AWS showed open source middle finger

Original author: Frederic Lardinois
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From the translator: it seems to me that the title is slightly inaccurate and in fact the middle finger was shown to the guys from MongoDB, which is now not very open source .

Today, Amazon AWS launched a product DocumentDB - a new database that is compatible with the API MongoDB. The company describes DocumentDB as “fast, scalable, and fault-tolerant document database designed to be compatible with your existing MongoDB applications and tools.” In fact, this is a complete MongoDB replacement deployed in AWS that does not use MongoDB code.

AWS says that while MongoDB does an excellent job with its tasks, it’s still difficult for their customers to create fast and highly available applications on an open source platform that can scale up to several terabytes and hundreds of thousands of read and write operations per second. Therefore, the company created its own document database, but made it compatible with the MongoDB 3.6 API, distributed under the Apache 2.0 license.

If you have followed the policies and news around open source in the past few months, you will realize that not everyone is excited about them. It's also no secret that AWS has long been accused of taking the best open source projects, and reusing them and rebranding them, not paying tribute to these communities.

The problem is that MongoDB was one of the first companies that sought to put an end to this by re-licensing their open source tools under a new license, which explicitly stated that companies wishing to do so should buy a commercial license. Others followed their example.

“Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, so it’s not surprising that Amazon will try to capitalize on the popularity and momentum of the MongoDB document model,” said Dev CEO of MongoDB, Dev Ittiheria. “However, the developers are technically savvy enough to distinguish between the real thing and the poor imitation. MongoDB will continue to outperform any substitution in the market. ”

This is a pretty annoying comment. Last November, Ittiheria told my colleague Ron Miller that he believes that AWS loves MongoDB because it consumes a lot of energy. In this interview, he also noted that “over the past five years, buyers have been trying to get out of another major supplier. The last thing they want to do is repeat it again. ”

MongoDB co-founder and technical director Eliot Horowitz responded to this. “To give developers what they want, AWS had to offer a MongoDB imitation based on the MongoDB code two years ago,” he said. “Our entire company is focused on one thing - to provide developers with the best way to work with data, allowing them to work anywhere. Our commitment to this sole mission will continue to distinguish the real MongoDB from any imitation products. ”

A MongoDB representative also stressed that API 3.6, with which DocumentDB is compatible, is already two years old and lacks most of the latest features, including ACID transactions, global clusters, and mobile synchronization.

Honestly, recently AWS has become more active in the field of open source and, in a sense, gives developers what they want (and not all developers are satisfied with their own MongoDB hosted server). Bypassing MongoDB licensing by mapping the API, given that AWS knows exactly why MongoDB did it (changed the license), has always been a controversial step, and it does not lead the company to the Open Source community.

Little consequences

Shares of MongoDB open source database management system developer (DBMS) fell 10% after Amazon introduced its direct competitor, the DocumentDB cloud service.

At the opening of trading on the New York Stock Exchange Nasdaq at 17:30 Moscow time on January 10, the value of MongoDB shares decreased by 10.5%, to $ 77.47. Later, they managed to play a little drop. At the preliminary session, the drop reached 14%. In 2018, MongoDB shares rose 200%, reminds CNBC.

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