A review of MongoDB, the Definitive Guide by Chodorow and Dirolf

MongoDB, the Definitive Guide

MongoDB, the Definitive Guide

MongoDB, the Definitive Guide, by Kristina Chodorow and Michael Dirolf, 2010. About 200 pages. (Here’s a link to the publisher’s site.)

This is a good introduction to MongoDB, mostly from the application developer’s point of view. After reading through this, I felt that I understood the concepts well, although I am not a MongoDB expert, so I can’t pretend to be a fact-checker. The topics are clearly and logically presented for the most part; there is a small amount of repetition in one of the appendixes, but I don’t mind that. The writing and editing is top-notch, as I’ve come to expect from O’Reilly.

Read this book if you want to learn what MongoDB is, what it does, and how to use it. Don’t expect that you will learn everything there is to know about topics such as administration and tuning, although it’ll be a good start. (The MongoDB documentation is an excellent reference to continue your education in those areas.)

You might be pleasantly surprised at the lack of hype in this book. It wasn’t written by wide-eyed fanboys, and it does mention the weaknesses of MongoDB, although it understandably doesn’t spend any time bashing MongoDB for having shortcomings. I think you’ll get a balanced view of the database’s strengths and weaknesses, certainly enough to make a responsible decision about whether it’s worth investigating more deeply.

To sum up, as I wrote to the authors, “Nice book. Very well written, very clear and objective.”

I'm Baron Schwartz, the founder and CEO of VividCortex. I am the author of High Performance MySQL and lots of open-source software for performance analysis, monitoring, and system administration. I contribute to various database communities such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, Redis and MongoDB. More about me.