Analyze MongoDB Data in R

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MongoDB ODBC Driver

The MongoDB ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live MongoDB document databases, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access MongoDB like you would a database - read, write, and update through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Create data visualizations and use high-performance statistical functions to analyze MongoDB data in Microsoft R Open.

Access MongoDB data with pure R script and standard SQL. You can use the CData ODBC Driver for MongoDB and the RODBC package to work with remote MongoDB data in R. By using the CData Driver, you are leveraging a driver written for industry-proven standards to access your data in the popular, open-source R language. This article shows how to use the driver to execute SQL queries to MongoDB data and visualize MongoDB data in R.

Install R

You can complement the driver's performance gains from multi-threading and managed code by running the multithreaded Microsoft R Open or by running R linked with the BLAS/LAPACK libraries. This article uses Microsoft R Open (MRO).

Connect to MongoDB as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to MongoDB follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments.

Set the Server, Database, User, and Password connection properties to connect to MongoDB. To access MongoDB collections as tables you can use automatic schema discovery or write your own schema definitions. Schemas are defined in .rsd files, which have a simple format. You can also execute free-form queries that are not tied to the schema.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

Windows

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

Linux

If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for MongoDB in a Linux environment, the driver installation predefines a system DSN. You can modify the DSN by editing the system data sources file (/etc/odbc.ini) and defining the required connection properties.

/etc/odbc.ini

[CData MongoDB Source] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for MongoDB Description = My Description Server = MyServer Port = 27017 Database = test User = test Password = Password

For specific information on using these configuration files, please refer to the help documentation (installed and found online).

Load the RODBC Package

To use the driver, download the RODBC package. In RStudio, click Tools -> Install Packages and enter RODBC in the Packages box.

After installing the RODBC package, the following line loads the package:

library(RODBC)

Note: This article uses RODBC version 1.3-12. Using Microsoft R Open, you can test with the same version, using the checkpoint capabilities of Microsoft's MRAN repository. The checkpoint command enables you to install packages from a snapshot of the CRAN repository, hosted on the MRAN repository. The snapshot taken Jan. 1, 2016 contains version 1.3-12.

library(checkpoint) checkpoint("2016-01-01")

Connect to MongoDB Data as an ODBC Data Source

You can connect to a DSN in R with the following line:

conn <- odbcConnect("CData MongoDB Source")

Schema Discovery

The driver models MongoDB APIs as relational tables, views, and stored procedures. Use the following line to retrieve the list of tables:

sqlTables(conn)

Execute SQL Queries

Use the sqlQuery function to execute any SQL query supported by the MongoDB API.

restaurants <- sqlQuery(conn, "SELECT borough, cuisine FROM restaurants", believeNRows=FALSE, rows_at_time=1)

You can view the results in a data viewer window with the following command:

View(restaurants)

Plot MongoDB Data

You can now analyze MongoDB data with any of the data visualization packages available in the CRAN repository. You can create simple bar plots with the built-in bar plot function:

par(las=2,ps=10,mar=c(5,15,4,2)) barplot(restaurants$cuisine, main="MongoDB restaurants", names.arg = restaurants$borough, horiz=TRUE)