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User-Provided Services

User-provided service instances allow you connect applications running on Stackato to specified external data services, without hard coding the credentials into the application. The service instance provides the connection information to the application via the VCAP_SERVICES or STACKATO_SERVICES environment variables, just like the built-in data services.

Think of user-provided services as a credentials database for your Stackato application space. You provide the connection information, Stackato stores it in a JSON object which can be bound any applications in the space.


User-provided service instances will typically be used to connect applications hosted on Stackato to existing external database hosts or clusters. For example, to connect an app to a PostgreSQL database hosted outside of Stackato:

$ stackato create-service user-provided prod-db-int
Which credentials to use for connections [hostname, port, password]: host, port, database, user, pass
host: dbhost1.example.com
port: 5432
database: prod-django-321
user: ro-web
pass: vsTLP2gs
Creating new service ... OK

The parameter names provided in the first step will become the keys in the JSON object exposed to the application later.


Once the service instance has been created it can be bound to applications, just like any other service:

$ stackato bind-service prod-db-int django-cms
Binding prod-db-int to scaling-demo ...
Stopping Application [django-cms] ... OK
Starting Application [django-cms] ...
http://django-cms.stackato.example.com/ deployed


The stackato service command will show the credentials:

$ stackato service prod-db-int

| What         | Value                        |
| Type         | user-provided                |
| Space        | example::example-dev         |
|              |                              |
| Credentials  |                              |
| - database   | prod-django-321              |
| - host       | dbhost1.example.com          |
| - pass       | vsTLP2gs                     |
| - port       | 5432                         |
| - user       | ro-web                       |
|              |                              |
| Applications | django-cms                   |

The STACKATO_SERVICES and VCAP_SERVICES variables will expose the connection information within the application container. The parameter names you provided when setting up the service instance become the keys in the prod-db-int JSON object:

django-cms$ echo $STACKATO_SERVICES |json
  "prod-db-int": {
    "database": "prod-django-321",
    "host": "dbhost1.example.com",
    "pass": "vsTLP2gs",
    "port": "5432",
    "user": "ro-web"

To have your application use this information, parse the variable in your application code to extract the credentials at runtime. See the Language Specific Deployment section for examples.

Frameworks or buildpacks that autoconfigure bound services will do so automatically, as they would for system-provided data services.

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