The product of a web developer with a little too much caffeine

Using MongoDB With Visual Studio

with 6 comments

My new project CSMongo, a Mongo driver for .NET, is now online! Check it out!

I recently found out about MongoDB and decided to check it out and so far I’ve been really impressed. The most interesting thing about MongoDB that it doesn’t work like a normal database — there aren’t really any schemas for any of the “tables”. In fact, you can make changes to the structure of any record at any time without affecting the rest of the “table”.

Getting Started

Here are a few steps I used to get MongoDB running and testable from my Visual Studio. To keep my main computer clean I used a virtual instance of Ubuntu to host the “database server”.

This part might take a little bit of time but start by downloading VirtualBox and Ubuntu 9.10 (You don’t need to download Mongo just yet). Once everything is downloaded install and configure Ubuntu but don’t start it up right away (you need to configure some stuff).

You’re going to want to make sure that your PC can connect to the virtual instance on the standard MongoDB port (unless you change it of course). If not, open a command prompt (on the host system) and then run the following commands (from the VirtualBox directory).

VBoxManage setextradata UbuntuDev "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/MongoDB/HostPort" 27017
VBoxManage setextradata UbuntuDev "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/MongoDB/GuestPort" 27017
VBoxManage setextradata UbuntuDev "VBoxInternal/Devices/pcnet/0/LUN#0/Config/MongoDB/Protocol" TCP

This example uses the same name (UbuntuDev) that I used for the screenshot example above. Make sure you use the correct name when setting yours up.

It is also worth mentioning that I had to use a Bridged Connection for my Network connection so I’d get an IP address from my wireless. But, if you aren’t on a wireless network… say, like your in-laws house for several hours… you can use Host Only Adapter so you can keep working… just sayin’…

Inside Ubuntu

Once you’ve successfully setup your Ubuntu system go on and download the MongoDB binaries. I don’t know the correct location to install these files so I placed them inside /etc/mongodb.

If you’ve never used Linux before then warm up your typing fingers and open a terminal window (Applications > Accessories > Terminal). Start typing in the following commands…

sudo bash
mkdir /data
mkdir /data/db
mkdir /etc/mongodb
chmod a=rwx /etc/mongodb

Note: This is certainly not the recommended security setup for this folder but for our testing purposes it is sufficient.

At this point we can revert back to our lazy Windows ways and drag the contents of the .tgz file into the /etc/mongodb directory. Once we have the contents copied over switch back to the terminal window and then type…

sudo /etc/mongodb/bin/mongod

And you should see something like the screenshot below…

Once you see this message you should be ready to test from Visual Studio but you can always test it from Ubuntu by opening a new Terminal window and typing…

sudo /etc/mongodb/bin/mongo

Which allows you to enter commands and make changes to the database similar to the online demo on their website.

Connecting Via Visual Studio

I haven’t found much for C# code to connect to Mongo but there is currently a project hosted on GitHub that allows you to perform queries and edit documents. It is a mess of code – but it *does* at least work… mostly… (nothing personal guys) 😉 Here is a simple example of how to use the code…

//connect to the source (IP address of virtual)
Mongo mongo = new Mongo("");

//get the database and 'table'
Database website = mongo.getDB("website");
IMongoCollection users = website.GetCollection("users");

//make a new document of information
Document user = new Document();
user["name"] = "Hugoware";
user["age"] = 29;
user["isAdmin"] = false;

//then save the document

If you still have your Terminal window up then you might have noticed messages listed in response to your update. If you still have the MongoDB command line up you can view your changes by entering in a few commands. For example, to see the database I just created in the sample above I would enter…

use website

And I would get a response similar to this…

What Is Next?

Personally, I think MongoDB is going to end up being huge. The main problem I see for C# developers is that MongoDB really favors Dynamic Languages which isn’t really a strong suit of the language.

Right now I’m working on my own driver to talk to Mongo that heavily relies on my AnonymousType code (anybody remember that old stuff?). It is still early on in the project so if you’re interested in helping feel free to contact me.

Written by hugoware

February 9, 2010 at 11:04 am

6 Responses

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  1. Dude, you keep pushing that envelope. I’ve have a small solution that I’ve been working with SQL Server that capture meta data. We’ve done meta data in SQL Server in the past with a 4 table solution, but things get kind of complex. I came up with the idea where we store the meta data in a single column. Here’s the post if you’re interested:

    ActiveEngine Sensei

    February 12, 2010 at 5:03 am

    • Great post – Very interesting solution.

      I’m not sure the differences between MongoDB and CouchDB but now I’ll have to read over it some more.


      February 12, 2010 at 12:07 pm

  2. […] Lately I’ve been working on a Mongo database driver and I got to thinking — Since I can use Javascript with MongoDB then I wonder if I could use jLinq to write queries? As it turns out the answer is yes! […]

  3. Hi hugoware, thanks for the awesome blog post. Looking forward to having a go with MongoDB!

    Hey dont mean to be a dick but you should turn off that snap thing on your page it makes clicking the links really frustrating and also annoying.

    Jake Scott

    March 4, 2010 at 5:00 am

    • Thanks for the comment about the post!

      As for the Snapshots – yeah, they are a bit annoying – I dug around and found a way to shut them down (I don’t see them myself because I think I disabled them already)


      March 4, 2010 at 6:17 pm

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