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Run Aggregation Pipelines

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  • Required Roles
  • Access the Aggregation Pipeline Builder
  • Create an Aggregation Pipeline
  • Export an Aggregation Pipeline to Driver Language
  • Aggregation Pipeline Settings

The Data Explorer is Atlas' built-in tool to view and interact with your data. You can use the Data Explorer to process your data by building aggregation pipelines. Aggregation pipelines transform your documents into aggregated results based on selected pipeline stages.

The Atlas aggregation pipeline builder is primarily designed for building pipelines, rather than executing them. The pipeline builder provides an easy way to export your pipeline to execute in a driver.

To access the Data Explorer:

  1. Click Databases in the top-left corner of Atlas.
  2. Click Browse Collections for your desired database deployment.

Or, if you are already viewing a specific database deployment, select the Collections tab.

To create and execute aggregation pipelines in the Data Explorer, you must have been granted at least the Project Data Access Read Only role.

To utilize the $out stage in your pipeline, you must have been granted at least the Project Data Access Read/Write role.


The main panel and Namespaces on the left side list the collections in the datatabse.

Screenshot highlighting databases in Data Explorer.

The main panel displays the Find, Indexes, and Aggregation views.


When you first open the Aggregation view, Atlas displays an empty aggregation pipeline.

Initial view of aggregation pipeline builder.

Select an aggregation stage from the Select dropdown in the bottom-left panel.

Screenshot showing selecting a pipeline stage.

The toggle to the right of the dropdown dictates whether the stage is enabled.


Fill in your stage with the appropriate values. If Comment Mode is enabled, the pipeline builder provides syntactic guidelines for your selected stage.

As you modify your stage, Atlas updates the preview documents on the right based on the results of the current stage.

Screenshot showing a pipeline stage result.

There are two ways to add additional stages to your pipeline:

  • Click the Add Stage button at the bottom of the pipeline to add a new stage at the end of your pipeline:
  • Click the button on a stage to add a new stage directly after the stage where the button was clicked.
Screenshot highlighting add stage button.

To delete a pipeline stage, click the icon on the desired stage.


Use collation to specify language-specific rules for string comparison, such as rules for lettercase and accent marks.

To specify a collation document, click Collation at the top of the pipeline builder.

A collation document has the following fields:

locale: <string>,
caseLevel: <boolean>,
caseFirst: <string>,
strength: <int>,
numericOrdering: <boolean>,
alternate: <string>,
maxVariable: <string>,
backwards: <boolean>

The locale field is mandatory; all other collation fields are optional. For descriptions of the fields, see Collation Document.

You can import aggregation pipelines from plain text into the pipeline builder to easily modify and verify your pipelines.

To import a pipeline from plain text:

  1. Click the arrow next to the plus icon at the top of the pipeline builder.
  2. Click New Pipeline from Text.

    Screenshot opening the new pipeline from text dialog.

Your pipeline must match the syntax of the pipeline parameter of the db.collection.aggregate() method.


To return your pipeline to the initial blank state, click the plus icon at the top of the pipeline builder.

You can use the aggregation pipeline builder to export your finished pipeline to one of the supported driver languages; Java, Node, C#, and Python 3. Use this feature to format and export pipelines for use in your applications.

To export your aggregation pipeline:


For instructions on creating an aggregation pipeline, see Create an Aggregation Pipeline.


In the Export Pipeline To dropdown, select your desired language.

The My Pipeline pane on the left displays your pipeline in mongosh syntax.

The pane on the right displays your pipeline in the selected language.


(Optional): Check the Include Import Statements option to include the required import statements for the language selected.


Click the Copy button at the top-right of the pipeline to copy the pipeline for the selected language to your clipboard. You can now integrate your pipeline into your application.


To modify the aggregation pipeline builder settings:

Screenshot highlighting pipeline settings button.

You can modify the following settings:

Comment Mode

When enabled, Atlas adds helper comments to each stage.


Changing this setting only affects new stages and does not modify stages which have already been added to your pipeline.

Number of Preview Documents
Number of documents to show in the preview for each stage.
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