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      How To Import and Export a MongoDB Database on Ubuntu 20.04

      The author selected the COVID-19 Relief Fund to receive a donation as part of the Write for DOnations program.


      MongoDB is one of the most popular NoSQL database engines. It is famous for being scalable, powerful, reliable and easy to use. In this article we’ll show you how to import and export your MongoDB databases.

      We should make clear that by import and export we mean those operations that deal with data in a human-readable format, compatible with other software products. By contrast, the backup and restore operations create or use MongoDB specific binary data, which preserve the consistency and integrity of your data and also its specific MongoDB attributes. Thus, for migration it’s usually preferable to use backup and restore, as long as the source and target systems are compatible.

      Backup, restore, and migration tasks are beyond the scope of this article. For more information refer to How To Back Up, Restore, and Migrate a MongoDB Database on Ubuntu 20.04.


      To complete this tutorial you will need the following:

      Step One — Importing Information Into MongoDB

      To learn how importing information into MongoDB works let’s use a popular sample MongoDB database about restaurants. It’s in .json format and can be downloaded using wget like this:

      • wget

      Once the download completes you should have a file called primer-dataset.json (12 MB size) in the current directory. Let’s import the data from this file into a new database called newdb and into a collection called restaurants.

      Use the mongoimport command like this:

      • sudo mongoimport --db newdb --collection restaurants --file primer-dataset.json

      The result will look like this:


      2020-11-11T19:37:55.607+0000 connected to: mongodb://localhost/ 2020-11-11T19:37:57.841+0000 25359 document(s) imported successfully. 0 document(s) failed to import

      As the above command shows, 25359 documents have been imported. Because we didn’t have a database called newdb, MongoDB created it automatically.

      Let’s verify the import.

      Connect to the newly created newdb database:

      You are now connected to the newdb database instance. Notice that your prompt has changed, indicating that you are connected to the database.

      Count the documents in the restaurants collection with the command:

      The result will show 25359, which is the number of imported documents. For an even better check you can select the first document from the restaurants collection like this:

      The result will look like this:

      [secondary label Output]
          "_id" : ObjectId("5fac3d937f12c471b3f26733"),
          "address" : {
              "building" : "1007",
              "coord" : [
              "street" : "Morris Park Ave",
              "zipcode" : "10462"
          "borough" : "Bronx",
          "cuisine" : "Bakery",
          "grades" : [
                  "date" : ISODate("2014-03-03T00:00:00Z"),
                  "grade" : "A",
                  "score" : 2
          "name" : "Morris Park Bake Shop",
          "restaurant_id" : "30075445"

      Such a detailed check could reveal problems with the documents such as their content, encoding, etc. The json format uses UTF-8 encoding and your exports and imports should be in that encoding. Have this in mind if you edit manually the json files. Otherwise, MongoDB will automatically handle it for you.

      To exit the MongoDB prompt, type exit at the prompt:

      You will be returned to the normal command line prompt as your non-root user.

      Step Two — Exporting Information From MongoDB

      As we have previously mentioned, by exporting MongoDB information you can acquire a human readable text file with your data. By default, information is exported in json format but you can also export to csv (comma separated value).

      To export information from MongoDB, use the command mongoexport. It allows you to export a very fine-grained export so that you can specify a database, a collection, a field, and even use a query for the export.

      A simple mongoexport example would be to export the restaurants collection from the newdb database which we have previously imported. It can be done like this:

      • sudo mongoexport --db newdb -c restaurants --out newdbexport.json

      In the above command, we use --db to specify the database, -c for the collection and --out for the file in which the data will be saved.

      The output of a successful mongoexport should look like this:


      2020-11-11T19:39:57.595+0000 connected to: mongodb://localhost/ 2020-11-11T19:39:58.619+0000 [###############.........] newdb.restaurants 16000/25359 (63.1%) 2020-11-11T19:39:58.871+0000 [########################] newdb.restaurants 25359/25359 (100.0%) 2020-11-11T19:39:58.871+0000 exported 25359 records

      The above output shows that 25359 documents have been imported — the same number as of the imported ones.

      In some cases you might need to export only a part of your collection. Considering the structure and content of the restaurants json file, let’s export all the restaurants which satisfy the criteria to be situated in the Bronx borough and to have Chinese cuisine. If we want to get this information directly while connected to MongoDB, connect to the database again:

      Then, use this query:

      • db.restaurants.find( { "borough": "Bronx", "cuisine": "Chinese" } )

      The results are displayed to the terminal:


      • 2020-12-03T01:35:25.366+0000 connected to: mongodb://localhost/
      • 2020-12-03T01:35:25.410+0000 exported 323 records

      To exit the MongoDB prompt, type exit:

      If you want to export the data from a sudo command line instead of while connected to the database, make the previous query part of the mongoexport command by specifying it for the -q argument like this:

      • sudo mongoexport --db newdb -c restaurants -q "{"borough": "Bronx", "cuisine": "Chinese"}" --out Bronx_Chinese_retaurants.json

      Note that we are escaping the double quotes with backslash () in the query. Similarly, you have to escape any other special characters in the query.

      If the export has been successful, the result should look like this:


      2020-11-11T19:49:21.727+0000 connected to: mongodb://localhost/ 2020-11-11T19:49:21.765+0000 exported 323 records

      The above shows that 323 records have been exported, and you can find them in the Bronx_Chinese_retaurants.json file that we specified.

      Use cat and less to scan the data:

      • cat Bronx_Chinese_retaurants.json | less

      Use SPACE to page through the data:


      • date":{"$date":"2015-01-14T00:00:00Z"},"grade":"Z","score":36}],"na{"_id":{"$oid":"5fc8402d141f5e54f9054f8d"},"address":{"building":"1236","coord":[-73.8893654,40.81376179999999],"street":"238 Spofford Ave","zipcode":"10474"},"borough":"Bronx","cuisine":"Chinese","grades":[{"date":{"$date":"2013-12-30T00:00:00Z"},"grade":"A","score":8},{"date":{"$date":"2013-01-08T00:00:00Z"},"grade":"A","score":10},{"date":{"$date":"2012-06-12T00:00:00Z"},"grade":"B","score":15}],
      • . . .

      Press q to exit. You can now import and export a MongoDB database.


      This article has introduced you to the essentials of importing and exporting information to and from a MongoDB database. You can continue further reading on How To Back Up, Restore, and Migrate a MongoDB Database on Ubuntu 20.04.

      You can also consider using replication. Replication allows you to continue running your MongoDB service uninterrupted from a slave MongoDB server while you are restoring the master one from a failure. Part of the replication is the operations log (oplog), which records all the operations that modify your data. You can use this log, just as you would use the binary log in MySQL, to restore your data after the last backup has taken place. Recall that backups usually take place during the night, and if you decide to restore a backup in the evening you will be missing all the updates since the last backup.

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      Understanding Modules and Import and Export Statements in JavaScript

      The author selected the COVID-19 Relief Fund to receive a donation as part of the Write for DOnations program.


      In the early days of the Web, websites consisted primarily of HTML and CSS. If any JavaScript loaded into a page at all, it was usually in the form of small snippets that provided effects and interactivity. As a result, JavaScript programs were often written entirely in one file and loaded into a script tag. A developer could break the JavaScript up into multiple files, but all variables and functions would still be added to the global scope.

      But as websites have evolved with the advent of frameworks like Angular, React, and Vue, and with companies creating advanced web applications instead of desktop applications, JavaScript now plays a major role in the browser. As a result, there is a much greater need to use third-party code for common tasks, to break up code into modular files, and to avoid polluting the global namespace.

      The ECMAScript 2015 specification introduced modules to the JavaScript language, which allowed for the use of import and export statements. In this tutorial, you will learn what a JavaScript module is and how to use import and export to organize your code.

      Modular Programming

      Before the concept of modules appeared in JavaScript, when a developer wanted to organize their code into segments, they would create multiple files and link to them as separate scripts. To demonstrate this, create an example index.html file and two JavaScript files, functions.js and script.js.

      The index.html file will display the sum, difference, product, and quotient of two numbers, and link to the two JavaScript files in script tags. Open index.html in a text editor and add the following code:


      <!DOCTYPE html>
      <html lang="en">
          <meta charset="utf-8" />
          <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0" />
          <title>JavaScript Modules</title>
          <h2><strong id="x"></strong> and <strong id="y"></strong></h2>
          <p id="addition"></p>
          <p id="subtraction"></p>
          <p id="multiplication"></p>
          <p id="division"></p>
          <script src=""></script>
          <script src=""></script>

      This HTML will display the value of variables x and y in an h2 header, and the value of operations on those variables in the following p elements. The id attributes of the elements are set for DOM manipulation, which will happen in the script.js file; this file will also set the values of x and y. For more information on HTML, check out our How To Build a Website with HTML series.

      The functions.js file will contain the mathematical functions that will be used in the second script. Open the functions.js file and add the following:


      function sum(x, y) {
        return x + y
      function difference(x, y) {
        return x - y
      function product(x, y) {
        return x * y
      function quotient(x, y) {
        return x / y

      Finally, the script.js file will determine the values of x and y, apply the functions to them, and display the result:


      const x = 10
      const y = 5
      document.getElementById('x').textContent = x
      document.getElementById('y').textContent = y
      document.getElementById('addition').textContent = sum(x, y)
      document.getElementById('subtraction').textContent = difference(x, y)
      document.getElementById('multiplication').textContent = product(x, y)
      document.getElementById('division').textContent = quotient(x, y)

      After setting up these files and saving them, you can open index.html in a browser to display your website with all the results:

      Rendered HTML with the values 10 and 5 and the results of the functions.js operations.

      For websites with a few small scripts, this is an effective way to divide the code. However, there are some issues associated with this approach, including:

      • Polluting the global namespace: All the variables you created in your scripts—sum, difference, etc.—now exist on the window object. If you attempted to use another variable called sum in another file, it would become difficult to know which value would be used at any point in the scripts, since they would all be using the same window.sum variable. The only way a variable could be private was by putting it within a function scope. There could even be a conflict between an id in the DOM named x and var x.
      • Dependency management: Scripts would have to be loaded in order from top to bottom to ensure the correct variables were available. Saving the scripts as different files gives the illusion of separation, but it is essentially the same as having a single inline <script> in the browser page.

      Before ES6 added native modules to the JavaScript language, the community attempted to come up with several solutions. The first solutions were written in vanilla JavaScript, such as writing all code in objects or immediately invoked function expressions (IIFEs) and placing them on a single object in the global namespace. This was an improvement on the multiple script approach, but still had the same problems of putting at least one object in the global namespace, and did not make the problem of consistently sharing code between third parties any easier.

      After that, a few module solutions emerged: CommonJS, a synchronous approach that was implemented in Node.js, Asynchronous Module Definition (AMD), which was an asynchronous approach, and Universal Module Definition (UMD), which was intended to be a universal approach that supported both previous styles.

      The advent of these solutions made it easier for developers to share and reuse code in the form of packages, modules that can be distributed and shared, such as the ones found on npm. However, since there were many solutions and none were native to JavaScript, tools like Babel, Webpack, or Browserify had to be implemented to use modules in browsers.

      Due to the many problems with the multiple file approach and the complexity of the solutions proposed, developers were interested in bringing the modular programming approach to the JavaScript language. Because of this, ECMAScript 2015 supports the use of JavaScript modules.

      A module is a bundle of code that acts as an interface to provide functionality for other modules to use, as well as being able to rely on the functionality of other modules. A module exports to provide code and imports to use other code. Modules are useful because they allow developers to reuse code, they provide a stable, consistent interface that many developers can use, and they do not pollute the global namespace.

      Modules (sometimes referred to as ECMAScript modules or ES Modules) are now available natively in JavaScript, and in the rest of this tutorial you will explore how to use and implement them in your code.

      Native JavaScript Modules

      Modules in JavaScript use the import and export keywords:

      • import: Used to read code exported from another module.
      • export: Used to provide code to other modules.

      To demonstrate how to use this, update your functions.js file to be a module and export the functions. You will add export in front of each function, which will make them available to any other module.

      Add the following highlighted code to your file:


      export function sum(x, y) {
        return x + y
      export function difference(x, y) {
        return x - y
      export function product(x, y) {
        return x * y
      export function quotient(x, y) {
        return x / y

      Now, in script.js, you will use import to retrieve the code from the functions.js module at the top of the file.

      Note: import must always be at the top of the file before any other code, and it is also necessary to include the relative path (./ in this case).

      Add the following highlighted code to script.js:


      import { sum, difference, product, quotient } from './functions.js'
      const x = 10
      const y = 5
      document.getElementById('x').textContent = x
      document.getElementById('y').textContent = y
      document.getElementById('addition').textContent = sum(x, y)
      document.getElementById('subtraction').textContent = difference(x, y)
      document.getElementById('multiplication').textContent = product(x, y)
      document.getElementById('division').textContent = quotient(x, y)

      Notice that individual functions are imported by naming them in curly braces.

      In order to ensure this code gets loaded as a module and not a regular script, add type="module" to the script tags in index.html. Any code that uses import or export must use this attribute:


      <script type="module" src=""></script>
      <script type="module" src=""></script>

      At this point, you will be able to reload the page with the updates and the website will now use modules. Browser support is very high, but caniuse is available to check which browsers support it. Note that if you are viewing the file as a direct link to a local file, you will encounter this error:


      Access to script at 'file:///Users/your_file_path/script.js' from origin 'null' has been blocked by CORS policy: Cross-origin requests are only supported for protocol schemes: http, data, chrome, chrome-extension, chrome-untrusted, https.

      Because of the CORS policy, Modules must be used in a server environment, which you can set up locally with http-server or on the internet with a hosting provider.

      Modules are different from regular scripts in a few ways:

      • Modules do not add anything to the global (window) scope.
      • Modules always are in strict mode.
      • Loading the same module twice in the same file will have no effect, as modules are only executed once.
      • Modules require a server environment.

      Modules are still often used alongside bundlers like Webpack for increased browser support and additional features, but they are also available for use directly in browsers.

      Next, you will explore some more ways in which the import and export syntax can be used.

      Named Exports

      As demonstrated earlier, using the export syntax will allow you to individually import values that have been exported by their name. For example, take this simplified version of functions.js:


      export function sum() {}
      export function difference() {}

      This would let you import sum and difference by name using curly braces:


      import { sum, difference } from './functions.js'

      It is also possible to use an alias to rename the function. You might do this to avoid naming conflicts within the same module. In this example, sum will be renamed to add and difference will be renamed to subtract.


      import {
        sum as add,
        difference as subtract
      } from './functions.js'
      add(1, 2) // 3

      Calling add() here will yield the result of the sum() function.

      Using the * syntax, you can import the contents of the entire module into one object. In this case, sum and difference will become methods on the mathFunctions object.


      import * as mathFunctions from './functions.js'
      mathFunctions.sum(1, 2) // 3
      mathFunctions.difference(10, 3) // 7

      Primitive values, function expressions and definitions, asynchronous functions, classes, and instantiated classes can all be exported, as long as they have an identifier:

      // Primitive values
      export const number = 100
      export const string = 'string'
      export const undef = undefined
      export const empty = null
      export const obj = { name: 'Homer' }
      export const array = ['Bart', 'Lisa', 'Maggie']
      // Function expression
      export const sum = (x, y) => x + y
      // Function definition
      export function difference(x, y) {
        return x - y
      // Asynchronous function
      export async function getBooks() {}
      // Class
      export class Book {
        constructor(name, author) {
 = name
 = author
      // Instantiated class
      export const book = new Book('Lord of the Rings', 'J. R. R. Tolkien')

      All of these exports can be successfully imported. The other type of export that you will explore in the next section is known as a default export.

      Default Exports

      In the previous examples, you exported multiple named exports and imported them individually or as one object with each export as a method on the object. Modules can also contain a default export, using the default keyword. A default export will not be imported with curly brackets, but will be directly imported into a named identifier.

      For example, take the following contents for the functions.js file:


      export default function sum(x, y) {
        return x + y

      In the script.js file, you could import the default function as sum with the following:


      import sum from './functions.js'
      sum(1, 2) // 3

      This can be dangerous, as there are no restrictions on what you can name a default export during the import. In this example, the default function is imported as difference although it is actually the sum function:


      import difference from './functions.js'
      difference(1, 2) // 3

      For this reason, it is often preferred to use named exports. Unlike named exports, default exports do not require an identifier—a primitive value by itself or anonymous function can be used as a default export. Following is an example of an object used as a default export:


      export default {
        name: 'Lord of the Rings',
        author: 'J. R. R. Tolkien',

      You could import this as book with the following:


      import book from './functions.js'

      Similarly, the following example demonstrates exporting an anonymous arrow function as the default export:


      export default () => 'This function is anonymous'

      This could be imported with the following script.js:


      import anonymousFunction from './functions.js'

      Named exports and default exports can be used alongside each other, as in this module that exports two named values and a default value:


      export const length = 10
      export const width = 5
      export default function perimeter(x, y) {
        return 2 * (x + y)

      You could import these variables and the default function with the following:


      import calculatePerimeter, { length, width } from './functions.js'
      calculatePerimeter(length, width) // 30

      Now the default value and named values are both available to the script.


      Modular programming design practices allow you to separate code into individual components that can help make your code reusable and consistent, while also protecting the global namespace. A module interface can be implemented in native JavaScript with the import and export keywords.

      In this article, you learned about the history of modules in JavaScript, how to separate JavaScript files into multiple top-level scripts, how to update those files using a modular approach, and the import and export syntax for named and default exports.

      To learn more about modules in JavaScript, read Modules on the Mozilla Developer Network. If you’d like to explore modules in Node.js, try our How To Create a Node.js Module tutorial.

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      ES6 Modules and How to Use Import and Export in JavaScript

      While this tutorial has content that we believe is of great benefit to our community, we have not yet tested or
      edited it to ensure you have an error-free learning experience. It’s on our list, and we’re working on it!
      You can help us out by using the “report an issue” button at the bottom of the tutorial.

      With ES2015 (ES6), with get built-in support for modules in JavaScript. Like with CommonJS, each file is its own module. To make objects, functions, classes or variables available to the outside world it’s as simple as exporting them and then importing them where needed in other files. Angular 2 makes heavy use of ES6 modules, so the syntax will be very familiar to those who’ve worked in Angular. The syntax is pretty straightforward:


      You can export members one by one. What’s not exported won’t be available directly outside the module:

      export const myNumbers = [1, 2, 3, 4];
      const animals = ['Panda', 'Bear', 'Eagle']; // Not available directly outside the module
      export function myLogger() {
        console.log(myNumbers, animals);
      export class Alligator {
         constructor() {
           // ...

      Or you can export desired members in a single statement at the end of the module:

      export { myNumbers, myLogger, Alligator };

      Exporting with alias

      You can also give an aliases to exported members with the as keyword:

      export { myNumbers, myLogger as Logger, Alligator }

      Default export

      You can define a default export with the default keyword:

      export const myNumbers = [1, 2, 3, 4];
      const animals = ['Panda', 'Bear', 'Eagle'];
      export default function myLogger() {
        console.log(myNumbers, pets);
      export class Alligator {
        constructor() {
          // ...


      Importing is also very straightforward, with the import keyword, members to be imported in curly brackets and then the location of the module relative to the current file:

      import { myLogger, Alligator } from 'app.js';

      Importing with alias

      You can also alias members at import time:

      import myLogger as Logger from 'app.js';

      Importing all exported members

      You can import everything that’s imported by a module like this:

      import * as Utils from 'app.js';

      This allows you access to members with the dot notation:


      Importing a module with a default member

      You import the default member by giving it a name of your choice. In the following example Logger is the name given to the imported default member:

      import Logger from 'app.js';

      And here’s how you would import non-default members on top of the default one:

      import Logger, { Alligator, myNumbers } from 'app.js';

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