On-Premises: Deployment Using Docker


This manual will describe a normal deployment procedure for API Fortress on-premises, using a Docker container. It is important to remember that the goal of this guide is to be as thorough as possible. It may seem long but the process is fairly straightforward.

Also, don’t fret as we can provide as much help and guidance as you need. We are just a video conference away!

You have been provided with apifortress_starter.zip, which contains the following files:

1. Copy the Provided Script Files

Copy the provided core and downloader directories to the server and then type cd core/.

2. Configure the Core Services

Before anything else, let’s configure each service and prepare the environment.
Most configuration keys are stored within the core/docker-compose.yml file.

The only special configuration will be the storage on the host machine.
Create a directory that will host PostgreSQL data in the host machine, and edit configuration file with that location. Replace the “/data/postgres” with your details.

   - /data/postgres:/var/lib/postgresql/data

As with PostgreSQL, you are required to provide a storage location and edit the volumes key accordingly. Replace the “/data/mongodb” with your location.

  - /data/mongodb:/data/db

API Fortress
There are a lot of configuration keys here. None of them should be left empty (a fake value is fine if you’re not using a certain feature). See the API Fortress Configuration Guide below for an explanation of each key.

The essential keys for bootstrap (with dummy values) are:

Admin User Creation
adminEmail: patrick@company.com
adminFullName: Patrick Poulin

Company Creation
defaultCompanyName: Your Company

Base URL that will respond to HTTP requests
grailsServerURL: http://yourcompany.com/app

API Fortress Mailer
Refer below.

API Fortress Downloader
To be configured after the dashboard bootstrap. Refer below.

3. Install Docker

Install Docker on a supported Linux distribution following the official instructions:
The API Fortress stack runs successfully on Docker 1.12.

4. Install Docker Compose

Docker Compose is a utility that simplifies the deployment and management of complete stacks. Follow the official instructions for installation:

5. Provide API Fortress your DockerHub username

For API Fortress to grant you access to the API Fortress registries, your DockerHub username is required.  If you don’t have a DockerHub account, create one at https://hub.docker.com/

6. Login

Type sudo docker login and input your DockerHub credentials.

7. Create the API Fortress network

The default API Fortress subnet is Make sure the default subnet is not in use. If it is then edit it in the create_network.sh script. Issue sudo ./create_network.sh  to create a virtual subnet for API Fortress.

8. Launch the Services

Before you launch any service, we strongly recommend you to run a: docker-compose pull  from the “core” and “downloader” directories to download all packages and preemptively verify any possible connection issue.

To launch all core services, just run the start_all.sh script. It will take some time, but it will ensure every dependency is up and running before launching API Fortress.

9. Verify the Deployment

At the end of the process, the API Fortress dashboard should be up and running in the host server on port 80. You can also check for errors in the logs by issuing the: sudo docker-compose logs command.

The admin user login details are as follows:

  • username: the email address provided in the docker-compose configuration, in the adminEmail field;
  • password: ‘foobar’, change it as soon as you log in.

10. Configure and Run the Downloader

The API Fortress downloader is the agent that retrieves the resources to be tested. Downloaders can be installed in various locations, so factors such as latency and download time can be measured by remote consumers.

In this configuration path, we are deploying a downloader in the same server as API Fortress, and it will serve as the default downloader.

1. Edit the downloader/docker-compose.yml file and take note of the value of the ipv4_address configuration key.

2. Login to API Fortress with the admin user, access the API Fortress admin panel by clicking the “user” icon in the top right, then click Admin Panel.


3. Choose “Downloaders” from the list of actions and click on the “Add Downloader” button.

4. Fill the fields:
Name: Write a recognizable name.
Location: A representation of where the downloader is. ie. Chicago
Latitude / Longitude: The geographical position of the downloader.
Last Resort: Check this to make it the default downloader used.
URL: The address of the downloader, followed by port (default 8819) and path /api. In our example, the ipv4_address and our downloader address would result in
API Key, API Secret: Write these two values down for use later.

5. Edit the  downloader/docker-compose.yml file and enter the API Key and API Secret.

6. Go to the downloader/ directory and issue the sudo docker-compose up -d command.

API Fortress Configuration Guide

A description of each configuration field you may need to alter.

API Fortress Dashboard


 – adminEmail: The admin user email address, also used as login.
 – adminFullName: The admin’s full name.
 – defaultCompanyName: The company name.


– grailsServerURL: the url the server will respond to
 – dbHost: MongoDB host
 – psqlhost: PostgreSQL host
 – rabbitHost: RabbitMQ host

Note: in case you’re considering using an external PostgreSQL provider, the psqlUsername and psqlPassword parameters are also available. The database name is fixed and it’s apipulse.


– apifortressMailUseSES: set to ‘true’ if you will use Amazon SES to send emails. When set to ‘false’, SMTP is used instead.
 – apifortressMailFrom: the email address that will be used to dispatch administrative emails.
 – apifortressMailSmtpHost: SMTP host to dispatch administrative emails.
 – apifortressMailSmtpUsername: SMTP username.
 – apifortressMailSmtpPassword: SMTP password.
 – apifortressMailSmtpPort: SMTP port.
 – amazonkey: Amazon key, if you’re using Amazon SES to send emails.
 – amazonsecret: Amazon secret, if you’re using Amazon SES to send emails.
 – apiaryClientId: client ID if you’re using Apiary services.
 – apiarySecret: secret, if you’re using Apiary services.
 – license: the license string.

API Fortress Mailer

 – twilioSid: SID, if you’re sending SMSes via Twilio.
 – twilioToken: token, if you’re sending SMSes via Twilio.
 – smsFrom: the phone number of the SMS sender, if you’re sending SMSes via Twilio.
 – mailFrom: the email address that will be sending notification emails.
 – mailUseSES: ‘true’ if you’re sending emails via Amazon SES. False if you’re using SMTP.
 – amazonKey: the Amazon key, if you’re sending emails via Amazon SES.
 – amazonSecret: the Amazon secret, if you’re sending emails via Amazon SES.
 – mailSmtpHost: the SMTP host.
 – mailSmtpPort: the SMTP port.
 – mailSmtpUsername: the SMTP username.
 – mailSmtpPassword: the SMTP password.
 – apifortressServerURL: the url the server will respond to.

API Fortress Downloader

– apikey: the API key, as shown in the admin panel.
 – secret: the API secret, as shown in the admin panel.
 – port: the HTTP port the server will be listening to, in HTTP mode.
 – rabbitHost: the RabbitMQ host, when running in active mode.
 – rabbitPort: the RabbitMQ port, when running in active mode.
 – rabbitSsl: ‘true’ if RabbitMQ will need to communicate over SSL when running in active mode.
 – rabbitUsername: the RabbitMQ username when running in active mode.
 – rabbitPassword: the RabbitMQ password when running in active mode.
 – use_rabbit: ‘true’ to run in active mode.
 – use_http: ‘true’ to use the internal HTTP server (passive mode).
 – use_ssl: ‘true’ if the internal HTTP server has to run over SSL.

The network configuration is also important as the IP address may be used for internal communication.

networks.apifortress.ipv4_address: the reserved IP address in the API Fortress subnet.

Appendix: Importing help tools and connectors

The API Fortress database comes free from data, but the provided package gives you the option to import the help tools and the connectors. These operations are meant to be run once the API Fortress stack is fully functional.

Import Help From the /data directory, run the import_help.sh script.
Import Connectors From the /data directory, run the import_connectors.sh script.

Appendix: Tweaking Tomcat Configuration

If you need to tweak the Tomcat configuration, you will need to mount the Tomcat conf/ directory in your system.
1. Change the configuration files you need to edit in the core/tomcat_conf/conf directory
2. Mount the directory by uncommenting the following lines in the core/docker-compose.yml file:

# volumes:
# - ./tomcat_conf/conf:/usr/local/tomcat/conf

Dashboard over SSL

To have Tomcat running over SSL:
1. Copy your JKS keystore containing your certificate in the core/tomcat_conf/conf directory
Edit the core/tomcat_conf/conf/server.xml file and uncomment the block:

<Connector port="8443" protocol="org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11Protocol" maxThreads="150" SSLEnabled="true" scheme="https" secure="true" clientAuth="false" sslProtocol="TLS" />

3. Edit the block by adding the following attributes:


4. Mount the directory by uncommenting the following lines in the core/docker-compose.yml file:

# volumes:
# - ./tomcat_conf/conf:/usr/local/tomcat/conf

5. In the core/docker-compose.yml file, change the port declaration to:

- 443:8443/tcp