Setting up MongoDB to Use Standard GUIDs in C#

2022, Feb 18    

If you’ve ever use MongoDB across multiple languages and tools, you might have noticed that the GUIDs get represented totally different. It becomes a big issue as when you pass the string representation of that GUID to another system and it can’t find that document due to the how the GUIDs are represented.

It was common for people to write a bunch of conversion methods between each type of representation, here’s an example of uuidHelpers.js which is file full of JavaScript helper functions.

Let’s take some C# code for example and see what gets saved in the database to start with

var mongoClient = new MongoClient();
var mongoDatabase = mongoClient.GetDatabase("test");
var mongoCollection = mongoDatabase.GetCollection<Data>("data");

await mongoCollection.InsertOneAsync(new Data
    Guid1 = Guid.NewGuid()

var result = await mongoCollection.Find(Builders<Data>.Filter.Empty).ToListAsync();

foreach (var data in result)
    Console.WriteLine("{0}: {1}", data.Id, data.Guid1);

public class Data
    public ObjectId Id { get; set; }
    public Guid Guid1 { get; set; }

When we run the above code we’ll see that we get a BinData sub type 3 stored for our Guid1 field.

{ "_id" : ObjectId("620fdff2cb04aa50d3c13d19"), "Guid1" : BinData(3,"xi6M3jaSUESCpLCKKWIRrA==") }

The BinData sub type of 3 is a “UUID (Old)” which you can find within the BSON spec.

The default setup for the C# driver is to use the GUID representation of C# legacy, however, I’d recommended to use the GUID representation of standard.

We can set the driver to use the standard representation before we do any operations with the MongoDB driver, This is done by registering a new BSON serializer for the GUIDs.

BsonSerializer.RegisterSerializer(new GuidSerializer(GuidRepresentation.Standard));

Now if we execute the same code again we’ll get the following results

{ "_id" : ObjectId("620fe184a350da97127fcae5"), "Guid1" : UUID("9b927360-b531-4bb9-9e09-1a3093f8507a") }

This is now using the new UUID BinData sub type which will make it easier to deal with.