Using a HSQLDB file on Tomcat

In my Grails application, I was using an HSQL Database.  However, I wanted changes to persist when restarting my server so I configured it to use the file system.

dataSource {
    dbCreate = "update"
    url = "jdbc:hsqldb:file:DB/appDB;shutdown=true"

When running in a development environment, a DB directory was created in my Project home directory. The DB directory contained the appDB.script and appDB.log files that are used by HSQLDB.

However, I wanted to use the same connection string while deploying my application as a WAR on Apache Tomcat.  I dropped my WAR in the <TOMCAT_HOME>\webapps folder and started Tomcat.  However, I struggled to find where the data files were kept.

For future reference, they are in the DB directory in <TOMCAT_HOME>\bin.


About stevewall123

I am a Lead Software Engineer in Minneapolis working for Thomson Reuters. I am currently working on projects using Java, JavaScript, Spring, Elasticsearch, Hazelcast, Liquibase and Tomcat. Previously, I used C#, GWT, Grails, Groovy, JMS and JBoss Drools Guvnor. In the past I have worked on projects using J2EE, Swing, Webwork, Hibernate, Spring, Spring-WS, JMS, JUnit and Ant.
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2 Responses to Using a HSQLDB file on Tomcat

  1. Olivier says:

    You can use an absolute path :


    • stevewall123 says:

      Yes, and I should have mentioned that as well. In my case, I was going to end up handing my WAR file off to someone else, so I didn’t want to use an absolute path.

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