What is Indexing & Search?

If you are interested in MongoDB Aggregation Pipelines

Indexing & Search

MongoDB Atlas comes with a full-text search engine that can be used to search for documents in a collection. It’s the means by which data is organized and structured so that search engines can generate relevant search results. Search indexing can transform any and all data and file types into searchable data. The goal is to make searching as fast, accurate, and relevant as possible

Atlas Search is powered by Apache Lucene.

Creating an Index

We’ll use the Atlas dashboard to create an index on the “sample_mflix” database from the sample data that we loaded in the Intro to Aggregations section.

  1. From the Atlas dashboard, click on your Cluster name then the Search tab.
  2. Click on the Create Search Index button.
  3. Use the Visual Editor and click Next.
  4. Name your index, choose the Database and Collection you want to index and click Next.
    • If you name your index “default” you will not have to specify the index name in the $search pipeline stage.
    • Choose the sample_mflix database and the movies collection.
  5. Click Create Search Index and wait for the index to complete.

Running a Query

To use our search index, we will use the $search operator in our aggregation pipeline.


    $search: {
      index: "default", // optional unless you named your index something other than "default"
      text: {
        query: "star wars",
        path: "title"
    $project: {
      title: 1,
      year: 1,

The first stage of this aggregation pipeline will return all documents in the movies collection that contain the word “star” or “wars” in the title field. The second stage will project the title and year fields from each document.

What is Indexing & Search?
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