Node Js + Express + MongoDB CRUD Operations Tutorial

In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to develop a RESTful CRUD (CreateRetrieveUpdateDelete) API with Node.jsExpress, and MongoDB. We’ll use Mongoose for interacting with the MongoDB instance.
In this tutorial, we are going to build a simple todo management application. We will build Rest APIs for creating, listing, editing and deleting a Todo.
Before getting started, let's quickly see what is Express and Mongoose.

Express

Express is a minimal and flexible Node.js web application framework that provides a robust set of features to develop web and mobile applications. It facilitates the rapid development of Node based Web applications. 
Read more about express js at https://expressjs.com.

MongoDB and Mongoose

MongoDB is a document database with the scalability and flexibility that you want with the querying and indexing that you need.
Mongoose is an ODM (Object Document Mapping) tool for Node.js and MongoDB. It helps you convert the objects in your code to documents in the database and vice versa.

Setup MongoDB

To work with MongoDB, you need to have MongoDB installed in your system. Check out the official MongoDB doc for installing MongoDB in your System.
You can also install the Zip version of MongoDB in Windows, check out this article at Install MongoDB on Windows 10.

Node.js, Express and MongoDB Restful CRUD API Tutorial

Let's list out the tools and technologies that we will use in this tutorial.

Tools and technologies used

  1. node.js (npm)
  2. express
  3. body-parser
  4. mongoose
  5. visual studio code IDE

Development steps

  1. Creating an application
  2. Install dependencies
  3. Setting up the webserver
  4. Configuring and Connecting to the database
  5. Defining the Todo model in Mongoose
  6. Defining Routes using Express
  7. Developing the Restful APIs
  8. Testing our APIs
  9. Conclusion
  10. Source code on GitHub repository

1. Creating an application

  1. Open a terminal and create a new folder for the application.
$ mkdir todo-app
  1. Initialize the application with a package.json file
Go to the root folder of your application and type npm init to initialize your app with a package.json file.
$ cd todo-app
$ npm init
Here is the complete package.json file:
{
  "name": "todo-app",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "Todo App",
  "main": "main.js",
  "scripts": {
    "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
  },
  "keywords": [
    "Express",
    "RestAPI",
    "MongoDB",
    "Mongoose",
    "Todos"
  ],
  "author": "javaguides.net",
  "license": "MIT"
}
Note that I’ve specified a file named main.js as the entry point of our application. We’ll create a main.js file in the next section.

2. Install dependencies

We will need expressmongoose and body-parser modules in our application. Let’s install them by typing the following command -
$ npm install express body-parser mongoose --save
We have used --save option to save all the dependencies in the package.json file. The final package.json file looks like this -
{
  "name": "todo-app",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "Todo App",
  "main": "main.js",
  "scripts": {
    "test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
  },
  "keywords": [
    "Express",
    "RestAPI",
    "MongoDB",
    "Mongoose",
    "Todos"
  ],
  "author": "javaguides.net",
  "license": "MIT",
  "dependencies": {
    "body-parser": "^1.19.0",
    "express": "^4.17.1",
    "mongoose": "^5.9.2"
  }
}

3. Setting up the webserver

Let’s now create the main entry point of our application. Create a new file named main.js in the root folder of the application with the following contents -
const express = require('express');
const bodyParser = require('body-parser');

// create express app
const app = express();

// parse application/x-www-form-urlencoded
app.use(bodyParser.urlencoded({ extended: true }))

// parse application/json
app.use(bodyParser.json())

// define a simple route
app.get('/', (req, res) => {
    res.json({"message": "Welcome to Todo app"});
});

// listen for requests
app.listen(4000, () => {
    console.log("Server is listening on port 4000");
});
Let’s now run the server and go to http://localhost:4000 to access the route we just defined.
$ npm install
$ node main.js
 
Server is listening on port 4000

4. Configuring and Connecting to the database

Let's create a config folder with the following command:
$ mkdir config
$ cd config
Let's create database.config.js inside the config folder with the following contents -
module.exports = {
    url: 'mongodb://localhost:27017/todos'
}
We’ll now import the above database configuration in main.js and connect to the database using mongoose.
Add the following code to the main.js file after app.use(bodyParser.json()) line -
// Configuring the database
const dbConfig = require('./config/database.config.js');
const mongoose = require('mongoose');

mongoose.Promise = global.Promise;

// Connecting to the database
mongoose.connect(dbConfig.url, {
 useNewUrlParser: true
}).then(() => {
    console.log("Successfully connected to the database");    
}).catch(err => {
    console.log('Could not connect to the database. Exiting now...', err);
    process.exit();
});
The complete main.js file looks like:
const express = require('express');
const bodyParser = require('body-parser');

// create express app
const app = express();

// parse application/x-www-form-urlencoded
app.use(bodyParser.urlencoded({ extended: true }))

// parse application/json
app.use(bodyParser.json())

// Configuring the database
const dbConfig = require('./config/database.config.js');
const mongoose = require('mongoose');

mongoose.Promise = global.Promise;

// Connecting to the database
mongoose.connect(dbConfig.url, {
 useNewUrlParser: true
}).then(() => {
    console.log("Successfully connected to the database");    
}).catch(err => {
    console.log('Could not connect to the database. Exiting now...', err);
    process.exit();
});

// define a simple route
app.get('/', (req, res) => {
    res.json({"message": "Welcome to Todo app"});
});

require('./app/routes/todo.routes.js')(app);

// listen for requests
app.listen(4000, () => {
    console.log("Server is listening on port 4000");
});
Let's fire below command to make sure that you’re able to connect to the database:
$ node main.js 
Server is listening on port 4000
Successfully connected to the database

5. Defining the Todo model in Mongoose

Let's create an app/models folder inside the root folder of the application with the following command:
$ mkdir -p app/models
$ cd app/models
Now, create a file called todo.model.js inside app/models folder with the following contents:
const mongoose = require('mongoose');

const TodoSchema= mongoose.Schema({
    name: String,
    description: String
}, {
    timestamps: true
});

module.exports = mongoose.model('Todo', TodoSchema);
The Todo model is very simple. It contains a name and a description field. I have also added a timestamps option to the schema.
Mongoose uses this option to automatically add two new fields - createdAt and updatedAt to the schema.

6. Defining Routes using Express

Create a new folder called routes inside the app folder with the following command:

$ mkdir app/routes
$ cd app/routes
Now, create a new file called todo.routes.js inside app/routes folder with the following contents:
module.exports = (app) => {
    const todos = require('../controllers/todo.controller.js');

    // Create a new todo
    app.post('/todos', todos.create);

    // Retrieve all todos
    app.get('/todos', todos.findAll);

    // Retrieve a single todo by id
    app.get('/todos/:id', todos.findOne);

    // Update a Todo with id
    app.put('/todos/:id', todos.update);

    // Delete a Todo by id
    app.delete('/todos/:id', todos.delete);
}
Let's add this route to main.js file:
require('./app/routes/todo.routes.js')(app);

Note that We have added a require statement for the todo.controller.js file. We’ll define the controller file in the next section. The controller will contain methods for handling all the CRUD operations.

7. Developing the Restful APIs

Create a new folder called controllers inside the app folder, then create a new file called todo.controller.js inside the app/controllers folder.

Create a Todo

// Create and Save a new Todo
exports.create = (req, res) => {
    // Validate request
    if(!req.body.description) {
        return res.status(400).send({
            message: "Todo description can not be empty"
        });
    }

    // Create a Todo
    const todo = new Todo({
        name: req.body.name || "Untitled Todo", 
        description: req.body.description
    });

    // Save Todo in the database
    todo.save()
    .then(data => {
        res.send(data);
    }).catch(err => {
        res.status(500).send({
            message: err.message || "Some error occurred while creating the Todo."
        });
    });
};

Retrieve all Todos

// Retrieve and return all todos from the database.
exports.findAll = (req, res) => {
    Todo.find()
    .then(todos => {
        res.send(todos);
    }).catch(err => {
        res.status(500).send({
            message: err.message || "Some error occurred while retrieving todos."
        });
    });
};

Retrieve a single Todo by Id

// Find a single todo with a id
exports.findOne = (req, res) => {
    Todo.findById(req.params.id)
    .then(todo => {
        if(!todo) {
            return res.status(404).send({
                message: "Todo not found with id " + req.params.id
            });            
        }
        res.send(todo);
    }).catch(err => {
        if(err.kind === 'ObjectId') {
            return res.status(404).send({
                message: "Todo not found with id " + req.params.id
            });                
        }
        return res.status(500).send({
            message: "Error retrieving todo with id " + req.params.id
        });
    });
};

Update a Todo

// Update a todo identified by the id in the request
exports.update = (req, res) => {
    // Validate Request
    if(!req.body.description) {
        return res.status(400).send({
            message: "Todo description can not be empty"
        });
    }

    // Find todo and update it with the request body
    Todo.findByIdAndUpdate(req.params.id, {
        title: req.body.name || "Untitled Todo",
        description: req.body.description
    }, {new: true})
    .then(todo => {
        if(!todo) {
            return res.status(404).send({
                message: "Todo not found with id " + req.params.id
            });
        }
        res.send(todo);
    }).catch(err => {
        if(err.kind === 'ObjectId') {
            return res.status(404).send({
                message: "Todo not found with id " + req.params.id
            });                
        }
        return res.status(500).send({
            message: "Error updating todo with id " + req.params.id
        });
    });
};

Delete a Todo

// Delete a todo with the specified id in the request
exports.delete = (req, res) => {
    Todo.findByIdAndRemove(req.params.id)
    .then(todo => {
        if(!todo) {
            return res.status(404).send({
                message: "Todo not found with id " + req.params.id
            });
        }
        res.send({message: "Todo deleted successfully!"});
    }).catch(err => {
        if(err.kind === 'ObjectId' || err.name === 'NotFound') {
            return res.status(404).send({
                message: "Todo not found with id " + req.params.todo
            });                
        }
        return res.status(500).send({
            message: "Could not delete todo with id " + req.params.id
        });
    });
};
Here is the complete code for your reference:
const Todo = require('../models/todo.model.js');

// Create and Save a new Todo
exports.create = (req, res) => {
    // Validate request
    if(!req.body.description) {
        return res.status(400).send({
            message: "Todo description can not be empty"
        });
    }

    // Create a Todo
    const todo = new Todo({
        name: req.body.name || "Untitled Todo", 
        description: req.body.description
    });

    // Save Todo in the database
    todo.save()
    .then(data => {
        res.send(data);
    }).catch(err => {
        res.status(500).send({
            message: err.message || "Some error occurred while creating the Todo."
        });
    });
};

// Retrieve and return all todos from the database.
exports.findAll = (req, res) => {
    Todo.find()
    .then(todos => {
        res.send(todos);
    }).catch(err => {
        res.status(500).send({
            message: err.message || "Some error occurred while retrieving todos."
        });
    });
};

// Find a single todo with a id
exports.findOne = (req, res) => {
    Todo.findById(req.params.id)
    .then(todo => {
        if(!todo) {
            return res.status(404).send({
                message: "Todo not found with id " + req.params.id
            });            
        }
        res.send(todo);
    }).catch(err => {
        if(err.kind === 'ObjectId') {
            return res.status(404).send({
                message: "Todo not found with id " + req.params.id
            });                
        }
        return res.status(500).send({
            message: "Error retrieving todo with id " + req.params.id
        });
    });
};

// Update a todo identified by the id in the request
exports.update = (req, res) => {
    // Validate Request
    if(!req.body.description) {
        return res.status(400).send({
            message: "Todo description can not be empty"
        });
    }

    // Find todo and update it with the request body
    Todo.findByIdAndUpdate(req.params.id, {
        title: req.body.name || "Untitled Todo",
        description: req.body.description
    }, {new: true})
    .then(todo => {
        if(!todo) {
            return res.status(404).send({
                message: "Todo not found with id " + req.params.id
            });
        }
        res.send(todo);
    }).catch(err => {
        if(err.kind === 'ObjectId') {
            return res.status(404).send({
                message: "Todo not found with id " + req.params.id
            });                
        }
        return res.status(500).send({
            message: "Error updating todo with id " + req.params.id
        });
    });
};

// Delete a todo with the specified id in the request
exports.delete = (req, res) => {
    Todo.findByIdAndRemove(req.params.id)
    .then(todo => {
        if(!todo) {
            return res.status(404).send({
                message: "Todo not found with id " + req.params.id
            });
        }
        res.send({message: "Todo deleted successfully!"});
    }).catch(err => {
        if(err.kind === 'ObjectId' || err.name === 'NotFound') {
            return res.status(404).send({
                message: "Todo not found with id " + req.params.todo
            });                
        }
        return res.status(500).send({
            message: "Could not delete todo with id " + req.params.id
        });
    });
};

8. Testing our APIs

Let’s now test all the APIs one by one using postman.

Create a new Todo using POST /todos API

Retrieving all Todos using GET /todos API

Retrieving a single Todo using GET /todos/:id API

Updating a Todo using PUT /todos/:id API

Deleting a Todo using DELETE /todos/:id API

9. Conclusion

In this tutorial, we have developed a RESTful CRUD (Create, Retrieve, Update, Delete) API with Node.js, Express, and MongoDB. We have seen how to use Mongoose for interacting with the MongoDB instance.

If you found this tutorial useful then follow me at https://www.javaguides.net/p/about-me.html.

10. Source code on GitHub repository

The source code of this tutorial available on my GitHub repository at https://github.com/RameshMF/node-todo-app

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