Setting Up MobileFirst Server on Bluemix using Scripts for Liberty for Java

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Follow the instructions below to configure a MobileFirst Server instance on a Liberty for Java runtime on Bluemix. (MobileFirst Analytics instances can be run on IBM containers only.) To achieve this you will go through the following steps:

  • Setup your host computer with the required tools (Cloud Foundry CLI)
  • Setup your Bluemix account
  • Build a MobileFirst Server and push it to the Bluemix as a Cloud Foundry application.

Finally, you will register your mobile apps as well as deploy your adapters.


  • Windows OS is currently not supported for running these scripts.
  • The MobileFirst Server Configuration tools cannot be used for deployments to Bluemix.

Jump to:

Register an account at Bluemix

If you do not have an account yet, visit the Bluemix website and click Get Started Free or Sign Up. You need to fill up a registration form before you can move on to the next step.

The Bluemix Dashboard

After signing in to Bluemix, you are presented with the Bluemix Dashboard, which provides an overview of the active Bluemix space. By default, this work area receives the name β€œdev”. You can create multiple work areas/spaces if needed.

Set up your host machine

To manage the Bluemix Cloud Foundry app, you need to install the Cloud Foundry CLI.
You can run the scripts using the macOS or a Linux bash shell.

Install the Cloud Foundry CLI.

Download the ibm-mfpf-container- archive

To set up Mobile Foundation on Liberty on Java, you must first create a file layout that will later be pushed to Bluemix.
Follow the instructions in this page to download the MobileFirst Server 8.0 for IBM Containers archive (.zip file, search for: CNBL0EN).

The archive file contains the files for building an file layout (dependencies and mfpf-libs), the files for building and deploying a MobileFirst Analytics Container (mfpf-analytics) and files for configuring a MobileFirst Server Cloud Foundry app (mfpf-server-libertyapp).

Image showing the file system structure of the archive file

dependencies folder

Contains the Mobile Foundation runtime and IBM Java JRE 8.

mfpf-libs folder

Contains MobileFirst product component libraries and CLI.

mfpf-server-libertyapp folder

  • scripts folder: This folder contains the args folder, which contains a set of configuration files. It also contains scripts to run for logging into Bluemix, building a Mobile Foundation app for pushing to BLuemix and running the server on Bluemix. You can choose to run the scripts interactively or by preconfiguring the configuration files as is further explained later. Other than the customizable args/*.properties files, do not modify any elements in this folder. For script usage help, use the -h or --help command-line arguments (for example, --help).
  • usr folder:
    • config folder: Contains the server configuration fragments (keystore, server properties, user registry) used by MobileFirst Server.
    • keystore.xml - the configuration of the repository of security certificates used for SSL encryption. The files listed must be referenced in the ./usr/security folder.
    • mfpfproperties.xml - configuration properties for MobileFirst Server. See the supported properties listed in these documentation topics:
    • registry.xml - user registry configuration. The basicRegistry (a basic XML-based user-registry configuration is provided as the default. User names and passwords can be configured for basicRegistry or you can configure ldapRegistry.
  • env folder: Contains the environment properties used for server initialization (server.env) and custom JVM options (jvm.options).
  • security folder: used to store the key store, trust store, and the LTPA keys files (ltpa.keys).

Setting Up the MobileFirst Server

You can choose to run the scripts interactively or by using the configuration files: A good place to start is to run the scripts interactively once, which will also record the arguments (recorded-args). You can later use the args files to run the scripts in a non interactive mode.

Note: Passwords are not recorded and you will have to manually add the passwords to the argument files.

  • Using the configuration files - run the scripts and pass the respective configuration file as an argument.
  • Interactively - run the scripts without any arguments.

If you choose to run the scripts interactively, you can skip the configuration but it is strongly suggested to at least read and understand the arguments that you will need to provide.

MobileFirst Server

The args folder contains a set of configuration files which contain the arguments that are required to run the scripts. You can find the empty template files and the explanation of the arguments in the args folder, or post running the scripts interactively in the recorded-args folder. Following are the files:

This file contains properties used to run the environment initialization.

The Mobile Foundation service requires an external dashDB Enterprise Transactional database</i> instance (Any plan that is marked OLTP or Transactional).
Note: The deployment of the dashDB Enterprise Transactional plans is immediate for the plans marked "pay as you go". Make sure you pick one of the suitable plans like Enterprise for Transactions High Availability 2.8.500 (Pay per use)

After you have set up your dashDB instance, provide the required arguments.

This file is used for the script. This prepares the server file layout and pushes it to Bluemix as a Cloud Foundry app.

This file configures tha runtime attributes of the server and starts is. It is strongly recomended that you use a minimum of 1024 MB (SERVER_MEM=1024) and 3 nodes for high availablilty (INSTANCES=3)

The following instructions demonstrate how to run the scripts by using the configuration files. A list of command-line arguments is also available should you choose to run without in interactive mode:

  1. – Logging in to Bluemix
    Run the script to login to Bluemix. Run this for the Org and space where your dashDB service is bound:
    ./ args/
    You an also pass the parameters on the commandline --user Bluemix_user_ID --password Bluemix_password --org Bluemix_organization_name --space Bluemix_space_name
    To learn all the parameters supported and their documentation run the help option
    ./ --help
  2. - Prepare the MobileFirst Server database
    The script is used to configure your MobileFirst Server with the dashDB database service or a accessible DB2 database server. The DB2 option is usable particularly when you are running Bluemix local in the same datacentre where you have the DB2 server installed. If using the dashDB service, the service instance of the dashDB service should be available in the Organization and Space that you logged in to in step 1. Run the following:
    ./ args/
    You an also pass the parameters on the commandline --admindb MFPDashDBService
    To learn all the parameters supported and their documentation run the help option
    ./ --help
  3. – Logging in to Bluemix
    This step is required only if you need to create your server in a different Organization and Space than where the dashDB service instance is available. If yes, then update the with the new Organization and Space where the containers have to be created (and started), and rerun the script:
    ./ args/
  4. - Prepare a MobileFirst Server
    Run the script in order to build a MobileFirst Server and push it to Bluemix as a Cloud Foundry application. To view all the Cloud Foundry applications and theur URLs in the logged in Org and space, run: cf apps
    ./ args/
    You an also pass the parameters on the commandline --name APP_NAME
    To learn all the parameters supported and their documentation run the help option
    ./ --help
  5. - Starting the server
    The script is used to start the MobileFirst Server on Liberty for Java Cloud Foundry application. Run:</p>
    ./ args/
    You an also pass the parameters on the commandline
    ./ --name APP_NAME 
    To learn all the parameters supported and their documentation run the help option
    ./ --help

Launch the MobileFirst Operations Console by loading the following URL: (it may take a few moments).
Add the remote server by following the instructions in the Using MobileFirst CLI to Manage MobileFirst Artifacts tutorial.

With MobileFirst Server running on IBM Bluemix, you can now start your application development.

Applying changes

You may need to apply changes to the server layout after you have deployed the server once, e.g: you want to update the analytics URL in /usr/config/mfpfproperties.xml. Make the changes and then re-run the following scripts with the same set of arguments.

  1. ./
  2. ./

Adding analytics server configuration to MobileFirst Server

If you have setup a Analytics server and want to connect it to this MobileFirst Server then edit the fie mfpfproperties.xml in the folder package_root/mfpf-server-libertyapp/usr/config as specified below. Replace the tokens marked with <> with correct values from yur deployment.

<jndiEntry jndiName="${env.MFPF_RUNTIME_ROOT}/" value='"https://<AnalyticsContainerGroupRoute>:443/analytics-service/rest"'/>
<jndiEntry jndiName="${env.MFPF_RUNTIME_ROOT}/" value='"https://<AnalyticsContainerPublicRoute>:443/analytics/console"'/>
<jndiEntry jndiName="${env.MFPF_RUNTIME_ROOT}/" value='"<AnalyticsUserName>"'/>
<jndiEntry jndiName="${env.MFPF_RUNTIME_ROOT}/" value='"<AnalyticsPassword>"'/>

<jndiEntry jndiName="${env.MFPF_PUSH_ROOT}/" value='"https://<AnalyticsContainerGroupRoute>:443/analytics-service/rest"'/>
<jndiEntry jndiName="${env.MFPF_PUSH_ROOT}/" value=""/>
<jndiEntry jndiName="${env.MFPF_PUSH_ROOT}/" value='"<AnalyticsUserName>"'/>
<jndiEntry jndiName="${env.MFPF_PUSH_ROOT}/" value='"<AnalyticsPassword>"'/>

Applying MobileFirst Server Fixes

Interim fixes for the MobileFirst Server on Bluemix can be obtained from IBM Fix Central.
Before you apply an interim fix, back up your existing configuration files. The configuration files are located in the package_root/mfpf-server-libertyapp/usr folders.

  1. Download the interim fix archive and extract the contents to your existing installation folder, overwriting the existing files.
  2. Restore your backed-up configuration files into the /mfpf-server-libertyapp/usr folders, overwriting the newly installed configuration files.

You can now build and deploy the updatd server.

Removing the database service configuration from Bluemix

If you ran the script during the configuration of the MobileFirst Server image, the configurations and database tables required for MobileFirst Server are created. This script also creates the database schema for the MobileFirst Server.

To remove the database service configuration from Bluemix, perform the following procedure using Bluemix dashboard.

  1. From the Bluemix dashboard, select the dashDB service you have used. Choose the dashDB service name that you had provided as parameter while running the script.
  2. Launch the dashDB console to work with the schemas and database objects of the selected dashDB service instance.
  3. Select the schemas related to IBM MobileFirst Server configuration. The schema names are ones that you have provided as parameters while running the script.
  4. Delete each of the schema after carefully inspecting the schema names and the objects under them. The database configurations are removed from Bluemix.
Last modified on January 20, 2017