PARtonic Tomography Of Nucleon Software

Table of Contents


When working with PARTONS, one may want to use an SQL database for these reasons (the list is not exhaustive):

This tutorial explains how to set up your own SQL database and connect PARTONS to it. In addition, it illustrates how to perform transactions between this database and PARTONS and it gives some remarks on the storing of experimental data.

Database set-up

Currently we support only MySQL databases.

If you are using PARTONS together with the virtual machine provided by our team, you will find a MySQL server ready to be used there. It comes with a databse called partons, which is set up and can be used out-of-the-box. You may connect to it and check its content as the MySQL user partons via command-line tool in the following way:

# in shell
# connect to server (it will ask you for password)
mysql -u partons -p
-- in MySQL command-line interface
-- use specific database
USE partons;

The password for both partons and root MySQL users is partons.

If you do not use the Virtual Machine provided by our team, but you want to use database-related functionalities in PARTONS, you need to get an access to a MySQL server by your own. Possibly, it can be granted by your home institute, which is useful, if you intend to use the same database together with your collaborators. You can also install a MySQL server on your local machine, which nowadays is really easy. For e.g. Debian-like Linux distributions, you can proceed in the following way:

# use repositories to install MySQL server
sudo apt-get install mysql-server
# run this script
sudo mysql_secure_installation

During the installation process or when executing the script mysql_secure_installation, you will be asked to set your own administration password to manage your server. For other Linux distributions and operating systems some adjustments to the installation receipt may be needed.

With the MySQL server available, its administrator (possibly you) should set up a database for PARTONS. This can be accomplished easily with MySQL scripts provided by our team. These scripts are available in the directory data/database/sql_schema of the PARTONS library (partons project) and they should be used in the following way:

# in shell
# go to directory containing scripts
cd database/sql_schema
# use MySQL command-line tool (it will ask you for administrator password, possibly the one set during MySQL server installation)
mysql -u root -p
# on some systems you may need to run this command as root
sudo mysql -u root -p
/* in MySQL command-line interface */
/* create new database */
/* create new user whom you should use for all kind of non-administrative activities */
CREATE USER 'partons'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'partons';
GRANT SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, FILE ON partons.* TO 'partons'@'localhost';
/* use database */
USE partons;
/* load scripts */
SOURCE mysql5_common.sql;
SOURCE mysql5_gpd_layer.sql;
SOURCE mysql5_convol_coeff_function_layer.sql;
SOURCE mysql5_observable_layer.sql;

Here, we have set the name of the database, the name of the user and his password to partons. Note however that you may modify these parameters freely - you just need to set them correctly in the PARTONS configuration file to enable the connection.

Connect PARTONS to your database

The connection parameters should be set in the main configuration file of PARTONS, i.e. the one called Analyze these examples that illustrate the configuration used to establish the connection to either a local (your computer) or a remote MySQL server.

Connection to a local server:

database.production.type = MYSQL
database.production.url = localhost
database.production.port = 3306
database.production.dbname = your_partons_database_name
database.production.user = your_sql_user_name
database.production.passwd = your_sql_user_password

Connection to a remote server:

database.production.type = MYSQL
database.production.url =
database.production.port = 3306
database.production.dbname = your_partons_database_name
database.production.user = your_sql_user_name
database.production.passwd = your_sql_user_password

These two parameters:

database.load.infile.use = true = /path/to/tmp

allow to enable the transaction mechanism that is based on temporary files loaded into the database. The mechanism is very fast, which is important for the insertion of large sets of data. However, not all databases allow it by default, so it may require a special configuration of the server - this subject is however not covered in this tutorial.

Database design

The database design reflects the layered structure used in PARTONS, with tables corresponding to C++ objects and rows corresponding to instances of these objects. There exist also tables storing general information on performed computations. The database design is explained in this graph.

PARTONS database interface

PARTONS' database interface is provided by Services. These Services are developed in order to either store or retrieve complex C++ objects from database tables in a simple and generic way. They are designed in a way that allows to perform SQL transactions by users who do not know the SQL query language and the database design. These Services use the management of connectors of Qt, a third-party library, allowing transactions with specific database types. The involvement of Qt makes it possible to send the same SQL request to databases of different types (MySQL, SQLite, ...). With transaction and rollback mechanisms, the Services ensure the integrity of the database being currently used - if something wrong happens, the database always stays in a stable state. In addition, Services improve querying speed by using transaction and commit mechanisms for a large number of simultaneous queries.

With the XML interface, users may ignore the existence of Services - they are used implicitly. If a given computation is done via XML interface, the results can be stored in the database together with the associated scenario, i.e. the input XML file. It allows either to track back all hypothesis underlying the results, or to be able to evaluate them again later. With this feature, it becomes easy to see how something was computed even if we ask ourselves a long time after.

This example illustrates how to store a single GPD result into the database via XML interface (note storeInDB="1" option being crucial here):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes" ?>
<scenario date="2017-01-01" description="Exemplary description - description are very useful!">
<task service="GPDService" method="computeSingleKinematic" storeInDB="1">
<kinematics type="GPDKinematic">
<param name="x" value="-0.1" />
<param name="xi" value="0.05" />
<param name="t" value="0." />
<param name="MuF2" value="2." />
<param name="MuR2" value="2." />
<module type="GPDModule">
<param name="className" value="MMS13Model" />

Store experimental data in database

The design of the PARTONS database allows to store experimental data. Not only kinematics and results with uncertainties, but also information concerning related experiments can be stored in the database. These informations can be used later to make systematic comparisons with theoretical predictions, where experimental data are easily selected with a list of user-defined criteria.