Importing JSON into a Meteor MongoDB

Posted by Mark Drew on code on May 21, 2015

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Meteor is a great way to develop fast real-time appliations using JavaScript on both the client and server side. When you are developing these applications it’s easy to create new collections of information by adding items doing the following script either in the client or server:


But this is obviously not the most effective way to add lots data!

MongoDB has a tool called mongoimport which you can use to import data straight into a MongoDB instance itself, but that tool doesn’t come with Meteor. What to do???

The answer is actually rather simple, all you have to do is install MongoDB but you don’t need to run an instance of it, as you are already doing that with your Meteor installation. Once you have it installed check in the <MongoDB Install>/bin path and you should see the mongoimport executable. Now, to import some json you need to tell it the host and database of the Meteor instance of MongoBD:

mongoimport -h localhost:3001 --db meteor --collection tweets --type json --file exampletweets.json --jsonArray That is a long command so let's break it down:
  • mongoimport is obviously the command.
  • -h is the host and port
  • --db is the database, in this case it’s meteor
  • --collection is the collection we are going to be importing into
  • --type is the format of the file we will be importing, in this case a json file of tweets
  • --jsonArray MongoDB has a strange idea of what a json format is, if you omit this MongoDB will want a file in the format:


Which I am sure you can tell is not JSON formatted (notice there are no commas nor are you in an array!). So if you want proper JSON format like:


You then need to add the --jsonArray so that MongoDB accepts it as plain JSON.

On a side note here, if you want to find out what host and port your Meteor instance of MongoDB is running on you just have to do:

	meteor mongo And you should get a response like:

MongoDB shell version: 2.6.7
connecting to:

Hope that helps!

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