Database Access using mod_dbd

A feature of Apache 2 known to few is mod_dbd. Using that you can configure a SQL database connection within the Apache.conf and use that within all your Apache modules/handlers.

Note: Shown below is pretty raw access to mod_dbd as provided by the mod_swift Apache wrapper module. You can use ApacheExpress to access databases using the ZeeQL library, which is way more convenient.

This will setup a directory as a barebones Swift Apache module (try ApacheExpress for a higher level API!)

Though you can also write your own, Apache 2 comes with drivers for SQLite3, PostgreSQL, MySQL and Oracle. The macOS system Apache and the one than can be tapped in Homebrew includes SQLite3. On Linux you can easily install the ones you want:

sudo apt-get install libaprutil1-dbd-sqlite3 libaprutil1-dbd-pgsql

Your Swift Apache module doesn't need to concern itself with the database type or connection, it can just ask Apache for a connection and it'll happily return one from its pool. The code looks like this:

guard let con = req.dbdAcquire()                 else { return ... }
guard let res ="SELECT * FROM pets") else { return ... }

while let row = {

So how does Apache know how to connect and all that? As everything in Apache, the admin can configure that in the apache.conf:

<IfModule dbd_module>
  DBDriver  sqlite3
  DBDParams "/var/data/testdb.sqlite3"

Or to access your favorite database using PostgreSQL:

<IfModule dbd_module>
  DBDriver pgsql
  DBDParams "host= port=5432 dbname=OGo user=OGo password=OGo"

  # Connection Pool Management
  DBDMin      1
  DBDKeep     2
  DBDMax     10
  DBDExptime 60

You get the idea. We provide a simple wrapper for the select query shown as part of our Apache module.

2019-08-14: Homebrew has removed support for apr-util DBD drivers except SQLite: PR #31799. To fix that, you can manually install apr-util with the --with-pgsql option (or any other driver you want to build). Then just hack-link the driver you want into the Homebrew install, e.g.:

pushd /usr/local//opt/apr-util/libexec/lib/apr-util-1/
ln -s /usr/local/apr/lib/apr-util-1/apr_dbd_pgsql*.so .