MongoDB The Definitive Guide, 3rd Ed

Author: Shannon Bradshaw, Eoin Brazil and Kristina Chodorow
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 514
ISBN: 978-1491954461
Print: 1491954469
Kindle: B082J7DMBX
Audience: MongoDB developers and administrators
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Kay Ewbank

This popular book, regarded by many as the MongoDB bible, has been updated to reflect the changes to MongoDB 4.2. Is it as good as ever?

If you've not worked with MongoDB before, the approach it takes is very different to traditional transactional databases. It's document based, and the book begins with a section introducing MongoDB and its underlying principals, showing how to create, update and query documents within MongoDB. The new edition of the book has two new authors alongside the original, Kristina Chodorow, who worked on the MongoDB core for five years before joining Google. The new additions, Eoin Brazil and Shannon Bradshaw, work within MongoDB in the education side of the company. I suspect Chodorow hasn't had much to do with the new edition, but her enthusiastic approach is still apparent.



Part Two of the book shows how a developer can design a MongoDB application, with coverage of indexes, collection types, the aggregation framework, transactions and application design. As with previous editions, the book is code heavy, with plenty of JavaScript and the output it returns, which is useful but occupies a lot of space. The aggregation framework is probably the least familiar aspect of this for developers used to other databases.It's a set of analytical tools within MongoDB that you can use to carry out analytics on documents in one or more MongoDB collections. This is carried out using pipelines, which define how documents are passed through a number of stages.

The topic for part three of the book is replication. The authors cover setting up replica sets, the components that make up a set, and how to connect to a replica set from an application, as well as replica administration. Replicas can be tricky to work with successfully, so the detail is important, and this section seems to have been updated successfully to reflect the way modern MongoDB has changed.

The same is true of part four on sharding. This is an area that has changed more than most, and the old edition was no longer a reliable guide to MongoDB sharding. The updated section seems to have overcome this drawback, and returned to being a really good guide to a complex subject, with chapters introducing sharding, configuring shards, choosing a shard key, and sharding administration.

The final two sections of the book cover administration of applications and servers. The chapters in the application administration section show you how to see what your application is doing, MongoDB authentication and authorization, and durability. The aim is to show you how to know information such as the queries MongoDB is running, how much data is being written, and  what is MongoDB actually doing.

I began reading the new edition worried that the voice of the original author would have been watered down, but it still comes through strongly, and the updated material brings the coverage up to date to match the current version of MongoDB. I didn't try all the code by any means, but the subset I tried worked. This new edition seems a worthy successor to the previous editions.

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MongoDB the Definitive Guide


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Deep Learning: A Practitioner's Approach

Author: Josh Patterson and Adam Gibson
Publisher: O'Reilly
Pages: 536
ISBN: 978-1491914250
Print: 1491914254
Kindle: B074D5YF1D
Audience: Java engineers and practicing data scientists
Rating: 3
Reviewer: Mike James

AI is important and profitable, is this a good introduction?

Python Machine Learning, 3rd Ed

Authors: Sebastian Raschka and Vahid Mirjalili
Publisher: Packt
Date: December 2019
Pages: 770
ISBN: 978-1789955750
Print: 1789955750
Kindle: B07VBLX2W7
Audience: Python devs interested in ML
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Mike James
A new edition of a good book on ML is worth a close look.

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For recommendations of database books see Reading Your Way Into Big Data 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 April 2020 )