MongoDB Basics

I started off yesterday with a post on Dig into NoSql with MongoDB. If you are intrigued, let’s start talking about next steps. How do you get it installed? Where do you start?

What I did was quite simple:

STEP 1: Download MongoDB

Pretty simple – I just downloaded the Windows, 64-bit download from here, and saved it to my desktop: http://www.mongodb.org/downloads

STEP 2: Unzip the download

I unzipped the the download, then moved that directory structure to a new folder I created – C:MongoDB

For example, I now have C:MongoDBbin – which is where are the executables are.

STEP 3: Create the DB directory and the config file

Create a directory for the databases – create a folder: C:MongoDBdb

Then, in C:MongoDB create a new file called “mongod.conf”. In that file, I have this:

# where data files will reside
dbpath=/MongoDB/db

# where the log file will be
logpath=/MongoDB/mongo-server.log

# how verbose the server will be
verbose=vvvvv

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STEP 4: Install it as a service

You can easily run the MongoDB instance interactively by just typing “mongod” in the command-line window, when you are in the C:MongoDBbin folder – but that would mean the service would only run when you are logged in and when you have typed this command.

Instead, it would be ideal to run MongoDB as a windows service. It would also be ideal to have MongoDB use a configuration file. This way, if you wanted to make some configuration change, you need only stop the service, change the config file, and then restart the service.

To do this, go into C:MongoDBbin folder in the command-line, and type:

mongod -f C:MongoDBmongod.conf --install

This will install the service. If you ever need to remove it, you can also do:

mongod --help

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to see more options, or simply:

mongod --remove

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STEP 5: Stopping and starting the service

To start or stop the service from the command line, running as administrator, you can type:

net start mongodb
net stop mongodb

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STEP 6: Using the Mongo shell

As you might have guessed, you basically use the command-line interface in Windows (or
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Linux) to interact with Mongo. To start the command-line shell, run “mongo.exe” from C:MongoDBbin (when in that directory, just type “mongo” and hit <enter>)

From within this shell, here are some commands I’ve been using a lot that I’ve found useful:

// Show all databases
show dbs

// Switch to a database (example: if CustomerDB was a database)
use CustomerDB

// Show all "collections" within the current database
show collections

// "Query" a table/collection (example: Customer)
db.Customer.find()

// Put JSON output into readable format
db.Customer.find().pretty()

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There are way, way, way more options to starting up and running the MongoDB server – and far more to the Mongo console – but this is just a basic overview. From the things in this post, I was up and running in minutes.

How to do you use this kind of database from a .NET application? That’s coming up next!

Posted in MongoDB, NoSQL, Uncategorized

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