Simple conversion from MongoDB-like syntax to SQL WHERE clauses

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import sqlFromMongo from 'https://cdn.skypack.dev/sql-from-mongo';


build status


Copyright (c) 2015, Lawrence S. Maccherone, Jr.

Simple conversion from MongoDB-like syntax to SQL WHERE clauses

This implements all but a few of MongoDB's query operators and adds a few that were easy to implement. My target SQL is DocumentDB but I suspect that this will work as-is with most SQL implementations. Neither MongoDB nor DocumentDB support cross-document joins so that greatly simplifies things.


npm install -save sql-from-mongo


the sqlFromMongo function takes three parameters:

  1. A JavaScript object with your MongoDB-like query
  2. (optional) A string containing the collection/table name to use as a prefix for any field/column names. Note, you can omit this and fully qualify your variables yourself.
  3. (optional) A list of fields as an array of strings. Note, if you provide this, then it will respond with a full query (i.e. "SELECT __ FROM __ WHERE"), not just a WHERE clause.


{sqlFromMongo} = require('sql-from-mongo')

o = {a: 1}
console.log(sqlFromMongo(o, "food"))
# food.a = 1

o = {a: {$in: [1, 2, "hello"]}}
console.log(sqlFromMongo(o, "food"))
# food.a IN (1,2,"hello")

o = {a: 1, $and: [{b: 2}, c: {$gt: 2, $lt: 10}, $nor:[{d: 10}, {e: 20}, {$not: {f: 30}}]]}
console.log(sqlFromMongo(o, "z"))
# (z.a = 1 AND (z.b = 2 AND ((z.c > 2 AND z.c < 10) AND NOT (z.d = 10 OR z.e = 20 OR NOT (z.f = 30)))))

You could include the above output in the where clause of a full SQL query like this:

query = "SELECT * FROM c WHERE #{sqlFromMongo({State: {$startsWith: "In "}}, 'c')}"

which sets query to:


More conveniently, though, you can provide a list of fields or '*' as the third parameter and it will build the entire SELECT statement for you. For example:

o = {a: 1}
console.log(sqlFromMongo(o, "c", "*"))
# SELECT * from c WHERE c.a = 1

o = {a: 1}
console.log(sqlFromMongo(o, "c", ["a", "b"]))
# SELECT c.a, c.b from c WHERE c.a = 1

There is currently no support for things like SELECT 1.... If you need that then omit the fields parameter and build the full query using sqlFromMongo only for the WHERE clause.

Supported operators (from here)

Logical & Conjunctive:

  • $or OR
  • $and AND
  • $not NOT
  • $nor NOT(... OR ...)


  • $gt >
  • $gte >=
  • $lt <
  • $lte <=
  • $ne <>
  • $eq =


  • $in Note, this will work in the traditional way like {a: {$in: [1, 2, "hello"]}} but it will also work in situations like {'"a"': {$in: "x"}} where x is the field name. Also, note that if you expect the field to contain an array, you must use this form because the traditional MongoDB thing of matching a scalar to array fields is not supported by SQL. Note, this latter form does not use an index so combine with other highly selective criteria and/or do the comparison on the calling side.
  • $nin
  • $size test array length
  • $exists {field: {$exists: <boolean>}}. If boolean is false, then NOT $exists


  • $geoWithin

  • $near

    pointField: $near {
        $geometry: {
            type: "Point" ,
            coordinates: [ <longitude> , <latitude> ]
        $maxDistance: <distance in meters>

    Translates to: ST_DISTANCE(pointField, {'type': 'Point', 'coordinates':[31.9, -4.8]}) <= $maxDistance. Appropriate translation generated with $minDistance or if both are provided.

Additional (not in MongoDB but easy with DocumentDB):

Types: (all of these behave like $exists allowing you to specify false for the boolean)

  • $isArray {field:{$isArray: <boolean>}}
  • $isBool
  • $isNull Note, this is not the same as $exists: false
  • $isNumber
  • $isObject
  • $isString
  • $isPrimative


  • $startsWith
  • $endsWith
  • $contains

MongoDB operators not supported:

  • $type I didn't want to duplicate the MongoDB behavior including the BSON codes. Use $isBool, $isNumber, etc.
  • $all Easy with UDF so maybe later
  • $regex Easy with UDF so maybe later. In the mean time, maybe $startsWith, $endsWith, or $contains will serve.
  • $elemMatch Never used this in MongoDB so not on my must have list. Implementation similar to $all but think $any
  • $mod Could probably do this without UDF but never used it so not high on my list although it could be useful for sampling

DocumentDB operators (from here and here) not supported:

  • Bitwise operators

  • Modulus

  • String concatenate operator but do sorta support CONCAT built in function (see below)

  • BETWEEN but wouldn't be hard to support. Just ask. In the mean time, use the inequality operators (which are also index optimized to the best of my knowledge)

  • Ternary (?) and Coalesce (??) operators

  • Quoted property accessor food["tags"] instead of food.tags. Should be easy to implement if you need it for SQL keyword/field conflict or field names that contain punctuation. Just ask.

  • Sorta... If you need to use any of the built in functions like the unary math operators (ABS, FLOOR, etc.), string functions (CONCAT, LTRIM, etc.), array functions not listed above (ARRAY_SLICE and ARRAY_CONCAT), or the geo functions not listed above (ST_ISVALID and ST_ISVALIDDETAILED), then you can omit the second parameter when you call sqlFromMongo and fully qualify your field/column names yourself. Example:

    console.log(sqlFromMongo({'CONCAT(food.id, " ", food.name)': "1234 Rice"}))
    # CONCAT(food.id, " ", food.name) = "1234 Rice"

Immune to SQL Injection

Since all scalars are escaped with JSON.strinigify(), the SQL produced by sql-from-mongo is immune from SQL Injection attacks. It's hard to prove a negative, but it has been tested with all data types (string, number, array, true/false, undefined, NaN, Infinity, Date, Buffer, Uint8Array and we don't see any way for an injection to get through. Worst case, it can produce invalid SQL for DocumentDB with certain data types (undefined, for example).

Version history

  • 0.2.1 - 2016-05-27 - Just returns the input if it's already SQL
  • 0.2.0 - 2015-11-19 - Added ability to generate full SQL (including SELECT and FROM clauses)
  • 0.1.3 - 2015-10-09 - Properly escape (via JSON.strinigify()) string values for inequalities
  • 0.1.2 - 2015-09-20 - Made it all one function so it can be mixed in to a documentdb-utils sproc
  • 0.1.1 - 2015-08-25 - Updated Docs. Fixed bug that was not allowing strings as scalars.
  • 0.1.0 - 2015-08-24 - Initial version