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MongoDB Drop Database [With Code Example]

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20th Jun, 2023
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MongoDB Drop Database [With Code Example]

MongoDB is one of the most commonly used open-source NoSQL databases. It is written in C++. Before going deep into the MongoDB drop database method, let’s learn a little about the NoSQL database. NoSQL databases are quite different from relational tables as they do not have any fixed schema. Data in NoSQL databases are generally stored in documents, key-value pairs, wide-column stores, or graphs based on the data model.

NoSQL databases like MongoDB are popular in real-time web applications and performing computations in big data. MongoDB is quick in accessing data and scaling. However, the NoSQL database has reduced safety in executing transactions. There are various inbuilt functions available in MongoDB, ensuring good performance and easy scalability. In this article, we will learn how MongoDB drop databases work.

This guide can help you get a clear idea about MongoDB Database, its key features, how it differs from RDMS, various functions of MongoDB drop database, and what are the things to be noted while using MongoDB drop database.

What is a MongoDB Database?

The database in MongoDB acts as a container for collections. Collections are similar to tables in the Relational Database Management System. They are a cluster of documents comprising different fields. A document stores the key-value pairs in a database. 

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Key features of MongoDB

There are several reasons for MongoDB gaining popularity. Let us look at some of the salient features of MongoDB:

  • MongoDB provides high flexibility as it is a NoSQL database. It is document-oriented.
  • The key-value pairs present acts as an index to the fields in the document.
  • A large database is split into smaller instances by the sharding feature present in MongoDB. Sharding is the process of distributing data across numerous machines. It ensures that large data sets are not dependent on a single server. For instance, assume you have a data set larger than your system’s RAM. Sharding allows this data set to be divided into smaller instances to minimize the stress on the I/O capacity of drives. 
  • Range queries in MongoDB provide you an option to return necessary fields in a document.
  • MongoDB supports replication, an important feature to keep your data safe and available all the time. Thus, there is no downtime for maintenance activities. 
  • MongoDB places data in shards and thus has an automated load balancing configuration.

Read: MongoDB Project Ideas & Topics

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Advantages of MongoDB over RDMS

  • MongoDB can hold different documents as it is schema-less, unlike the Relational Database Management System.
  • The structure of each object is clear.
  • MongoDB uses internal memory to store data making it faster to access.
  • There are no complex joins present, and data elements can be tuned easily.
  • Databases stored in MongoDB can be scaled easily.
  • MongoDB use cases.
  • MongoDB provides the platform to perform various operations on big data.
  • MongoDB facilitates managing content and performing the delivery.
  • It helps in managing huge chunks of user data.
  • MongoDB finds its use in building web applications.

Read: Future scope of MongoDB

MongoDB Drop Database  

MongoDB has several functions that can fit different user needs. You can easily select a database to work with, create a collection, and insert a document in the collection. You also get an option to check the storage size, display all the records in a collection, and update user roles. This article will discuss one of the most used functionalities of MongoDB, the Drop database. 

In MongoDB, we use the method db.dropDatabase() to remove the current database and delete all the files associated with it. However, this command does not remove the users associated with the database. 



This method takes in an optional parameter “writeConcern” that can be omitted if you use the majority’s default write concern. If you do not have a database selected, the dropDatabase() method deletes the default “test” database. 

Let us understand how MongoDB drop database works with an example:

You can check the list of all available databases with the command show dbs.

>show dbs //command to display all the existing databases

customers 0.17325 GB

accounts 0.21034 GB

test 0.12329 GB

For instance, you want to remove the database “customers” from the above list. The command for MongoDB drop database for the existing “customers” database will be:

>use customer //command to select customers database              

switched to db customers

>db.dropDatabase() //command used to delete the customers database

{ “dropped” : “customers”, “ok” : 1 }

You can again view the list of available databases to ensure that the “customers” database has been removed from the MongoDB server.

>show dbs //command to show all existing databases

accounts 0.21034 GB

test 0.12329 GB

The method of dropping a database in MongoDB is quite useful when removing a redundant database. For instance, if you have a database that is no longer of any use, you will most likely delete it as it consumes memory. Thus, dropDatabase() method is an integral part of the NoSQL database, MongoDB.

Understanding The Risks Of MongoDB Drop Database

Dropping a MongoDB database may seem like a simple process, but it comes with significant risks. One of the most important threats is data loss. When you execute the command MongoDB drop collection, it permanently deletes all collections and associated data, which can be devastating if the data is not backed up properly or if the wrong database is dropped accidentally.

Another risk of MongoDB drop database is that it can have a cascading effect on any applications or systems that rely on that database. Additionally, dropping a database that contains sensitive or confidential information can be risky. Therefore, it is crucial to follow proper security protocols and ensure that all data is securely deleted.

Precautions To Take Before Dropping A MongoDB Database

Before you decide to drop database in MongoDB, it is important to take several precautions to avoid potential risks. The following are some key precautions to consider:

  • Backup your data: Always create a backup of your database before dropping it. This can help you recover your data in case of accidental deletion or other issues.
  • Check permissions: Ensure that you have the necessary permissions to drop the database. You should also make sure that no other users or applications are currently accessing the database.
  • Verify the database Name: Double-check that you are dropping the correct database and not a different one by mistake. You can use the command `db.getName()` to verify the database name.
  • Consider security Risks: If the database contains sensitive information, take extra precautions to ensure that the data is securely deleted. You can use the `db.dropDatabase()` command with the `–force` option to securely delete the database. However, using the –force option can be risky if you are not absolutely certain that you want to delete the database.

By taking these precautions, you can minimize the risks associated with the MongoDB drop database and avoid potential data loss or other issues.

Steps To Recover A Dropped MongoDB Database

In case of accidental deletion, it is crucial to take immediate action to prevent data loss. Here are the steps to recover a dropped MongoDB database:

  1. Immediately stop all MongoDB activity to prevent data loss.
  2. Check if the dropped database is still recoverable using built-in MongoDB tools like ‘mongodump’ or third-party data recovery tools.
  3. Restore the database from a backup if one is available.
  4. If a backup is unavailable, try to recover data using data recovery tools. However, you should use caution when attempting to recover a dropped database, as there is a risk of data corruption or incomplete data recovery.
  5. Consider implementing a robust backup and disaster recovery strategy to prevent data loss in the future.

Taking precautions and following proper security protocols can minimize these risks and potential issues associated with the MongoDB drop database. Because the command db.collectionName.drop() to drop a database in MongoDB can permanently delete all the documents in the collection.

Check out: CRUD Operations in MongoDB: Tutorial with Examples

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Wrapping up

After reading this article, you will have a clear idea of removing an existing MongoDB database. A developer needs to know how MongoDB drop database functions. With the increasing popularity of big data, non-relational databases play an important role in handling large sample sets. Professionals in the field of data science and full-stack development often use MongoDB, a NoSQL Database Management System. MongoDB is usable with popular languages like Java, JavaScript, Python. Knowing MongoDB and having sound knowledge of MongoDB’s different methods helps make a career of your dreams.

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Rohit Sharma

Blog Author
Rohit Sharma is the Program Director for the UpGrad-IIIT Bangalore, PG Diploma Data Analytics Program.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is Sharding in databases?

Sharding is a process of dividing a huge database table into smaller ones to improve performance. Each of these smaller tables is called a shard. These shards are replicated and distributed among multiple computers. It is necessary because, as the size of the dataset keeps growing larger, the computing power of a single machine wouldn't be sufficient. It helps in horizontal scaling as each machine has to scan only a few rows leading to efficient usage of resources. Sharding increases the read-write throughput, increases scalability, and makes data available. However, it also leads to higher complexity, higher query overhead, and increased infrastructure costs.

2What are the advantages of using an RDBMS over MongoDB?

RDBMS stands for Relational Database Management System. It stores data in tables in rows and columns. It works on structured data and SQL is the language used for performing operations on the database. RDBMS works well with complex queries like joins, subqueries, nested queries, etc., which cannot be done using MongoDB. It supports secondary indices too. Relational databases are preferred when the number of tables is large and when referential integrity has to be maintained. Even though MongoDB also supports transaction management, relational systems that satisfy all the ACID properties are preferred as data integrity is maintained at every instant of time.

3What are the use cases of MongoDB?

MongoDB is an open-source NoSQL database. It stores data in the form of collections which in turn store documents. Each document stores data in the form of key-value pairs. It is very fast, flexible, and supports sharding and horizontal scalability. MongoDB is used for content management as it supports both structured and unstructured data. It also has its applications in devices of the Internet of Things, wherein it optimises data storage techniques to store the data coming from multiple connected devices. MongoDB is also used for real-time analysis of data and is cost-effective too. It is also used in product data management, maintaining product catalogue, scaling and application mobility, and customer analytics.

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