To learn what document database platforms are, we must first briefly dive into their origin – cloud database platforms. Although cloud computing had already begun its early form in the 1960s through Joseph Licklider, its modern form as we know it started in 2002 with Amazon Web Services. This cloud database platform continues to run today and remains one of the top solutions in the industry.
As more real use cases have risen, we move into the document database. It’s essentially used by developers to keep query data in a database that is easily sorted and more accessible. This should not be confused with other suites that make use of cloud databases for data storage, such as Microsoft Office 365. To further understand what this is and how you can use them, let’s dive into three of the most popular document database platforms and their usage.
What Document Database Platforms Do
A document database stores and queries data, usually in JSON or JSON-like document formats, in a non-relational way. This means it does away with rows and columns you can see in the likes of Excel or Google Sheets to sort data in a more optimized way per platform.
This is not necessarily for visual purposes, as general users may be more accustomed and have an easier time sifting through data in tables. What makes it more efficient for online platforms and cloud databases is that it performs faster.
Because tables are forgone, information can be found faster and is not reliant on a relational system. So, if you have data that is frequently updated or changed, a document database will be able to accomplish queries more efficiently. It’s essentially like picking out a needle in a haystack accurately each time versus going through every stack manually.
Cataloging information with different attributes and content management are some of the most common cases where a DDP works best. This growing trend only sees a bigger future as the digital space produces more data, with Dataversity noting total volume to hit 180 zettabytes by 2025. In turn, 75 percent of databases have already been migrated to the cloud.
Document Database Platforms and How to Use Them
There are different platforms out there that deal with various storage types and environments.
MongoDB is one of the most popular and easy-to-understand NoSQL document database platforms, so it’s worth learning about its functionality as a base point. Aside from accessibility, what makes it a popular option is the flexibility and scalability it offers.
It is open-source, schema-free, and offers horizontal scaling. This means you can easily migrate or integrate big chunks of data without any prior architecture. It also means you can make use of multi-cloud applications as you expand. For full-stack developers and web applications, this is truly helpful. In fact, it has seen active use cases from eBay for metadata storage and merchandise categorization and EA Games for FIFA Online 3 for player data management.
Another database platform that is commonly used is Cloud Firestore, which is an offshoot of Google Firebase. This is a cloud database that is generally used in tandem with MEAN and MERN to create dynamic applications for mobile development. It is pretty comprehensive, although it does not distribute nodes globally. This means it is best used for region-specific apps that don’t have an international user base, such as the Korean caregiver service app Caredoc.
So, the main operations you can do in a DDP like MongoDB are to create documents with identifiers, read existing documents via queries, update documents, and delete them. Because they are horizontally scaled and don’t need to have the same field per collection, you can store different types of data as needed.
By simply inputting your data with the right syntax, you can add and manage data with ease using a document database platform. This way, you can use it for a variety of web functions like product data, inventory, analytics, and content management. While DDPs aren’t the only way to manage data efficiently, they are growing in use across industries because of their productivity and flexibility.