IBM Cloud Databases (formerly Compose) Reviews

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Score 7.8 out of 101

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Reviews (1-25 of 74)

Jon Tara profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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IBM Cloud Databases is used (along with IBM Cloud Object Store) as part of a backend system supporting client, eGrove Education Inc.'s, mobile app which helps high school and college STEM students develop their spatial visualization skills through automatically-graded free-hand sketching in a mobile app.

A CloudFoundry app uses IBM Cloud Databases as a synchronization source/sink and system of record for assigned material (both text and media blob data), course rosters, grading results, etc. (Because of the volume of student-produced sketches, student sketches are stored in Cloud Object Store).
  • ACID Compliance vs non-ACID compliance of the most popular open-source relational database (MySQL).
  • Fully managed solution: no bumbling with server installation/setup/maintenance.
  • Reliable high-availability implementation.
  • Yet more fine-grained provisioning (but thanks for the improvements!) For example, currently there is a 3-core minimum for dedicated cores.
This is my current go-to solution where a relational database in the cloud is a requirement. The IBM Cloud Databases PostgreSQL implementation is particular attractive vs. alternatives available from other cloud providers because of relational databases scale "up" well (while generally not scaling "out" well or at all) and IBM is able to offer the ultimate scale-up, the recently available, Hyper Protect DBAAS. I can build today on IBM Cloud Databases for PostgreSQL with the knowledge that in the future, if needed, I can scale up to a solution running on massive Z-Series hardware that is at the same time much more secure (particularly from side-channel attack) than solutions running on Intel hardware.
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Ryan Donovan profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
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We are currently using it as part of product development.
  • Easy to provision
  • Credentials easy to access
  • Easy to scale
  • Credential management difficult
  • No 'admin' access to database system services. Not sure how to get/change admin features of databases
  • Reporting is unclear. It is hard to determine when/where I was running out of resources and getting database connection refused reasons
Well suited for development, but hesitant to use it for products as there is not enough visibility.
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No photo available
Score 2 out of 10
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We primarily use PostgreSQL, Elastic, Redis, and Mongodb for our applications.
  • Easy to provision
  • Auth with certs
  • Replication
  • More features than just the open source versions
  • HIPAA compliance
They are well suited for simple use cases, but lack in bigger use cases. Easy to provision, and no issues with administration which is abstracted out from the users. They are mostly open source based and lack in features.
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Score 7 out of 10
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IBM Cloud Databases is being used across my entire organization. I enjoy using the product but there are definitely areas for IBM Cloud to improve. Definitely very little documentation, and not enough examples across the web that support IBM Cloud, therefore, making it harder for smaller companies such as ours to use this product. When first beginning with IBM Cloud, it took us several weeks on the support page to get a good response on simple things that other cloud services would have already solved.
  • IBM Watson
  • App ID
  • PostgreSQL as a service, especially with the IBM cloud user documentation
  • Cloud foundry and react starters
Great with IBM Watson, but still needs more work with app ID and PostgreSQL as a service.
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Score 6 out of 10
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Currently, we are using Mlab for our products. Hence we are looking for alternatives as it's moving to MongoDB atlas. The price structure with IBM seems quite suitable for us as we are still a growing company. At the same time, we are looking for easy integration between Redis and elastic search with IBM cloud databases for our product development. Hence, we start to research and experimenting between IBM Cloud Database and other providers.
  • I think the price point is affordable.
  • Easy to create a service.
  • I find it hard to establish the connections compared to Redis or MongoDB atlases.
  • Better documentation.
I think it's good that I do not need to set up a server to run an elastic search and can still use the benefits of the elastic search function. Similar to Redis and MongoDB. However, I still feel there's a lack of examples and use cases from IBM documentation.
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Score 8 out of 10
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We are using IBM Cloud Databases across different departments. Currently, it's mainly used for POCs and to implement Cloud-Native architecture. We are using Cloudant and PostgreSQL. IBM Cloud Databases provide us easy to use redundancy and point in time recovery.
  • Strong backup strategy
  • Different database options including SQL and NoSQL
  • Fast database provisioning
  • Reduced the need for DBA
  • Would like more database options added, e.g Cassandra DB
  • Limited data centre options
  • No data browser available for PostgreSQL

It offers strong support for PostgreSQL and Cloudant. It has an easy UI to work with and to scale PostgreSQL. Data at-rest and desk encryption of PostgreSQL is available.

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Joshua Dickson profile photo
February 23, 2019

Compose Review

Score 6 out of 10
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We use Compose extensively to host our application's database layer which is implemented in MongoDB. MongoDB from Compose helps us in two ways: first of all, it removed significant overhead in having to think about monitoring and maintaining our database systems. Compose also has excellent GIU tools (though they can be a bit slow with large queries) for working with MongoDB.
  • Database-Interaction GUI best we've worked with
  • Service has been reliable
  • Pricing Is low enough to not think about hosting our own DB layer
  • Customer service has been lacking at times
  • Technical issues: backups have not always happened on schedule, and customer data has been lost
  • Pricing for follow-on GBs is high
It very much depends on use case. For cases with small DBs, or for cases where ease of management is more important than cost, it's a great option. It's also a great starter for people who have not used Mongo and can make use of the GUI tools.
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Sagiv Frankel profile photo
March 08, 2019

RethinkDB Compose

Score 9 out of 10
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We are using a RethinkDB hosted solution. Compose gives us a reliable, scalable and redundant database, with no ops needed.
  • Good responsiveness from support.
  • Up to date on best practices (an extra proxy server in my case, default user restrictions). The DB's web UI is easily launchable.
  • Backups.
  • A pricing plan for a simple single instance you can use for testing and QA.
[Well suited for a] small to medium startup wanting to move fast and safely.
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Score 7 out of 10
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We use it to easily manage our Mongo hosting and navigate through data. It is primarily used by our development department. When customer service issues can not be addressed through our admin interfaces, we use Compose to easily change or add data. Compose also provides a solution that bills simply and offers Mongo hosting with limited set up.
  • User interface is excellent
  • Fast to use
  • Easy to set up and connect to other tools such as Heroku
  • Newer MongoDB versions
  • Easier migration options
  • Free tier or smaller tiers
It’s great for medium sized projects. It can get too expensive for large projects or tiny projects.
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No photo available
Score 10 out of 10
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We are using to host our MongoDB database backing our web application. The software team that I lead is using and administrates the database. We really don't need to do much since everything is handled for us.
  • Running our database 24/7
  • Update the software version
  • Backup and restore
  • Support answer quickly and to the point
  • Migrations when adding new features
IBM Compose is well suited for anyone who needs a database and doesn't have any special requirements.
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Score 9 out of 10
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We need managed MongoDB service.
  • Simplifies/eliminate the need to administer database services
  • Scalability when you need it, very easy to increase service limit/size/etc.
  • Easy out of the box backups
  • Cost for smaller deployments. Running minimal instances of redis, mongo, postgresql costs more than ordering a simple VM and installing youself.
  • Managed services sometimes lack plugins (eg custom postgresql, rabbitmq extensions for specialized tasks).
If you need fast/simple scalable and redundant setup for postgres/rabbitmq, Compose is much simpler than building a similar solution on your own.
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Alfred Reinold Baudisch profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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We were using Compose PostgreSQL and Compose Redis as the data source for all of our stack. We have a messaging sequencer platform, a bot engine platform and Compose Redis was used as a session store and message sequencer and PostgreSQL as the transactional and permanent store.
  • Instant setup: configuring and setting up a production environment for PostgreSQL can be an expensive and time consuming task, with Compose we just clicked "new instance".
  • Backups: same as instant setup - no need to worry about creating a backup flow. Backups are always available in the Compose dashboard and also accessible via an API for additional storage (i.e. move to S3)
  • High Availability: harder than setting up backup and monitoring, is setting up HA for PostgreSQL, since it doesn't have it out of the box, and there aren't official tools. Compose abstracts the setup putting multiple instances behind HAProxy, and your application doesn't even have to worry about changing instances.
  • Scaling
  • Better cost reports, before just increasing to another tier, thus increasing the price. This is critical for early stage startups, where budget is tight.
  • Add more data center options. As a comparison, a similar service, has dozen more options than Compose (basically all big cloud providers). We moved from AWS to Digital Ocean, which made us stop using Compose, since Compose forces us to be either on IBM or AWS.
Well suited:
  • Quick launch of a product into a production environment.
  • Cutting the neeed for a dedicated DBA/devops focused on the DB.
Less appropriate: When you have a very tight budget. Stick to setting up instances manually, without HA, etc.
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Carlo Quiñonez profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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We started using Compose because we were looking for a RethinkDB provider. Although we eventually stopped using RethinkDB and migrated the app to MongoDB, our experience with Compose was great and we stuck with Compose. The databases power internal back-office apps that are used by the whole company. We have a small development team and using Compose let us quickly and easily setup new deployments and access/manage existing deployments using their GUI, saving us time and letting the engineering focus on writing code - not managing servers.
  • Creating production-ready deployments is easy
  • The database consoles are intuitive and easy to use for new users
  • Creating and restoring backups is easy
  • Migrating data between deployments is done through the GUI
  • Hosted version lacks integration with corporate Single Sign On (SSO)
  • Doesn't offer Kafka deployments
If you have a small development team that working with one of the support Compose products, it's a great fit. We've been working on the product for 2 yrs now and we're just now getting to the point where the cost/benefit of the managed vs. self-hosted approach is even worth considering.

However, if your tech stack includes a product Compose doesn't offer (like Apache Kafka for instance) it means that you'll either need to find a different provider for those services or manage that portion of the tech stack yourself. It's a minor problem, but the only negative thing I have to say about Compose.
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Kevin Newman profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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My client uses IBM Compose to power their startup presentation software. Their application is built on meteor.js which uses Mongo DB as it's primary data store. They needed something reliable, fast and scalable, so we went with IBM Compose. Compose was incredibly easy to set up, and billing is straightforward, easy to understand.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Scaling is easy to configure.
  • Solid reliability.
  • It'd be nice if there was an easier way to set up a low cost or free testing or staging environment to match with the production environment. A "clone to staging" feature would be amazing.
If you need something fast, stable and reliable, and don't want to fiddle around too much with settings and docker images, compose is a great solution. It's easy to set up, and the control panel interface is well organized and full-featured. Billing statements match the ease of use of the control panel and are just as easy to understand.
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David Hart profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
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We use Compose for both Mongo databases and Redis databases. For each type of database, we run development, test, and production instances. Basically, it lets me have a very robust database without having a DBA or Dev Ops team.
  • Easy to create a database within a few minutes. Particularly nice if you just need one for a few hours.
  • Very easy to copy data from one instance to another.
  • Backups are automatic; do not impact system performance when they happen and are very quick and easy to restore.
  • I find some of the documentation to be a little vague and not clearly versioned or time-stamped. As an example, you needed a particular version of the Node Mongo driver to use the connection string with multiple load balancer addresses. The documentation said that "older versions may not work" or words to that effect but was not specific about which one did work.
I am a fan of database as a service, and if Compose supports the database that you want to use and the environment that you want to run in I would certainly give it a shot.
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Juan Miret profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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It is used to host the database of a web application to find lost dogs in Argentina. It's the main database of the company.
  • It's easy to set up and administrate
  • Automatic backups
  • Fast and secure without hassle
  • I'm really happy with the actual product and nothing comes to my mind that could improve it.
  • The best feature is... I set it up the first time and voila not used it much after that... which is good. It means it's easy and works well.
I think it's really good if you have a small team and don't want to waste time configuring, securing and backing up databases. The scenario where it is less appropriate is if you are on a budget.
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Dominik Hurnaus profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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As a young startup we wanted to focus on our core product and not be held back by infrastructure management and maintenance. This is why we moved our RabbitMQ and (persistent) Redis clusters to We no longer have to provide servers, maintenance, monitoring, etc. for those parts of our infrastructure.
  • Robust Redis and RabbitMQ clusters with no downtime within the last 18 months.
  • With RabbitMQ, putting special policies on specific queues was not possible via the admin interface and required contacting their support (The support guys promptly configured those policies, though).
I would definitely recommend using IBM Compose for secondary storage systems or message queues, as the price-performance ratio is unbeatable. We compared quite a few providers and the price-performance ratio with IBM Compose was by far the best.
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Juan Garnier profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
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Currently, we are using Compose to host our data which allows us to scale our sports data up pretty fast. We use MySQL and Mongo for real-time updates which users can see immediately on the front end. The data feed we get is the core of our business so it is very important.
  • Database options
  • Fast scaling
  • Security
  • Cost are not inline with Amazon or Google
  • Customer service is very slow and only done via email
  • Customer service usually doesn't solve the issue
Compose has horrible customer service which takes 1 to 3 business days for any type of response. This is the main drawback on whey we choose to go with Amazon since we can get an answer ASAP. I think Compose does great things with their products they just need phone support for these products.
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Andrew Raines profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
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It is used primarily to store/retrieve sports feed data by our APIs so that we can make the data available to our users via the mobile apps. It allows us to query data in a way we cannot within MySQL (our primary data store) as we can store documents rather than having to normalise it.
  • Web interface is pretty good for basic querying, which means other tooling is not required.
  • Being able to rely on Infrastructure as a Service means we don't have to spend time looking after this system ourselves.
  • Upgrading Mongo instances can be a little troublesome depending on the version upgrade being done. In the end we had to resort to doing this ourselves via command line scripts because the online interface was not capable.
  • The web interface, particularly for querying, is a little slow.
If you want a IaaS Mongo set up, it is certainly a good solution. It isn't the cheapest way of getting Mongo as a datastore, but it does come with high availability and a lot of the hassle taken away from you.
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Terry Drozdowski profile photo
March 05, 2018

Decent DBaas Platform

Score 5 out of 10
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We are using the Mongo DB cloud deployments and Redis for all our application development architecture. We started using Compose well before it was acquired by IBM. Applications developed include anything we do to support the business and customers.
  • Compose is reliable. Zero problems with DB stability or being down due to some outage.
  • The console is a great tool for exploring your database - from its contents to admin information such as connections and cpu load.
  • All the admin tools you need to get stuff done work really well.
  • Super easy to clone a new DB for development or support to test an issue w/on it interfering with production.
  • UX could be improved. Takes quite a few links to navigate through deployments to individual databases.
  • A free form query window would be really nice. At least for mongo it’s limited to the collection your viewing Would be nice to be able to change as necessary.
  • Integration with third-party DevOps tools like Datadog and SignalFX would be really nice.
Rapid prototyping. Great for small teams without a budget for a DBA.
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Kennedy Clayton profile photo
March 05, 2018

IBM Compose is great!

Score 10 out of 10
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We use the product to time code the transcripts for our videos. This is extremely helpful since it is an automatic system now. It's decreased the manual effort we've had to put in, as well as decreased the wait time for video and transcript analysis. Our clients love how quick the process is!
  • Speed of delivery
  • Accuracy
  • None I can think of
We find it most useful in the automatic processing (API work) it does for our company. That's the process that most effects my team and myself - we no longer have to send off things automatically and it is far quicker for our clients to receive as well.
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Kai Virkki profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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We are using IBM Compose to host several of our databases that are an integral part of our service. We are using both different databases and messaging services that Compose has to offer. By using IBM Compose, we're able to concentrate more on solving the business problems for our customers and leaving most of the database maintenance and hosting work to a company that has totally dedicated to just those things and doing them awesomely.
  • IBM Compose has managed to create a service with all the related automation and monitoring around it that makes it possible to have reliable and highly available databases running in the cloud.
  • Compose support is great and very professional, but still keeping a personal touch to it.
  • IBM Compose isn't just a one trick pony, there's support to a wealth of different popular databases and messaging services, so you can have most if not all of your DB needs covered by a single provider.
  • As IBM Compose is adding more and more databases that it supports, they might not have been able to move as quickly as before on supporting the latest versions of certain databases, like for example MongoDB.
  • More options for storing DB backups would be great. For example possibility to get Compose to send them to customer's S3 bucket. And option to select what tables/collections to have in the backup would be nice for those cases where certain data is more or less ephemeral and not essential when restoring from a backup.
  • Shrinking down a MongoDB instance's storage after deleting a lot of data is a pain! This is mostly due to how MongoDB is built, but Compose could figure out a simple to use interface for doing this by push of a button.
I think the sweet spot for Compose are startups who should concentrate more on development and less on DB maintenance. They usually also have smaller DBs which are more manageable on Compose. There is an Enterprise option to have the DBs running on your own cloud setup, so that gives more options to bigger companies, though.
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Matt Dunbar profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
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We rely on elastic search for licensed technology we host for clients. It's the one piece of the infrastructure our internal team doesn't have extensive experience with.

Even though it's the place where we have the least experience, it's also the place where we run into the least challenges. I can count on one hand how often it has had an outage, and we've literally never had server / configuration issues.
  • Easy-to-use
  • Elasticsearch hosting
  • I don't have any further recommendations at this time- Compose just works for us!
I'd imagine there will be some limitations on in depth customization of elasticsearch- but we haven't run into them yet.

It also might be a bit expensive for running at a large scale vs hosting your own cluster.
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Tyler Johnson profile photo
Score 6 out of 10
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We use IBM Compose MongoDB servers for one of our web-based software products. It allows us to focus on improving the product and not worry about whether our data is secure and accessible by our clients. This software is used in an on-premise/dedicated instance fashion, so the MongoDB servers are used by multiple instances of the software. We can continue to expand while using IBM Compose to host our data.
  • Regular backups of our data
  • Multiple access points for higher availability
  • Wonderful web-based GUI for accessing and modifying data
  • Powerful server instances with enough dedicated RAM to handle any load thrown at it
  • Specific control over the amount of RAM and storage being used
  • High priced versus some competitors
  • CouchDB support
For the size of our application and the amount of use that it gets, IBM Compose fits us quite well. We see tens of thousands of visitors on our site, and this translates to low/moderate impact on the database. In the event that we need to scale beyond this however, the pricing will quickly grow to be unreasonable.
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Mohamad Nabaa profile photo
February 23, 2018

No Worries with Compose

Score 10 out of 10
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We are using IBM Compose for :
- PostGres: We retain and compute Location Data and queries.
- MongoDB: We retain system logs.
- MySQL: We retain user Data.

Scaling, backups clustering, and pricing were a problem from other competitors; this is where IBM killed the competition and helped us secure our data

It is being used across the whole technical solution and as a web service.
  • Pricing
  • Clustering
  • Scaling -> Load Balancers
  • Reduce need for human maintenance
  • Pricing has been increasing lately. IBM Compose is in much in need for a control panel and documentation
If a system admin wants to spend less time on setting up their infrastructure, IBM Compose comes in handy. You don't have to worry about scaling and load balancers, IBM Compose takes care of that in a very systematic way. Price even decreases the more the tiers increase.

We became so dependent on IBM Compose that we even migrated our sandbox servers to use its features.
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Feature Scorecard Summary

Automatic software patching (59)
Database scalability (67)
Automated backups (71)
Database security provisions (63)
Monitoring and metrics (68)
Automatic host deployment (52)

About IBM Cloud Databases (formerly Compose)

IBM Cloud Databases are open source data stores for enterprise application development. Built on a Kubernetes foundation, they offer a database platform for serverless applications. They are designed to scale storage and compute resources seamlessly without being constrained by the limits of a single server. Natively integrated and available in the IBM Cloud console, these databases are now available through a consistent consumption, pricing, and interaction model. They aim to provide a cohesive experience for developers that include access control, backup orchestration, encryption key management, auditing, monitoring, and logging.

Different versions of IBM Cloud Databases are available for PostgreSQL, Redis, Elasticsearch, etcd, and MongoDB.

IBM Cloud Databases (formerly Compose) Features

Database-as-a-Service Features
Has featureAutomatic software patching
Has featureDatabase scalability
Has featureAutomated backups
Has featureDatabase security provisions
Has featureMonitoring and metrics
Has featureAutomatic host deployment

IBM Cloud Databases (formerly Compose) Competitors


IBM Cloud Databases (formerly Compose) Technical Details

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Mobile Application:No