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Browse documentation for IT-systems used by the European Environment Agency and the Eionet network.

EIONET Data Dictionary



The Data Dictionary (DD) is used to support the delivery of environmental data by countries to Reportnet. The contents in the data dictionary are used to generate pdfs of the technical specifications for dataflows as well as Excel templates. The Data Dictionary also introduces the possibility of simple automated validation of deliveries by countries and facilitates the development of data submission interfaces.

Data Dictionary holds definitions of datasets, tables and data elements. Each of these three levels is defined by a set of attributes, the core set of which corresponds to ISO 11179 standard for describing data elements. The whole attribute set is flexible and attributes can be added / removed from/to the system.

For doing a quick-start installation, read the following instructions. They give some hints on how to quickly get DD code from github, and how to set it up as a Tomcat web application.



DD runs on Java platform, and has been tested and run on Tomcat Java Servlet Container. DD source code is built with Maven.

Please download all of these software and install them according to the instructions found at their websites: Java, Tomcat, Maven and GIT client.

The necessary versions are as follows:

  • Java 1.6 or higher
  • Maven 3.0.2 or higher
  • Tomcat 6 or higher
  • GIT 1.8.4 or higher
  • MySql 5.1.71 or higher
  • (Optional) Docker 1.6 or higher

Download DD source code

Create build directory for source code and get code from GitHub

$ cd /var/local/build
$ git clone

NB! The resulting /var/local/build/eionet.datadict directory will be denoted below as $CHECKOUT_HOME

Build the application

$ mvn -Dmaven.test.skip=true clean install
Custom headers and footers configuration (OPTIONAL):

Revise $CHECKOUT_HOME/custom/*.txt files for modifying the content of headers and footers in DD web pages texts and links. You will find guidelines from inside $CHECKOUT_HOME/custom/README.txt.

Local tomcat deployment

1. Set up DB and DB user

Create the DataDict database and the DataDict user identified by a password.

$ mysql -u root -p

CREATE USER 'dduser-here'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password-here';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON DataDict.* TO 'dduser-here'@'localhost';
2. Configure environment variables for tomcat:

In the env_setup/local/catalina_opts.txt file you will find all the CATALINA_OPTS that need to be configured with the specific values for your environment. Set these variables for your local tomcat installation.

3. Deploy on tomcat

Place the resulting $CHECKOUT_HOME/target/datadict.war into Tomcat’s webapps directory, and start Tomcat. At tomcat startup liquibase will create the initial DB structure.

Unit tests

The unit test mechanism will install its own embedded database and create the tables when you execute them. Note that the embedded database will keep running afterwards. You can run individual tests with: -Dtest=DatasetImportHandlerTest

$ mvn -Denv=unittest -Dmaven.test.skip=false test

Unit and Integration tests

The integration tests mechanism uses maven failsafe plugin and docker to create a dockerized test mysql database which will be used for the tests. Note that if the unit tests fail, maven will stop there and not procceed to run the integration tests. If you wish to run only the Integration tests see below.

$mvn  clean verify  -Denv=unittest

Integration Tests only

If you wish to skip unit tests and run only integration tests you may do so using the flag: -DskipUTs=true as shown below:

$mvn clean verify -DskipUTs=true -Denv=unittest

Build for docker

Build the application as already described and then create a docker image by executing the docker build command in a directory containing both the Dockerfile and the datadict.war. If no tag is provided then the image will be tagged as “latest”. The docker file can be found at the env_setup/docker_build directory.

$ mkdir docker_build
$ cd docker_build
$ cp $CHECKOUT_HOME/target/datadict.war .
$ cp $CHECKOUT_HOME/env_setup/docker_build/* .
$ docker build -t eeacms/datadict:tag-here .

[Optional] In case you need to push the image you have created to DockerHub:

$ docker push eeacms/datadict:tag-here

Rancher/Docker deployment

In the env_setup/docker_rancher directory you can find example files to be renamed and used as docker-compose.yml files for docker/rancher. Both use the docker.env file for runtime properties configuration.

Note: After running the docker-compose up or the rancher-compose up commands you have to create the DB and the corresponding user-password and restart the tomcat container.

Additional applications for modifying DD access permissions and help


Additional web applications are available for modifying user privileges and help texts in DD: AclAdmin tool: HelpAdmin tool:

Installing these applications is done by similar steps:

  1. Checkout from SVN
  2. Create from
  3. Modify environment specific properties in file
  4. call “mvn install”
  5. Rename to in ROOT/WEB-INF/classes folder and revise the content of the properties files
  6. Rename *.acl.dist files to *.acl files in acladmin_contents/acls folder (only in AclAdminTool) and revise the contents of file More detailed information about ACL’s is available at:
  7. Copy the created war files to tomcat webapps folder and start tomcat Please find more detailed information in documentation of these applications.

Logging to Graylog [Optional]

An optional process has been added, so the developer can drive the logs to Graylog Server. In order to achieve this, there are 2 prerequisites :

  1. A Graylog server running in 9000, with exposed port 12201.
  2. A VM option has to be added so the project loads [log4j2-gelf.xml] instead of the default [log4j2.xml] that has no gelf appender:

A way to run a Graylog Server is through docker file “docker-compose.yml”. An indicative file will be the example below:

 version: '2'
   image: "mongo:3"
   image: "elasticsearch:2"
   command: "elasticsearch'graylog'"
   image: graylog2/server:2.1.1-1
     GRAYLOG_PASSWORD_SECRET: somepasswordpepper
     GRAYLOG_ROOT_PASSWORD_SHA2: 8c6976e5b5410415bde908bd4dee15dfb167a9c873fc4bb8a81f6f2ab448a918
     - some-mongo:mongo
     - some-elasticsearch:elasticsearch
     - "9000:9000"
     - "12201:12201"
  1. Run the following command line:
docker-compose up
  1. Graylog is now running in [localhost:9000]

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