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Datasources are configured through the datasource subsystem. Declaring a new datasource consists of two separate steps: You would need to provide a JDBC driver and define a datasource that references the driver you installed. 

JDBC Driver Installation

In a JDBC core module

For better start up server behavior, install the JDBC driver as a core module

As a regular JAR deployment

A simple way to install a JDBC driver into the application server is to deploy it as a regular JAR deployment, the driver must be JDBC-4 compliant. A reason for this might be if you run your application server in domain mode, deployments are automatically propagated to all servers to which the deployment applies; thus distribution of the driver JAR is one less thing for you to worry about!

Any JDBC 4-compliant driver will automatically be recognized and installed into the system by name and version. A JDBC JAR is identified using the Java service provider mechanism. Such JARs will contain a text a file named META-INF/services/java.sql.Driver, which contains the name of the class(es) of the Drivers which exist in that JAR. If your JDBC driver JAR is not JDBC 4-compliant, it can be made deployable in one of a few ways.

Modify the JAR

The most straightforward solution is to simply modify the JAR and add the missing file. You can do this from your command shell by:

  1. Change to, or create, an empty temporary directory.
  2. Create a META-INF subdirectory.
  3. Create a META-INF/services subdirectory.
  4. Create a META-INF/services/java.sql.Driver file which contains one line - the fully-qualified class name of the JDBC driver.
  5. Use the jar command-line tool to update the JAR like this:

For a detailed explanation how to deploy JDBC 4 compliant driver jar, please refer to the chapter "Application Deployment".

Datasource Definitions

The datasource itself is defined within the subsystem datasources:

(See standalone/configuration/standalone.xml)

As you can see the datasource references a driver by it's logical name.

You can easily query the same information through the CLI:

Using the web console or the CLI greatly simplifies the deployment of JDBC drivers and the creation of datasources.

The CLI offers a set of commands to create and modify datasources:

Using security domains

Information can be found at

Deployment of -ds.xml files

Starting with JBoss Application Server 7.1.0.Final you have the ability to deploy a -ds.xml file following the schema:

It is mandatory to use a reference to an already deployed / defined <driver> entry.

This feature is primarily intended for development, and thus has a few limitations to be aware of. It can not be altered in any of the management interfaces (consle, CLI, etc). Only limited runtime information is available. Also, password vaults and security domains are not deployable, so these can not be bundled with a datasource deployment.

Component Reference

The datasource subsystem is provided by the IronJacamar project. For a detailed description of the available configuration properties, please consult the project documentation.

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  1. Oct 06, 2012

    Here it says, "The recommended way to install a JDBC driver into the application server is to simply deploy it as a regular JAR deployment."

    But in the Redhat documentation is says, 'The preferred installation method for JDBC drivers is to install them as a core module" 

  2. Nov 29, 2012

    Will be nice too, document a way to create datasource in runtime from a EJB.

    1. Sep 08, 2015

      Second that, this is only half the story, AS7 has changed the JNDI paths for looking up datasoruces too.