MongoDB launches Stitch, a new backend as a service, and brings Atlas to Azure and GCP

MongoDB is hosting its annual developer conference in Chicago this week and no good developer conference would be complete without a few product launches. MongoDB used today’s keynotes to announce an update to its Atlas¬†managed database-as-a-service offering, which also now runs on Microsoft Azure and Google’s Cloud Platform, as well as two completely new products: Stitch, a new backend as a service (BaaS) tool that sits on top of the MongoDB database and helps developers stitch together different third-party services, and Mongo Charts, a new Tableau-like business intelligence service for charting information in MongoDB databases.

In many ways, Stitch marks MongoDB’s first foray outside its core database services. As MongoDB CTO and co-founder Eliot Horowitz told me, the team realized that most of MongoDB’s users now write applications that use a combination of third-party services. Stitch allows developers to connect to these external services and easily pull the data from their APIs into its eponymous database. Ideally, this means that developers don’t have to build their own security and privacy controls, for example, and that they can focus on building their applications instead of integrating their applications with these services.
Stitch is launching with pre-built integrations with Google, Facebook, AWS, Twilio, Slack, MailGun and PubNow, though as Horowitz stressed, it’s easy enough for developers to integrate Stitch with any other service that offers a REST API.

Stitch is now available in public beta for MongoDB Atlas users. Pricing is currently based on the amount of data transfer developers need. Once Stitch comes out of beta, all MongoDB users will be able to use it under a similar pricing model and the company also will offer an on-premises version.

Atlas, MongoDB’s cloud database as a service, is not getting any new features today, but the company is now making it possible for its users to deploy the service on the Google Cloud Platform ¬†(GCP) and on Azure. This has been a longtime coming, but until now, the company decided to focus its resources where most of its customers are: Amazon’s AWS platform. The service, which launched in June of last year, currently has “thousands of active users,” the company says. These users include the likes of eHarmony and Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Support for these two new platforms is a sign that the kind of companies that need a database product like MongoDB are now looking at alternative platforms and aren’t simply using AWS by default.

For MongoDB, adding support for Azure and GCP is only a first step in fulfilling its overall vision. The idea here is that, over time, users will be able to deploy a globally distributed database that is completely cloud-agnostic. The next (more near-term) step in this plan is to allow users to build databases that can span any region across any cloud.

In a bit of a surprise announcement, MongoDB also today previewed a new business intelligence (BI) tool: Mongo Charts. This sadly isn’t available yet, but a company spokesperson told us that it will be part of a larger refresh that’s coming in the fall. The idea here is to allow business users to easily construct graphs and dashboards based on the data they currently host in the MongoDB instances. Like similar tools, users will be able to interactively explore this data in real time.

Horowitz tells me that the company doesn’t have any plans to add support for other databases. Because of this, the service isn’t going to compete directly with the likes of Tableau or Microsoft’s Power BI, but for shops that rely heavily on MongoDB, Mongo Charts may just become the only tool they need.

As for pricing for Mongo Charts, Horowitz tells me the company hasn’t quite decided yet.