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Deploy a Grails 3 App to Pivotal Web Services (PWS)

Learn how to deploy a Grails 3 application on Pivotal Web Services (PWS), which is powered by the Cloud Foundry Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Authors: Sergio del Amo

Grails Version: 3.3.0

1 Grails Training

Grails Training - Developed and delivered by the folks who created and actively maintain the Grails framework!.

2 Getting Started

In this guide you are going to deploy a Grails 3 application to Pivotal Web Services (PWS). First we deploy the app with cf CLI. Later we deploy with a Gradle task.

2.1 What you will need

To complete this guide, you will need the following:

  • Some time on your hands

  • A decent text editor or IDE

  • JDK 1.7 or greater installed with JAVA_HOME configured appropriately

If you want to start from scratch, create a new Grails 3 app:

grails create-app grailsguidepws

2.2 How to complete the guide

To get started do the following:


The Grails guides repositories contain two folders:

  • initial Initial project. Often a simple Grails app with additional some code to give you a head-start.

  • complete A completed example. It is the result of working through the steps presented by the guide and applying those changes to the initial folder.

To complete the guide, go to the initial folder

  • cd into grails-guides/grails-deploy-pws/initial

and follow the instructions in the next sections.

You can go right to the completed example if you cd into grails-guides/grails-deploy-pws/complete

3 Setup PWS Account and install cf CLI

Follow the instructions to set up your PWS account and download the cf CLI. You can create a free trial for your organization .

4 Deploy on PWS with cf CLI

Once you have the cf CLI installed you will be able to login from your terminal.

$ cf login
API endpoint:

Email> [email protected]


Select an org (or press enter to skip):
1. guides-grails-org

Org> 1
Targeted org guides-grails-org

Targeted space development

API endpoint: (API version: 2.69.0)
User:           [email protected]
Org:            guides-grails-org
Space:          development

4.1 Create a MySQL Service

You can see a list of every available service with the next command:

$ cf marketplace

Let’s create a MySQL database-as-a-service for our Grails application.

cleardb is database-as-a-service for MySQL-powered apps
$ cf create-service cleardb spark grailsguidesmysql
Creating service instance grailsguidesmysql in org guides-grails-org / space development as [email protected]

In production we are going to use the MySQL service which we just created.

Let’s create a production configuration file:

def uri = new URI(System.env.DATABASE_URL)

dataSources {
    dataSource {
        driverClassName = "com.mysql.jdbc.Driver"
        dialect = "org.hibernate.dialect.MySQL5InnoDBDialect"
        username = uri.userInfo ? uri.userInfo.split(":")[0] : ""
        password = uri.userInfo ? uri.userInfo.split(":")[1] : ""
        url = "jdbc:mysql://" + + uri.path
        properties {
            jmxEnabled = true
            initialSize = 5
            maxActive = 50
            minIdle = 5
            maxIdle = 25
            maxWait = 10000
            maxAge = 600000
            timeBetweenEvictionRunsMillis = 5000
            minEvictableIdleTimeMillis = 60000
            validationQuery = 'SELECT 1'
            validationQueryTimeout = 3
            validationInterval = 15000
            testOnBorrow = true
            testWhileIdle = true
            testOnReturn = false
            jdbcInterceptors = 'ConnectionState'
            defaultTransactionIsolation = 2 //# TRANSACTION_READ_COMMITTED

Remove the environment production datasource block from application.yml. We define production datasource configuration in application-production.groovy

That it is to say:

            dbCreate: create-drop
            url: jdbc:h2:mem:devDb;MVCC=TRUE;LOCK_TIMEOUT=10000;DB_CLOSE_ON_EXIT=FALSE
            dbCreate: update
            url: jdbc:h2:mem:testDb;MVCC=TRUE;LOCK_TIMEOUT=10000;DB_CLOSE_ON_EXIT=FALSE

Add MySQL as a runtime dependency to Gradle dependencies block.

compile "org.grails.plugins:scaffolding"

4.2 Create CF Manifest file

We create a configuration file which we will use to push the application to PWS. The configuration file references the MySQL service which we created in the previous section.

  - name: grailsguidepws
    memory: 1G
    instances: 1
    path: build/libs/complete-0.1.war
    buildpack: java_buildpack
      - grailsguidesmysql
You war name maybe different, make sure you configure the correct path. Also remember to use a different host name if you use the same one used in the guide you will get an error message telling you that the host name is already being used.

4.3 Deploy the app

Generate a war file:

./grailsw war

Run cf push. If everything is successful you should see an output such as:

$ cf push
Using manifest file /Users/grails/git/grailsguidepws/manifest.yml

Creating app grailsguidepws in org guides-grails-org / space development as [email protected]

Creating route

Binding to grailsguidepws...

Uploading grailsguidepws...
Uploading app files from: /var/folders/j3/_bh_nnt96g3737jvnfcvnwcc0000gn/T/unzipped-app735681719
Uploading 1.8M, 254 files
Done uploading
Binding service grailsguidesmysql to app grailsguidepws in org guides-grails-org / space development as [email protected]

Starting app grailsguidepws in org guides-grails-org / space development as [email protected]
Downloading java_buildpack...
Downloaded java_buildpack
Creating container
Successfully created container
Downloading app package...
Downloaded app package (62.1M)
-----> Java Buildpack Version: v3.12 (offline) |
-----> Downloading Open Jdk JRE 1.8.0_121 from (found in cache)
       Expanding Open Jdk JRE to .java-buildpack/open_jdk_jre (1.1s)
-----> Downloading Open JDK Like Memory Calculator 2.0.2_RELEASE from (found in cache)
       Memory Settings: -Xss349K -Xmx681574K -XX:MaxMetaspaceSize=104857K -Xms681574K -XX:MetaspaceSize=104857K
-----> Downloading Container Certificate Trust Store 1.0.0_RELEASE from (found in cache)
       Adding certificates to .java-buildpack/container_certificate_trust_store/truststore.jks (1.2s)
-----> Downloading Container Customizer 1.1.0_RELEASE from (found in cache)
-----> Downloading Spring Auto Reconfiguration 1.10.0_RELEASE from (found in cache)
Exit status 0
Uploading droplet, build artifacts cache...
Staging complete
Uploading build artifacts cache...
Uploading droplet...
Uploaded build artifacts cache (109B)
Uploaded droplet (107.3M)
Uploading complete
Destroying container
Successfully destroyed container

0 of 1 instances running, 1 starting
0 of 1 instances running, 1 starting
0 of 1 instances running, 1 starting
0 of 1 instances running, 1 starting
0 of 1 instances running, 1 starting
1 of 1 instances running

App started


App grailsguidepws was started using this command `CALCULATED_MEMORY=$($PWD/.java-buildpack/open_jdk_jre/bin/java-buildpack-memory-calculator-2.0.2_RELEASE -memorySizes=metaspace:64m..,stack:228k.. -memoryWeights=heap:65,metaspace:10,native:15,stack:10 -memoryInitials=heap:100%,metaspace:100% -stackThreads=300 -totMemory=$MEMORY_LIMIT) && JAVA_OPTS="$TMPDIR -XX:OnOutOfMemoryError=$PWD/.java-buildpack/open_jdk_jre/bin/ $CALCULATED_MEMORY$PWD/.java-buildpack/container_certificate_trust_store/truststore.jks" && SERVER_PORT=$PORT eval exec $PWD/.java-buildpack/open_jdk_jre/bin/java $JAVA_OPTS -cp $PWD/. org.springframework.boot.loader.WarLauncher`

Showing health and status for app grailsguidepws in org guides-grails-org / space development as [email protected]

requested state: started
instances: 1/1
usage: 1G x 1 instances
last uploaded: Fri Feb 3 09:35:52 UTC 2017
stack: cflinuxfs2
buildpack: java_buildpack

     state     since                    cpu      memory         disk           details
#0   running   2017-02-03 10:37:26 AM   260.5%   485.8M of 1G   194.7M of 1G

You can check your app status in the PWS console:


5 Deploy on PWS with Gradle

Create a file outside your project with your cf credentials:

$ cat ~/.gradle/
[email protected]

Add the Gradle CloudFoundry plugin

buildscript {
    repositories {
    dependencies {
        classpath 'org.cloudfoundry:cf-gradle-plugin:1.1.2'
apply plugin: 'cloudfoundry'

Configure your app services:

bootRun {
    addResources = true

assets {
    minifyJs = true
    minifyCss = true

cloudfoundry {
    target = ""
    organization = "guides-grails-org"
    application = "grailsguidepws"
    space = "development"

Generate a war file:

./grailsw war

Deploy with gradle

./gradlew cfPush

6 Do you need help with Grails?

OCI sponsored the creation of this Guide. OCI offers several Grails services:

Free consultation

The OCI Grails Team includes Grails co-founders, Jeff Scott Brown and Graeme Rocher. Check our Grails courses and learn from the engineers who developed, matured and maintain Grails.

Grails OCI Team