Docs Menu

Aggregation Pipeline Builder

On this page

New in version 1.14.0

The Aggregation Pipeline Builder in MongoDB Compass provides the ability to create aggregation pipelines to process data. In aggregation pipelines, documents in a collection or view pass through stages where MongoDB Compass processes them into a set of aggregated results. You can change the stages and results to suit your needs.

To start building an aggregation pipeline for a collection or view, choose the collection and click the Aggregations tab. A blank aggregation pipeline displays. The Preview of Documents in the Collection section of the Aggregations view displays 20 documents sampled from the current collection.

You can:

The $out stage is not available if you are connected to a Data Lake.


In the aggregation pipeline pane in the lower-left corner, click the Select... dropdown and select the aggregation pipeline stage to use for the first stage of the pipeline:

Aggregation Builder select stage

Fill in your selected stage. If you enable Auto Preview, preview documents update automatically to the right of the stage to reflect the results of your pipeline as it progresses. You can adjust the width of the pipeline stage by dragging its border to the right.

Aggregation Builder match stage example

Click Add Stage to add additional aggregation stages below your last aggregation stage. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for each additional stage.


The toggle to the right of the name of each pipeline stage dictates whether that stage is included in the pipeline. Toggling a pipeline stage also updates the pipeline preview, which reflects whether or not that stage is included.


The following pipeline excludes the first $match stage and only includes the $project stage:

Aggregation Builder exclude stage example

You can save a pipeline so that you can find it later. If you load a saved pipeline, you can change it without changing the original saved copy. You can also create a view from your pipeline results.

To save your pipeline:


Click the Save dropdown button at the top of the pipeline builder. Click on Save pipeline as...

Save pipeline as
Name your pipeline
  1. Click the Folder icon at the top left of the pipeline builder.
  2. Hover over the pipeline you want to open and click Open.
  3. In the modal, click Open Pipeline.

Starting in MongoDB Compass 1.31, you can view your saved queries and aggregation pipelines on the My Queries view once connected to your cluster.

To learn more, see viewing saved aggregations for details.

Use the toggles at the top of the pipeline builder to set the limit on the number of sampled documents or to enable auto preview.

Sample Mode
(Recommended) When enabled, limits input documents passed to $group, $bucket, and $bucketAuto stages. Set the document limit with the Limit setting.
Auto Preview
When enabled, Compass automatically updates the preview documents pane to reflect the results of each active stage as the pipeline progresses.

To view and change pipeline settings:

  1. Click the gear icon at the upper right of the pipeline builder to open the Settings panel.
  2. Change any of the following pipeline settings.

    Comment Mode
    When enabled, adds helper comments to each stage.
    Number of Preview Documents
    Number of documents to show in the preview.
    Max Time
    Cumulative time limit in milliseconds for processing the pipeline. Use this option to limit the waiting time if the pipeline stops responding.
    When Sample Mode is enabled, specifies the number of documents passed to $group, $bucket, and $bucketAuto stages. Lower limits improve pipeline running time, but may miss documents.
  3. Click Apply to save changes and close the Settings panel.

Use custom collation to specify language-specific rules for string comparison, such as rules for letter case and accent marks.

To specify a custom collation:

  1. Click the Collation button at the top of the pipeline builder.
  2. Enter your collation document.

Creating a view from pipeline results does not save the pipeline itself.

To create a view from your pipeline results:

  1. Click the arrow next to the Save button at the top of the pipeline builder.
  2. Click Create a View.
  3. Enter a name for your view.
  4. Click Create.

Compass creates a view from your pipeline results in the same database where the pipeline was created.

In this example, you create and run a pipeline for a collection with airline data. You can download this dataset from the following link: air_airlines.json.

For instructions on importing JSON data into your cluster, see mongoimport. This example assumes you have the data in the example.air_airlines namespace.

The following pipeline has two aggregation stages: $group and $match.

  • The $group stage groups documents by their active status and country. The stage also adds a new flightCount field containing the number of documents in each group.
  • The $match stage filters documents to return documents with a flightCount value greater than or equal to 5.
Aggregation Builder Full Example
  1. Click the Export to Language button at the top of the pipeline builder. The following page displays:

    Aggregation Builder Full Example
  2. Click the Copy button in the My Pipeline panel on the left. Compass copies the pipeline to your clipboard in mongo shell syntax. You will use the pipeline in the following section.
  1. Launch and connect to a mongod instance which contains the imported air_airlines.json dataset.
  2. Switch to the example database where the air_airlines collection exists:

    use example
  3. Run the following command to run the pipeline created in Compass:

    $group: {
    _id: {
    active: '$active',
    country: '$country'
    flightCount: {
    $sum: 1
    }, {
    $match: {
    flightCount: {
    $gte: 5

The pipeline returns documents, as shown in the following abbreviated example:

{ "_id" : { "active" : "Y", "country" : "Nigeria" }, "flightCount" : 5 }
{ "_id" : { "active" : "N", "country" : "Switzerland" }, "flightCount" : 46 }
{ "_id" : { "active" : "N", "country" : "Bahrain" }, "flightCount" : 8 }
{ "_id" : { "active" : "N", "country" : "Guinea-Bissau" }, "flightCount" : 8 }
{ "_id" : { "active" : "N", "country" : "Argentina" }, "flightCount" : 14 }
{ "_id" : { "active" : "N", "country" : "Moldova" }, "flightCount" : 17 }
{ "_id" : { "active" : "Y", "country" : "Israel" }, "flightCount" : 6 }
{ "_id" : { "active" : "N", "country" : "Finland" }, "flightCount" : 7 }
←  Embedded MongoDB ShellImport Pipeline from Text →
Give Feedback
© 2022 MongoDB, Inc.


  • Careers
  • Investor Relations
  • Legal Notices
  • Privacy Notices
  • Security Information
  • Trust Center
© 2022 MongoDB, Inc.