Write Back Extreme – Installation Manual (Linux)

///Write Back Extreme – Installation Manual (Linux)
Write Back Extreme – Installation Manual (Linux) 2021-02-15T15:46:04+01:00


This installation manual guides you through the installation of the Write Back Extreme extension on Linux.

Skill level

To follow along, knowledge of installing a webserver on Linux is required.

Operating System

This manual is written for Linux Ubuntu LTS 20.04.


The following topics will be outside the scope of this manual:

  • Configuring the firewall
    • Webserver: 80/443
    • MySQL: 3306
    • MSSQL: 1433

1. Preparation

For the purpose of this manual, you should use the bash terminal with sudo privileges:

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Create the installation folder for the extension:

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Make sure that we use the correct OS (Ubuntu or other LTS system):

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Update dependency packages:

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2. Installing a webserver

In order to use Write Back Extreme, you need to run a webserver. Our recommendation for a webserver is NGINX, due to its lightweight and static file performance. Alternatively, you can install Apache2 or others depending on the operating system.

Select your preferred webserver below and follow te installation steps:

Install NGINX

This page will guide you through the installation of NGINX on Linux. This webserver is one of the options you have for using Write Back Extreme.

Remove Apache2 if installed and not needed:

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Install NGINX via apt-get:

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Follow the steps for configuration and further installation (a more detailed description can be found here):

  • Complete configuration file (domain name; SSL certificate/key)
  • Download config and follow instructions to place files in /etc/nginx/
  • Install SSL certificate in the right place
  • SSL init:
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  • Restart NGINX
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Install Apache2/PHP Apache2

For installation of Apache2, please follow the guides provided at:

Note: installation fo different versions of Ubuntu may vary. Choose the version that’s right for your environment.

3. Installing PHP

To use Write Back Extreme you need to setup PHP correctly. We’d recommend installing PHP-FPM because it’s a standalone PHP instance. Other PHP instances require and run-only with Apache2.

Check what version of PHP is currently installed:

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Install PHP

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Add the following settings to php.ini to be able to upload extension-upgrade files:

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Restart PHP

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4. Installing a database

The next step in installing Write Back Extreme is to install a database. As of this moment, we fully support 4 databases for system tables and schema creation and 1 database that supports schema-only (Snowflake).

Supported databases are listed below. Follow the appropriate guide for the preferred system database. Afterwards you can install any of the database drivers for schema creation.

Install MySQL/MariaDB

This guide will explain how to install either MySQL or MariaDB. Because installation for both is similar, these two database drivers are both described on this page. Please follow along using the parts of this guide that apply to the driver of your choice.

Install MySQL

Check which version is currently installed in your environment:

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Install MySQL 8:

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Configure MySQL

Some configuration is optional for security reasons:

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Install MariaDB

To install MariaDB, please follow the default installation guide.

Configure MariaDB

Some configuration is optional for security reasons:

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MySQL and MariaDB – Create database users

We’d highly recommend creating a read and write user for the database. The read-only user will be used for fetching and writing data into the table. The write/read user will be used by the system for managing the schemas and system tables in the database.

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Install MS SQL

For other Linux installations, see Microsoft.com.

Install dev tools

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ODBC driver

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PHP extension

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Install PostgreSQL

We are currently working on an installation guide for PostgreSQL. Until this page gets updated, please follow the links provided below for installation instructions:

Install SQLite

We do not recommend using SQLite. However, it is supported by Write Back Extreme. For an installation guide, please follow the documentation.

Install Snowflake

Snowflake cannot be used for initial install. However, you can install it later to enable schemas and write back actions.

Currently, Write Back Extreme is only supported via ODBC. Make sure you have installed the PHP ODBC extension via PECL. You should have already done this in step 3: Installing PHP:

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Configure ODBC for Snowflake

Please follow this guide to configure the ODBC driver for Snowflake:

ODBC Setup

For Snowflake, we recommend you to setup the majority of the connection settings within the ODBC manager. The connection can be configured as system- or user DSN. There are some configurations required within the backend:

  • DSN name
  • Username
  • Password
  • Database

ODBC manager fields are leading and will overtake the “local” Write Back configuration.

Some default configuration layout:

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DSN name to use in WriteBack: SnowflakeDSII

5. Installing and configuring the Write Back Extreme extension

If you’ve prepared your environment with a webserver, PHP and a database, you are ready to install and configure the Write Back Extreme extension.

5.1 Installation

First, unpack the zip file to /var/www/{write-back.company.com}/

If this zip file contains a writeback-extreme_x.gwe and writeback-extreme_x.md5 file please also unzip the writeback-extreme_x.gwe file. This writeback-extreme_x.gwe file has all the needed files inside.

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5.2 Configuration

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5.3 Change environment settings (.env)

You can change the database credentials by adjusting the .env file:

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5.4 Add a licence file

We create a LICENCE file within the root directory:

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5.5 Check if previous steps have been successful

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5.6 Install Write Back into database

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5.7 Configure application

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Alter the storage/connection.json. This part is deprecated in 1.1.0, so skip this and head over to 5.8 if you are using 1.1.0. If not, make sure the storage/connection.json contains:

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5.8 Make sure file permissions are correct

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5.9 Access backend

The system user (administrator = yes) you created in the “Configure application” step is used to access the backend via:

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5.10 Download the .trex file

The .trex file can be downloaded from the backend to share it with users. Click on the username (top right) and click on “Download .trex”.

What’s next?

Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed and configured the Write Back Extreme extension in your environment.

Now that you’re ready to go, check out the Write Back Extreme Product Guide for complete documentation on how to use the extension.


This part of the guide will be updated when we get feedback from our customers about things that might go wrong or are not clear during the process of installation.

Upgrade guide

This part of the manual will be reserved for upgrade instructions. Stay tuned!