Fetching contributors…
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
164 lines (112 sloc) 7.3 KB

Mongo Spark Connector Introduction

The following code snippets can be found in Introduction.scala.

This introduction expects you to have a basic working knowledge of MongoDB and Apache Spark. Refer to the MongoDB documentation and Spark documentation.


Have MongoDB up and running and Spark 2.2.x downloaded. This tutorial will use the Spark Shell allowing for instant feedback.

Configuring the Mongo Spark Connector

Before loading the Spark Shell which creates a SparkContext, the Mongo Connector needs to be configured. The easiest way is to set the mongodb.input.uri and mongodb.output.uri properties. There a few configuration options available, see the configuration documentation for more information.

Loading the Spark-Shell

As the Mongo Spark Connector is currently in pre-release, we'll be using the SNAPSHOT. The Spark Shell can load jars directly.

To load the Spark Shell, set the uri configuration and download the connector run:

./bin/spark-shell --conf "spark.mongodb.input.uri=mongodb://" \
                  --conf "spark.mongodb.output.uri=mongodb://" \
                  --packages org.mongodb.spark:mongo-spark-connector_2.11:2.2.3


If you get a Can't assign requested address when loading the shell, ensure you don't have spark already running. You can also try export SPARK_LOCAL_IP= and/or passing
--driver-java-options "" to spark-shell.

If there's an error running the examples you may need to clear your local ivy cache (~/.ivy2/cache/org.mongodb.spark and ~/.ivy2/jars).

RDD support

Connecting to MongoDB happens automatically when an RDD action requires to load data from or save data to MongoDB. First we enable the Mongo Connector specific functions and implicits for the SparkContext and RDD:

import com.mongodb.spark._

Saving data from an RDD to MongoDB

As this is a quick introduction, we'll save some data via Spark into MongoDB first.

Note: When saving RDD data into MongoDB, it must be a type that can be converted into a Bson document. You may have add a map step to transform the data into a Document (or BsonDocument a DBObject).

Some Scala types eg: Lists are not supported and should be converted to their java equivalent. Use the .asJava method which becomes available after import scala.collection.JavaConverters._. to do convert from Scala into native types.

The MongoSpark class and companion provide an easy way to configure and load or save data to MongoDB. First we add some documents to the collection:

import org.bson.Document
val documents = sc.parallelize((1 to 10).map(i => Document.parse(s"{test: $i}"))) // Uses the SparkConf for configuration

The spark.mongodb.output namespace configures outputting data. If using the default uri from above mongodb:// this will insert the documents into the "coll" collection in the "test" database.

To change which collection the data is inserted into or how the data is inserted, supply a WriteConfig to the method. The following example saves data to the "spark" collection with a majority WriteConcern:

import com.mongodb.spark.config._

val writeConfig = WriteConfig(Map("collection" -> "spark", "writeConcern.w" -> "majority"), Some(WriteConfig(sc))
val sparkDocuments = sc.parallelize((1 to 10).map(i => Document.parse(s"{spark: $i}"))), writeConfig)

Implicit helper methods on RDD can also be used to save data to MongoDB:

rdd.saveToMongoDB() // Uses the SparkConf for configuration
rdd.saveToMongoDB(WriteConfig(Map("uri" -> "mongodb://"))) // Uses the WriteConfig

Loading and analyzing data from MongoDB

Now we have some data in MongoDB we can use the sc.loadFromMongoDB method to create an RDD representing a collection:

val rdd = MongoSpark.load(sc)

The spark.mongodb.input namespace configures reading data. If using the default uri from above mongodb:// this will read the documents from the "coll" collection in the "test" database.

To change where the data is read from or how the data is read, supply a ReadConfig to the sc.loadFromMongoDB method. The following example reads from the "spark" collection with a secondaryPreferred ReadPreference:

import com.mongodb.spark.config._

val readConfig = ReadConfig(Map("collection" -> "spark", "" -> "secondaryPreferred"), Some(ReadConfig(sc)))
val customRdd = MongoSpark.load(sc, readConfig)

Implicit helper methods on the SparkContext can also be used to load data from MongoDB:

sc.loadFromMongoDB() // Uses the SparkConf for configuration
sc.loadFromMongoDB(ReadConfig(Map("uri" -> "mongodb://"))) // Uses the ReadConfig


As mentioned earlier, Spark RDDs only support two types of operations: Transformations and Actions. Transformations such as mapping or filtering are saved and only applied once an action is called. With RDD's its important to understand what data from MongoDB is loaded into Spark. Filtering data may seen a simple transformation but it can be imperformant. The following example filters all documents where the "test" field has a value greater than 5:

val filteredRdd = rdd.filter(doc => doc.getInteger("test") > 5)

Note: If you get a ERROR Executor: Exception in task 0.0 in stage 1.0 (TID 8) java.lang.NullPointerException its because you have other data in your collection and the filter method doesn't handle null data. This is one of the challenges of working with a Document database. You'll see that by using an aggregation pipeline we can mitigate that risk.

Where possible filter the data in MongoDB and less data has to be passed over the wire into Spark. A MongoRDD instance can be passed an aggregation pipeline which allows a user to filter data from MongoDB before its passed to Spark.

The following example also filters all documents where the "test" field has a value greater than 5 but only those matching documents are passed across the wire to Spark.

val aggregatedRdd = rdd.withPipeline(Seq(Document.parse("{ $match: { test : { $gt : 5 } } }")))

Any aggregation pipeline is valid, pre aggregating data in MongoDB may be more performant than doing it via Spark in certain circumstances.


If you require granular control over your configuration, then the MongoSpark companion provides a builder() method for configuring all aspects of the Mongo Spark Connector. It also provides easy methods for going on to create an RDD, DataFrame or Dataset.

Next - Spark SQL