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(PECL mongo >=0.9.0)

MongoCollection::insertInserts a document into the collection


public bool|array MongoCollection::insert ( array|object $a [, array $options = array() ] )

All strings sent to the database must be UTF-8. If a string is not UTF-8, a MongoException will be thrown. To insert (or query for) a non-UTF-8 string, use MongoBinData.



An array or object. If an object is used, it may not have protected or private properties.


If the parameter does not have an _id key or property, a new MongoId instance will be created and assigned to it. This special behavior does not mean that the parameter is passed by reference.


Options for the insert.

  • "fsync"

    Boolean, defaults to FALSE. If journalling is enabled, it works exactly like "j". If journalling is not enabled, it forces the insert to be synced to disk before returning success. If TRUE, an acknowledged insert is implied and will override setting w to 0.


    This option is deprecated. Please use the "j" option instead.

  • "j"

    Boolean, defaults to FALSE. Forces the insert to be synced to the journal before returning success. If TRUE, an acknowledged insert is implied and will override setting w to 0.

  • "w"

    See WriteConcerns. The default value for MongoClient is 1.

  • "wtimeout"

    How long to wait for WriteConcern acknowledgement. The default value for MongoClient is 10000 milliseconds.

  • "safe"

    Deprecated. Please use the WriteConcern w option.

  • "timeout"

    Integer, defaults to MongoCursor::$timeout. If acknowledged writes are used, this sets how long (in milliseconds) for the client to wait for a database response. If the database does not respond within the timeout period, a MongoCursorTimeoutException will be thrown.

Return Values

Returns an array containing the status of the insertion if the "w" option is set. Otherwise, returns TRUE if the inserted array is not empty (a MongoException will be thrown if the inserted array is empty).

If an array is returned, the following keys may be present:


This should almost always be 1 (unless last_error itself failed).


If this field is non-null, an error occurred on the previous operation. If this field is set, it will be a string describing the error that occurred.


If a database error occurred, the relevant error code will be passed back to the client.


This field is set if something goes wrong with a database command. It is coupled with ok being 0. For example, if w is set and times out, errmsg will be set to "timed out waiting for slaves" and ok will be 0. If this field is set, it will be a string describing the error that occurred.


If the last operation was an update, upsert, or a remove, the number of documents affected will be returned. For insert operations, this value is always 0.


If the previous option timed out waiting for replication.


How long the operation waited before timing out.


If w was set and the operation succeeded, how long it took to replicate to w servers.


If an upsert occurred, this field will contain the new record's _id field. For upserts, either this field or updatedExisting will be present (unless an error occurred).


If an upsert updated an existing element, this field will be true. For upserts, either this field or upserted will be present (unless an error occurred).


Throws MongoException if the inserted document is empty or if it contains zero-length keys. Attempting to insert an object with protected and private properties will cause a zero-length key error.

Throws MongoCursorException if the "w" option is set and the write fails.

Throws MongoCursorTimeoutException if the "w" option is set to a value greater than one and the operation takes longer than MongoCursor::$timeout milliseconds to complete. This does not kill the operation on the server, it is a client-side timeout. The operation in MongoCollection::$wtimeout is milliseconds.


Version Description
1.3.0 The options parameter no longer accepts a boolean to signify a acknowledged write. Instead, this now has to be done with array('w' => 1) (The default behaviour of MongoClient).
1.2.0 Added "timeout" option.
1.0.11 Disconnects on "not master" errors if "safe" is set.

Added ability to pass integers to the "safe" option, which previously only accepted booleans.

Added "fsync" option.

The return type was changed to be an array containing error information if the "safe" option is used. Otherwise, a boolean is returned as before.

1.0.5 Changed second parameter to be an array of options. Pre-1.0.5, the second parameter was a boolean indicating the "safe" option.
1.0.1 Throw a MongoCursorException if the "safe" option is set and the insert fails.


Example #1 MongoCollection::insert() _id example

An _id field will be added to the inserted document if not already present. Depending on how the parameter is passed, a generated _id may or may not be available to calling code.


= new MongoClient();
$collection $m->selectCollection('test''phpmanual');

// If an array literal is used, there is no way to access the generated _id
$collection->insert(array('x' => 1));

// The _id is available on an array passed by value
$a = array('x' => 2);

// The _id is not available on an array passed by reference
$b = array('x' => 3);
$ref = &$b;

// The _id is available if a wrapping function does not trigger copy-on-write
function insert_no_cow($collection$document)

$c = array('x' => 4);

// The _id is not available if a wrapping function triggers copy-on-write
function insert_cow($collection$document)
$document['y'] = 1;

$d = array('x' => 5);


The above example will output something similar to:

array(2) {
  object(MongoId)#4 (0) {
array(1) {
array(2) {
  object(MongoId)#5 (0) {
array(1) {

Example #2 MongoCollection::insert() acknowledged write example

This example shows inserting two elements with the same _id, which causes a MongoCursorException to be thrown, as w was set.


= array("name" => "Joe""age" => 20);

// now $person has an _id field, so if we save it 
// again, we will get an exception
try {
$collection->insert($person, array("w" => 1));
} catch(
MongoCursorException $e) {
"Can't save the same person twice!\n";


See Also

PHP Manual