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Data Access

VMware Tanzu Labs

In this lab you will implement the database version of the Time Entry Repository using Spring JDBC Template.

Learning outcomes

After completing the lab, you will be able to:

  • Recall why Object Relational Mappers encourage circular dependencies
  • Describe how to set up a Spring Boot app to connect to a MySQL database locally
  • Describe how to set up a Spring Boot app running on Tanzu Application Service to connect to a MySQL Service
  • Use JDBC Template to perform CRUD database operations

Get started

  1. You must have completed (or fast-forwarded to) the Backing Services and Database Migrations lab. You must have your pal-tracker application associated with the migrations-solution codebase deployed and running on Tanzu Application Service, and your local and Tanzu Application Service databases must have been migrated.

  2. In a terminal window, make sure you start in the ~/workspace/pal-tracker directory.

  3. Pull in unit and integration tests:

    git cherry-pick jdbc-start

The goal is to get your tests passing by the end of the lab.

If you get stuck

If you get stuck within this lab, you can either view the solution, or you can fast-forward to the jdbc-solution tag.

You can also look at the Hints for some more assistance.

Configure datasource dependencies

Add the following dependencies to the build.gradle file:

dependencies {
    implementation 'org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-web'
+   implementation 'org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-jdbc'
+   implementation 'mysql:mysql-connector-java'
    testImplementation 'org.springframework.boot:spring-boot-starter-test'

Configure migration dependencies

Review the .github/workflows/pipeline.yml pipeline declaration additions from the jdbc-start cherry-pick. You will see a Create test database section has been added to the build-and-publish job to set up the CI test database.

It uses a new Flyway task you will add next to run it through Gradle instead of the command line.

Configure Flyway in your build.gradle file as follows:

  1. Add import for Flyway as the first line in the build.gradle file:

    + import org.flywaydb.gradle.task.FlywayMigrateTask
  2. Add the flyway plugin to the plugins closure:

      plugins {
          id 'org.springframework.boot' version '2.5.3'
          id 'io.spring.dependency-management' version '1.0.11.RELEASE'
    +     id "org.flywaydb.flyway" version "7.13.0"
          id 'java'
  3. Define connection details you can use within the build system to connect to the local databases you created earlier.

      test {
    + def developmentDbUrl = "jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/tracker_dev?user=tracker&useSSL=false&useTimezone=true&serverTimezone=UTC&useLegacyDatetimeCode=false"
        "WELCOME_MESSAGE": "howdy",
    +   "SPRING_DATASOURCE_URL": developmentDbUrl,
    + def testDbUrl = "jdbc:mysql://localhost:3306/tracker_test?user=tracker&useSSL=false&useTimezone=true&serverTimezone=UTC&useLegacyDatetimeCode=false"
        "WELCOME_MESSAGE": "Hello from test",
    +   "SPRING_DATASOURCE_URL": testDbUrl,
  4. Configure the flyway task:

    + flyway {
    +   url = developmentDbUrl
    +   user = "tracker"
    +   password = ""
    +   locations = ["filesystem:databases/tracker/migrations"]
    + }
  5. Configure the testMigrate task to derive from the flyway task, but override the url with the testDbUrl you configured in previous step:

    + task testMigrate(type: FlywayMigrateTask) {
    +   url = testDbUrl
    + }

    This is the Gradle task executed by the pipeline to migrate your test database.

  6. Review the build.gradle file below to verify your datasource and migration build configuration.

    git show jdbc-solution:build.gradle

Add the service binding to the manifest

In the previous lab you manually bound the new tracker-database service to the application. Add the following lines to the manifest.yml to capture the information about that binding so that it is not lost if you re-create the application:

  - tracker-database

The services label should be at the same level of indentation as the routes and env labels.

Create the repository

  1. Create a new class called JdbcTimeEntryRepository that:

    • Implements the TimeEntryRepository interface.
    • Takes a DataSource as a constructor argument. Make sure to use the DataSource interface type, not the concrete MysqlDataSource class type.

    Use the JdbcTimeEntryRepositoryTest to guide your implementation. Keep the following tips in mind:

    • Use the DataSource to construct a JdbcTemplate object and store the JdbcTemplate object to a private field.

    • In the create method use the JDBCTemplate#update() method to persist the TimeEntry object to the database. Retrieve the newly created record from the database using the generated ID (the ID can be retrieved using a GeneratedKeyHolder)

    Take a look at our solution if you need help:

    git show jdbc-solution:src/main/java/io/pivotal/pal/tracker/
  2. In PalTrackerApplication modify the method that returns a TimeEntryRepository bean to return an instance of JdbcTimeEntryRepository.

  3. Add a set-up method to TimeEntryApiTest.

    public void setUp() throws Exception {
        MysqlDataSource dataSource = new MysqlDataSource();
        JdbcTemplate jdbcTemplate = new JdbcTemplate(dataSource);
        jdbcTemplate.execute("TRUNCATE time_entries");
    git show jdbc-solution:src/test/java/test/pivotal/pal/trackerapi/
  4. Run the build to make sure everything still passes.

    ./gradlew clean build
  5. Commit and push your code to GitHub, then let your pipeline deploy the new application.

Wrap up

Now that you have completed the lab, you should be able to:

  • Recall why Object Relational Mappers encourage circular dependencies
  • Describe how to set up a Spring Boot app to connect to a MySQL database locally
  • Describe how to set up a Spring Boot app running on Tanzu Application Service to connect to a MySQL Service
  • Use JDBC Template to perform CRUD database operations


Verify container service binding

  • Verify whether or not the VCAP_SERVICES environment variable is set in the current running pal-tracker container:

    • SSH to the running pal-tracker:

      cf ssh pal-tracker -i 0

    • Determine if VCAP_SERVICES is set:

      env | grep VCAP_SERVICES

  • Do you see the environment variable set in the running container? Why, or why not?

Java buildpack auto-reconfiguration

In this lab you saw the Java buildpack auto-reconfiguration feature in work. It replaces the Spring Boot auto-configured DataSource with one it creates from the service binding found in VCAP_SERVICES.

One issue you may have noticed if you reviewed the app logs after deploying your JDBC code changes is this warning:

2020-12-18T13:03:59.98-0600 [APP/PROC/WEB/0] OUT 2020-12-18 19:03:59.988  INFO 14 --- [           main] o.c.reconfiguration.CloudServiceUtils    : 'dataSource' bean of type with 'javax.sql.DataSource' reconfigured with 'tracker-database' bean
2020-12-18T13:04:00.02-0600 [APP/PROC/WEB/2] ERR Loading class `com.mysql.jdbc.Driver'. This is deprecated. The new driver class is `com.mysql.cj.jdbc.Driver'. The driver is automatically registered via the SPI and manual loading of the driver class is generally unnecessary.

But you did not see this when you ran this locally as a Spring Boot app!

A trade-off of using the default Tanzu Application Service Java buildpack auto-reconfiguration behavior is that it hijacks backing service configuration, and replaces with the associated Spring beans configured separately by the auto-reconfiguration plugin. This includes any DataSource configuration you (the application developer or application operator) may have provided.

The reconfiguration behavior is scanning and picking up the deprecated driver instead of the newer driver that is supplied in the mysql-connector-java dependency.

See here for more information.

There are a couple of scenarios under which you may choose to suppress the auto-reconfiguration:

  1. Your app has multiple datasources to configure.
  2. You want to replace the auto-reconfigured datasource.

You can turn off the auto-reconfiguration behavior as follows:

cf set-env pal-tracker JBP_CONFIG_SPRING_AUTO_RECONFIGURATION '{ enabled: false }'

This will suppress auto-configuration of your datasource via VCAP_SERVICES during the next push and staging of your application.

You will also need to configure your datasource or datasources by parsing VCAP_SERVICES for the associated service binding credentials, or you can also use the VCAP processor provided by Spring Boot.

Spring Data JDBC

  1. Try out reimplementing time entry persistence with Spring Data JDBC.

  2. Read through the Spring Data JDBC reference for help getting started.


  1. Try out reimplementing time entry persistence with JPA.

  2. Read through the Spring JPA guide for help getting started.

If you completed both of the Spring Data JDBC and JPA extras, how did both of the solution compare to the JDBC Template solution?


Where do you get the DataSource from?

It is obvious that, ultimately, the application will need a DataSource instance, connected to a real database. It is much less obvious how to create that. The good news is that you, the developer, do not need to create the datasource at all — Spring Boot will do that for you! In order to do that it needs several things to be true:

  • Spring Boot auto-configuration is enabled, which it is by default.

  • There is a valid value for the configuration property spring.datasource.url (in this case provided via the environment), or the app is running in a cloud environment (such as Tanzu Application Service) where information on bound database instances is available.

  • There is an appropriate JDBC driver available on the classpath.

If these conditions are true, Spring Boot will create a datasource bean and place it in the application context.

How do you inject the DataSource into the JdbcTimeEntryRepository?

As well as Spring auto-wiring parameters into bean class constructors, it will also auto-wire the parameters of methods annotated with @Bean.