With the newly released Sitecore 9.0, I started thinking about the overall direction of Sitecore through a data lens. The biggest announcement was around Sitecore xConnect™, a framework of APIs and services that allows users to integrate customer interaction data collected by Sitecore with customer data from almost any third-party system or channel.
To get a great overview, check out Jason Wilkerson’s blog: Introducing xConnect for Sitecore 9.
xConnect Brings Exciting Possibilities for Personalized User Experiences
xConnect promises amazing flexibility in aggregating disparate customer data into Sitecore xDB. This is very exciting for companies hoping to develop very personalized experiences extending far beyond traditional web interaction data.
Consider all of that deep legacy customer data that already exists. Add in data from external sources plus IoT data from customer experiences and you’ve got a world of possibility.
SQL and xConnect
In Sitecore 9, the default data provider for the Collections database in xDB is now SQL Server 2016, not MongoDB. This leads to a lot of questions. What will this do to performance? How much will this cost? So far, there are not a lot of answers. Because of this lack of clarity, we expect most companies to wait and see what happens with upcoming minor releases.
Given the capabilities of xConnect, what’s Mongo’s role in Sitecore 9? The short answer is that MongoDB will still be supported (in the next minor release after 9.0).
MongoDB’s strengths are in its performance and flexibility. These strengths have made MongoDB a great fit for the Sitecore xDB implementation. Historically, the challenges for SQL have been cost and lack of flexibility. In the short term, I believe that MongoDB has its place with Sitecore xDB implementations. In the longer term, it will probably be a mix. Some Sitecore users will stick with MongoDB because of its performance and reliability. Other Sitecore users will opt for SQL due to the types of data they are leveraging or ease of deployment.
All That Data
With all the data that companies are continuing to collect from customer profiles, from IoT, and even from screenless browsing, it will be interesting to see which databases prove to be most effective for storing and working with the data that’s collected.
It’s exciting that xConnect will provide Sitecore users the flexibility to use the tool that makes the most sense for their implementation. In addition to SQL and MongoDB, Sitecore will be adding another supported NoSQL storage option with CosmosDB in a future release.
xDB Made Easy
Running xDB at scale can be challenging. Our team of database experts support hundreds of Sitecore xDB implementations leveraging MongoDB. We excel at helping our customers focus on creating amazing interactions with their customers using Sitecore without worrying about data management. We offer consultations to help get you get the most from your Sitecore implementation. Get started today.