Shares of MongoDB Inc (MDB) dropped as Inc.  (AMZN) revealed its launch of a new cloud service that is compatible with MongoDB’s products — but which MongoDB claims has “shortcomings.”

MongoDB closed down 13.6% on the news in trading on Thursday, Jan. 10.

Amazon’s new DocumentDB is billed as a fast and “scalable” document database service that supports MongoDB workloads, allowing developers to use the same MongoDB application code, drivers, and tools.

MongoDB makes Atlas, its own “managed” cloud database product that’s already available on Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Corp.’s  (MSFT) Azure and Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL) Google Cloud Platform.

But DocumentDB was far from a collaboration between Amazon and MongoDB, which had only heard “rumors” about its launch prior to Wednesday night, said a company spokesperson.

Atlas is a large source of revenue for MongoDB.

“This is a testament to the popularity of MongoDB,” said Mark Wheeler, a director of communications for MongoDB, “but, that said, it is an imitation service, it’s not MongoDB.”

MongoDB Atlas is the easiest way to run MongoDB, he said. “MongoDB handles all the operational and administrative lift for the customer — it’s the easiest way to run MongoDB.”

Amazon, however, claimed it will let customers move MongoDB databases to its service with “virtually no downtime” in a pay-what-you-use scheme.

The company is also promoting its product as an easier way to build up — or scale — for Amazon cloud users who work with MongoDB’s document database to store, retrieve, and manage data.

“It’s a bit early to see what the impact will be,” said Gartner analyst Sanjeev Mohan, who covers the technology, about the new Amazon offering and MongoDB. “We’ll just see how this plays out.”

Mohan said it may take weeks or months to see what unfolds.

But Amazon was yesterday pushing its new product’s advantages for MongoDB users.

“Customers like using the MongoDB Application Programming Interface,” said Amazon in a statement. But, it said, “they often only take advantage of a fraction” of its functionality and are “struggling to get the performance, scalability, and availability their growing applications need over time.”

“While other companies have taken the same emulation approach we have to providing a MongoDB compatible service, nobody has built the unique, distributed, fault-tolerant, highly scalable, self-healing storage system that AWS has to work seamlessly with MongoDB,” said Shawn Bice, a vice president at Amazon Web Services, in a statement. 

MongoDB, however, said it doesn’t believe the hype over the new competing product.

“We have run testing and it shows that DocumentDB has the same shortcomings in functionality as similar imitation products that have been on the market for years, and those have not slowed the growth of MongoDB,” said Wheeler.

“In short: we’re confident that MongoDB Atlas will continue to outperform any imitators on the market and believe this could raise awareness to new customers…We think it might drive away people (from Amazon) to MongoDB.”


This story has been updated, including with new stock information, and information. Two quotes from Wheeler were also provided context about running Atlas on MongoDB and competition with Amazon.

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