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.

If you're migrating to Prisma from Mongoose, see our Migrate from Mongoose guide.


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)
Edit this page on GitHub