mongodb 7 challenges second level banner
Synchronization, offline capabilities, and security for mobile and edge applications

Top 4 mobile challenges with MongoDB Realm and how Couchbase solves them

Challenge 1: Flexible deployment options

MongoDB Realm does not allow data storage and sync for the data center of your choice.

MongoDB Realm

MongoDB Realm sync is cloud centric and relies on network connectivity, which presents an unpredictable point of failure. Its reliance on the MongoDB Atlas backend-as-a-service (BaaS) platform to support mobile data sync service means that you can’t deploy the solution on premises, in private data centers, or in distributed cloud environments. This severely limits your options for meeting high availability and responsiveness requirements.


Couchbase has a flexible platform that supports a variety of advanced topologies for complex edge-to-cloud hierarchies. These include peer-to-peer as well as multi-tier cloud-to-edge topologies.
You can deploy a robust sync solution anywhere you need it – on premises or hosted on any private or public cloud.
Couchbase is cloud native, so you can use cloud tools such as the Couchbase Autonomous Operator for Kubernetes to easily deploy and manage your servers on the cloud or at the edge.

Challenge 2:
Robust, secure, resilient data sync

MongoDB Realm's mobile sync offering is limited and restrictive.

MongoDB Realm

The MongoDB Realm mobile database is an object-oriented database that requires a schema to model the data and relationships. As a result, database migrations are costly. The MongoDB Realm sync solution is also limited in its capabilities. The use of predefined partition keys to determine realm membership imposes several restrictions because a document can exist in only one partition. Subsequent changes to the partition key require disabling and re-enabling Realm Sync, which in turn can trigger a reset on all clients. Data conflict resolution is basic and offers no support for custom conflict resolution.


Couchbase Lite is a NoSQL JSON document store with no schema and no data migration requirements. This vastly reduces the complexity of app. This is especially important as the data model evolves with evolution of the app.


Couchbase’s sync solution offers a great deal of flexibility. You can choose to sync data on demand or in real time subject to network availability. And you can use built-in delta sync technology to sync only parts of a document that have changed. Couchbase’s concept of channels for data partitioning is very flexible and document membership to channels can be dynamic. Conflict resolution is automatic, with enhanced support for custom conflict resolvers.


Challenge 3:
Comprehensive mobile and edge platform support

MongoDB Realm offers limited support for non-mobile and embedded edge platforms.

MongoDB Realm

MongoDB Realm database is focused on mobile (Android, iOS, and React Native), and it offers limited support for non-mobile platforms – support for .NET was in beta until recently. This limits the range of applications it can support.


Couchbase platform support is far more comprehensive and includes native support for iOS, Android, .NET (Desktop, UWP, and Xamarin), and Java. Developers can build cross-platform native plugins on top of our native API layer. The Couchbase Lite C API, currently available as a labs project, can be deployed on embedded platforms, thus enabling a broader range of offline-first applications.

Challenge 4:
Support business-critical applications

MongoDB Realm is a very young product and still playing catch up.

MongoDB Realm

MongoDB Realm became GA in 2021 and has a very limited number of real-world customer production use cases. As with any new technology, it's a gamble to invest in such an early release.


Introduced in 2014, Couchbase's mobile platform is a mature market-tested solution for building enterprise-grade offline-first solutions. Our customers’ production deployments have significantly influenced the evolution of the Couchbase platform. Ongoing enhancements to scalability, performance, availability, security, usability, and offline support have all been driven by real enterprise-grade use cases.

Webinar: Why Evolving Data Trends Demand Highly Available Edge Database Deployments

Building a mobile app with local data storage capabilities can be a daunting task – but it doesn't have to be. In this webinar, we'll examine the main challenges of an offline or offline-first storage solution and discuss how you can overcome the toughest obstacles using NoSQL with JSON documents.

Why enterprises choose Couchbase over MongoDB

united logo

United chose Couchbase Server and Couchbase for mobile and edge computing as the underlying technology to help modernize its flight operations technology for 41,000+ employees. The airline now uses its FAA-approved mobile applications to provide pilots with flight information, simplify flight attendant tasks, and streamline information delivery to global personnel.

Learn more
bd logo

BD, a leading medical technology company, is constantly looking for new ways to improve diagnostics and health care delivery. In the case of Type 2 diabetes, a major obstacle to optimized treatment has been the inability to easily collect and review patient data. BD’s innovative solution is a mobile patient app and clinician portal built on Couchbase and Couchbase for mobile and edge computing.

Learn more
directv logo

DirecTV, a leading global provider of digital television entertainment services runs software to support 38 million customers on 3,000 channels. One of their top challenges was developing systems capable of supporting business changes in a fast-paced environment. DirecTV discovered Couchbase’s performance to be unparalleled thanks to its RESTful API and SQL-like query language (N1QL).

Learn more
staples logo

Staples needed a better way to manage its B2B catalogs, which use 1.6 billion rules applied in real time. Staples explored using MongoDB, but had to cancel projects because MongoDB was unable to scale easily and affordably. Couchbase not only enabled Staples to simplify its catalog management using N1QL and JSON, but also to increase its database performance and reliability.

Learn more