University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

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Mathematical Sciences Computer Support Group

Web and Database Development Environment Service Description

Web and Database Development Environment Service Description

The Computer Support Group (CSG) is providing servers named and configured for web and database programming/development for use in support of courses taught by members of the departments of Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics and Actuarial Science. The instructor should request access to the environment prior to the start of the course to verify that planned homework/projects will work in the environment. When requesting course accounts at the beginning of the semester, please include "setup on the webdev/dbdev environment will be required for the course" to your request.
Sometime during the week after grades are submitted for the semester, all directories in /webdev/user/ will be cleaned up and all databases will be removed. If instructors would like to continue to have access between semesters, please let us know.


The service is only available from the campus network. If you are not on the campus network, you can use the UI VPN Service to connect yourself to the campus network. Alternatively, you can use the NoMachine environment

Web Programming Environment

Each user that is configured for the web programming environment will be given a directory named /webdev/user/<divmsid>. This directory is accessible from any managed linux workstation. The url<divmsid>/ will correspond to that directory. The server is also SSL enabled and can be accessed via<divmsid>/ as well. Within /webdev/user/<divmsid> are a few sub-directories and files (replace "<divmsid>" below with your actual divms user id):

Database environment

Each user that is configured for the web programming environment will also be given a separate database running on both MySQL 5.0.x and PostgreSQL 8.1.x on The database name, user name and password will be given to the instructor when the environment is configured. Additionally, it will be placed in a file in /webdev/user/<divmsid>. For security purposes, connections to the databases are only allowed from the campus network.

Notes for instructors

There are a variety of sample scripts/programs that have been written that are included in the examples directory. Most of these use each language and make a database connection. If there's an example that you would like to add, please send an email to request to coordinate the inclusion of the example. Each course will have its own instance of tomcat6 and tomcat7, if requested. As the instructor, you will have the ability to restart both via sudo. We can also set up a cron job to automatically restart them every 15 minutes.

Examples of using the environment

Please see this tutorial/example page for more instructions on using the environment.