platform manages this building automatically. A developer can push their code to a repository hosted on MicrosoftIt’s Github, and these platforms automatically extract the code, start a server, run the necessary build commands, download any third-party dependencies, and deploy the app.
The kingdom of MongoDB, on the other hand, does not make any buildings at all. Developers need to build their applications on their own machines and send the final set of files to Realm. If an application uses Realm’s cloud functions, all third-party dependencies must be manually uploaded to Realm. The process is not as simple as it could be.
The benefit of using Realm is first class access to MongoDB’s Atlas database. The downside is that the platform requires a few extra steps for an app to be up and running. Realm has many useful features, such as robust rules for determining how users access data stored in an Atlas database. But it’s not as easy to use as other platforms.
An opportunity for long-term growth
While Realm has a few flaws, MongoDB has the right idea. The value proposition is simple: instead of a developer needing to run cloud servers to run backend code and interface with Atlas on other cloud platforms, they can use Realm’s functionality to accomplish this. the same thing.
Atlas is not the only managed MongoDB database available. Cloud infrastructure provider DigitalOcean, for example, recently launched its own managed MongoDB database. By building products like Realm around Atlas, MongoDB can create its own managed database offering that is more attractive than the alternatives.
The database will continue to be MongoDB’s primary product and focus. Atlas will likely be MongoDB’s primary growth engine for the foreseeable future. But in the long run, the company can generate additional revenue and make Atlas more attractive by building an ecosystem around the cloud database. Despite its flaws, Realm represents a big step in this direction.
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