[In this blog I refer to 'we' - I want to acknowledge the help and guidance I received from my colleague and all-around smart person, Mike Leone, in pulling this together. I, however, take full responsibility for the puns!]
OK, so you know how sometimes you read supposed big news from a vendor and you wonder where the “meat” is? Well, the reverse can be true too; Oracle’s subdued news this week that it has an Oracle Database API for Mongo DB is just such a thing. Without much fanfare - here’s the technical blog we saw – Oracle was in fact doing something pretty meaty (certainly for MongoDB users), definitely newsworthy, and highly strategic.
It’s a play that we shall call the “Najort Horse” method; unlike a Trojan Horse approach where you send in the deceptive equine and then attack your foe, in the Najort version you just open your house to them, welcome them in and embrace them! Now maybe (!!) it’s love with an agenda, but hey, it’s often better to be a lover than a fighter.
So, what’s actually happened? We’ll keep this brief and high-level as you can go to that Oracle blog we referenced and its associated links for all the nitty gritty:
- What Was: MongoDB is a leader in NoSQL databases, so how could Oracle significantly ramp up use of its Autonomous JSON Database without making the transition from MongoDB to Oracle really easy? It has had processes in place to help developers migrate, but they were clunky, missing some features and/or lagging behind. (AKA a standard vendor war of attrition).
- What Is: Now Oracle has its MongoDB API for Autonomous Database (ADB), which makes it both easy and seamless to transition from MongoDB. (AKA, the vendor Najort Horse).
- What Can Be: The direct competitive mapping of MongoDB to Oracle is the Autonomous JSON Database. This new MongoDB API from Oracle enables customers to lift and shift their MongoDB applications to Oracle without any pain or hiccups, and barely any effort. And by so doing, customers gain all the operational benefits that Oracle’s eponymous ADB has to offer (just for example, there’s instant scale, excellent resiliency and security, management efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and so on). But wait, there’s more…
- What Oracle Wants & Expects: Once a workload is migrated to the Autonomous JSON Database (where users can use the MongoDB API seamlessly without changing anything), the biggest value prop that Oracle wants to emphasize – and wants its “Najort guests” to experience – is gaining access to the breadth and depth of everything that ADB has to offer from a solution standpoint. In other words, it’s great that you can query the Autonomous JSON Database the same way that you did MongoDB, but more importantly, you can do a bunch of cool stuff you couldn’t before, like querying the JSON database with SQL as if it were relational, or utilizing a REST API, or data visualization, or spatial analysis.
- And Also: Pretty soon, some clever Oracle customers are going to realize that they can add the MongoDB API access to their existing "relational" applications. Not only can they run SQL on JSON documents, but they can also run the MongoDB API on relational tables. The trick is seamlessly projecting JSON documents to relational tables and vice versa with the same data...without replicating or duplicating the data (aka no ETL is needed). Which means of course that MongoDB developers can tap into Oracle's enterprise data and tools. The Najort Horse comes full circle!
As we said, we think this is newsworthy. Aside from the specifics of this actual announcement, it’s also significant inasmuch as it shows the “new Oracle” (OK, it’s been “new” for a while, but we all know it takes time to make a second impression!) is continuing one of the strongest and broadest embrace-everything-convergence stories in the industry. Moreover (and perhaps extending the same “play nice” thought), users can try – and use – this for free, so there’s every motivation to pop over to Chez-Oracle for a drink and appetizer and see what you think! The transformative value of more access and flexibility for users’ data is clear, and that’s why we’re blogging about this. There are significant end-user benefits here for sure, starting with the ability to perform SQL queries on MongoDB document collections. Plus, MongoDB developers can get faster and more productive application development with immediate access to a database that delivers autonomous capabilities and multi-model support. But before you think we drank too much Kool-Aid at the Najhort open house, this is of course not simply out of the goodness of Oracle’s heart – it believes those MongoDB users that are exposed to ADB will stay and flourish as Oracle customers. That’s where the Trojan and Najort approaches meet…it’s different means to try for the same ends.