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MongoDB podcast: Portals portend future uses

The Talking Data podcast goes to MongoDB World and sees enterprise uses for the NoSQL database, including a look at what payroll company ADP does with MongoDB.

While database improvements were prominent at this year's MongoDB conference in New York, the event also provided something of a showcase for enterprise uses of the NoSQL database. In this Talking Data MongoDB World 2015 podcast, we review some of those uses and find common threads among them.

Even though MongoDB is most closely associated with large-scale, Web-style applications, at the conference it wasn't hard to find well-established enterprises that use MongoDB.

Its use can often start outside the confines of IT -- some developers have even begun their MongoDB journey by downloading the free open-source version of the software and launching prototype projects after hours. In some cases, central data departments end up finding wider uses for MongoDB.

A year ago, we saw financial giant Citigroup describe the MongoDB experience in such terms, as covered in a podcast and a feature story that comprised our MongoDB World 2014 conference coverage. It wasn't an isolated experience.

This year we encountered ADP, the payroll specialist. Ilene Holterhoff, senior director for enterprise applications at the company, led a presentation on adopting MongoDB for a new ADP portal for customer relationship management (CRM). There were similarities to the MongoDB use that Citigroup described last year. But the similarities go much deeper than the fact that both case studies included portals and CRM.

In each case, people were working with varied sorts of data. But their existing systems seemed to be tapped out in terms of cost, capacity or agility. The ADP deployment highlighted at MongoDB World 2015 centered on mainframe systems to which the company wished to attach a modern CRM system. In effect, the ADP CRM system discussed in the podcast replicates the mainframe data views on a MongoDB system that runs on Node.JS and is programmed by Web developers using JavaScript.

You could say what ADP executed was a restaged version of several mainframe databases -- replicated in MongoDB. This is a far cry from MongoDB's first uses, but one data managers will be watching with interest. Certainly, the long-term prospects of MongoDB and other NoSQL databases will be judged by feature improvements for enterprises. They can be expected to gain such enhancements in months and years to come. But case studies like ADP's and Citigroup's will be part of the equation as well, as decisions are made about new data platforms.

Jack Vaughan is SearchDataManagement's news and site editor. Email him at [email protected], and follow us on Twitter: @sDataManagement.

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