If you’re a MongoDB user, chances are you’ve seen such a mongo shell output:

Typical mongo shell output

Source: w3resource

And pretty() can only do so much.

Sure, MongoDB has its perks, but with mongo shell as the out-of-the-box MongoDB interface, many longed for table view in MongoDB, similar to the familiar interface found in SQL databases.

Studio 3T – then MongoChef – was one of the first MongoDB GUIs to introduce table view to MongoDB back in the pre-Compass days. Users could edit data in-place, step into and out of embedded fields effortlessly, and switch to Tree or JSON views as they please.

But the old table view couldn’t step into array-valued columns, but only into individual arrays. It didn’t support hiding columns, which is useful to reduce the view to the most important data. It wasn’t possible to view nested fields next to their parent columns, making it difficult to navigate nested data structures. Viewing a table with a few hundred columns also bore a performance cost.

Enter Studio 3T’s improved table view: a simpler, more convenient way of exploring complex MongoDB collections without sacrificing performance.

Show Embedded Fields

With Studio 3T’s old table view, it was impossible to view nested fields with the rest of the table. Users had to step into and out of embedded objects (or columns) one at a time to explore deeper JSON paths, losing the context of the nested fields within the overall dataset.

Now with the improved table view, users can expand fields and arrays right next to other columns in the table simply by clicking on Show Embedded Fields.

Stepping Into Array-Valued Columns

Up until now, it was only possible to step into arrays individually. We finally were able to remove this limitation. You can now step into a whole column of arrays at the same time, which means array elements will be displayed with increasing index on a single line, each line representing another array.

Thanks to the newly introduced column pagination, views with a lot of columns (in this case a lot of array elements) will no longer cause performance issues.

Hide Columns (And Other Convenient Features)

Especially with expanded fields, there might be a lot of columns that are not relevant and cluttering the view. The improved table supports hiding columns with a simple right-click or a quick keyboard shortcut – just like one would on any Excel spreadsheet – so users don’t have to fiddle with the MongoDB $projection operator. Hidden columns are also always visually indicated as collapsed columns.

We improved our breadcrumbs, so hidden columns and expanded fields are easier to track.

Settings like hidden columns, column width, and expanded embedded fields are also saved between app restarts, sparing users from repeating this laborious task. Users can also shave a few seconds off through these handy shortcuts.

  • Ctrl + Enter  to show embedded fields
  • Ctrl + T to hide columns
  • Enter to step into columns
  • Shift + Enter to step into cells

 

Implications

Studio 3T’s improved table view is a game changer for MongoDB professionals and newcomers alike.

For MongoDB users working with large datasets, the ability to show embedded fields in as many individual columns (think thousands), makes MongoDB data exploration much quicker and easier. Now users can also view the fields they need side-by-side, whether it’s embedded or not, which makes data visualization simpler all around.

For newcomers to MongoDB from relational databases, the ability to view data in a table already bridges a huge gap. With the improved table view, they can easily navigate their way around MongoDB instead of wrangling command lines in the mongo shell. A massive leg up, especially as newcomers learn the ropes of the MongoDB query language.

The Best MongoDB Table View

Try Studio 3T’s improved table view, available now with Studio 3T’s newest version (5.6.0).

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