apostrophe-cursor (server)

An apostrophe-cursor allows you to conveniently fetch docs from the aposDocs mongodb collection using chainable filters, much like a MongoDB or Doctrine cursor.

Usually you'll be working with a subclass of apostrophe-cursor appropriate to a particular type of piece or page. Each subclass typically adds new filters. Some modules also add filters to the main apostrophe-cursor class that are useful with all types of docs, like the areas filter that calls loaders for the widgets in Apostrophe areas.

Normally you get a cursor object by calling the find() method of the module associated with the piece type or page type you are interested in. If you are interested in all docs, call the find() method of the apostrophe-docs module (apos.docs.find). If you are interested in all pages (docs that are part of the page tree), call the find() method of the apostrophe-pages module (apos.pages.find).

All of these find() methods take req as the first argument in order to check permissions.


Let's fetch all docs with an age property >= 30 that are published...

return apos.docs.find(req).
  and({ age: { $gte: 30 } }).
  toArray(function(err, docs) { ... });

Let's get the 10 most recent blog posts (assumes the apostrophe-blog module is in use)

return apos.docs.getManager('apostrophe-blog').
  toArray(function(err, blogPosts) { ... })

If a filter provides a launder function and sets its safeFor property to public, then it is called automatically if a query parameter matching its name is seen on an apostrophe-pieces-pages page, such as a blog. In many cases this is the main motivation for adding a filter.



The areas filter calls the load methods of the widget type managers for widgets in areas. By default this does occur. With .areas(false) you can shut it off for a particular cursor. With .areas([ 'thumbnail' ]) you can load just that one area for all pages matching the query.

addFilter(name, definition)

Add a new filter method to this cursor.

name is the filter method name. definition is an object which can have set, finalize and after functions and a default value, def. You provide this functionality and Apostrophe builds the actual chainable method for you.

A filter may also have a launder function. If present it is expected to clean up data passed by an end user and return the cleaned-up value. It must not trust the data in any way (hint: use self.apos.launder.string, etc). If you also set safeFor: 'public', the filter then becomes available as a query string parameter in apostrophe-pieces-pages and other modules that invoke queryToFilters.

set defaults to a simple self.set call to store its single argument for retrieval by self.get('nameOfFilter'). finalize defaults to doing nothing. Usually your finalizer modifies the criteria in some way, most often by calling the self.and(obj) filter to add new conditions to the criteria built up so far.

Your finalizer must be idempotent — That is, it must not be harmful to invoke it twice. If it is harmful, just use self.set to undefine your state so your code doesn't run twice.

If the filter has still not been called at finalization time, the filter is called with def before the finalizer is invoked.

finalize may optionally take a callback. So can after.

If finalize returns the string refinalize or delivers that string to its callback, the entire series of finalizers is invoked again. This is useful if you wish to simplify the query and be assured that all of the other finalizers will see your modification.


The filters automatically added for each schema field are marked as safeFor: "manage" because of the risk they will be used to get information the public shouldn't have. You can mark these filters safeFor: "public" conveniently by passing an array of filter names to this method. apostrophe-pieces-pages automatically does this when a filter is specified for its piecesFilters option.

This method is chainable (it returns the cursor).

toDistinct(property, callback)

Invokes callback with (err, results) where results is an array of all distinct values for the given property. Not chainable. Wraps MongoDB's distinct and does not understand join fields directly. However, see also toChoices.

toChoices(property, options, callback)

Invokes callback with (err, results) where results is an array of objects with label and value properties suitable for display as a select menu or use as an autocomplete API response. Most field types support this well, including joinByOne and joinByArray.

the options object can be omitted completely.

It is best to add your properties to your schema, using a schema field type that features a choices property (most do), so there is no ambiguity about what this method should do. However, there are fallbacks:

  1. Normally, if there is no choices function or no filter at all, the distinct database values for the property are presented as the options.

  2. If there is a filter but it has no choices function, and options.legacyFilterChoices is truthy, the filter is assumed to have a boolean interface and options are fetched on that basis. The labels will just be "Yes" and "No", however the pieces module manage view patches these via the legacy choices feature of addFilters.

    legacyChoices(name, callback)


Invokes callback with (err, doc) where doc is the first document matching the query. Not chainable.


Invokes callback with (err, count) where count is the number of documents matching the query, ignoring the page, skip and limit filters.

If the perPage filter is set, totalPages is made available via cursor.get('totalPages').

Not chainable.


Invokes callback with (err, docs) where docs is an array of documents matching the query. Not chainable.


Invokes callback with (err, mongo) where mongo is a MongoDB self. You can use this to access MongoDB's nextObject method, etc. If you use it, you should also invoke after for each result (see below). Generally you should use toObject, toArray, etc. but for some low-level operations this may be desirable. Not chainable.


Clones a cursor, creating an independent clone that can be modified without modifying the original cursor. This should be called when querying based on the same criteria multiple times. Returns the new cursor.


Invoked by afterConstruct to handle the arguments that came from the find() call responsible for creating this cursor.

set(key, value)

Filters and any other methods you add should store their state with this method rather than by directly modifying self or self.state. The default implementation of the set function for each cursor just calls this with the cursor's name and first argument.


Filters you add to cursors should fetch their state with this method rather than by directly modifying self or self.state. By default the first argument to the filter is stored under the filter's name.

queryToFilters(query, safeFor)

Apply filters present in a query object (often from req.query), skipping all filters not declared as safe for the given domain (such as "public" or "manage"). Filters declaring themselves as safe must implement a launder function to clean up the data. Never trust a browser.

If safeFor is not specified or is set to manage, we assume any filter that has a launder method is suitable for our use.


Apply the named filters present in the given object, WITHOUT checking for safety or laundering the data in any way. ALWAYS use queryToFilters instead for anything coming directly from the user.


Applies all defaults and transformations prior to handing off the query to MongoDB. This is where most filters add criteria, and it is where tricky filters like autocomplete make database queries.

mongoToArray(mongo, callback)

An implementation detail of toArray, subject to change. You probably wanted toMongo.

after(results, callback)

Invokes "after" methods of all filters that have them. Invoked for you by toArray.


Implementation detail of the previous and next filters



Filter. Sets the MongoDB criteria, discarding criteria previously added using this method or the and method. For this reason, and is a more common choice. You can also pass a criteria object as the second argument to any find method.


Filter. If .log(true) is invoked, the query criteria are logged to the console.


Filter. Provides an object to be merged directly into the final criteria object that will go to MongoDB. This is to be used only in cases where MongoDB forbids the use of an operator inside $and, such as the $near operator.


Filter. Requires all criteria already specified AND the criteria object specified by c to match the docs.


Filter. Sets the MongoDB projection. You can also set the projection as the third argument to any find method.


Filter. Changes the default value for the sort filter. The argument is the same as for the sort filter: an object like { title: 1 }. false can be passed to clear a default.

This filter is called by apostrophe-pieces based on its sort configuration option.

It is distinct from the sort filter so that we can distinguish between cases where a default sort should be ignored (for instance, the search filter is present) and cases where a sort is explicitly demanded by the user.


Filter. Sets the MongoDB sort, with some extra features.

If false is explicitly passed, there is no sort at all (helpful with $near).

If this method is never called or obj is undefined, a case-insensitive sort on the title is the default, unless search() has been called, in which case a sort by search result quality is the default.

If you sort on a field that is defined in the schema for the specific doc type you are finding, and that field has the sortify: true option in its schema field definition, then this filter will automatically substitute a "sortified" version of the field that is case-insensitive, ignores extra whitespace and punctuation, etc. for a more natural sort than MongoDB normally provides.

For instance, title has sortify: true for all doc types, so you always get the more natural sort.


Filter. Skip the first n documents. Affects toArray and toObject. Does not affect toDistinct or toMongo.


Filter. Limit to n documents. Affects toArray only.


Filter. Allows you to paginate docs rather than using skip and limit directly.

Sets the number of docs per page and enables the use of the page filter to indicate the current page.

Used by apostrophe-pieces and apostrophe-pieces-pages.


Filter. Sets the current page number. You must also use perPage.

Used by apostrophe-pieces and apostrophe-pieces-pages.


Filter limit the returned docs to those for which the user associated with the cursor's req has the named permission. By default, view-doc is checked for.

edit, view and publish are the permissions you're likely to want to restrict results to.

USE WITH CARE: If you pass false, permissions checks are disabled.

If this method is never called, or you pass undefined or null, view is checked for.

The permission name is suffixed for you with a specific doc type name if the type filter has been called, however for database queries this normally makes no difference unless the permissions module has been extended.

In all cases, all of the returned docs are marked with _edit: true and/or _publish: true properties if the user associated with the request is allowed to do those things. This is useful if you are fetching docs for viewing but also want to know which ones can be edited.


Filter. Limits results to docs which are a good match for a partial string typed by the user. Appropriate words must exist in the title, tags or other text schema fields of the doc (autocomplete is not full text body search). Those words are then fed back into the search filter to prioritize the results.


Filter. Limits results to those that match the given search. Search is implemented using MongoDB's $text operator and a full text index.

If this filter is set, the sort filter will default to sorting by search quality. This is important because the worst of the full-text search matches will be of very poor quality.


Filter. Limits results to those which include the specified tag in their tags property.


Filter. Limits results to those which include at least one of the specified array of tags in their tags property.


Filter. if flag is false, undefined or this method is never called, return only docs not in the trash. This is the default behavior.

if flag is true, return only docs in the trash.

if flag is null (not undefined), return docs regardless of trash status.


Filter. If flag is undefined, true or this method is never called, return only published docs.

If flag is false, return only unpublished docs.

If flag is null, return docs without regard to published status.

Regardless of this filter the user's permissions are always taken into account. For instance, a logged-out user will never see unpublished documents unless permissions(false) is called.


Filter. Pass an array of _id values. The returned docs will be in that specific order. If a doc is not mentioned in the array it will be discarded from the result. Docs that exist in the array but not in the database are also absent from the result.

You may optionally specify a property name other than _id to order the results on a second argument.


Filter. This cursor will only retrieve documents of the specified type. Filters out everything else.

Generally you don't want to call this filter directly. Call the find() method of the doc type manager for the type you are interested in. This will also give you a cursor of the right subclass.


Filter. Performs joins by default, for all types retrieved, based on the schema for each type. If joins(false) is explicitly called no joins are performed. If joins() is invoked with an array of join names only those joins and those intermediate to them are performed (dot notation). See apostrophe-schemas for more information.

TODO: identify joins with identical definitions in each schema and pass those "intersection" schemas to self.apos.schemas.join just once, for performance.


Invokes the addUrls method of all doc type managers with relevant docs among the results, if they have one.

The method receives (req, docs, callback). All of the docs will be of the appropriate type for that manager.

The addUrls method should add the ._url property to each doc, if possible.

If it is not possible (there is no corresponding pieces-page) it may be left unset.

Defaults to true. If set to false, addUrls methods are not invoked.


If set to a doc object, this filter will limit results to the docs that precede it in the current sort order.

The _id is used as a tiebreaker sort to avoid loops.


If set to a doc object, this filter will limit results to the docs that follow it in the current sort order.

The _id is used as a tiebreaker sort to avoid loops.


Filter. All docs that are part of the page tree (they have a slug beginning with a /) receive a ._url property, which takes the sitewide prefix into account if necessary. Always use this property. Never use the slug as a URL.

This filter is turned on by default.

Note that many type-specific cursors, such as those for pieces, also add a ._url property appropriate to type if a suitable pieces page is available.

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