AWS provides open supply the center finger


AWS launched DocumentDB in the present day, a brand new database providing that’s appropriate with the MongoDB API. The corporate describes DocumentDB as a “quick, scalable, and extremely accessible doc database that’s designed to be appropriate together with your present MongoDB functions and instruments.” In impact, it’s a hosted drop-in substitute for MongoDB that doesn’t use any MongoDB code.

AWS argues that whereas MongoDB is nice at what it does, its clients have discovered it laborious to construct quick and extremely accessible functions on the open-source platform that may scale to a number of terabytes and lots of of 1000’s of reads and writes per second. So what the corporate did was construct its personal doc database, however made it appropriate with the Apache open supply MongoDB 3.6 API.

When you’ve been following the politics of open supply over the previous few months, you’ll perceive that the optics of this aren’t nice. It’s additionally no secret that AWS has lengthy been accused of taking the very best open-source initiatives and re-using and re-branding them with out all the time giving again to these communities.

The wrinkle right here is that MongoDB was one of many first firms that aimed to place a cease to this by re-licensing its open-source instruments beneath a brand new license that explicitly said that firms that needed to do that had to purchase a business license. Since then, others have adopted.

“Imitation is the sincerest type of flattery, so it’s not stunning that Amazon would attempt to capitalize on the recognition and momentum of MongoDB’s doc mannequin,” MongoDB CEO and president Dev Ittycheria informed us. “Nevertheless, builders are technically savvy sufficient to tell apart between the true factor and a poor imitation. MongoDB will proceed to outperform any impersonations available in the market.”

That’s a reasonably feisty remark. Final November, Ittycheria informed my colleague Ron Miller that he believed that AWS liked MongoDB as a result of it drives quite a lot of consumption. In that interview, he additionally famous that “clients have spent the final 5 years attempting to extricate themselves from one other massive vendor. The very last thing they need to do is replay the identical film.”

MongoDB co-founder and CTO Eliot Horowitz echoed this. “In an effort to give builders what they need, AWS has been pushed to supply an imitation MongoDB service that’s primarily based on the MongoDB code from two years in the past,” he mentioned. “Our total firm is concentrated on one factor — giving builders the easiest way to work with knowledge with the liberty to run anyplace. Our dedication to that single mission will proceed to distinguish the true MongoDB from any imitation merchandise that come alongside.”

An organization spokesperson for MongoDB additionally highlighted that the three.6 API that DocumentDB is appropriate with is now two years previous and misses a lot of the latest options, together with ACID transactions, world clusters and cell sync.

To be truthful, AWS has change into extra lively in open supply recently and, in a manner, it’s giving builders what they need (and never all builders are proud of MongoDB’s personal hosted service). Bypassing MongoDB’s licensing by going for API comparability, provided that AWS is aware of precisely why MongoDB did that, was all the time going to be a controversial transfer and gained’t endear the corporate to the open-source group.


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