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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. The $lookup stage does an equality match between a field from the input documents with a field from the documents of the “joined” collection.

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.

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 information, 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.

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.

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 Join with $lookup

A collection orders contains the following documents:

{ "_id" : 1, "item" : "abc", "price" : 12, "quantity" : 2 }
{ "_id" : 2, "item" : "jkl", "price" : 20, "quantity" : 1 }
{ "_id" : 3  }

Another collection inventory contains the following documents:

{ "_id" : 1, "sku" : "abc", description: "product 1", "instock" : 120 }
{ "_id" : 2, "sku" : "def", description: "product 2", "instock" : 80 }
{ "_id" : 3, "sku" : "ijk", description: "product 3", "instock" : 60 }
{ "_id" : 4, "sku" : "jkl", 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" : "abc",
  "price" : 12,
  "quantity" : 2,
  "inventory_docs" : [
    { "_id" : 1, "sku" : "abc", description: "product 1", "instock" : 120 }
  ]
}
{
  "_id" : 2,
  "item" : "jkl",
  "price" : 20,
  "quantity" : 1,
  "inventory_docs" : [
    { "_id" : 4, "sku" : "jkl", "description" : "product 4", "instock" : 70 }
  ]
}
{
  "_id" : 3,
  "inventory_docs" : [
    { "_id" : 5, "sku" : null, "description" : "Incomplete" },
    { "_id" : 6 }
  ]
}

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" }
   ]
}