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Building a New Parse Server and MongoDB Atlas-Based Application

Sure, it's been deprecated, but Parse's users aren't staying quiet. See how you can connect MongoDB Atlas to a new Parse server.

· Database Zone

Build fast, scale big with MongoDB Atlas, a hosted service for the leading NoSQL database. Try it now! Brought to you in partnership with MongoDB.

While the deprecated Parse.com (and api.parse.com) do not officially support MongoDB 3.2, the Parse Server community is alive and strong, and since Parse Server version 2.1.11, there has been support for MongoDB 3.2, which makes MongoDB Atlas an ideal back-end for new Parse Server based applications.

(For existing hosted Parse — api.parse.com — users who need to migrate their back-end, we previously posted about how to migrate from the hosted Parse service to a MongoDB Cloud Manager MongoDB 3.0 back end. MongoDB 3.2 is not yet supported for existing Parse users at the time of writing, but we will be sure to update this post should this change.)

We will learn in this blog post:

  • How to deploy a MongoDB Atlas cluster.
  • How to deploy the Parse Server (in our case we will show how to do so using AWS Elastic Beanstalk quick start, but updated to use the newest version of Parse Server).
  • How to configure Parse Server to connect to MongoDB Atlas.
  • How to confirm connectivity.

Set up a Parse Server App With a MongoDB Atlas Back End

  1. Deploy MongoDB Atlas cluster.
  2. Consider sizing options but start small for a hello world style application. You can always scale later (MongoDB Atlas allows you to migrate to larger instances with no downtime to your database).
  3. Register for MongoDB Atlas at mongodb.com/atlas.
  4. Build and deploy your first cluster (we’ll use a small M10 instance-sized replica set for our example and deploy it into the US East region).

  5. We’ll create a user with at least readWrite on the applicationDbName database (or the user with readWriteAnyDatabase@admin, which gets created automatically, will do).
  6. For testing purposes, we will open IP address to all IP addresses initially ( Later we should leave only open to our application servers’ public IP addresses.
  7. Choose where and how you want to deploy the Parse Server:
  8. Many options are described here, some of which provide easier set-ups than others. AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Heroku are easy options.

For purposes of this blog post, we will go with AWS Elastic Beanstalk for the Parse Server quick start, by following the URL below (requires an AWS account):

  1. Click for AWS Elastic Beanstalk for the Parse Server quick start deployment example.
  2. But we will make sure we install Parse Server 2.1.12 or higher, e.g. in parse-server-example, ensure that the package.json file includes "parse-server": "~2.2.16" (where 2.2.16 is the current latest at time of this writing).
  3. The Parse Server Example can be downloaded from GitHub:

  4. If we extract the zip file, we can edit the version in package.json.

  5. We’ll set the Parse Server version to 2.2.16 (latest at time of writing).

  6. We’ll select the files in the directory and re-compress them into a new zip file.

  7. We’ll upload our new zip file so that it can be deployed.

  8. Configure Parse Server to connect to MongoDB Atlas.
  9. Inside the AWS Elastic Beanstalk UI.

  10. We’ll navigate to the “Configuration” section on the left-hand menu.

  11. Then we’ll navigate to the “Software Configuration” section by clicking the gear icon, and scroll down to the “Environment Properties” section:
  12. In the environment properties, we’ll use any myAppId, myFileKey, mySecretMasterKey we want (since this is a new application, we set these).
  13. We’ll set the SERVER_URL to that which shows near the top of our AWS Elastic Beanstalk application UI to the right of "URL: ..."

  14. We’ll set the DATABASE_URI as follows (replacing the bold text with our specific cluster’s details).
  15. mongodb://username:password@node1.mongodb.net:27017,node2.mongodb.net:27017,node3.mongodb.net:27017/applicationDbName?replicaSet=clusterName-shard-0&ssl=true&authSource=admin.
  16. We can see what the appropriate MongoDB URI should be inside of MongoDB Atlas’s “Connect” UI for the cluster, under the Driver connections section.

  17. Test to confirm connectivity of our example application to Parse Server and the MongoDB Atlas backend:
$ curl -X POST \
> -H "X-Parse-Application-Id: newParseTest" \
> -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
> -d '{"score":1337,"playerName":"John Doe","cheatMode":false}' \
> http://parseserver-365pk-env.us-east-1.elasticbeanstalk.com/parse/classes/GameScore
  "objectId": "YMgGV6kVTP",
  "createdAt": "2016-08-26T14:54:26.580Z"
$ curl -X GET \
> -H "X-Parse-Application-Id: newParseTest" \
> -H "X-Parse-Master-Key: MASTER_KEY" \
> http://parseserver-365pk-env.us-east-1.elasticbeanstalk.com/parse/classes/GameScore
  "results": [
      "objectId": "YMgGV6kVTP",
      "score": 1337,
      "playerName": "John Doe",
      "cheatMode": false,
      "createdAt": "2016-08-26T14:54:26.580Z",
      "updatedAt": "2016-08-26T14:54:26.580Z"

Now you can use the SDK to build a new application pointing to your instance of Parse Server + MongoDB Atlas!

Now it's easier than ever to get started with MongoDB, the database that allows startups and enterprises alike to rapidly build planet-scale apps. Introducing MongoDB Atlas, the official hosted service for the database on AWS. Try it now! Brought to you in partnership with MongoDB.

mongodb atlas,server,parse,cloud,aws elastic beanstalk

Published at DZone with permission of Andrew Davidson, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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