Connecting Service Builder to External Data Sources

Sometimes you want to use a data source other than Liferay DXP’s. To do this, the data source must be defined in or configured as a JNDI data source on Liferay DXP’s app server. This tutorial shows how to connect Service Builder to a data source.

Here are the steps:

  1. If Liferay DXP’s application server defines the data source using JNDI, skip this step. Otherwise, specify the data source in a file. Distinguish it from Liferay DXP’s default data source by giving it a prefix other than jdbc.default.. This example uses prefix jdbc.ext.:

  2. Create a Spring bean that points to the data source. To do this, create an ext-spring.xml file in your Service Builder module’s src/main/resources/META-INF/spring folder or in your traditional portlet’s WEB-INF/src/META-INF folder. Define the following elements:

    • A data source factory Spring bean for the data source. It’s different based on the type:

      • JNDI: Specify an arbitrary property prefix and prepend the prefix to a JNDI name property key. Here’s an example:

        <bean class="com.liferay.portal.dao.jdbc.spring.DataSourceFactoryBean"
            <property name="propertyPrefix" value="custom." />
            <property name="properties">
                    <prop key="">jdbc/externalDataSource</prop>
      • Portal Properties: Specify a property prefix that matches the prefix (e.g., jdbc.ext.) you used in

        <bean class="com.liferay.portal.dao.jdbc.spring.DataSourceFactoryBean"
            <property name="propertyPrefix" value="jdbc.ext." />
    • A Liferay DXP data source bean that refers to the data source factory Spring bean.

    • An alias for the Liferay DXP data source bean.

    Here’s an example ext-spring.xml that points to a JNDI data source:

    <?xml version="1.0"?>
    <beans default-destroy-method="destroy" default-init-method="afterPropertiesSet"
       xmlns="" xmlns:xsi=""
       <!-- To define an external data source, the liferayDataSource Spring bean 
           must be overridden. Other default Spring beans like liferaySessionFactory 
           and liferayTransactionManager may optionally be overridden. 
           liferayDataSourceFactory refers to the data source configured on the
           application server. -->
       <bean class="com.liferay.portal.dao.jdbc.spring.DataSourceFactoryBean"
           <property name="propertyPrefix" value="custom." />
           <property name="properties">
                   <prop key="">jdbc/externalDataSource</prop>
       <!-- The data source bean refers to the factory to access the data source.
           <property name="targetDataSource" ref="liferayDataSourceFactory" />
       <!-- In service.xml, we associated our entity with the extDataSource. To 
           associate the extDataSource with our overridden liferayDataSource, we define 
           this alias. -->
       <alias alias="extDataSource" name="liferayDataSource" />

    The liferayDataSourceFactory above refers to a JNDI data source named jdbc/externalDataSource. If the data source was specified via data source properties in a file, the bean would require only a propertyPrefix property that matches the data source property prefix.

    The data source bean liferayDataSource is overridden with one that refers to the liferayDataSourceFactory bean. The override affects this bundle (module or Web Application Bundle) only.

    The alias extDataSource refers to the liferayDataSource data source bean.

  3. In your Service Builder module’s service.xml file, set your entity’s data source to the liferayDataSource alias you specified in your ext-spring.xml file. Here’s an example:

    <?xml version="1.0"?>
    <!DOCTYPE service-builder PUBLIC "-//Liferay//DTD Service Builder 7.0.0//EN"
    <service-builder package-path="com.liferay.example" >
        <entity local-service="true" name="Foo" table="testdata" data-source="extDataSource"
                remote-service="false" uuid="false">
               <column name="id" db-name="id" primary="true" type="long" />
               <column name="foo" db-name="foo" type="String" />
               <column name="bar" db-name="bar" type="long" />

    Note the example’s <entity> tag attributes:

    • data-source: The liferayDataSource alias ext-spring.xml specifies.
    • table: Your entity’s database table.

    Also note that your entity’s <column>s must have a db-name attribute set to the column name.

  4. Run Service Builder.

Now your Service Builder services use the data source. You can use the services in your business logic as you always have regardless of the underlying data source.

Connecting to JNDI Data Sources

Service Builder

Running Service Builder and Understanding the Generated Code

Business Logic with Service Builder

« Configuring service.propertiesBusiness Logic with Service Builder »
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