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What is MongoDB: Introduction, Data Types and Applications

In this blog post, we can look into what MongoDB is, different datatypes, advantages, and applications of MongoDB.

What is MongoDB?

MongoDB is a powerful, highly scalable, free and open-source NoSQL based database.

MongoDB was initially released on 11th of February, 2009 and now it has achieved the position of the leading NoSQL database.

MongoDB provides a highly scalable database and it is currently being used as the backend data store of many well-known organizations like IBM, Twitter, Zendesk, Forbes, Facebook, Google, etc.

It has also caught the eyes of the open-source community and a lot of developers work on various open-source projects based on MongoDB.

It is a fast and reliable database that is one of the recommended databases in designing scalable web applications that require the storage of unstructured data.

If we are designing an application where we need high availability, clustering, and fast performance, then we must consider using MongoDB as our application’s backend database.

MongoDB is a document-based data store which means that it stores the information in unstructured format as compared to structured tables like in MySQL or PostgreSQL.

This means that the data stored in MongoDB is “schema-less”.

Therefore, MongoDB provides a fast and scalable data storage service which makes it a popular choice in the performance-critical application.

Moreover, the fact that MongoDB has been written in C++ makes it even faster as compared to a lot of other databases.

MongoDB should not be used in applications that require table joins simply because it doesn’t support joins (like in SQL).

This is attributed to the fact that the data stored in MongoDB is not structured and therefore, performing joins is a highly time-consuming process that may lead to slow performance.

Advantages of MongoDB

 The main advantage of MongoDB is that it stores data in the form of a document instead of using database tables.

Because of this there is no need to introduce joins for multiple database tables and retrieving data from the database becomes easier and fast.

Some other advantages of MongoDB include

  1. Clustering
  2. Support for secondary indices
  3. Caching
  4. Greater feature set

1. Clustering

MongoDB allows sharding of data across the nodes in a cluster so as to ensure that there is no single-point-of-failure in the database server.

Sharding is the process of distributing data across multiple hosts.

In MongoDB, sharding is achieved by splitting large data sets into small data sets across multiple MongoDB instances.

MongoDB architecture diagram image

2. Support for Secondary Indices

MongoDB allows for not just a primary index but also for a secondary index which is important in many applications.

3. Caching

MongoDB caches a lot of data so as to allow faster retrieval of the query results.

4. Greater Feature Set

There are various features provided by MongoDB such as ad-hoc queries, indexing, replication, load balancing, file storage, aggregation, server-side JavaScript execution, capped collections etc., make it a very user-friendly database.

MongoDB Data Types

MongoDB supports many data types. Some of them are:

  1. String: String is the most commonly used datatype to store the data. It is used to store words or text. String in MongoDB must be UTF-8 valid.
  2. Integer: This data type is used to store a numerical value. Integer can be 32-bit or 64-bit depending upon the server.
  3. Boolean: This data type is used to store a Boolean (true/ false) value.
  4. Float: This data type is used to store floating point values.
  5. Min/Max keys: This data type is used to compare a value against the lowest and highest BSON elements.
  6. Arrays: This data type is used to store arrays or list or multiple values into one key
  7. Timestamp: This data type is used to store the data and time at which a particular event occurred. For example, recording when a document has been modified or added
  8. Object: This datatype is used for embedded documents
  9. Null: This data type is used to store a Null value.
  10. Symbol: This datatype is used identically to a string; however, it’s generally reserved for languages that use a specific symbol type
  11. Date: This datatype is used to store the current date or time in UNIX time format. We can specify our own date time by creating an object of Date and passing day, month, year into it.
  12. Object ID: This datatype is used to store the document’s ID
  13. Binary data: This datatype is used to store binary data.
  14. Code: This datatype is used to store JavaScript code into the document.
  15. Regular expression: This datatype is used to store regular expressions.

MongoDB Applications

1. Web Applications

MongoDB is widely used across various web applications as the primary data store.

One of the most popular web development stacks, the MEAN stack employs MongoDB as the data store (MEAN stands for MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and NodeJS).

2. Big Data

MongoDB also provides the ability to handle big data.

Big Data refers to massive data that is fast-changing, can be quickly accessed and highly available for addressing needs efficiently.

So, it can be used in applications where Big Data is needed. 

3. Demographic and Biometric Data

MongoDB is one of the biggest biometrics databases in the world. It is used to store a massive amount of demographic and biometric data.

For example, India’s Unique Identification project, Aadhar is using MongoDB as its database to store a massive amount of demographic and biometric data of more than 1.2 billion Indians.

4. Synchronization

MongoDB can easily handle complicated things that need synchronization with each other entirely.

So, it is mainly used in gaming applications. An example gaming application developed using MongoDB as a database is “EA”.

EA is a world-famous gaming studio that is using MongoDB Database for its game called FIFA Online 3.

5. Ecommerce

For e-commerce websites and product data management and solutions, we can use MongoDB to store information because it has a flexible schema well suited for the job.

They can also determine the pattern to handle interactions between user’s shopping carts and inventory using “Inventory Management.”

 MongoDB also has a report called “Category Hierarchy,” which will describe the techniques to do interaction with category hierarchies in MongoDB.


Considering the above applications in which MongoDB is used, we can surely say that MongoDB is one of the best databases available to us.

Also, the wide varieties of data types provided by MongoDB ensures that we can store data of any type in the database.

Moreover, the advantages of MongoDB mentioned above makes it an important database compared to other databases.

If you want to develop web or mobile applications powered by MongoDB then get in touch with our experts at Perfomatix.

Perfomatix | Product Engineering Services Company