MongoDB Installation

For Windows users

  • Go to

    • Select the latest stable version (4.2.X+)
    • Make sure the package is msi
    • Download, and run the installation wizard, choose the default setup
    • At the final step of the installer make sure "Install Mongo Compass" is checked
  • Try running the command mongo in your terminal This probably won't work

  • If the mongo command worked, congratulations! You're done!

    • > Hang tight while we get everyone else sorted out
  • To set up the command line path open your file explorer, and right click on "This PC"

  • Select “Advanced System Settings”

  • Select “Environment Variables…” from the popup box

  • Under "System Variables", double click on Path

  • Paste the full file path to Mongo's bin folder. C:\Program Files\MongoDB\Server\4.2\bin by default

  • Close then reopen your terminal.

  • Run mongo to start up your MongoDB environment

For Mac Users

  • Open your terminal and enter the following commands
  • brew tap mongodb/brew
  • brew install [email protected]
  • To run the MongoDb environment use brew services start [email protected]

MongoDB Overview

  • document database (NoSQL)
  • horizontal sharding => can theoretically serve trillions of records
  • uses JavaScript for data definition and manipulation
  • built-in map-reduce for dynamic collections
  • indexing on fields by value or free-text search

"Mongo is not a toy, although it can be fun to play with." - Josh Burke

Concept: Database

to connect to a database you need a Mongo URI (or URL) identifying the server, port, etc.:

Connection URL format:

mongodb://username:[email protected]/database

for example


Note that the term "database" is overloaded: it refers to either:

  1. a single MongoDB process hosting many data sets
  2. a single MongoDB data set containing many related collections

Concept: Collection

a collection holds documents

this is analogous to a table in SQL

Concept: Document

In MongoDB, a document is essentially a single JavaScript object

Like in a relational database, a document can be created, read, updated, deleted, indexed, searched for, ...

Unlike in a relational database, a document can contain any value for its fields, including arrays and nested objects.

This nesting and type-flexibility makes it very appropriate to store whatever JavaScript objects your app uses, without needing to devise a mapping between nested objects and joined relational tables.

Lab: Mongo CLI

Let's make our first Mongo collection through the terminal!

  • Enter the Mongo shell
  • Once you're in the mongo shell type help to see the options available to you
  • Create an object and insert it into the collection
    • Add a few
  • View all the objects you just added
  • View a single object
  • Update an object
  • Delete an object

Concept: ObjectId

  • _id is assigned by Mongo when a document is inserted
  • ObjectId is a factory function that either generates a new id, or transforms a given string into a Mongo ID object

Lab: Exploring with Compass

When you installed MongoDB you should have also installed an application called "Compass." This is MongoDb's GUI tool. Let's open it up and see what it can do!

  • Open compass and hit the green button that says "connect"
  • Look for the database named "test" in the left side nav bar, and open it
  • Create a new collection
  • In the collection you just created try running through all the CRUD functions