Learn how to add Prisma to an existing Node.js or TypeScript project by connecting it to your database and generating a Prisma Client for database access. The following tutorial introduces you to the Prisma CLI, Prisma Client, and Prisma Introspection.


In order to successfully complete this guide, you need:

  • Node.js installed on your machine

  • Access to a MongoDB 4.2+ server with a replica set deployment. We recommend using MongoDB Atlas.

    The MongoDB database connector uses transactions to support nested writes. Transactions requires a replica set deployment. The easiest way to deploy a replica set is with Atlas. It's free to get started.

Make sure you have your database connection URL (that includes your authentication credentials) at hand! If you don't have a database server running and just want to explore Prisma, check out the Quickstart.

See System requirements for exact version requirements.

Set up Prisma

As a first step, navigate into it your project directory that contains the package.json file.

Next, add the Prisma CLI as a development dependency to your project:

$npm install prisma --save-dev

You can now invoke the Prisma CLI by prefixing it with npx:

$npx prisma

Next, set up your Prisma project by creating your Prisma schema file template with the following command:

$npx prisma init

This command does two things:

  • creates a new directory called prisma that contains a file called schema.prisma, which contains the Prisma schema with your database connection variable and schema models
  • creates the .env file in the root directory of the project, which is used for defining environment variables (such as your database connection)
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