Deploying with an External Database


This subsection is the second tutorial about manually deploying a Frank on an Apache Tomcat application server. In the first tutorial you used an in-memory database. In this tutorial we migrate to an external database; for this tutorial we choose a MySQL database because it is free.

If you are using Docker, you can skip the first tutorial. In this case you should do the following preparations to catch up:

  1. Please make an account on Dockerhub,

  2. On the command prompt, login to Dockerhub:

    docker login
  3. Choose some directory to work in, say work.

  4. Download the example Frank config; this is the same file as is used in the first tutorial. This zipfile also contains a file Dockerfile. After unzipping, you should have a file work/deploymentTomcat/Dockerfile.


    If you are doing this second tutorial after the first tutorial, please note that work has changed meaning. The work of the first tutorial is now work/deploymentTomcat.

  5. Create a Docker image tomcat-frank-img with the Frank!Framework and the configuration of the first tutorial. Enter directory work/deploymentTomcat and then run the following (same for Windows and Linux):

    > docker build -t tomcat-frank-img .
  6. Run the image to get a container tomcat-frank:

    > docker run -p 8080:8080 --name tomcat-frank tomcat-frank-img

Set up the external database

We assume now that you have the example Frank up and running using an in-memory H2 database. You need an external MySQL databasee now. You can have it on a separate server, a Virtual Machine or a Docker image. The database server should have network connectivity such that the Frank!Framework can connect to it. There should be a user that has permission to create tables and to modify and read data.

If you are using Docker, you can create your database server as follows:

  1. Create a container with your database server using the following command:

    > docker run --name external-db -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=mypwd mysql:5.7
  2. Run the command docker inspect external-db. This gives a lot of information, including the IP address of this container. We assume it is If it is different, apply the real IP address in the next instructions.

  3. Connect to your database server:

    > docker run -it --rm mysql mysql -h172.17.0.2 -uroot -p


    This command runs image mysql and deletes the resulting container automatically when it stops. The -h, -u and -p arguments are arguments of the mysql command-line tool.

  4. Create a new database:

    mysql> CREATE DATABASE db;


    In this tutorial we let the Frank!Framework connect as user root. On production, you should make a dedicated database user for the Frank!Framework that only has rights on the db database. We do not demonstrate this here because we focus on configuring the Frank!Framework.

  5. Enter exit. Your MySQL client quits and the container that ran it is removed.

You should have a running container external-db with a MySQL server running. The server should have a database named db. It is assumed that this server has IP address, but this can be different for you. Please use the real IP address instead of in the remainder of this tutorial. You will use the root database user in this tutorial, although it is not wise to do so in production. You gave this user password mypwd.

Migrate the database

Please migrate the Frank!Framework to the new database, as follows:

  1. Enter the server on which you installed the Frank!Framework. If you are using Docker, you can do this with the following command:

    > docker exec -it tomcat-frank bash
  2. Download the MySQL driver mysql-connector-java-5.1.44.jar for the Frank!Framework and make it available to your application server:

    >> wget -O /usr/local/tomcat/lib/mysql-connector-java-5.1.44.jar
  3. You will change the definition of JNDI name jdbc/frank2tomcat, see, to point to the new database. Please edit /usr/local/tomcat/conf/context.xml such that the <Resource> element become as follows:

        validationQuery="select 1" />

    In the first tutorial you installed text editor nano, so you can use it now if you want. Please apply the real IP address instead of like written above.

  4. Enter exit to leave the Frank!Framework container. Restart it using the following commands:

    > docker stop tomcat-frank
    > docker start tomcat-frank
  5. The Frank!Framework should be available as a website on URL http://localhost:8080/frankframework. You can test it exactly as shown in the first tutorial, see Test your work.

  6. In addition, you can check that the Frank!Framework is indeed running on the MySQL database. You can check that some new tables have been created, as follows:

    1. Start a new MySQL client:

      > docker run -it --rm mysql mysql -h172.17.0.2 -uroot -p
    2. Select the database you created:

      mysql> use db;
    3. Run a query to see what tables you have:

      mysql> show tables;
      | Tables_in_db          |
      2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

This finishes the tutorials on manually installing the Frank!Framework on Apache Tomcat. Remember that you should deploy the Frank!Framework as a webapplication. Next you should download additional libraries including the database driver for the database you choose. You need to set some properties to reference the Frank configs you will deploy, and you need to deploy them. Finally you should configure the JNDI name of your database as a resource in context.xml.