Liferay’s database

The recommended way of setting up your Liferay database also happens to be the simplest. Liferay Portal takes care of just about everything. The only thing you need to do is create a blank database encoded for character set UTF-8. The reason for this is that Liferay is a multilingual application, and needs UTF-8 encoding to display all the character sets it supports.

Next, create an ID for accessing this database and grant it all rights–including the rights to create and drop tables–to the blank Liferay database. This is the ID you’ll use to connect to the Liferay database, and you’ll configure it later either in your application server or in Liferay’s properties file so that Liferay can connect to it.

One of the first things Liferay Portal does when you bring it up for the first time is create the tables it needs in the database you just created. It does this automatically, complete with indexes.

If you create your database and grant a user ID full access to it, Liferay can use that user ID to create its indexes and tables automatically. This is the recommended way to set up Liferay, as it allows you to take advantage of Liferay’s ability to maintain its database automatically during upgrades or through various plugin installs that create tables of their own. It is by far the best way to set up your Liferay installation.

If you’ll be setting up Liferay’s database with the recommended permissions, you can skip to the next section.

Even though Liferay can create its database automatically, some enterprises prefer not to allow the user ID configured in an application server to have the permissions over the database necessary for Liferay and its plugins to maintain their tables. For these organizations, Select, Insert, Update and Delete are the only permissions allowed so we will go over how to set up the database manually. If your organization is willing to grant the Liferay user ID permissions to create and drop tables in the database–and this is the recommended configuration–by all means, use the recommended configuration.

Creating the database is simple: grant the ID Liferay uses to access the database full rights to do anything to the database. Then install Liferay and have it create the database. Once the database is created, remove the permissions for creating tables and dropping tables from the user ID.

There are some caveats to running Liferay like this. Many Liferay plugins create new tables when they’re deployed. In addition to this, Liferay has an automatic database upgrade function that runs when Liferay is upgraded. If the user ID that accesses the database doesn’t have enough rights to create/modify/drop tables in the database, you must grant those rights to the ID before you deploy one of these plugins or start your upgraded Liferay for the first time. Once the tables are created or the upgrade is complete, you can remove those rights until the next deploy or upgrade. Additionally, your developers may create plugins that need to create their own tables. These are just like Liferay’s plugins that do the same thing, and they cannot be installed if Liferay can’t create these tables automatically. If you wish to install these plugins, you will need to grant rights to create tables in the database before you attempt to install them.

Once you have your database ready, you can install Liferay on your server.

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