Does Firestore insert document actually do a set operation in the backend?

I am writing something to insert documents in to a collection in Firestore. As documents where inserted I noticed that a duplicate document id didn’t fail, but updated the record.

I referenced,, and noticed that at one time Retool had a set option, which isn’t there any longer, so I wondered if the insert document is actually using a set against Firebase. If a set is being used, to confirm, the merge option is set to false (default).

I know it may sound strange, but I was hoping that the insert action actually did an insert against the collection as it would alert us of a duplicate document id.

Hey @brettski! Good to hear from you again :slight_smile:

So re: the docs - we do have a .set option for the Realtime Database, but not for Firestore (I don’t believe this was ever supported). The Node SDK for Firestore does support this, but we don’t have an option in Retool quite yet.

I took a look at how we’re doing insert document on the backend and you’re right - we are using .set. What would be your ideal UX here - the ability to toggle between merge: true and false? Or a separate query type for set and insert?

Hi Justin!

Ultimately I would expect both a set option with merge: true or merge:false and a distinct insert actions.

More important, in my opinion, is a distinct insert action (especially since there is basic set functionality now). When letting Firestore set document id’s this isn’t so important, but when you are setting your own document id’s you don’t want to overwrite a document if you’re not expecting to. Preferably it would error…

Of course now, making the insert action a true insert would be a breaking change to retool. Software is hard.

Thank you Justin.

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This is good input @brettski!

I was just thinking naming the action create may be an option for backwards compatibility. The fear here obviously is that many people have probably used insert and expect the current set()-type functionality of it. So perhaps an option to add a create action, and deprecate Insert may be an option. Yeah, software is hard. :slight_smile:


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Im doing a collection update, and want to use the merge option too. Did this get added in to the retool interface?
For that matter are the array tools also available arrayUnion, arrayRemove ?