findAndModify

Definition

findAndModify

The findAndModify command modifies and returns a single document. By default, the returned document does not include the modifications made on the update. To return the document with the modifications made on the update, use the new option.

The command has the following syntax:

{
  findAndModify: <collection-name>,
  query: <document>,
  sort: <document>,
  remove: <boolean>,
  update: <document>,
  new: <boolean>,
  fields: <document>,
  upsert: <boolean>,
  bypassDocumentValidation: <boolean>,
  writeConcern: <document>
}

The findAndModify command takes the following fields:

Field Type Description
query document Optional. The selection criteria for the modification. The query field employs the same query selectors as used in the db.collection.find() method. Although the query may match multiple documents, findAndModify will only select one document to modify.
sort document Optional. Determines which document the operation modifies if the query selects multiple documents. findAndModify modifies the first document in the sort order specified by this argument.
remove boolean Must specify either the remove or the update field. Removes the document specified in the query field. Set this to true to remove the selected document . The default is false.
update document Must specify either the remove or the update field. Performs an update of the selected document. The update field employs the same update operators or field: value specifications to modify the selected document.
new boolean Optional. When true, returns the modified document rather than the original. The findAndModify method ignores the new option for remove operations. The default is false.
fields document Optional. A subset of fields to return. The fields document specifies an inclusion of a field with 1, as in: fields: { <field1>: 1, <field2>: 1, ... }. See projection.
upsert boolean

Optional. Used in conjuction with the update field.

When true, findAndModify() either:

  • Creates a new document if no documents match the query. For more details see upsert behavior.
  • Updates a single document that matches the query.

To avoid multiple upserts, ensure that the query fields are uniquely indexed.

Defaults to false.

bypassDocumentValidation boolean

Optional. Enables findAndModify to bypass document validation during the operation. This lets you update documents that do not meet the validation requirements.

New in version 3.2.

writeConcern document

Optional. A document expressing the write concern. Omit to use the default write concern.

New in version 3.2.

maxTimeMS integer Optional. Specifies a time limit in milliseconds for processing the operation.
findAndModify string The collection against which to run the command.

Output

The findAndModify command returns a document with the following fields:

Field Type Description
value document Contains the command’s returned value. See value for details.
lastErrorObject document Contains information about updated documents. See lastErrorObject for details.
ok number Contains the command’s execution status. 1 on success, or 0 if an error occurred.

lastErrorObject

The lastErrorObject embedded document contains the following fields:

Field Type Description
updatedExisting boolean Contains true if an update operation modified an existing document.
upserted document Contains the ObjectId of the inserted document if an update operation with upsert: true resulted in a new document.

value

For remove operations, value contains the removed document if the query matches a document. If the query does not match a document to remove, value contains null.

For update operations, the value embedded document contains the following:

  • If the new parameter is not set or is false:
    • the pre-modification document if the query matches a document;
    • otherwise, null.
  • If new is true:
    • the modified document if the query returns a match;
    • the inserted document if upsert: true and no document matches the query;
    • otherwise, null.

Changed in version 3.0: In previous versions, if for the update, sort is specified, and upsert: true, and the new option is not set or new: false, findAndModify returns an empty document {} in the value field instead of null.

Behavior

Upsert and Unique Index

When the findAndModify command includes the upsert: true option and the query field(s) is not uniquely indexed, the command could insert a document multiple times in certain circumstances.

Consider an example where no document with the name Andy exists and multiple clients issue the following command:

db.runCommand(
   {
     findAndModify: "people",
     query: { name: "Andy" },
     sort: { rating: 1 },
     update: { $inc: { score: 1 } },
     upsert: true
   }
 )

If all the commands finish the query phase before any command starts the modify phase, and there is no unique index on the name field, the commands may each perform an upsert, creating multiple duplicate documents.

To prevent the creation of multiple duplicate documents, create a unique index on the name field. With the unique index in place, then the multiple findAndModify commands will exhibit one of the following behaviors:

  • Exactly one findAndModify successfully inserts a new document.
  • Zero or more findAndModify commands update the newly inserted document.
  • Zero or more findAndModify commands fail when they attempt to insert a duplicate. If the command fails due to a unique index constraint violation, you can retry the command. Absent a delete of the document, the retry should not fail.

Sharded Collections

When using findAndModify in a sharded environment, the query must contain the shard key for all operations against the shard cluster. findAndModify operations issued against mongos instances for non-sharded collections function normally.

Document Validation

The findAndModify command adds support for the bypassDocumentValidation option, which lets you bypass document validation when inserting or updating documents in a collection with validation rules.

Comparisons with the update Method

When updating a document, findAndModify and the update() method operate differently:

  • By default, both operations modify a single document. However, the update() method with its multi option can modify more than one document.

  • If multiple documents match the update criteria, for findAndModify, you can specify a sort to provide some measure of control on which document to update.

    With the default behavior of the update() method, you cannot specify which single document to update when multiple documents match.

  • By default, findAndModify returns an object that contains the pre-modified version of the document, as well as the status of the operation. To obtain the updated document, use the new option.

    The update() method returns a WriteResult object that contains the status of the operation. To return the updated document, use the find() method. However, other updates may have modified the document between your update and the document retrieval. Also, if the update modified only a single document but multiple documents matched, you will need to use additional logic to identify the updated document.

When modifying a single document, both findAndModify and the update() method atomically update the document. See Atomicity and Transactions for more details about interactions and order of operations of these methods.

Examples

Update and Return

The following command updates an existing document in the people collection where the document matches the query criteria:

db.runCommand(
   {
     findAndModify: "people",
     query: { name: "Tom", state: "active", rating: { $gt: 10 } },
     sort: { rating: 1 },
     update: { $inc: { score: 1 } }
   }
)

This command performs the following actions:

  1. The query finds a document in the people collection where the name field has the value Tom, the state field has the value active and the rating field has a value greater than 10.

  2. The sort orders the results of the query in ascending order. If multiple documents meet the query condition, the command will select for modification the first document as ordered by this sort.

  3. The update increments the value of the score field by 1.

  4. The command returns a document with the following fields:

    • The lastErrorObject field that contains the details of the command, including the field updatedExisting which is true, and

    • The value field that contains the original (i.e. pre-modification) document selected for this update:

      {
        "lastErrorObject" : {
           "connectionId" : 1,
           "updatedExisting" : true,
           "n" : 1,
           "syncMillis" : 0,
           "writtenTo" : null,
           "err" : null,
           "ok" : 1
        },
        value" : {
          "_id" : ObjectId("54f62d2885e4be1f982b9c9c"),
          "name" : "Tom",
          "state" : "active",
          "rating" : 100,
          "score" : 5
        },
        "ok" : 1
      }
      

To return the modified document in the value field, add the new:true option to the command.

If no document match the query condition, the command returns a document that contains null in the value field:

{ "value" : null, "ok" : 1 }

The mongo shell and many drivers provide a findAndModify() helper method. Using the shell helper, this previous operation can take the following form:

db.people.findAndModify( {
   query: { name: "Tom", state: "active", rating: { $gt: 10 } },
   sort: { rating: 1 },
   update: { $inc: { score: 1 } }
} );

However, the findAndModify() shell helper method returns only the unmodified document, or if new is true, the modified document.

{
   "_id" : ObjectId("54f62d2885e4be1f982b9c9c"),
   "name" : "Tom",
   "state" : "active",
   "rating" : 100,
   "score" : 5
}

upsert: true

The following findAndModify command includes the upsert: true option for the update operation to either update a matching document or, if no matching document exists, create a new document:

db.runCommand(
               {
                 findAndModify: "people",
                 query: { name: "Gus", state: "active", rating: 100 },
                 sort: { rating: 1 },
                 update: { $inc: { score: 1 } },
                 upsert: true
               }
             )

If the command finds a matching document, the command performs an update.

If the command does not find a matching document, the update with upsert: true operation results in an insertion and returns a document with the following fields:

  • The lastErrorObject field that contains the details of the command, including the field upserted that contains the ObjectId of the newly inserted document, and
  • The value field containing null.
{
  "value" : null,
  "lastErrorObject" : {
     "updatedExisting" : false,
     "n" : 1,
     "upserted" : ObjectId("54f62c8bc85d4472eadea26f")
  },
  "ok" : 1
}

Return New Document

The following findAndModify command includes both upsert: true option and the new:true option. The command either updates a matching document and returns the updated document or, if no matching document exists, inserts a document and returns the newly inserted document in the value field.

In the following example, no document in the people collection matches the query condition:

db.runCommand(
   {
     findAndModify: "people",
     query: { name: "Pascal", state: "active", rating: 25 },
     sort: { rating: 1 },
     update: { $inc: { score: 1 } },
     upsert: true,
     new: true
   }
)

The command returns the newly inserted document in the value field:

{
  "lastErrorObject" : {
     "connectionId" : 1,
     "updatedExisting" : false,
     "upserted" : ObjectId("54f62bbfc85d4472eadea26d"),
     "n" : 1,
     "syncMillis" : 0,
     "writtenTo" : null,
     "err" : null,
     "ok" : 1
  },
  "value" : {
     "_id" : ObjectId("54f62bbfc85d4472eadea26d"),
     "name" : "Pascal",
     "rating" : 25,
     "state" : "active",
     "score" : 1
  },
  "ok" : 1
}

Sort and Remove

By including a sort specification on the rating field, the following example removes from the people collection a single document with the state value of active and the lowest rating among the matching documents:

db.runCommand(
   {
     findAndModify: "people",
     query: { state: "active" },
     sort: { rating: 1 },
     remove: true
   }
)

The method returns the deleted document:

{
  "lastErrorObject" : {
     "connectionId" : 1,
     "n" : 1,
     "syncMillis" : 0,
     "writtenTo" : null,
     "err" : null,
     "ok" : 1
  },
  "value" : {
     "_id" : ObjectId("54f62a6785e4be1f982b9c9b"),
     "name" : "XYZ123",
     "score" : 1,
     "state" : "active",
     "rating" : 3
  },
  "ok" : 1
}
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