§Accessing an SQL database

§Configuring JDBC connection pools

Play provides a plugin for managing JDBC connection pools. You can configure as many databases as you need.

To enable the database plugin add javaJdbc in your build dependencies :

libraryDependencies += javaJdbc

Then you must configure a connection pool in the conf/application.conf file. By convention the default JDBC data source must be called default:

# Default database configuration

To configure several data sources:

# Orders database

# Customers database

If something isn’t properly configured, you will be notified directly in your browser:

§H2 database engine connection properties

# Default database configuration using H2 database engine in an in-memory mode
# Default database configuration using H2 database engine in a persistent mode

The details of the H2 database URLs are found from H2 Database Engine Cheat Sheet.

§SQLite database engine connection properties

# Default database configuration using SQLite database engine

§PostgreSQL database engine connection properties

# Default database configuration using PostgreSQL database engine

§MySQL database engine connection properties

# Default database configuration using MySQL database engine
# Connect to playdb as playdbuser
db.default.password="a strong password"

§Accessing the JDBC datasource

The play.db package provides access to the configured data sources:

import play.db.*;

DataSource ds = DB.getDatasource();

§Obtaining a JDBC connection

You can retrieve a JDBC connection the same way:

Connection connection = DB.getConnection();

It is important to note that resulting Connections are not automatically disposed at the end of the request cycle. In other words, you are responsible for calling their close() method somewhere in your code so that they can be immediately returned to the pool.

§Exposing the datasource through JNDI

Some libraries expect to retrieve the Datasource reference from JNDI. You can expose any Play managed datasource via JDNI by adding this configuration in conf/application.conf:


§Importing a Database Driver

Other than for the h2 in-memory database, useful mostly in development mode, Play does not provide any database drivers. Consequently, to deploy in production you will have to add your database driver as an application dependency.

For example, if you use MySQL5, you need to add a dependency for the connector:

libraryDependencies += "mysql" % "mysql-connector-java" % "5.1.18"

§Selecting and configuring the connection pool

Out of the box, Play provides two database connection pool implementations, HikariCP and BoneCP. The default is HikariCP, but this can be changed by setting the play.db.pool property:


The full range of configuration options for connection pools can be found by inspecting the play.db.prototype property in Play’s JDBC reference.conf.


For information on testing with databases, including how to setup in-memory databases and, see Testing With Databases.

§Enabling Play database evolutions

Read Evolutions to find out what Play database evolutions are useful for, and follow the instructions for using it.

Next: Integrating with JPA

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