C++ BSON Library
C++ Python


This is a standalone BSON ("binary JSON") library for C++. (See bsonspec.org for more information on the BSON format.)

The library is at this time a bit early stage, but if you find it useful, that's great.


  • The code herein originates as a fork from the MongoDB C++ driver. Anything that isn't simply bson was then eliminated to get a standalone bson implementation. Some things were removed just for simplicity. Other changes have been made along the way too.

  • The namespace for the module is _bson. The underscore is present as it is anticipated that one day there will be an official bson driver perhaps, and we don't want to collide with that name-wise.

  • In current form the code uses a touch of C++11. The main reason for this is simply to have absolutely no outside dependencies; for example in C++11 we have unique_ptr in the standard library, and that is used herein. The C++11 specific code is minimal it would be quite easy to make the library work with older C++ editions.

  • Endian-awareness has been added, is preliminary, needs testing.

Notes for those who have used the MongoDB C++ Driver

  • The _bson::bsonobj class here behaves differently than the driver's mongo::BSONObj. The MongoDB driver version has a build in smart pointer implementation. That was removed here; bsonobj herein is simply a "view" on a bson data buffer in memory, and bsonobj itself does no memory management of it. The notion is that this is simpler and you can easily wrap them as needed yourself.

  • To avoid confusion as to what implementation is being used, the classes herein use lowercase names, unlike the MongoDB C++ driver library. If you see things in uppercase, they should probably be downcased for consistency eventually...


Apache 2.0.


As mentioned above, the library uses std::unique_ptr among other things. Thus, use -std=c++0x on the compiler command line. (If that doesn't work for your project, I'd recommend using the BSON implementation in the MongoDB C++ driver instead.)

For Windows, see build/example1/example1.vcxproj for an example of settings that work. (Tested on Visual Studio 2013.)


See Also

The bsontools command line utilities project which uses this library. Likely useful for any BSON user regardless of language.