Production Deployment


This deployment is intended for production use. If you want to just test VODAN in a Box locally, visit Local Deployment.


  • Docker Engine version 19.03 (or higher)

  • Docker Compose version 1.25 (or higher)

  • Domain and DNS records set for providing VODAN in a Box:

    • dsw.your-domain.tld - for CRF Wizard (DSW)

    • api.dsw.your-domain.tld - for CRF Wizard API (DSW API)

    • fdp.your-domain.tld - for FAIR Data Point

    • sparql.your-domain.tld - for Triple Store (CRF data)

  • certbot


Get VODAN in a Box

Download or git clone repository locally.

The folder vodan-deployment-production we call VODAN in a Box root directory. It consists all necessary configuration files and docker-compose.yml.

Configure domains and secrets

There are several things that you need to configure before running VODAN in a Box for production deployment. In files, look for comments marked with (!):

  1. server_name and ssl_certificate values in proxy/nginx/agraph.conf, proxy/nginx/dsw.conf, and proxy/nginx/fdp.conf with your domain names. Those need to have valid DNS records pointing to that server.

  2. docker-compose.yml - API_URL (dsw_client service) to your value for api.dsw.your-domain.tld

  3. dsw-server/application.yml - clientUrl to your value for dsw.your-domain.tld, then secret, serviceToken, and email section according to the comments there

  4. fdp/application.yml - clientUrl to your value for fdp.your-domain.tld and then , persistentUrl, secret, serviceToken, and secret-key (JWT)

  5. allegrograph/agraph.cfg - set strong password and optionally change username using SuperUser directive, the same credentials must be configured in submission-service/config.yml

Obtain SSL certificates

Before providing VODAN in a Box you need also to get SSL certificates to be able to use HTTPS. We recommend using Let’s Encrypt but you can use any other way and change Nginx proxy configuration accordingly.

  1. Comment out include lines at the end of proxy/nginx/nginx.conf

  2. Start the proxy service

docker-compose up -d proxy
  1. Get certificates for your domains:

sudo certbot certonly --webroot -w ./proxy/letsencrypt -d dsw.your-domain.tld
sudo certbot certonly --webroot -w ./proxy/letsencrypt -d api.dsw.your-domain.tld
sudo certbot certonly --webroot -w ./proxy/letsencrypt -d fdp.your-domain.tld
sudo certbot certonly --webroot -w ./proxy/letsencrypt -d sparql.your-domain.tld
  1. Create certificate file for AllegroGraph (it needs to merge cert.pem and privkey.pem obtained by Let’s Encrypt into a single file):

sudo cat /etc/letsencrypt/live/sparql.your-domain.tld/cert.pem  /etc/letsencrypt/live/sparql.your-domain.tld/privkey.pem > ./allegrograph/cert.pem
  1. Stop the proxy service

docker-compose down
  1. Uncomment lines at the end of proxy/nginx/nginx.conf

  2. Set up automatic certificate renewal using cronjob: /etc/cron.d/certbot

0 4 * * *   root   perl -e 'sleep int(rand(43200))' && certbot -q renew && docker restart vodan-deployment-production_proxy_1

If getting certificates fail, it can be caused by incorrectly set DNS records. Optionally, verify if Nginx container is running and view its logs. You can use other options to setup certificates renewal according to Certbot documentation. The example above tries to renew certificates every day at 4 AM and then restarts the proxy container. The name of docker container may differ if you do not use the same folder name as we do in this guide.

First start

  1. Start VODAN in a Box (and wait a bit until all services start).

docker-compose up -d
  1. Navigate to dsw.your-domain.tld, login using with password password and change default user accounts with strong passwords.

  2. In sparql.your-domain.tld, create a repository crf in catalog / and create other users with permissions according to your needs (see AllegroGraph documentation for details). For example, create an anonymous user with only read permissions to catalog / and repository crf.

  3. Navigate to fdp.your-domain.tld and login again as and change default user accounts with strong passwords.

  4. In fdp.your-domain.tld, create and publish catalog, dataset, and distribution representing CRF data based on your use case.

  5. Update submission-service/config.yml with UUID of your distribution URL from FDP, e.g. from it would be 3335345b-ee66-4678-ab73-74a4b6ea1bee. (If you used different than crf repository name in triple store, change sparql-endpoint accordingly.)

  6. Restart VODAN in a Box and wait a bit until all services start up (depending on your hardware, less than a minute).

docker-compose down
docker-compose up -d
  1. Verify setup by creating CRF, saving it, creating a report, and submitting a report.

🎉 After this, your VODAN in a Box is ready to be used!

To check if everything is working, you can use docker-compose logs and docker-compose ps commands.

⚙️ For additional configuration options, see Advanced Configuration.


  1. Stop VODAN in a Box

  2. Overwrite configurations and docker-compose.yml or simply git pull

  3. Check if there are new configuration values to be changed according to your setup (marked with (!) comments)

  4. Start VODAN in a Box again

From root directory of vodan-deployment-production:

docker-compose down
git pull
docker-compose up -d

This may need you to git stash your changes and then git stash pop them (and eventually solve git conflicts).


For more information about docker-compose and its options, visit Docker documentation.

Various advanced deployment options of FAIR Data Point are well-described in FAIR Data Point Reference Implementation Documentation. Similarly, for more details about DSW which used as CRF Wizard, see Data Stewardship Wizard documentation.

The main difference with respect to the Local Deployment is the adding Nginx proxy, certificates, and other additional security.