ArangoDB Manual Pages


HTTP Interface for bulk imports
ArangoDB provides an HTTP interface to import multiple documents at once into a collection. This is known as a bulk import.

The data uploaded must be provided in JSON format. There are two mechanisms to import the data:

  • self-contained documents: in this case, each document contains all attribute names and values. Attribute names may be completely different among the documents uploaded
  • attribute names plus document data: in this case, the first document must be a JSON list containing the attribute names of the documents that follow. The following documents must be lists containing only the document data. Data will be mapped to the attribute names by attribute positions.

The endpoint address is /_api/import for both input mechanisms. Data must be sent to this URL using an HTTP POST request. The data to import must be contained in the body of the POST request.

The collection URL parameter must be used to specify the target collection for the import. The optional URL parameter createCollection can be used to create a non-existing collection during the import. If not used, importing data into a non-existing collection will produce an error. Please note that the createCollection flag can only be used to create document collections, not edge collections.

Importing self-contained documents

This import method allows uploading self-contained JSON documents. The documents must be uploaded in the body of the HTTP POST request. Each line of the body will be interpreted as one stand-alone document. Empty lines in the body are allowed but will be skipped. Using this format, the documents are imported line-wise.

Example input data: { "_key": "key1", ... } { "_key": "key2", ... } ...

To use this method, the type URL parameter should be set to documents.

It is also possible to upload self-contained JSON documents that are embedded into a JSON list. Each element from the list will be treated as a document and be imported.

Example input data for this case:

[
  { "_key": "key1", ... },
  { "_key": "key2", ... },
  ...
]

This format does not require each document to be on a separate line, and any whitespace in the JSON data is allowed. It can be used to import a JSON-formatted result list (e.g. from arangosh) back into ArangoDB. Using this format requires ArangoDB to parse the complete list and keep it in memory for the duration of the import. This might be more resource-intensive than the line-wise processing.

To use this method, the type URL parameter should be set to array.

Examples
curl --data-binary @- -X POST --dump - "http://localhost:8529/_api/import?type=documents&collection=test&createCollection=true"
{ "name" : "test", "gender" : "male", "age" : 39 }
{ "type" : "bird", "name" : "robin" }

HTTP/1.1 201 Created
server: triagens GmbH High-Performance HTTP Server
connection: Keep-Alive
content-type: application/json; charset=utf-8

{"error":false,"created":2,"errors":0}

The server will respond with an HTTP 201 if everything went well. The number of documents imported will be returned in the created attribute of the response. If any documents were skipped or incorrectly formatted, this will be returned in the errors attribute.

Importing headers and values

When using this type of import, the attribute names of the documents to be imported are specified separate from the actual document value data. The first line of the HTTP POST request body must be a JSON list containing the attribute names for the documents that follow. The following lines are interpreted as the document data. Each document must be a JSON list of values. No attribute names are needed or allowed in this data section.

Examples
curl --data-binary @- -X POST --dump - "http://localhost:8529/_api/import?collection=test&createCollection=true"
[ "firstName", "lastName", "age", "gender" ]
[ "Joe", "Public", 42, "male" ]
[ "Jane", "Doe", 31, "female" ]

HTTP/1.1 201 Created
server: triagens GmbH High-Performance HTTP Server
connection: Keep-Alive
content-type: application/json; charset=utf-8

{"error":false,"created":2,"errors":0}

The server will again respond with an HTTP 201 if everything went well. The number of documents imported will be returned in the created attribute of the response. If any documents were skipped or incorrectly formatted, this will be returned in the errors attribute.

Importing in edge collections

Please note that when importing documents into an edge collection, it is mandatory that all imported documents contain the _from and _to attributes, and that these contain valid references.

Please also note that it is not possible to create a new edge collection on the fly using the createCollection parameter.