Human readable/friendly IDs

I’d like to give each ‘order’ (document) in an ‘orders’ collection a more human friendly unique identifier for use in an ecommerce app, where the customer would see their order ID and potentially need to reference in over the phone.

I think the default mongo IDs are just a little unwieldy for users (XZ62ARbFwqaYHFLtz), especially the use of mixed-case letters is quite difficult to say over the phone “upper case X, upper case Z, … lower case B etc”…

I’m thinking either 1. A auto-incremented numeric ID or 2. A more simple ID format - case insensitive and possibly a few characters shorter.

Has anyone implemented anything like this already? Any suggestions for how to approach it? I realise there are difficulties with both approaches. What about using the timestamp for when the document is created and hashing it? What problems might I run into?


You can auto increment an id field, but make sure you call it server-side to make sure the ID is unique.

For example:

    'addRecord':function(doc) {
        // Get the current latest id or if it's the first record use 1.
        currentId = MyCollection.findOne({},{sort:{id:-1}}).id || 1; = currentId + 1;

I read some comments on Stackoverflow that this solution is not guaranteed to work. Any other solutions available since the Mongo 3.2 upgrade of Meteor 1.4?

One way is to let the “sleeping dogs lie”, so to say - don’t touch the defaults.

And, in parallel, create any fancy ID you want.

(For a demo project, I used this ‘strategy’, and my ids ran with “MINION#” glued to an auto-incrementing number.)