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$function (aggregation)

Definition

$function

New in version 4.4.

Defines a custom aggregation function or expression in JavaScript.

You can use the $function operator to define custom functions to implement behavior not supported by the MongoDB Query Language. See also $accumulator.

Important

Executing JavaScript inside an aggregation expression may decrease performance. Only use the $function operator if the provided pipeline operators cannot fulfill your application’s needs.

Syntax

The $function operator has the following syntax:

{
  $function: {
    body: <code>,
    args: <array expression>,
    lang: "js"
  }
}
Field Type Description
body String or Code

The function definition. You can specify the function definition as either BSON type Code or String. See also lang.

function(arg1, arg2, ...) { ... }

or

"function(arg1, arg2, ...) { ... }"

args Array

Arguments passed to the function body. If the body function does not take an argument, you can specify an empty array [ ].

The array elements can be any BSON type, including Code. See Example 2: Alternative to $where.

lang String

The language used in the body. You must specify lang: "js".

Considerations

Schema Validation Restriction

You cannot use $function as part of schema validation query expression.

Javascript Enablement

To use $function, you must have server-side scripting enabled (default).

If you do not use $function (or $accumulator, $where, or mapReduce), disable server-side scripting:

See also ➤ Run MongoDB with Secure Configuration Options.

Alternative to $where

The query operator $where can also be used to specify JavaScript expression. However:

Given the available aggregation operators:

  • The use of $expr with aggregation operators that do not use JavaScript (i.e. non-$function and non-$accumulator operators) is faster than $where because it does not execute JavaScript and should be preferred if possible.
  • However, if you must create custom expressions, $function is preferred over $where.

Examples

Example 1: Usage Example

Create a sample collection named players with the following documents:

db.players.insertMany([
   { _id: 1, name: "Miss Cheevous",  scores: [ 10, 5, 10 ] },
   { _id: 2, name: "Miss Ann Thrope", scores: [ 10, 10, 10 ] },
   { _id: 3, name: "Mrs. Eppie Delta ", scores: [ 9, 8, 8 ] }
])

The following aggregation operation uses $addFields to add new fields to each document:

  • isFound whose value is determined by the custom $function expression that checks whether the MD5 hash of the name is equal to a specified hash.
  • message whose value is determined by the custom $function expression that format a string message using a template.
db.players.aggregate( [
   { $addFields:
      {
        isFound:
            { $function:
               {
                  body: function(name) {
                     return hex_md5(name) == "15b0a220baa16331e8d80e15367677ad"
                  },
                  args: [ "$name" ],
                  lang: "js"
               }
            },
         message:
            { $function:
               {
                  body: function(name, scores) {
                     let total = Array.sum(scores);
                     return `Hello ${name}.  Your total score is ${total}.`
                  },
                  args: [ "$name", "$scores"],
                  lang: "js"
               }
            }
       }
    }
] )

The operation returns the following documents:

{ "_id" : 1, "name" : "Miss Cheevous", "scores" : [ 10, 5, 10 ], "isFound" : false, "message" : "Hello Miss Cheevous.  Your total score is 25." }
{ "_id" : 2, "name" : "Miss Ann Thrope", "scores" : [ 10, 10, 10 ], "isFound" : true, "message" : "Hello Miss Ann Thrope.  Your total score is 30." }
{ "_id" : 3, "name" : "Mrs. Eppie Delta ", "scores" : [ 9, 8, 8 ], "isFound" : false, "message" : "Hello Mrs. Eppie Delta .  Your total score is 25." }

Example 2: Alternative to $where

Aggregation Alternatives Preferred over $where

Starting in MongoDB 3.6, the $expr operator allows the use of aggregation expressions within the query language. And, starting in MongoDB 4.4, the $function and $accumulator allows users to define custom aggregation expressions in JavaScript if the provided pipeline operators cannot fulfill your application’s needs.

Given the available aggregation operators:

  • The use of $expr with aggregation operators that do not use JavaScript (i.e. non-$function and non-$accumulator operators) is faster than $where because it does not execute JavaScript and should be preferred if possible.
  • However, if you must create custom expressions, $function is preferred over $where.

As an alternative to a query that uses the $where operator, you can use $expr and $function. For example, consider the following $where example.

db.players.find( { $where: function() {
   return (hex_md5(this.name) == "15b0a220baa16331e8d80e15367677ad")
} } );

The db.collection.find() operation returns the following document:

{ "_id" : 2, "name" : "Miss Ann Thrope", "scores" : [ 10, 10, 10 ] }

The example can be expressed using $expr and $function:

db.players.find( {$expr: { $function: {
      body: function(userFn, doc) { return userFn.call(doc); },
      args: [
         function() { return hex_md5(this.name) == "15b0a220baa16331e8d80e15367677ad" ; },
         "$$CURRENT"
      ],
      lang: "js"
} } } )

See also

CURRENT