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All the necessary modules are already installed to use an external MySQL database, since those same modules are needed to use the internal databases used by ProcessMaker.

By default, MySQL servers are set up to only receive local connections from the localhost. If ProcessMaker is trying to connect to a MySQL server on another machine, then that server will have to be configured to allow external connections. To configure the server to allow external connections, edit the my.cnf file of the MySQL server and comment out the line by adding a # symbol at the beginning:

# bind-address  =

Then restart the MySQL server. To check whether MySQL is listening for external connections, issue the following command in Windows:

netstat -an

A line, similar to the one below will be displayed:


In Linux/UNIX, use the command:

netstat -tanp

A line, similar to the one below will be displayed:

tcp 0 0* LISTEN 2270/mysqld

When setting up a database connection to an external MySQL database, the character encoding must be selected, such as Latin-1 and UTF-8.

To find the character encoding used by the MySQL database, log in to MySQL, navigate to the database and issue the status command:

mysql -u root -p mysql> show databases; +--------------------+ | Database | +--------------------+ | information_schema | | mysql | | example_db | +--------------------+ 3 rows in set (0.00 sec) mysql> use example_db; Database changed mysql> status; -------------- mysql Ver 14.14 Distrib 5.7.17, for Linux (x86_64) using EditLine wrapper Connection id: 470044 Current database: employees Current user: root@ SSL: Not in use Current pager: stdout Using outfile: '' Using delimiter: ; Server version: 5.7.18-0ubuntu0.16.04.1 (Ubuntu) Protocol version: 10 Connection: via TCP/IP Server characterset: latin1 Db characterset: latin1 Client characterset: utf8 Conn. characterset: utf8 TCP port: 3306 Uptime: 38 days 34 min 29 sec Threads: 7 Questions: 5700832277 Slow queries: 0 Opens: 875509 Flush tables: 1 Open tables: 416 Queries per second avg: 1735.271 --------------

Look for the Client characterset parameter, which is the character set that ProcessMaker will use to send queries to the MySQL database. Conn. characterset is the character set that MySQL will use to send information back to ProcessMaker.

In the configuration of ProcessMaker's database connection, set Encode to the character set used by Client characterset and Conn. characterset.

ProcessMaker expects the client and connection character set to be the same. If they aren't the same, change them to be the same. To change them temporarily, use:

SET NAMES <character-set>;

To change them permanently, add the following lines to my.cnf:

character_set_client = <character-set> character_set_results = <character-set> character_set_connection = <character-set>

Then, restart the MySQL server.

MySQL Not Using UTF-8

Some issues might arise if the MySQL Server database does not use the UTF-8 character set and contains non-ASCII characters, because ProcessMaker is designed to use UTF-8.

  • The source code of ProcessMaker is written in UTF-8, and produces UTF-8 HTML pages.
  • The character set of the Apache server needs to be UTF-8.
  • AJAX requests using JSON encode are in UTF-8.
  • The collation in MySQL for ProcessMaker databases is in UTF-8.

These four components need to be in UTF-8 for everything to work: the source code, Apache server, interactive data and database fields.

Solving Issues with UTF-8 Characters

To display Unicode data from a MySQL Server database, it is recommended to: