Mongoose 4.11 was released last week and includes several neat new features. It also has one very important deprecation, so before you upgrade please read about the useMongoClient option in the docs. I'll write more about useMongoClient and why it is necessary another time. But first, mongoose 4.11 enables a new plugin, mongoose-lean-virtuals, which lets you apply virtuals to query results even if you use the lean() function. This plugin is a more general version of mongoose-lean-id.

What Does the Plugin Do?

The lean() function tells mongoose to not hydrate query results. In other words, the results of your queries will be the same plain JavaScript objects that you would get from using the Node.js MongoDB driver directly, with none of the mongoose magic. This means no virtuals, getters, methods, defaults, or document middleware. But what you lose in functionality you gain in performance, lean() removes almost all of the overhead of using mongoose. Below is an example of using .lean() with methods and virtuals.

const mongoose = require('mongoose');

async function test() {
  await mongoose.connect('mongodb://localhost:27017/test', { useMongoClient: true });
  await mongoose.connection.dropDatabase();

  const schema = new mongoose.Schema({
    name: {
      type: String
    }
  });

  // Won't appear in .lean()
  schema.methods.test = function() { return true; };
  schema.virtual('myVirtual').get(function() {
    return this.name;
  });

  const MyModel = mongoose.model('MyModel', schema);

  await MyModel.create({ name: 'test' });

  const leanDoc = await MyModel.findOne({}).lean();

  console.log(leanDoc.constructor.name); // 'Object', not 'MyModel'
  console.log(leanDoc.test); // 'undefined', not a function
  console.log(leanDoc.myVirtual); // 'undefined', not 'test'
}

test().catch(err => console.error(err.stack));

If you're just loading a document from MongoDB and don't intend to modify it, you're often better off using lean() because you get the performance benefit and don't need any of the functionality you lose.

Virtuals are often the reason why people don't use lean() for read-only use cases. They're often written for the convenience of client code, so lean() is usually not an option for power users of virtuals. Using the mongoose-lean-virtuals plugin, you can do .lean({ virtuals: true }) to get all virtuals in the query result as shown below.

const mongoose = require('mongoose');
const mongooseLeanVirtuals = require('mongoose-lean-virtuals');

async function test() {
  await mongoose.connect('mongodb://localhost:27017/test', { useMongoClient: true });
  await mongoose.connection.dropDatabase();

  const schema = new mongoose.Schema({
    name: {
      type: String
    }
  });

  // Won't appear in .lean()
  schema.methods.test = function() { return true; };

  // With plugin, virtual will appear in query result
  schema.virtual('myVirtual').get(function() {
    return this.name;
  });
  // Plugin must be *after* virtuals
  schema.plugin(mongooseLeanVirtuals);

  const MyModel = mongoose.model('MyModel', schema);

  await MyModel.create({ name: 'test' });

  const leanDoc = await MyModel.findOne({}).lean({ virtuals: true });

  console.log(leanDoc.constructor.name); // 'Object', not 'MyModel'
  console.log(leanDoc.myVirtual); // 'test' because of plugin

  // Methods still won't be defined
  console.log(leanDoc.test); // 'undefined', not a function
}

test().catch(err => console.error(err.stack));

Caveats

Mongoose virtuals are defined via a getter function and an optional setter function:

schema.virtual('myVirtual').get(function() {
  return this.name;
});

As usual in JavaScript, you need to be careful about what this means. Without lean(), this is a full fledged mongoose document, complete with getters, setters, virtuals, etc. With lean() and mongoose-lean-virtuals, this is a plain JavaScript object in the getter function, with no getters, methods, or any other mongoose syntactic sugar. If you plan on using mongoose-lean-virtuals, do not rely on mongoose functionality in your virtuals. Accessing document properties like this.name is fine, but this.get('name') is not because this is a POJO with mongoose-lean-virtuals.

Mongoose also has virtuals for use with populate(). The mongoose-lean-virtuals plugin explicitly ignores virtuals that have a ref property, so your populated virtuals will not be included. Please open up an issue on the mongoose-lean-virtuals GitHub page if you need this feature.

Moving On

Mongoose 4.11 represents a big step towards mongoose 5.0, with several important new features and a major deprecation to support MongoDB's upcoming 3.6 release. Please upgrade to take advantage of mongoose-lean-virtuals and other new features, and report any issues that you find on GitHub.

#native_company# #native_desc#
#native_cta#
Found a typo or error? Open up a pull request! This post is available as markdown on Github
comments powered by Disqus