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In our Definite Guide to MongoDB, we covered a lot of ground. There you can get more information about NoSQL databases, what they are, how they can be used, and which are the benefits of using one. Apart from that, you can find more information about different types of NoSQL databases and their most popular representatives. One of those types are so-called Document NoSQL databases and their most popular representative is MongoDB.

So, we went on and covered some of the foundations of this database. There one can learn how to install MongoDB, create databases, collections, documents and how to use these entities. Also, there is a lot of information about MongoDB deployment, shards, replica sets and how to manipulate them. You can find out how to use this database in .NET environment, in JavaScript MEAN framework and in Serverless environment too. So we wanted to build up on that and write an article that will cover how you can use MongoDB in Python.

In this article, we implement one repository, using which you can manipulate data in the collection Users. Something similar we have done in .NET in the Definite Guide to MongoDB. In fact, we present two ways to achive that, ie. using two Python modules – PyMongo and MongoEngine. The implementation with first library PyMongo is low-level implementation, while the implementation with MongoEngine can be observed as higher-level implementation. However, before we get into nitty-gritty details of each implementation, let’s first install MongoDB and both Python modules.


MongoDB is free and open-source. It can be downloaded from here. After picking up version and your operating system. In this example, we use MongoDB 4.2.1 Comunity Server for Windows.

MongoDB Download Page

After installation, a user can run MongoDB server by using the command:

mongod –dbpath PATH_TO_THE_DIR

With this installation, MongoCompass is installed as well. That is visual GUI component, using which you can manipulate your databases, collections and documents:

MongoDB Compass

For the purpose of these examples, we use local database and user collection:

‘User’ Collection

As we mentioned you are going to need two Python modules, so let’s install them. First you can install PyMongo like this:

pip install pymongo

After that MongoEngine:

pip install mongoengine

And that is pretty much it. We are ready for implementations.

PyMongo Implementation

Let’s implement UserRepository class is using PyMongo module. To be more precise, we need just one class from this module – MongoClient:

In the constructor of the UserRepository, we create instance of MongoClient and connect to the cluster. There are several ways you can achieve that, and you can see two ways in the code. Then you pick database and collection. The rest of the implementation is more less just wrapping functions from self._user field.

Now, we are able to create an object of our class like this:

Create Operations

Next, we implement create operations. We add two methods: insert and insert_many. First method adds just one user to the collection, while the other adds all the users from the provided array. We can see that underneath they are just utilizing functions insert_one and insert_many from PyMongo.

Now, we can use these functions from our object. Method insert can be used like this:

When we peek into this collection using MongoDB Compass we can see that document is created in user collection.

Created one document

While insert_many can be used like this:

The result of this operation once again can be checked visually using MongoDB Compass:

Created multiple documents

Read Operations

Cool, now when we can add documents into our collection, let’s implement functions that are able to retrieve this information. We add three new functions: read_all, read_many and read. Function read_all returns all documents from the collection. Methods read and read_many are similar, they both accept some kind of conditions. The first one, however, returns just one document that satisfies the conditions, while other returns all documents that satisfy the condition.

These functions can be used like this:

And the output looks like this:

—Read All—
{‘_id’: ObjectId(‘5dbad5a4dde338d6e1cd3ea7’), ‘name’: ‘Rubik’, ‘age’: 33, ‘blog’: ‘’}
{‘_id’: ObjectId(‘5dbc2f46ac3310f0215ba277’), ‘name’: ‘Vanja’, ‘age’: 29, ‘blog’: ‘’}
{‘_id’: ObjectId(‘5dbc2f46ac3310f0215ba278’), ‘name’: ‘Marko’, ‘age’: 36, ‘blog’: ‘’}

—Read Many–
{‘_id’: ObjectId(‘5dbad5a4dde338d6e1cd3ea7’), ‘name’: ‘Rubik’, ‘age’: 33, ‘blog’: ‘’}
{‘_id’: ObjectId(‘5dbc2f46ac3310f0215ba278’), ‘name’: ‘Marko’, ‘age’: 36, ‘blog’: ‘’}

— Read —
{‘_id’: ObjectId(‘5dbad5a4dde338d6e1cd3ea7’), ‘name’: ‘Rubik’, ‘age’: 33, ‘blog’: ‘’}

Update Operations

We implement two update methods: update and increase_age. The purpose of the first one is to demonstrate how you can update single document using conditions. The other function demonstrate how you can encapsulate MongoDB update modifiers within functions and tailor repository for your needs. This is arguably the biggest advantage of this approach.

Function update can be used to update name of a document like this:

The result is this:

Name updated

Method increment_age is even easier to use:

Result can be observed in MongoDB Compass:

Age incremented

Delete Operations

Just like we could create one or multiple documents at once we can delete one or multiple documents. This is done using two functions: delete and delete_many. Both of these functions receive conditions for deletion. Here is what the final form of UserRepository class looks like:

If we want to delete one document, we can do it like this:

The result of this operation:

One document deleted

Before we demonstrate what deletion of multiple documents look like, we add document that we just deleted and restore collection in previous state:

If after this we call delete_many that would look like this:

Result of this operation:

MongoEngine Implementation

As you were able to see, implementing repository using PyMongo is quite easy and fun. However, many users don’t need to steep to this low-level of abstractions. That is why some people opt to use library that is built on top of PyMongoMongoEngine. In essence, MongoEngine is ODM, ie. Object Document Mapper. Just like we have ORMs for relational databases, for document NoSQL databases we have ODMs. MongoEngine provides required higher-level of abstraction. So, let’s import it and attach to our database:

The first parameter of the function is the name of the database, while the other two are defining location. In order to “attach” to collection, we need to implement a class that describes documents from that collection – model. This is very similar to the way we do it in various ORMs, so if you have experience with, let’s say, EntityFramework this will come natural to you. The model class has to inherit Document. For our user collection that looks like this:

In this model, we’ve told MongoEngine that we expect User to have name, age and blog. Underneath, Document base object validates data that is provided. MongoEngine provides various field types (here we used just StringField and IntField) and options for those types.

Create Operation

When we implemented User model class, it is quite easy to manipulate the database objects with it. Here is how we can create document in user collection:

Note that save method creates document in user collection in this particular case.

Document created

Read Operations

Reading data is also simplified. Here is how it is done:

Using objects field we can access all documents in the database. In this case there is only one:

Name: Rubik; Age: 33; Blog:

We can utilize filter function on top of that if we want to create various queries.

Update Operation

Update is done again using save method on existing object. Basically, when you call save method for the first time, it will create a document, while the second time it will update it.

The result:

Delete Operation

Delete operation is performed simply by calling delete method on User object.

The result looks like this:


In this article, we had a chance to see how we can use MongoDB in Python. We could see that they are pretty comparable and function well together. We used two modules PyMongo and MongoEngine, so depending on the level of abstraction you need, you can pick the one that suits your project the most.

Thank you for reading!

Read more posts from the author at Rubik’s Code.

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