MongoDB insertOne

Summary: in this tutorial, you will learn how to use the MongoDB insertOne() method to insert a single document into a collection.

Introduction to MongoDB insertOne() method

The insertOne() method allows you to insert a single document into a collection.

The insertOne() method has the following syntax:

db.collection.insertOne( <document>, { writeConcern: <document>} )
Code language: CSS (css)

The insertOne() method accepts two arguments:

  • document is a document that you want to insert into the collection. The document argument is required.
  • writeConcern is an optional argument that describes the level of acknowledgment requested from MongoDB for insert operation to a standalone MongoDB server or to shared clusters. We’ll discuss the writeConcern another tutorial.

The insertOne() method returns a document that contains the following fields:

  • acknowledged is a boolean value. It is set to true if the insert executed with write concern or false if the write concern was disabled.
  • insertedId stores the value of _id field of the inserted document.

Note that if the collection does not exist, the insertOne() method will also create the collection and insert the document into it.

If you don’t specify the _id field in the document, MongoDB will add the _id field and generate a unique ObjectId for it before insert.

If you explicitly specify a value for the _id field, you need to ensure that it is unique in the collection. Otherwise, you will get a duplicate key error.

To insert multiple documents into a collection, you use the insertMany() method.

MongoDB insertOne() method examples

First, you need to launch the mongo shell and connect to the bookdb database:

mongo bookdb

1) Insert a document without an _id field example

The following example uses the insertOne() method to insert a new document into the books collection:

db.books.insertOne({ title: 'MongoDB insertOne', isbn: '0-7617-6154-3' });
Code language: CSS (css)

Output:

{ "acknowledged" : true, "insertedId" : ObjectId("5f31cf00902f22de3464ddc4") }
Code language: JSON / JSON with Comments (json)

In this example, we passed a document to the insertOne() method without specifying the _id field, therefore, MongoDB automatically added the _id field and assigned it a unique ObjectId value.

Note that you will see a different ObjectId value from this example because ObjectId values are specific to machine and time when the insertOne() method executes.

To select the document that you have inserted, you can use the find() method like this:

db.books.find().pretty()
Code language: CSS (css)

Output:

{ "_id" : ObjectId("5f31cf00902f22de3464ddc4"), "title" : "MongoDB insertOne", "isbn" : "0-7617-6154-3" }
Code language: JSON / JSON with Comments (json)

2) Insert a document with an _id field example

The following example uses the insertOne() method to insert a document that has an _id field into the books collection:

db.books.insertOne({ _id: 1, title: "Mastering Big Data", isbn: "0-9270-4986-4" });
Code language: CSS (css)

Output:

{ "acknowledged" : true, "insertedId" : 1 }
Code language: JSON / JSON with Comments (json)

The following example attempts to insert another document whose _id field already exists into the books collection:

db.books.insertOne({ _id: 1, title: "MongoDB for JS Developers", isbn: "0-4925-3790-9" });
Code language: CSS (css)

Since the _id: 1 already exists, MongoDB threw the following exception:

WriteError({ "index" : 0, "code" : 11000, "errmsg" : "E11000 duplicate key error collection: bookstore.books index: _id_ dup key: { _id: 1.0 }", "op" : { "_id" : 1, "title" : "MongoDB for JS Developers", "isbn" : "0-4925-3790-9" } })
Code language: JavaScript (javascript)

Summary

  • Use db.collection.insertOne() method to insert a single document into a collection.
  • If you explicitly provide a value for the _id field, you must ensure that the value is unique within the collection or you will get a duplicate key error.
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