MongoHQ, a startup that takes care of a company’s database management so developers don’t have to, is changing its name to Compose and is rolling out support for Elasticsearch — the open source search tool that’s great for indexing — so it is no longer, strictly speaking, a MongoDB shop.
Although the company’s founders had always planned to support multiple databases as part of its database-as-a-platform service, it wasn’t until October of last year that the company got serious into expanding beyond MongoDB, said Compose co-founder and CEO Kurt Mackey.
One of the reasons the company wanted to move away from MongoDB exclusivity was because the founders believe that no one database can serve every need, explained Mackey. Although MongoDB may be a great as an application’s primary data store as it’s easy for developers to code against and provides a decent way to store data, it may not be the best choice when a company needs to do complex analyses. In this case, an organization might be better off using other database technologies like HBase or Cassandra, said Mackey; it all depends on the situation at hand.
“A lot of what we do is make developers’ lives easy,” said Mackey. “We autoscale people as their data grows.”
The San Mateo-based startup’s ultimate goal is to help companies that may not know a lot about databases choose the right one (or more) that fits for them, and based on talks the startup’s team has had with its customers, they believe that Elasticsearch is the best bet for growing organizations whose data has accumulated to the point in which it needs better indexing capabilities.
With Elasticsearch, it should be possible for companies to build better search that’s akin to Google’s Advanced Search interface, which is quick to retrieve search results even though the system doesn’t know what fields or modifiers a user might impose on its search query ahead of time.
The startup chose the name Compose because it pertains to the notion of composition in functional programming, which basically means that one can take two different functions and combine them to solve a new problem. With regards to MongoDB and Elasticsearch, Mackey said Compose is “Solving problems that neither of their creators had in mind.”
Compose eventually wants to branch into supporting other databases, but Mackey said there is no set time as to when it will do so.
The 26-employee startup counts Target, eBay and Symantec as customers.
Post and thumbnail images courtesy of Shutterstock user Mopic.