Experimenting with MongoKitten

As mentioned in my previous post, I have started looking at Server Side Swift with the aim to build a search engine (Burf.co).  To store my crawled data I decided to try and use MongoDB as it supports full-text search out of the box.  The original Burf.com used Equinox (made by Compsoft) and then later used Microsoft Indexing Service.  This time round I wanted to be a little more scalable.  Now there are probably better DB solutions for what I plan to do, but MongoDB seemed really simple to get up and running with.  Later on, I should be able to switch out the database layer if needed.


Now that I had decided to use Swift, and MongoDB, I needed to find a framework that connects them, my friend (who knows his stuff) recommended MongoKitten!  I got up and running with it fairly quickly even though I don’t know MongoDB too well. Life was good, however, there were a few things I did struggle with:


So, search a field for a partial string requires you to use Regex (it seems).  


db.users.findOne({“username” : {$regex : “.*eBay.*”}});


let query: Query = [

           “url”: RegularExpression(pattern: “.\(eBay).”)


let matchingEntities: CollectionSlice<Document> = try pages.find(query)

Sorting results on $meta textScore

MongoDB allows you to setup full text searching across your data, it can be across an entire record, or just certain fields (name, address etc).  When you perform a full-text search, MongoDB returns the relevant records with an accuracy score ($meta.textScore).  MongoDB lets you change how it creates these scores by allowing you to adjust the weights each field receives e.g name is more important than address.


db.pages.find( {$text: {$search: “ebay”}},{score: {$meta: “textScore” }}).sort({score: {$meta:”textScore”}})


let query: Query = [

           “$text”: [“$search”: str ],

           “lang” : [“$eq”: “en”],


let projection: Projection = [

            “_id”: .excluded,

           “url”: “url”,

           “title”: “title”,

           “score”: [“$meta” : “textScore”]


let sort: Sort = [

           “score”: .custom([

               “$meta”: “textScore”



let matchingEntities: CollectionSlice<Document> = try pages.find(query, sortedBy: sort, projecting: projection, readConcern:nil,  collation:nil, skipping: 0, limitedTo: Settings.searchResultLimit )

Getting Help

I found the best way to get help was to contact the creator(Joannis) of MongoKitten via Slack, he is pretty busy but super helpful!

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