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MongoDB Unveils Its Own Backend-as-a-Service

MongoDB, the popular open source, document-oriented, NoSQL database, has unveiled its own Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS), promising to relieve data developers from the drudgery of writing boilerplate code.

MongoDB Stitch was announced yesterday at MongoDB Inc.'s MongoDB World conference, with the goal of letting developers concentrate on app logic and UIs rather than operations or complex back-ends.

For right now, Stitch is available as a public beta release targeting only the MongoDB Atlas hosted database service on the Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) cloud (though Atlas itself just started to support other cloud platforms as of today). While it only works with Atlas clusters initially, Stitch will expand to support any MongoDB database in the future.

Stitch comes with native SDKs for JavaScript, iOS and Android to help developers manage the back-end plumbing that supports data-based apps with functionality such as storage and retrieval of data, control of data access, security, data privacy, and integration with and composing of various services such as authentication, payments, messaging and so on.

MongoDB noted that modern data-driven application development is shifting more app and UI logic to the front-end -- with code for accessing the database and other public or internal services residing on the server -- and said Stitch is especially suitable for such projects,

In a blog post just published today, company CTO Eliot Horowitz listed the three things above all else that a modern application developer needs to do, and how Stitch helps them with those tasks:

  • Support CRUD operations with data. Stitch does this with a REST API to MongoDB, letting client code interact directly with the databases.
  • Specify access control rules on their data. Stitch provides a configuration-based access control system, providing a flexible and powerful way to express precisely which users can perform what operations on what data.
  • Connect services together, and to their application, whether they are third-party services providing commodity functionality or proprietary microservices. Stitch provides uniform, document-centric mechanism to connect services with custom application code.

"And that's it," Horowitz said. "MongoDB Stitch can be used alongside existing code or to stand up brand-new applications. Applications can do all the standard CRUD against MongoDB, but with complete assurance that clients can only access data to the exact extent to which they’re supposed to.

"Developers can compose services with MongoDB data operations into pipelines, meaning text messages routed from Twilio can become documents that can flow to MongoDB where they can be stored and continue on to S3 to be served via http. And none of it requires glue code beyond the bare minimum required to name and connect the services."

As MongoDB is open source, with a repository on GitHub, Horowitz supplied the code for his MongoDB World introduction of Stitch in his own GitHub project.

Stitch comes with a free tier that the company said should cover most development, test and QA environments, while regular pricing is based on the amount of data that gets transferred to front-end applications, at $1 per GB. During the beta program, however, the first 25 GB per month is free, with the company reserving the right to change the limit for the free tier after Stitch becomes generally available.

More information is available in the Stitch documentation, which includes a series of tutorials covering JavaScript and Android app development.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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