Working with MongoDB

Visual Studio Code has great support for working with MongoDB databases. Through the Azure CosmosDB extension, you can create, manage and query MongoDB databases from within VS Code.

Install the extension

MongoDB support for VS Code is provided by the Azure Cosmos DB extension. To install the Cosmos DB extension, open the Extensions view by pressing ⇧⌘X (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+X) and search for 'cosmos' to filter the results. Select the Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB extension.

Select Cosmos DB extension

Connect to MongoDB

Once you've installed the Cosmos DB extension and reloaded VS Code, you'll notice there is a new Azure Activity Bar view. Click on the Azure view and you'll see the Cosmos DB Explorer.

cosmos db explorer

To connect to a MongoDB database, expand the Attached Database Accounts and click Attach Database Account, and choose the MongoDB from the Database Account API drop-down list.

attach database account drop-down

Enter a connection string to the database, the default is your local MongoDB server at mongodb:// You can enter any connection string, to local or remote MongoDB servers.

Note: Make sure your MongoDB server (mongod.exe) is running if you are connecting to a local MongoDB server.

Once attached, you can work with the MongoDB server, managing MongoDB Databases, Collections and Documents.

attached MongoDB database

You can Open Collection to see the raw JSON Collection or click on individual MongoDB Documents to see just their JSON.

open mongodb document

Changes to the Document JSON in the editor will update the Document stored in the Collection. You will see a notification to Upload the entity update. To silence the notification, you can choose to Always upload, which modifies the cosmosDB.showSavePrompt setting value to false.

MongoDB Commands

There are MongoDB specific commands available in the VS Code Command Palette (⇧⌘P (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+P)) as well as through Explorer context menus.

mongodb commands

Using Scrapbooks

One of the most powerful features of the VS Code MongoDB integration is Mongo Scrapbooks. Scrapbooks let you create, run, and save MongoDB commands from a VS Code editor. Create a new scrapbook from the Cosmos DB Explorer or with the Cosmos DB: New Mongo Scrapbook command.

new mongo scrapbook

In a scrapbook, you can reference MongoDB entities and commands and you get rich IntelliSense as you type. At the top of the editor and above each line, you will find commands to manage connections and execute your commands. Scrapbooks are extremely useful for saving database operations and queries for later reuse.

mongodb scrapbook

MongoDB on Azure

You can easily host your MongoDB databases in the cloud on Azure with Cosmos DB.

Azure sign in

The Cosmos DB extension includes the Azure Account extension which allows you to sign in to Azure. If you don't have an Azure Subscription, you can sign up today for a free 30 day account and get $200 in Azure Credits to try out any combination of Azure services.

To sign in to Azure, use the Sign in to Azure command in the Cosmos DB Explorer or Azure: Sign In from the Command Palette (⇧⌘P (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+P)). You will then sign in to your account using the Device Login flow. Click on Copy & Open to open your default browser.

Azure Login

Paste in the access code and continue the sign in process.

Azure Login

In VS Code, you can sign out of Azure with Azure: Sign Out command.

Create a Cosmos DB account

To create Cosmos DB assets on Azure, you need a Cosmos DB account. Create a Cosmos DB account with the Create Account '+' icon on the Explorer toolbar or with the Cosmos DB: Create Account command in the Command Palette (⇧⌘P (Windows, Linux Ctrl+Shift+P)).

create CosmosDB account

Follow the prompts to select an Azure Subscription, enter a Cosmos DB account name, choose the API to use (MongoDB), create or reuse an Azure Resource Group, and pick a geographical location. Once the Cosmos DB account is created (it may take several minutes), you will see the Cosmos DB asset in the Explorer. Right click to see the context menu where you can start creating MongoDB databases, open the Azure portal, or copy the connection string for later to use as an environment variable with your application.

Cosmos DB content menu

To learn more about MongoDB databases on Azure, see Introduction to Azure Cosmos DB: MongoDB API. Azure Cosmos DB also lets you host other database types such as SQL, Graph (Gremlin), Apache Cassandra through it's full set of database APIs.

Next steps

  • Azure Extensions - The VS Code Marketplace has hundreds of extensions for Azure and the cloud.
  • Deploying to Azure - Learn step-by-step how to deploy your application to Azure.
  • Working with Docker - Put your application in a Docker container for easy reuse and deployment.