denormalization plugin for mongoose
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denormalization plugin for mongoose

This plugins helps you create denormalized schemas by copying references from other collection and keeping them up to date.

Just like model.populate except that data is stored in the collection instead of being populated for each query


$ npm install mongoosefiller

Plugin options

// plugin options
options = {
  id:     String // (optional default to path._id) path of the id of our reference model
  path:   String // (optional default to '') path to property to keep in sync with ref model
  pos:    String // (optional) pos operator prefix used to update embedded array
  ref :   String // reference Model name (collection we are copying data from)
  dest:   String // destination Model name (collection we are copying data to)
  select: String // (optional default to all) list of space separated field to include or exclude
  sync:   String // (optional default to select) list of space separated field to keep in sync after first save.
// examples

var UserSchema = new Schema({
  firstname: {type: String},
  lastname : {type: String},
  email    : {type: String}

var PostSchema = new Schema({
  message: {type: String}

// add user.firstname, user.lastname, path to schema
// fill user.* with data from User
// update documents every time a change occur in User
PostSchema.plugin(filler, {
  path: 'user',
  ref : 'User',
  dest: 'Post'

friendSchema = new Schema({
  date: {type: Date}

ListSchema = new Schema({
  name: {type: String},
  friends: [friendSchema]

// add firstname, lastname path to schema
// fill friends with data from User
// update friends in List (using positional operator List.friends.$._id)
// every time a change occur in User
friendSchema.plugin(filler, {
  ref   : 'User',
  dest  : 'List',
  pos   : 'friends.$.',
  select: 'firstname lastname'


  • Embedded array check examples/friends.js
  • Embedded doc check examples/post.js

Custom Schema event

a fill event is triggered on the denormalized schema when the the ref doc change and collection is updated

user.set('name', 'new-name').save();
PostSchema.on('fill', function(err, user) {
  // all post docs have have been saved

Custom id virtual path

if you define a path attribute, like in the following example, the plugin will create a virtual id accessor

PostSchema.plugin(filler, {
  path: 'user',
  ref : 'User',
  dest: 'Post'

// ...

Post.create(doc, function(err, post) {
  console.log( == post.user._id.toString());


I have done a basic test on one doc

  • read perfs with 10 embedded friends: 5ms
  • read perfs with 10 populated friends: 16ms
  • read perfs with 100 embedded friends: 36ms
  • read perfs with 100 populated friends: 67ms
  • read perfs with 1000 embedded friends: 94ms
  • read perfs with 1000 populated friends: 254m