MongoDB - ObjectId

We have been using MongoDB Object Id in all the previous chapters. In this chapter, we will understand the structure of ObjectId.

An ObjectId is a 12-byte BSON type having the following structure −

  • The first 4 bytes representing the seconds since the unix epoch
  • The next 3 bytes are the machine identifier
  • The next 2 bytes consists of process id
  • The last 3 bytes are a random counter value

MongoDB uses ObjectIds as the default value of _id field of each document, which is generated while the creation of any document. The complex combination of ObjectId makes all the _id fields unique.

Creating New ObjectId

To generate a new ObjectId use the following code −

>newObjectId = ObjectId()

The above statement returned the following uniquely generated id −


Instead of MongoDB generating the ObjectId, you can also provide a 12-byte id −

>myObjectId = ObjectId("5349b4ddd2781d08c09890f4")

Creating Timestamp of a Document

Since the _id ObjectId by default stores the 4-byte timestamp, in most cases you do not need to store the creation time of any document. You can fetch the creation time of a document using getTimestamp method −


This will return the creation time of this document in ISO date format −


Converting ObjectId to String

In some cases, you may need the value of ObjectId in a string format. To convert the ObjectId in string, use the following code −


The above code will return the string format of the Guid −