Quick start with Fauna

Quick start with Fauna

This section helps you to get up and running with your first Fauna database using the Fauna Shell, in only 5 minutes!

Fauna is free to use, up to a generous quantity of read or write operations, data transfer, and storage. If you exceed the free limits, pricing is very reasonable. See our Pricing page for details.

Sign up for a Fauna account

Create a Fauna account for yourself, so that you can create databases, create data within those databases, and query that data.

  1. Visit https://dashboard.fauna.com/accounts/register. The Sign Up screen appears:

    The Fauna sign up screen

  2. To sign up, you can either fill in your information and click Start Now, or click either the GitHub or Netlify button to sign up. It’s quick and easy!

Sign up is now complete.

Fauna is free to use, until you exceed storage, traffic, or daily operation counts. See Pricing for details.

Install Fauna Shell

Once you have your account setup, open a terminal and install the Fauna Shell. If you are on a PC, you can use:

  1. Using NPM:

    npm install -g fauna-shell

    If you don’t have NPM installed, you can follow this guide here to get it set up.

  2. If you are on a Mac, you can use Homebrew:

    brew install fauna-shell

Login to your Fauna account

Fauna Shell does not currently support GitHub or Netlify logins.

If you signed up for Fauna using your GitHub or Netlify credentials, follow these steps, then continue with Start using your database.

Until Fauna Shell supports GitHub or Netlify logins, you can use the Web Shell included in the Fauna Dashboard interface to run the queries presented in this tutorial.

Once the Fauna Shell is installed, it’s time to login to your Fauna account from the shell. You can do that by running the following command:

fauna cloud-login

You are prompted for your Fauna credentials, where you need to enter the email you used for signing up, and your password. Visit this link if you forgot your password.

Email: email@example.com
Password: **********

Once you are logged in on a machine, the Fauna Shell remembers your credentials (in the $HOME/.fauna-shell configuration file) so you shouldn’t need to log in again.

Create a database

Now we can create database to store our data. Run the following command for creating a database called my_db:

fauna create-database my_db

Start using your database

Now we can open a shell to start using our new database:

fauna shell my_db

If all went well, you should see the following prompt:

Starting shell for database my_db
Connected to https://db.fauna.com
Type Ctrl+D or .exit to exit the shell
 

Once in the shell, we can start by creating a collection:

CreateCollection({ name: "posts" })

Fauna stores data in the form of nested document object. Each document belongs to a specific collection. So in order to create a document for a blog post, we need to first create a posts collection.

The shell displays the result of our query, in this case our newly created collection:

{ ref: Collection("posts"),
  ts: 1533753878043481,
  history_days: 30,
  name: "posts" }

Next, we can create an index to easily retrieve blog posts by title:

CreateIndex({
  name: "posts_by_title",
  source: Collection("posts"),
  terms: [{ field: ["data", "title"] }]
})

And the result should be the index instance:

{ ref: Index("posts_by_title"),
  ts: 1533753979163761,
  active: true,
  partitions: 1,
  name: "posts_by_title",
  source: Collection("posts"),
  terms: [ { field: [ "data", "title" ] } ] }

Add data and query your database

Now that we’ve prepared our schema, let’s create our first blog post:

Create(
  Collection("posts"),
  { data: { title: "What I had for breakfast .." } }
)
{ ref: Ref(Collection("posts"), "207089183860195845"),
  ts: 1533754485757944,
  data: { title: "What I had for breakfast .." } }

We can also create multiple blog posts at once by using the Map function:

Map(
  [
    "My cat and other marvels",
    "Pondering during a commute",
    "Deep meanings in a latte"
  ],
  Lambda("post_title",
    Create(
      Collection("posts"), { data: { title: Var("post_title") } }
    )
  )
)

Here we call Map with an array of posts, and a Lambda (an anonymous function) that accepts one parameter "post_title". "post_title" is used inside the Lambda as the title field of the data we want to insert. This is the result:

[ { ref: Ref(Collection("posts"), "207089200754854408"),
    ts: 1533754501878440,
    data: { title: "My cat and other marvels" } },
  { ref: Ref(Collection("posts"), "207089200754853384"),
    ts: 1533754501878440,
    data: { title: "Pondering during a commute" } },
  { ref: Ref(Collection("posts"), "207089200754852360"),
    ts: 1533754501878440,
    data: { title: "Deep meanings in a latte" } } ]

Now we can retrieve our posts by ID.

The IDs presented above will be different from the IDs that you obtain. To run queries involving IDs, you need to replace the IDs presented in this tutorial with one of the IDs that you obtained in the previous step.

When we run the following query:

Get(Ref(Collection("posts"), "207089200754852360"))

The result should be similar to:

{ ref: Ref(Collection("posts"), "207089200754852360"),
  ts: 1533754501878440,
  data: { title: "Deep meanings in a latte" } }

You can replace the ID (207089200754852360) with one of the IDs that you obtained, to fetch a different document instead.

Or, better yet, retrieve by post title using our index:

Get(
  Match(
    Index("posts_by_title"),
    "My cat and other marvels"
  )
)

Where we get back:

{ ref: Ref(Collection("posts"), "207089200754854408"),
  ts: 1533754501878440,
  data: { title: "My cat and other marvels" } }

And just like that, we have just queried our first Fauna database!

One last thing: to exit the Shell, you can type .exit and then press Return, or type Control+D:

.exit
09:56 $

Video walk-through

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