With Stitch Backend as a Service, MongoDB Aims at Simplifying Application Development

MongoDB has revealed a new backend-as-a-service (BaaS) initiative that aims to remove the drudgery app developers often face when writing new-gen apps. IDN looks at how Stitch makes it easier to consume services, tie them together, implement access control sand even manage data.

Tags: APIs, app development, BaaS, integration, MondoDB, orchestration, services, SOA, Stitch,

Engineers at MongoDB have revealed a new backend-as-a-service (BaaS) initiative to help developers more easily compose external services to build applications.


The MongoDB BaaS project, aka Stitch, emerges as more developers look to come to grips with demands of new models for application development, according to MongoDB officials. 


One notable profile that MongoDB staff call out as proving difficult comes as application and user interface logic continues to move into the front-end.  This often means the remaining backend is dominated by complex “plumbing” services, such as for handling the storing and retrieving of data, security, data privacy, or even composing and integrating an array of various services. 


In a recent post on the MongoDB blog, chief technical officer Eliot Horowitz commented on the developers’ challenge:

Unfortunately, each of [the] things [a modern application developer needs to do], until now, have required developers to create kloc upon kloc of the same time-draining, boilerplate code. Even when everything goes right with that code it's a drain on productivity, and when things go wrong, it becomes a liability ranging from costly to disastrous. All just to realize the promise of cloud computing and a service oriented architecture [SOA].

Enter the MongoDB BaaS initiative Stitch. 


Suitably named, Stitch aims to fill the gap between the nirvana vision of a perfect services-driven world (one that brims with flexibility and innovation for apps) and reality – and just how difficult it can be to design, build and integrate such services.  MongoDB’s Horowitz put it this way.

"In recent years we've gotten a tantalizing glimpse into a world where developers can spend all their time writing the code that distinguishes their applications. In this world, services become the building blocks of innovation, and the need to reimplement the same commodity components disappears completely. But the mere existence of services isn't enough, because there is still the drudgery of tying those services together, implementing tricky but essential access control, and of course managing data.”

Horowitz concludes that Stitch removes such barriers and gives developers the tools they need to build ground-breaking applications with less friction than ever before.


Key capabilities of MongoDB Stitch include:


Faster, higher-value application development - Developers can focus on the frontend application logic and user experience, creating higher-value, differentiated applications faster and with more of the features users need.


All the benefits of MongoDB - Unlike other backend offerings, MongoDB Stitch retains the full power and scalability of MongoDB - whether using your existing database or starting from scratch. Initially available with new or existing MongoDB Atlas clusters, MongoDB Stitch will expand to support any MongoDB database.


Security and privacy - Simplifies security and privacy through configurable data access controls and integration with authentication providers.


Flexibility - Presents a single API to the MongoDB database and the other services that modern applications depend on, without locking developers into services from a single vendor.


Simplified operations - Manages backend infrastructure and the lower layers of the application stack, with the MongoDB Atlas database service and the other service integrations handled by MongoDB Stitch.


Safely share existing MongoDB data with new apps - Safely exposes selected fields from an existing database to a new application. New apps can add additional data to the same database.


Scalable - Supports an application's capacity and performance needs as requirements grow. Get started for free, and then pay only for what is needed as business demands grow.


Benefits of MongoDB Stitch Can Outweigh Sum of Its Parts

As with many such projects, the benefits of MongoDB Stitch can outweigh the sum total of their discreet capabilities.  In this case, Horowitz explained how with MongoDB Stitch developers won’t have to compromise on how they access their data.


“MongoDB Stitch provides a uniform, document-centric API to database operations and service integrations, and powerful, flexible access controls,” he added. “With MongoDB Stitch, developers can focus on delivering rich user experiences and features rather than on operations or writing boilerplate code.”


This approach provides developers an easy way to “selectively expose” existing data to any new application, according to MongoDB’s documentation. It configures which existing MongoDB data fields new applications can read or write and provides an API for internal apps to safely access an operational database. Developers can even build admin-only pages with anonymized stats.


Further, MongoDB Stitch lets developers focus on value-add coding and less on boilerplate coding.  It provides developers with a simple way to handle routine tasks including working with their data, controlling data access, and orchestrating commonly used services - from authentication, through payments, messaging and more.


Developers can even choose from a number of pre-built integrations with popular services and messaging functionality from Google, Facebook, Amazon’s AWS, Twilio, Slack, MailGun and PubNub.


Developers can expose existing MongoDB data sets to new applications, or start with a greenfield backend deployment. MongoDB Stitch provides native SDKs for JavaScript, iOS, and Android. Additional cloud or microservices can be added easily using the Stitch HTTP service, giving developers flexibility they need,” Horowitz added.


MongoDB Stitch is initially available with the cloud database service MongoDB Atlas. For more information readers can visit www.mongodb.com/cloud/stitch.