CRUD Operations with Mongoose and MongoDB Atlas


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Mongoose is one of the fundamental tools for manipulating data for a Node.js/MongoDB backend. In this article we’ll be looking into some of the basic ways of using Mongoose and even using it with the MongoDB Atlas remote database.


Since we’ll be using Express to set up a basic server, I would recommend checking out this article on express and the official Express docs if you’re not very comfortable with it just yet.

We’ll also be setting up a very basic REST Api without any authentication, you can learn a bit more about that here, but the routing will be asynchronous and we’ll be using async/await functions, which you can freshen up on here.


Of course, we’ll also need to have express installed to set up our server.

$ npm i express mongoose

File Setup

We’ll only need three files and two folders to get started. This folder structure works well for the sake of organization if you want to add more to your API in the future:

models 📂
routes 📂

MongoDB Atlas Setup

We’ll need to get setup with MongoDB Atlas. Here’s a summary of the steps to get started:

  • Setup an account
  • Hit Build a Cluster
  • Go to Database Access and hit Add New User. Add a username and password, if you autogenerate a password make sure you copy it, we’ll need it later.
  • Go to Network Access, hit Add IP Address, and hit Add Current IP Address, then confirm.
  • Go to Clusters, if your cluster build is done then hit Connect, Connect Your Application, and copy the line of code it gives you

Everything else with MongoDB Atlas will be handled on our end with in Node.js.

Postman Setup

We’ll be using Postman to help manage our requests for us. Once you get it downloaded and set up, create a new collection called whatever you want (mine will be called Gator Diner). On the bottom right of the new collection, there are three little dots that give you an ‘Add Request’ option. Every time we make a new API endpoint we’ll be setting up another request for it. This will help you manage everything so you don’t have to copy/paste HTTP requests everywhere.

Server Setup

Here we’ll set up our basic Express server on port 3000, connect to our Atlas database, and import our future routes. mongoose.connect() will take the line of code we copied from Atlas and an object of configuration options (the only option we’ll be using is useNewUrlParser, which will just get rid of an annoying terminal error we get saying that the default is deprecated, this doesn’t change the behavior or the usage).

In the MongoDB Atlas code provided there is a section like UserName:<password>, replace with the username and whatever password you set up in Atlas (make sure to remove the greater/less than signs).

const express = require('express');
const mongoose = require('mongoose');
const foodRouter = require('./routes/foodRoutes.js');

const app = express();
app.use(express.json()); // Make sure it comes back as json

mongoose.connect('mongodb+srv://UserName:<password>@cluster0-8vkls.mongodb.net/test?retryWrites=true&w=majority', {
  useNewUrlParser: true


app.listen(3000, () => { console.log('Server is running...') });

There we go, now we’re all hooked up to our backend and we can start actually learning mongoose.


First we need to have a pattern to structure our data onto, and these patterns are referred to as schemas. Schemas allow us to decide exactly what data we want, and what options we want the data to have as an object.

With that basic pattern in place we’ll use the mongoose.model method to make it usable with actual data and export it as a variable we can use in foodRoutes.js.


  • type Sets whether it is a String, Number, Date, Boolean, Array, or a Map (an object).
  • required (Boolean) Return an error if not provided.
  • trim (Boolean) Removes any extra whitespace.
  • uppercase (Boolean) Converts to uppercase.
  • lowercase (Boolean) Converts to lowercase.
  • validate Sets a function to determine if the result is acceptable.
  • default Sets the default if no data is given.
const mongoose = require('mongoose');

const FoodSchema = new mongoose.Schema({
  name: {
    type: String,
    required: true,
    trim: true,
    lowercase: true
  calories: {
    type: Number,
    default: 0,
    validate(value) { 
      if (value < 0) throw new Error("Negative calories aren't real.");

const Food = mongoose.model("Food", FoodSchema);
module.exports = Food;

Query Functions

While there are many querying functions available, which you can find here, here are the ones we’ll be using in this instance:

  • find() Returns all objects with matching parameters so .find({ name: fish }) would return every object named fish and an empty object will return everything.
  • save() Save it to our Atlas database.
  • findByIdAndDelete() Takes the objects id and removes from the database.
  • findByIdAndUpdate Takes the objects id and an object to replace it with.
  • deleteOne() and deleteMany() Removes the first or all items from the database.

Read All

Once we have our data model set up we can start setting up basic routes to use it.

We’ll start by getting all foods in the database, which should just be an empty array right now. Since Mongoose functions are asynchronous, we’ll be using async/await.

Once we have the data we’ll use a try/catch block to send it back to and so that we can see that things are working using Postman.

const express = require('express');
const foodModel = require('../models/food');
const app = express();

app.get('/foods', async (req, res) => {
  const foods = await foodModel.find({});

  try {
  } catch (err) {

module.exports = app

In Postman, we’ll create a new Get All request, set the url to localhost:3000/foods, and hit send. It should make our HTTP GET request for us and return our empty array.


This time we’ll be setting up a post request to '/food' and we’ll create a new food object with our model and pass it the request data from Postman.

Once we have a model with data in place, we can use .save() to save it to our database.

app.post('/food', async (req, res) => {
  const food = new foodModel(req.body);

  try {
    await food.save();
  } catch (err) {

In Postman we’ll make another request called Add New, give it the URL like before to localhost:3000/food, and change it from a GET to a POST request.

Over in Body, select raw and JSON (application/json) from the drop down. Here we can add whatever new food item we want to save to our database.

  "name": "snails",
  "calories": "100"

If you run the Get All request again, our once empty array should now contain this object.


Every object created with Mongoose is given its own _id, and we can use this to target specific items with a DELETE request. We can use the .findByIdAndDelete() method to easily remove it from the database, it obviously just needs the id, which is stored on our request object.

app.delete('/food/:id', async (req, res) => {
  try {
    const food = await foodModel.findByIdAndDelete(req.params.id)

    if (!food) res.status(404).send("No item found")
  } catch (err) {

In Postman we can use the Get All request to get the id of one of our items, and add that to the end of our url in our new Remove request, it’ll look something like localhost:3000/food/5d1f6c3e4b0b88fb1d257237.

Run Get All again and it should be gone.


Just like with the delete request, we’ll be using the _id to target the correct item. .findByIdAndUpdate() just takes the target’s id, and the request data you want to replace it with.

app.patch('/food/:id', async (req, res) => {
  try {
    await foodModel.findByIdAndUpdate(req.params.id, req.body)
    await foodModel.save()
  } catch (err) {


With Mongoose methods we can quickly make and manage our backend data in a breeze. While there’s still much more to learn, hopefully this little introduction will help give you a brief insight into Mongoose and help you decide if it’s the right tool for you and your future projects.

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