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MongoDB DocumentStore

The MongoDocumentStore is one of the backend implementations for the DocumentNodeStore. The MongoDocumentStore use MongoDB to persist nodes as documents.


Before deploying a MongoDocumentStore on MongoDB, make sure recommendations described in production notes have been applied.

The recommended MongoDB version depends on the Oak release. Below table lists the recommended MongoDB version for each Oak release. More recent MongoDB versions may also work, but are untested.

Oak Release MongoDB version
1.4.0 - 1.4.22 3.2.x
1.4.23 or newer 3.6.x
1.6.0 - 1.6.13 3.2.x
1.6.14 or newer 3.6.x
1.8.0 - 1.8.6 3.4.x
1.8.7 or newer 3.6.x
1.22.x or newer 4.0.x
1.62.0 or newer 5.0 (soon 6.0)

For production deployments use a replica-set with at least three mongod instances and a majority write concern. Fewer than three instances (e.g. two instances and an arbiter) may lead to data loss when the primary fails.

When using MongoDB 3.4 or newer, set the maxStalenessSeconds option in the MongoDB URI to 90. This is an additional safeguard and will prevent reads from a secondary that is too far behind.

Initializing a DocumentNodeStore on MongoDB with default values will also use MongoDB to store blobs. While this is convenient for development and tests, the use of MongoDB as a blob store in production is not recommended. MongoDB replicates all changes through a single op-log. Large blobs can lead to a significantly reduced op-log window and cause delay in replicating other changes between the replica-set members. See available blob stores alternatives for production use.


The recommended method to initialize a DocumentNodeStore with a MongoDocumentStore is using an OSGi container and configure the DocumentNodeStoreService. See corresponding Repository OSGi Configuration.

Alternatively a MongoDB based DocumentNodeStore can be created with the help of a MongoDocumentNodeStoreBuilder.

DocumentNodeStore store = newMongoDocumentNodeStoreBuilder()
    .setMongoDB("mongodb://localhost:27017", "oak", 0).build();
// do something with the store
NodeState root = store.getRoot();

// dispose it when done

Please note, even though the default is to store blobs in MongoDB, this is not a recommended setup. See also recommendations.

Read preference

Without any read preference specified in the MongoDB URI, most read operations will be directed to the MongoDB primary to ensure consistent reads. Functionality like Revision Garbage Collection does not have such a strict requirement and will therefore scan (read) for garbage with a read preference of secondaryPreferred. This takes pressure off the primary.

When the MongoDocumentStore is configured with an explicit read preference via the MongoDB URI, the read preference is considered a hint. The implementation may still read from the primary when it cannot guarantee a consistent read from a secondary. This may be the case when a secondary lags behind and a read happens for a document that was recently modified.

A common use case is setting a read preference for a nearby secondary. This can be achieved with readPreferenceTags in the MongoDB URI.

The below example will prefer a secondary with tag dc:ny,rack:1. If no such secondary is available, the read operation will target to a secondary with tag dc:ny and if no such secondary is available either, any available secondary is chosen. As a final fallback the read will be served from the primary.


Refer to Read Preference Options and Write Concern Options for more details.

Starting with Oak 1.9.3 the MongoDocumentStore automatically uses client sessions with causal consistency when running on MongoDB 3.6 or newer. This feature can be disabled by setting a system property: -Doak.mongo.clientSession=false.

Causal consistent client sessions allows MongoDocumentStore to always read from a secondary when configured with the relevant read preference and at the same time guarantee the required consistency. This is most useful in a distributed deployment with multiple Oak processes connected to a MongoDB replica-set. Putting a MongoDB secondary close to an Oak process ensures low read latency when Oak is configured to always read from the nearby MongoDB secondary.

The MongoDocumentStore periodically estimates the replication lag of the secondaries in the replica-set and may decide to read from the primary even when the read preference is configured otherwise. This is to prevent high query times when the secondary must wait for the replication to catch up with the state required by the client session. The estimate is rather rough and will switch over to the primary when the lag is estimated to be more than five seconds.


Independent of whether the DocumentNodeStore is initialized via the OSGi service or the builder, the implementation will automatically take care of some appropriate default MongoDB client parameters. This includes the write concern, which controls how many MongoDB replica-set members must acknowledge a write operation. Without an explicit write concern specified in the MongoDB URI, the implementation will set a write concern based on the MongoDB topology. If MongoDB is setup as a replica-set, then Oak will use a majority write concern. When running on a single standalone MongoDB instance, the write concern is set to ‘acknowledged’.

Similarly, a read concern is set automatically, unless explicitly specified in the MongoDB URI. A majority read concern is set when supported, enabled on the MongoDB server and a majority write concern is in use. Otherwise the read concern is set to local.

Oak will log WARN messages if it deems the read and write concerns given via the MongoDB URI insufficient.

In addition to specifying the read preference and write concern in the MongoDB URI, those two parameters can also be set and changed at runtime by setting the property readWriteMode in the cluster node metadata. A cluster node will pick up the change within ten seconds (when it renews the lease of the cluster node id). This is a string property with the format 'readPreference=<preference>&w=<writeConcern>' similar to the way it is used in MongoDB URI. Just that it does not include other option details.

The following MongoDB shell command will set the read preference to primary and the write concern to majority for all cluster nodes:

> db.clusterNodes.update({},
  {$set: {readWriteMode:'readPreference=primary&w=majority'}},
  {multi: true})