My thoughts and concerns with Fauna

Hi everyone, I wanted to address a couple of things that’s been on my mind for some time in regards to Fauna as a database provider. Everyone has different opinions about things, so if you feel like I’m wrong about this, or have other things you’d like to share, I’d really appreciate it if you share it so we can have a constructive discussion!

Here we go…

Concern 1: Inactive community, no public plans

I’m not sure if I’m the only one who feels this way, but everytime I check the Discord server or the forums (here), I rarely see any activity, and I feel like it’s lacking. I understand Fauna is a paid service, and community support is provided at best-effort, but it really feels like it’s lacking, and feels kind of “empty”. Maybe this means nobody has any issues or are really satisfied, but from what I see, it doesn’t feel like that.

There are many topics where there are no responses, or where it takes ages to receive responses. Take other database providers into account, and you’ll see there are staff willing to assist anyone, regardless of question. With Fauna, to me, it seems like there’s been primarily one person taking responsibility at a time to answer questions, and they may not always be available.

The previous person in charge (I assume…?) said they were leaving Fauna in the Discord announcement channel, and they still have the active role in the Discord server, not sure whether that is intentional or not.

To me it feels like “you may ask questions, but if you’re struggling, you’re on your own”. I may be wrong, but I’ve been in the Discord server for some time, and I haven’t really seen any activity from staff from the countless questions asked there.

Concern 2: Lack of vital features and communication

I’m not entirely sure what Fauna’s goals are. To my knowledge there isn’t even a roadmap to cover what we can expect to see as customers, and it’s really just surprise announcements out of the blue, or some people mentioning it “might” come, or that it “might” be considered. There’s nothing precise regarding this, and it’s really disappointing to see.

Again, compare this to any other vendor and there are clear plans, community discussions and more regarding features. In addition, feature requests are blatantly ignored for whatever reason. Such as the most popular feature request at the moment regarding integrations to other tools natively, I can’t see that any Fauna representative has even looked at the topic.

I know features take time to implement and support, but there are some really important features I really miss in Fauna, that other vendors seem to have natively…

Sure, maybe the goal here is to always let customers build their own solutions, but basic features such as integrations to other tools or processing database events is really lacking in my opinion. Other vendors provide pubsub-support, http/webhooks, and more. When I’ve talked about this with staff or in the community, it seems like they recommend Airbyte as a decent open-source solution. The problem is: there’s extra manual effort, and the pricing (according to Airbyte’s calculator) is absolutely depressing, and it’s not really real-time/fast…

Final thoughts

Although Fauna has many features that aren’t really matched with other providers (yet), it’s important to address the current shortcomings. I have enjoyed working with Fauna for the past year for my applications, however I think it’s worth to pinpoint the issues, so that Fauna can address these and make the service better for everyone.

As of now, Fauna is what really makes sense for my current applications and works for the majority of my use-cases, but I keep seeing other vendors releasing updates that I really envy, and would really like to see Fauna doing. If that was the case, I wouldn’t have posted this. The problem is that I don’t know if there are any plans for this, and to my understanding there aren’t. I can’t rule out the fact that if Fauna doesn’t address any of the points I raised, that I will be switching vendors in the near future.

Maybe releasing tools and features like this isn’t the goal for Fauna, but from what I’ve seen Fauna keeps comparing itself to other vendors in blog posts, and most other vendors have the essential features like I mentioned (and that’s just a few out of the many feature requests). It’s always possible to make your own solutions, but that takes more time, and isn’t really fun when it really should be apart of the service you’re using.

Best regards,

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Hi Martin, I reached out to you directly - would love to discuss your feedback as we think about how we can improve moving forward.