#About the project
My project explores how to use MongoDB Shell, MongoDB Atlas, and MongoDB Compass. This project aimed to develop a database for dog care providers and demonstrate how this data can be manipulated in MongoDB. The Dog Welfare Federation (DWF) is concerned that some providers who provide short/medium term care for dogs when the owner is unable to – e.g., when away on holidays, may not be delivering the service they promise. Up to now, the DWF has managed the data using a SQL database. As the scale of its operations expanded, the organization needed to invest in a cloud database application. As an alternative to the relational SQL database, the Dog Welfare Federation decided to look at the database development using MongoDB services.
The Dog database uses fictitious data that I have created myself. The different practical stages of the project have been documented in my project report and may guide the beginners taking their first steps into MongoDB.
The assignment was given to me by my lecturer. And when he was deciding on the topics for the project, he knew that I love dogs. And that's why my project was all about the dogs. Even though the lecturer gave me the assignment, it was my idea to prepare this project in a way that does not only benefit me.
When I followed courses via MongoDB University, I noticed that these courses gave me a flavor of MongoDB, but not the basic concepts. I wanted to turn a database development project into a kind of a guide for somebody who never used MongoDB and who actually can take the project say: "Okay, these are the basic concepts, this is what happens when you run the query, this is the result of what you get, and this is how you can validate that your result and your query is correct." So that's how the whole MongoDB project for beginners was born.
My guide tells you how to use MongoDB, what steps you need to follow to create an application, upload data, use the data, etc. It's one thing to know what those operators are doing, but it's an entirely different thing to understand how they connect and what impact they make.
My lecturer Noel Tierney, a lecturer in Computer Applications in Athlone Institute of Technology, Ireland, gave me the assignment to use MongoDB. He gave them instructions on the project and what kind of outcome he would like to see. I was asked to use MongoDB, and I decided to dive deeper into everything the platform offers. Besides that, as I mentioned briefly in the introduction: the organization DWF was planning on scaling and expanding their business, and they wanted to look into database development with MongoDB. This was a good chance for me to learn everything about NoSQL.
#How it works
The project teaches you how to set up a MongoDB database for dog care providers. It includes three main sections, including MongoDB Shell, MongoDB Atlas, and MongoDB Compass. The MongoDB Shell section demonstrates how the data can be manipulated using simple queries and the aggregation method. I'm discussing how to import data into a local cluster, create queries, and retrieve & update queries. The other two areas include an overview of MongoDB Atlas and MongoDB Compass; I also discuss querying and the aggregation framework per topic. Each section shows step-by-step instructions on how to set up the application and how also to include some data manipulation examples. As mentioned above, I created all the sample data myself, which was a ton of work! I made a spreadsheet with 2000 different lines of sample data. To do that, I had to Google dog breeds, dog names, and their temperaments. I wanted it to be close to reality.
#Challenges and learnings
When I started working with MongoDB, the first big thing that I had to get over was the braces everywhere. So it was quite challenging for me to understand where the query finishes. But I’ve been reading a lot of documentation, and creating this guide gave me quite a good understanding of the basics of MongoDB. I learned a lot about the technical side of databases because I was never familiar with them; I even had no idea how it works. Using MongoDB and learning about MongoDB, and using MongoDB was a great experience. When I had everything set up: the MongoDB shell, Compass, and Atlas, I could see how that information is moving between all these different environments, and that was awesome. I think it worked quite well. I hope that my guide will be valuable for new learners. It demonstrates that users like me, who had no prior skills in using MongoDB, can quickly become MongoDB developers.