For the following challenges, you are going to use MongoDB to store data. To simplify the configuration, you'll use a service called MongoDB Atlas.

Create a MongoDB Atlas Account

MongoDB Atlas is a MongoDB Database-as-a-Service platform, which means that they configure and host the database for you. Then, your only responsibility will be to populate your database with what matters: data.

  • Go here to sign up for a new MongoDB Atlas account.
  • Fill in the registration form with your information and click Sign up.

Create a New Cluster

  • On the next page, fill in your organization's name, project's name, select JavaScript as your preferred programming language, and click the green Continue button.
  • Once you create and verify your account, answer the onboarding questions (your goal, the type of application you're building, your preferred programming language, etc.) and click the green Finish button.
  • On the "Deploy a cloud database" page, click the Create button under the Shared cluster type. This should be the only free option:
The "Deploy a cloud database" page showing the free Shared cluster type as last option on the far-right, after the Serverless and Dedicated cluster types.
  • In the Cloud Provider & Region dropdown, leave everything as default, which is typically AWS N. Virginia (us-east-1).
  • In the Cluster Tier dropdown, leave this as the default, M0 Sandbox (Shared RAM, 512 MB Storage).
  • In the Cluster Name dropdown, you can give your cluster a name, or leave it as the default, Cluster0.
  • Click the green Create Cluster button at the bottom of the screen.
  • You should now see the message "M0 Cluster Provisioning... This process will take 3-5 minutes." Wait until the cluster is created before going to the next step.

Create a New User for the Database

  • On the left side of screen under SECURITY, click on Database Access.
  • Click the green Add New Database User button.
  • Under Authentication Method, make sure Password is selected, then enter in a username and password for your user.
  • Under Database User Privileges, leave this as the default option, Read and write to any database.
  • Click the Add User button to create your new user.

Allow Access From All IP Addresses

  • On the left side of the screen under SECURITY, click on Network Access.
  • Click the green Add IP Address button.
  • In the modal, click the ALLOW ACCESS FROM ANYWHERE button. You should see 0.0.0.0/0 in the Access List Entry field.
  • Click the green Confirm button.

Connect to Your Cluster

  • On the left side of the screen under DEPLOYMENT, click on Database.
  • Click the Connect button for your cluster:
The Connect button for your cluster, Cluster0 if you left the name as its default.
  • In the popup modal, click on Connect your application.
  • You should see the URI string you'll use to connect to your database similar to this: mongodb+srv://<username>:<password>@<cluster-name>.prx1c.mongodb.net/<db-name>?retryWrites=true&w=majority.
  • Click the Copy button to copy your URI to your clipboard.

Notice that the <username> and <cluster-name> fields of the URI you copied are already filled out for you. All you need to do is replace the <password> field with the one you created in the previous step, and be sure to add the name of your database before the query string (?retryWrites=true&w=majority).

You can call your database anything, but it's good to give it a memorable name for your project. For example, if you're working on the "MongoDB and Mongoose" challenges, you could replace <db-name> with fcc-mongodb-and-mongoose or something similar.

Connect to An Existing Database

If you've already created a cluster and a database and would like to connect it to a new application, follow these steps:

  • On the left side of the screen under DEPLOYMENT, click on Database.
  • Find your cluster and click the Browse Collections button to see a list of existing databases and collections.
  • Copy the database name you want to connect to and replace <db-name> with it in the URI string above.

And that's it — you now have the URI to add to your application and connect to your database. Keep this URI safe somewhere so you can use it later.