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$lookup (aggregation)

Definition

$lookup

New in version 3.2.

Performs a left outer join to an unsharded collection in the same database to filter in documents from the “joined” collection for processing. To each input document, the $lookup stage adds a new array field whose elements are the matching documents from the “joined” collection. The $lookup stage passes these reshaped documents to the next stage.

Syntax

The $lookup stage has the following syntaxes:

Equality Match

To perform an equality match between a field from the input documents with a field from the documents of the “joined” collection, the $lookup stage has the following syntax:

{
   $lookup:
     {
       from: <collection to join>,
       localField: <field from the input documents>,
       foreignField: <field from the documents of the "from" collection>,
       as: <output array field>
     }
}

The $lookup takes a document with the following fields:

Field Description
from Specifies the collection in the same database to perform the join with. The from collection cannot be sharded. For details, see Sharded Collection Restrictions.
localField Specifies the field from the documents input to the $lookup stage. $lookup performs an equality match on the localField to the foreignField from the documents of the from collection. If an input document does not contain the localField, the $lookup treats the field as having a value of null for matching purposes.
foreignField Specifies the field from the documents in the from collection. $lookup performs an equality match on the foreignField to the localField from the input documents. If a document in the from collection does not contain the foreignField, the $lookup treats the value as null for matching purposes.
as Specifies the name of the new array field to add to the input documents. The new array field contains the matching documents from the from collection. If the specified name already exists in the input document, the existing field is overwritten.

The operation would correspond to the following pseudo-SQL statement:

SELECT *, <output array field>
FROM collection
WHERE <output array field> IN (SELECT *
                               FROM <collection to join>
                               WHERE <foreignField>= <collection.localField>);

See the following examples:

Join Conditions and Uncorrelated Sub-queries

New in version 3.6.

To perform uncorrelated subqueries between two collections as well as allow other join conditions besides a single equality match, the $lookup stage has the following syntax:

{
   $lookup:
     {
       from: <collection to join>,
       let: { <var_1>: <expression>, …, <var_n>: <expression> },
       pipeline: [ <pipeline to execute on the collection to join> ],
       as: <output array field>
     }
}

The $lookup takes a document with the following fields:

Field Description
from Specifies the collection in the same database to perform the join with. The from collection cannot be sharded. For details, see Sharded Collection Restrictions.
let

Optional. Specifies variables to use in the pipeline field stages. Use the variable expressions to access the fields from the documents input to the $lookup stage.

The pipeline cannot directly access the input document fields. Instead, first define the variables for the input document fields, and then reference the variables in the stages in the pipeline.

To access the let variables in the pipeline, use the $expr operator.

Note

The let variables are accessible by the stages in the pipeline, including additional $lookup stages nested in the pipeline.

pipeline

Specifies the pipeline to run on the joined collection. The pipeline determines the resulting documents from the joined collection. To return all documents, specify an empty pipeline [].

The pipeline cannot include the $out stage or the $merge stage.

The pipeline cannot directly access the input document fields. Instead, first define the variables for the input document fields, and then reference the variables in the stages in the pipeline.

To access the let variables in the pipeline, use the $expr operator.

Note

The let variables are accessible by the stages in the pipeline, including additional $lookup stages nested in the pipeline.

as Specifies the name of the new array field to add to the input documents. The new array field contains the matching documents from the from collection. If the specified name already exists in the input document, the existing field is overwritten.

The operation would correspond to the following pseudo-SQL statement:

SELECT *, <output array field>
FROM collection
WHERE <output array field> IN (SELECT <documents as determined from the pipeline>
                               FROM <collection to join>
                               WHERE <pipeline> );

See the following examples:

Consideration

Views and Collation

If performing an aggregation that involves multiple views, such as with $lookup or $graphLookup, the views must have the same collation.

Restrictions

  • Changed in version 4.2: You cannot include the $out or the $merge stage in the $lookup stage. That is, when specifying a pipeline for the joined collection, you cannot include either stage in the pipeline field.

    {
      $lookup:
        {
           from: <collection to join>,
           let: { <var_1>: <expression>, …, <var_n>: <expression> },
           pipeline: [ <pipeline to execute on the joined collection> ],  // Cannot include $out or $merge
           as: <output array field>
        }
    }
    

Sharded Collection Restrictions

In the $lookup stage, the from collection cannot be sharded. However, the collection on which you run the aggregate() method can be sharded. That is, in the following:

db.collection.aggregate([
   { $lookup: { from: "fromCollection", ... } }
])
  • The collection can be sharded.
  • The fromCollection cannot be sharded.

As such, to join a sharded collection with an unsharded collection, you can run the aggregation on the sharded collection and lookup the unsharded collection; e.g.:

db.shardedCollection.aggregate([
   { $lookup: { from: "unshardedCollection", ... } }
])

Alternatively, or to join multiple sharded collections, consider:

  • Modifying client applications to perform manual lookups instead of using the $lookup aggregation stage.
  • If possible, using an embedded data model that removes the need to join collections.

Examples

Perform a Single Equality Join with $lookup

Create a collection orders with the following documents:

db.orders.insert([
   { "_id" : 1, "item" : "almonds", "price" : 12, "quantity" : 2 },
   { "_id" : 2, "item" : "pecans", "price" : 20, "quantity" : 1 },
   { "_id" : 3  }
])

Create another collection inventory with the following documents:

db.inventory.insert([
   { "_id" : 1, "sku" : "almonds", description: "product 1", "instock" : 120 },
   { "_id" : 2, "sku" : "bread", description: "product 2", "instock" : 80 },
   { "_id" : 3, "sku" : "cashews", description: "product 3", "instock" : 60 },
   { "_id" : 4, "sku" : "pecans", description: "product 4", "instock" : 70 },
   { "_id" : 5, "sku": null, description: "Incomplete" },
   { "_id" : 6 }
])

The following aggregation operation on the orders collection joins the documents from orders with the documents from the inventory collection using the fields item from the orders collection and the sku field from the inventory collection:

db.orders.aggregate([
   {
     $lookup:
       {
         from: "inventory",
         localField: "item",
         foreignField: "sku",
         as: "inventory_docs"
       }
  }
])

The operation returns the following documents:

{
   "_id" : 1,
   "item" : "almonds",
   "price" : 12,
   "quantity" : 2,
   "inventory_docs" : [
      { "_id" : 1, "sku" : "almonds", "description" : "product 1", "instock" : 120 }
   ]
}
{
   "_id" : 2,
   "item" : "pecans",
   "price" : 20,
   "quantity" : 1,
   "inventory_docs" : [
      { "_id" : 4, "sku" : "pecans", "description" : "product 4", "instock" : 70 }
   ]
}
{
   "_id" : 3,
   "inventory_docs" : [
      { "_id" : 5, "sku" : null, "description" : "Incomplete" },
      { "_id" : 6 }
   ]
}

The operation would correspond to the following pseudo-SQL statement:

SELECT *, inventory_docs
FROM orders
WHERE inventory_docs IN (SELECT *
FROM inventory
WHERE sku= orders.item);

Use $lookup with an Array

Starting MongoDB 3.4, if the localField is an array, you can match the array elements against a scalar foreignField without needing an $unwind stage.

For example, create an example collection classes with the following document:

db.classes.insert( [
   { _id: 1, title: "Reading is ...", enrollmentlist: [ "giraffe2", "pandabear", "artie" ], days: ["M", "W", "F"] },
   { _id: 2, title: "But Writing ...", enrollmentlist: [ "giraffe1", "artie" ], days: ["T", "F"] }
])

Create another collection members with the following documents:

db.members.insert( [
   { _id: 1, name: "artie", joined: new Date("2016-05-01"), status: "A" },
   { _id: 2, name: "giraffe", joined: new Date("2017-05-01"), status: "D" },
   { _id: 3, name: "giraffe1", joined: new Date("2017-10-01"), status: "A" },
   { _id: 4, name: "panda", joined: new Date("2018-10-11"), status: "A" },
   { _id: 5, name: "pandabear", joined: new Date("2018-12-01"), status: "A" },
   { _id: 6, name: "giraffe2", joined: new Date("2018-12-01"), status: "D" }
])

The following aggregation operation joins documents in the classes collection with the members collection, matching on the members field to the name field:

db.classes.aggregate([
   {
      $lookup:
         {
            from: "members",
            localField: "enrollmentlist",
            foreignField: "name",
            as: "enrollee_info"
        }
   }
])

The operation returns the following:

{
   "_id" : 1,
   "title" : "Reading is ...",
   "enrollmentlist" : [ "giraffe2", "pandabear", "artie" ],
   "days" : [ "M", "W", "F" ],
   "enrollee_info" : [
      { "_id" : 1, "name" : "artie", "joined" : ISODate("2016-05-01T00:00:00Z"), "status" : "A" },
      { "_id" : 5, "name" : "pandabear", "joined" : ISODate("2018-12-01T00:00:00Z"), "status" : "A" },
      { "_id" : 6, "name" : "giraffe2", "joined" : ISODate("2018-12-01T00:00:00Z"), "status" : "D" }
   ]
}
{
   "_id" : 2,
   "title" : "But Writing ...",
   "enrollmentlist" : [ "giraffe1", "artie" ],
   "days" : [ "T", "F" ],
   "enrollee_info" : [
      { "_id" : 1, "name" : "artie", "joined" : ISODate("2016-05-01T00:00:00Z"), "status" : "A" },
      { "_id" : 3, "name" : "giraffe1", "joined" : ISODate("2017-10-01T00:00:00Z"), "status" : "A" }
   ]
}

Use $lookup with $mergeObjects

Changed in version 3.6: MongoDB 3.6 adds the $mergeObjects operator to combine multiple documents into a single document

Create a collection orders with the following documents:

db.orders.insert([
   { "_id" : 1, "item" : "almonds", "price" : 12, "quantity" : 2 },
   { "_id" : 2, "item" : "pecans", "price" : 20, "quantity" : 1 }
])

Create another collection items with the following documents:

db.items.insert([
  { "_id" : 1, "item" : "almonds", description: "almond clusters", "instock" : 120 },
  { "_id" : 2, "item" : "bread", description: "raisin and nut bread", "instock" : 80 },
  { "_id" : 3, "item" : "pecans", description: "candied pecans", "instock" : 60 }
])

The following operation first uses the $lookup stage to join the two collections by the item fields and then uses $mergeObjects in the $replaceRoot to merge the joined documents from items and orders:

db.orders.aggregate([
   {
      $lookup: {
         from: "items",
         localField: "item",    // field in the orders collection
         foreignField: "item",  // field in the items collection
         as: "fromItems"
      }
   },
   {
      $replaceRoot: { newRoot: { $mergeObjects: [ { $arrayElemAt: [ "$fromItems", 0 ] }, "$$ROOT" ] } }
   },
   { $project: { fromItems: 0 } }
])

The operation returns the following documents:

{ "_id" : 1, "item" : "almonds", "description" : "almond clusters", "instock" : 120, "price" : 12, "quantity" : 2 }
{ "_id" : 2, "item" : "pecans", "description" : "candied pecans", "instock" : 60, "price" : 20, "quantity" : 1 }

Specify Multiple Join Conditions with $lookup

Changed in version 3.6: MongoDB 3.6 adds support for executing a pipeline on the joined collection, which allows for specifying multiple join conditions as well as uncorrelated sub-queries.

Create a collection orders with the following documents:

db.orders.insert([
  { "_id" : 1, "item" : "almonds", "price" : 12, "ordered" : 2 },
  { "_id" : 2, "item" : "pecans", "price" : 20, "ordered" : 1 },
  { "_id" : 3, "item" : "cookies", "price" : 10, "ordered" : 60 }
])

Create another collection warehouses with the following documents:

db.warehouses.insert([
  { "_id" : 1, "stock_item" : "almonds", warehouse: "A", "instock" : 120 },
  { "_id" : 2, "stock_item" : "pecans", warehouse: "A", "instock" : 80 },
  { "_id" : 3, "stock_item" : "almonds", warehouse: "B", "instock" : 60 },
  { "_id" : 4, "stock_item" : "cookies", warehouse: "B", "instock" : 40 },
  { "_id" : 5, "stock_item" : "cookies", warehouse: "A", "instock" : 80 }
])

The following operation joins the orders collection with the warehouse collection by the item and whether the quantity in stock is sufficient to cover the ordered quantity:

db.orders.aggregate([
   {
      $lookup:
         {
           from: "warehouses",
           let: { order_item: "$item", order_qty: "$ordered" },
           pipeline: [
              { $match:
                 { $expr:
                    { $and:
                       [
                         { $eq: [ "$stock_item",  "$$order_item" ] },
                         { $gte: [ "$instock", "$$order_qty" ] }
                       ]
                    }
                 }
              },
              { $project: { stock_item: 0, _id: 0 } }
           ],
           as: "stockdata"
         }
    }
])

The operation returns the following documents:

{ "_id" : 1, "item" : "almonds", "price" : 12, "ordered" : 2,
   "stockdata" : [ { "warehouse" : "A", "instock" : 120 }, { "warehouse" : "B", "instock" : 60 } ] }
{ "_id" : 2, "item" : "pecans", "price" : 20, "ordered" : 1,
   "stockdata" : [ { "warehouse" : "A", "instock" : 80 } ] }
{ "_id" : 3, "item" : "cookies", "price" : 10, "ordered" : 60,
   "stockdata" : [ { "warehouse" : "A", "instock" : 80 } ] }

The operation would correspond to the following pseudo-SQL statement:

SELECT *, stockdata
FROM orders
WHERE stockdata IN (SELECT warehouse, instock
                    FROM warehouses
                    WHERE stock_item= orders.item
                    AND instock >= orders.ordered );

See also

$expr

Uncorrelated Subquery

Changed in version 3.6: MongoDB 3.6 adds support for executing a pipeline on the joined collection, which allows for specifying multiple join conditions as well as uncorrelated sub-queries.

Create a collection absences with the following documents:

db.absences.insert([
   { "_id" : 1, "student" : "Ann Aardvark", sickdays: [ new Date ("2018-05-01"),new Date ("2018-08-23") ] },
   { "_id" : 2, "student" : "Zoe Zebra", sickdays: [ new Date ("2018-02-01"),new Date ("2018-05-23") ] },
])

Create another collection holidays with the following documents:

db.holidays.insert([
   { "_id" : 1, year: 2018, name: "New Years", date: new Date("2018-01-01") },
   { "_id" : 2, year: 2018, name: "Pi Day", date: new Date("2018-03-14") },
   { "_id" : 3, year: 2018, name: "Ice Cream Day", date: new Date("2018-07-15") },
   { "_id" : 4, year: 2017, name: "New Years", date: new Date("2017-01-01") },
   { "_id" : 5, year: 2017, name: "Ice Cream Day", date: new Date("2017-07-16") }
])

The following operation joins the absences collection with 2018 holiday information from the holidays collection:

db.absences.aggregate([
   {
      $lookup:
         {
           from: "holidays",
           pipeline: [
              { $match: { year: 2018 } },
              { $project: { _id: 0, date: { name: "$name", date: "$date" } } },
              { $replaceRoot: { newRoot: "$date" } }
           ],
           as: "holidays"
         }
    }
])

The operation returns the following:

{ "_id" : 1, "student" : "Ann Aardvark", "sickdays" : [ ISODate("2018-05-01T00:00:00Z"), ISODate("2018-08-23T00:00:00Z") ],
    "holidays" : [ { "name" : "New Years", "date" : ISODate("2018-01-01T00:00:00Z") }, { "name" : "Pi Day", "date" : ISODate("2018-03-14T00:00:00Z") }, { "name" : "Ice Cream Day", "date" : ISODate("2018-07-15T00:00:00Z") } ] }
{ "_id" : 2, "student" : "Zoe Zebra", "sickdays" : [ ISODate("2018-02-01T00:00:00Z"), ISODate("2018-05-23T00:00:00Z") ],
    "holidays" : [ { "name" : "New Years", "date" : ISODate("2018-01-01T00:00:00Z") }, { "name" : "Pi Day", "date" : ISODate("2018-03-14T00:00:00Z") }, { "name" : "Ice Cream Day", "date" : ISODate("2018-07-15T00:00:00Z") } ] }

The operation would correspond to the following pseudo-SQL statement:

SELECT *, holidays
FROM absences
WHERE holidays IN (SELECT name, date
                    FROM holidays
                    WHERE year = 2018);