Integrating Django with MongoDB

Note: If you are an enterprise that uses Djongo in your products, contact us for long term support and licensing options.

Use MongoDB as a backend database for your Django project, without changing the Django ORM. Use Django Admin to add and modify documents in MongoDB. Start using Django with MongoDB by adding just one line of code.

How it works

Djongo makes zero changes to the existing Django ORM framework, which means unnecessary bugs and security vulnerabilities do not crop up. It simply translates a SQL query string into a MongoDB query document. As a result, all Django features, models, etc., work as is.

Django contrib modules:


and others… fully supported.

What you get

Djongo ensures that you:

  • Reuse Django Models/ORM.
  • Work with the original Django variant.
  • Future proof your code.
  • Atomic SQL JOIN operations.

Get expert support for complex projects.

Rapid Prototyping

Djongo lets you rapidly develop and evolve your app models. Modifying your models is much faster with Djongo compared to traditional Django ORM. Since MongoDB is a schema-less database, every time you redefine a model, MongoDB does not expect you to redefine the schema.

Goodbye Migrations

With Djongo you permanently say goodbye to Django Migrations. To enable migration free model evolution simply set ENFORCE_SCHEMA: False in your database configuration. Djongo no longer interprets SQL DDL statements (example CREATE TABLE) to emit pymongo create_collection commands. With ENFORCE_SCHEMA: False collections are created implicitly, on the fly.

Use Django Admin to add documents

The Django Admin interface can be used to work with MongoDB. Additionally, several MongoDB specific features are supported using EmbeddedField, ArrayField and other fields. Let’s say you want to create a blogging platform using Django with MongoDB as your backend. In your Blog app/ file define the Blog model:

from djongo import models

class Blog(models.Model):
    name = models.CharField(max_length=100)
    tagline = models.TextField()

    class Meta:
        abstract = True

Now ‘embed’ your Blog inside a Entry using the EmbeddedField:

class Entry(models.Model):
    blog = models.EmbeddedField(
    headline = models.CharField(max_length=255)

Register your Entry in

from django.contrib import admin
from .models import Entry

That’s it you are set! Fire up Django Admin on localhost:8000/admin/ and this is what you get:

Django Admin

Querying Embedded fields

In the above example, to query all Entries with Blogs which have names that start with Beatles, use the following query:

entries = Entry.objects.filter(blog__startswith={'name': 'Beatles'})

Refer to Using Django with MongoDB data fields for more details.

Migrating an existing Django app to MongoDB

When migrating an existing Django app to MongoDB, it is recommended to start a new database on MongoDB. For example, use myapp-djongo-db in your file.

  1. Into file of your project, add:

       DATABASES = {
           'default': {
               'ENGINE': 'djongo',
               'NAME': 'myapp-djongo-db',
  2. Run makemigrations <myapp> followed by migrate.
  3. Open Django Admin and you should find all Models defined in your app, showing up in the Admin.
  4. While the relevant collections have been created in MongoDB, they have have no data inside.
  5. Continue by inserting data into the collections manually, or use Django Admin for a GUI.

Setting up an existing MongoDB database on Django

The internal __schema__ collection

There is no concept of an AUTOINCREMENT field in MongoDB. Therefore, Djongo internally creates a __schema__ collection to track such fields. The __schema__ collection looks like:

    "_id" : ObjectId("5a5c3c87becdd9fe2fb255a9"), 
    "name" : "django_migrations", 
    "auto" : {
        "field_names" : [
        "seq" : NumberInt(14)

For every collection in the DB that has an autoincrement field, there is a corresponding entry in the __schema__ collection. Running migrate automatically creates these entries.

Now there are 2 approaches to setting up your existing data onto MongoDB:

Zero risk

  1. Start with a new database name in
  2. If you have not already done so, define your models in the file. The model names and model fields have to be exactly the same, as the existing data that you want to setup.
  3. Run makemigrations <app_name> followed by migrate.
  4. Now your empty DB should have a __schema__ collection, and other collections defined in the file.
  5. Copy collection data (of your custom models defined in to the new DB.
  6. In __schema__ collection make sure that the seq number of your AUTOINCREMENT fields is set to the latest value. This should correspond to the document count for each model. For example, if your model has 16 entries (16 documents in the DB), then seq should be set as 16. Usually the AUTOINCREMENT field is called id.

However, if you do not want to create a new database (and copy existing data into this new database), you can try this approach:

Medium risk

  1. Start with an empty database. You can always delete this later.
  2. Same as before.
  3. Same as before.
  4. Now copy the __schema__ collection from the new database (from step1) to the existing database.
  5. Same as step 6 from before.
  6. You can now delete the database created in step 1.

You are now done setting up Django with MongoDB. Start using Django with MongoDB, like you would with any other database backend.