DBS311 - DBS710

Install MongoDB in Preparation for Use

Updated November 13, 2022

Table of Contents

Useful Links

Lab Computer Access

For those whom must use the lab computers, there is an alternative for now to use the commandShell for MongoDB to access your database. Instructions for this option are coming soon. For now you look in MyApps for MongoDB you will be able to get it running with both Compass and the Command Shell.

We are currently requesting that the version of VSCode on MyApps be updated to a version compatible with the extension we are going to use, but this will take time and likely will not be ready until the winter term.

Personal/Laptop Computer Access

In this course we will study MongoDB and therefore we will need to prepare our laptops/personal computers for working with MongoDB. There will be two steps in the process:

Important Notes

If you already have an Atlas account setup from Web322, then you will simply need to login to your atlas account to obtain your connection string.

If you already have VS Code installed, at least version 1.6 or above, you can skip that step and just install the extension.

ATLAS accounts

For those students whom are taking, or have taken Web322 you will likely already have an Atlas account, if this is the case, you can skip this entire step and move to the VS Code setup step.
  1. Navigate to the Atlas homepage - link here
  2. If you do not have an atlas account, then click "Try Free", if you do have an account, then click "Sign In" and move to step 6 below
  3. You will need to verify your email address by clicking on a link in an email that would be sent to you.
  4. You will now sign in for the first time. On your first sign-in, it will ask you to create a database. This is a little misleading because it is actually asking you to create a cluster. Once you start it will ask for your deployment options, we will choose the always free options. Choose Shared and click Create
  5. You will then need to create a cluster, again choose Shared as it is free.
  6. You will then be asked to choose a cloud server. Luckily Azure has a Toronto server facility that is free of charge, so let us use that one.
  7. At this point create a cluster name, that is personal to you. It is best if the name has no spaces or other special symbols

  8. You will then have to create the first username and password for accessing the database. This should be different than your Atlas password, as this one you may have to share with your group.

  9. Once the user is created, it should show up just below the creation form. You may choose to add more now, but for classes, it is not necessary.

  10. Once you are done this step, you will be returned to the same screen in which you will be at when you login from now on.

  11. You will need to ensure that you are allowing access to the database from different computers. In the real world, this would normally be only accessed from the web or cloud servers. But for the purposes of class, and ease of setup, we will "Allow Access From Anywhere" to start. This is accomplished by clicking on the Connect button beside your cluster name, in the previous screen and then choosing the appropriate option under "Add a connection IP Address"

  12. After access is granted, a screen comes up that that will look like one of 2 different screens: pending how your account is setup. If you have the choice to choose "Connect using VS Code" do so, if not choose "MongoDB Compass". Both will give you the same connection string, which is really all we want at this point.

  13. Both option will bring up a screen that shows a connection string that looks something like below.

    There are three parts to this connection string you will need to know about.

    • The picture shows techprof.pjz69te.mongodb.net, this is the clustername and server name together. Yours will be different, copy yours as it was provided to you.
    • The second part is "<password>" - you will need to replace this with the password for the username you created for your cluster.
    • The third part in the "test" at the end. This is where you will name your database. The database name is set during the connection. Depending on the UI you use later, this can be changed on the fly.
      - VS Code MongoDB extension does not let you change databases without disconnecting and reconnecting. The database in the connection string is the only database you can access.
      - MongoDB Shell does allow you to change databases using the "use" command.

Setting up VS Code

If you do not already have VS Code installed, it is fairly straight forward to install.

  1. The download page for VS Code is : Download Link
  2. Choose the appropriate operating system, most computers today will be x64 and if the choice is available, choose user installer.
  3. The download should start.
  4. You can simply download the software and choose all the default settings. The default settings are setup for most developers best interests and are a good place to start.
  5. Once VS Code is installed, you can move to adding the MongoDB Extension section.

Adding MongoDB Extension to VS Code

To interact with MongoDB on a scripting basis, we will need a user interface. The newly created VSCode Extension plugin is really well done, and was created by the MongoDB community.

To add the extension, open VS Code and:

  1. Click on the extensions icon on the left side:
  2. In the search bar at the top type in "MongoDB for VS Code"
  3. Click "Install" on the right side. (the screenshot shows uninstall, but that is where the install button will be)
That is it, this step in done!

Using Playground to Connect to MongoDB Atlas

Once you have an Atlas account and VS Code installed, now you can now add a connection and user your first playground.

You are now ready to go. Please note that you can save the entire file and bring it up another day. Simply create a new playground and then load the file. Also note that the files are saves as .mongodb files, so you might have to make a file association on your computer to automatically have .mongodb files open in VS Code.

You are Done! Happy coding!

The following is currently not needed for DBS311 or DBS710 students. But the legacy instructions are left here in case for your own use.

Legacy Only
Installing a MongoDB Server (v5) on your personal computer.

Table of Contents

Download Required Files

Go to the following link to download MongoDB:

Installing MongoDB

Read and accept the License Agreement, click next

Choose a Complete Setup Type

On the next configuration screen, leave the settings as default unless you have a separate data drive on your computer where you might want to store the data files.
It is recommended to move the data and log files to a data drive if available. Otherwise, leave the settings as the default ones.
Click Next

On the next screen, leave "Install MongoDB Compass" checked and click Next. Compass is a GUI for MongoDB that let's you run AdHoc Queries in seconds and interact with your data with full CRUD capabilities.

On the last setup screen, click Install. Note, you will need to be an administrator on the machine to do this, if you are prompted for administrative credentials, enter them, otherwise, just click on Yes to give Mongo Permissions to make changes to your computer.

When the installation finishes, click the Finish button.

If Compass opens as part of the installation process, that is okay, just minimize it for now, we will come back to that later.

Some people may get an error that the service did not start properly, this is actually okay at this point, you can click ignore, if you get this pop-up error.

Running MongoDB for the first time

If everything goes according to plan, then we are all good.

Working with Compass

Throughout this course, almost everything we need to do with MongoDB can be done at the command prompt or using Compass as a GUI. This is really personal preference, and this website will present both options for you to use. Ultimately, it is the commands that you need to know how to use to create and manipulate your database structure and the data.

When you first open Compass for the first time you should see the dashboard screen that looks like this:

If installation went as expected above, then you can type the following in for the connection string:


If you choose to use Atlas for your database hosting location, that is fine, but this website documentation will refer to localhost throughout, you will need to adjust this information to your Atlas connection string where appropriate.

After the connection string is entered, clicking connect should show the following screen:

Note: if you followed all the instructions in the command prompt section, you should see the library database in the list.

Creating a New Database

like in the previous instructions, let us create a new database and add a book.

Click Create Database and the following screen should appear.

Enter "library2" for the Database Name and "Magazine" for the Collection and then click Create Database. This creates a new database with a collection of objects called "Magazine" inside it.

Within Compass you can see these collections, by clicking on the database name. Click on library to see the book collection. Note that from this screen you can add additional collections or delete existing ones.

Then click on book to see the "Blue Sky" book we entered earlier. You can also add new data from this screen by importing a file or inserting a document.

Importing a file allows you to import JSON or CSV files into the collection providing they are in the matching format, discussed more later. Inserting a Document let's you write JSON code for inserting additional collection data.

Inserting a new book.

Click on "Add Data" and then choose "Insert Document".


{"title": "Hamlet"}
on line 4 and click INSERT.

By Mousing Over each book you are presented with options to EDIT, COPY, CLONE, or DELETE each book.

This screen also allows you th search, filter, navigate through and refresh the data shown. This is a good data visualization tool for small datasets and reasonable for larger sets.

Click on "Local" in the top left corner to return to the list of databases.

In order to delete a database, you can click on the trashcan icon on the right side of each database. It is highly recommended that you do not delete the admin, config or local databases.

Delete the recently created "library2" database. As a safety precaution, it will make you type in the name of the database before it is dropped as the drop is permanent.

This concludes the installation and setup of MongoDB section as well as a quick intro to Compass.