The online database for researchers

Open Source

TrunkDB is Open Source

All the software we developed for running TrunkDB is released as open source software, and is licensed under the Apache Software License. You can find all our source code on Github

PostgreSQL backend

We exclusively use PostgreSQL for database management; its fast, reliable, secure and supported by most cloud providers. Our software makes extensive use of built-in features of PostgreSQL, and extends it to create a database-as-a-service platform.

Built on open source foundations

As well as PostgreSQL, we use Apache Shiro, Apache CXF, Hibernate and Jackcess.

Open Standards and APIs

API access

TrunkDB is built as a set of microservices offering REST APIs; this means that, as well as the web front end, you can interact with the service using APIs to build other services on top of it.

Shibboleth and SAML

We are members of the UK Access Management Federation, which means any University member in the UK can access the service using their home university login. We require only the release of the EPPN attribute to enable us to link an account to a user.


If you want full remote access to your database we offer ODBC connectivity. Because this is potentially less secure than our more restrictive API, we generate individual credentials for users on a per-user-per-database-instance basis, and we do not store these credentials anywhere ourselves.

Build, deployment and testing


TrunkDB is built from a set of microservice modules each of which has its own set of comprehensive unit tests.

Continuous integration

All TrunkDB modules are continuously built and tested using Github and Travis-CI.

Release and deployment

All TrunkDB modules are released using Travis-CI and JCenter. We only deploy code that has been tested and releaed to the public JCenter repository. This means that if any of our enterprise clients want to deploy the service on their own hardware, they can be sure they're using the same version of each module as we are.