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CC-PLUS Installation Instructions

CC-Plus is currently designed to run as a standalone web-based Laravel application connected to a MySQL database and a web server. It allows for multiple, or just a single, consortia to be managed within a host system. The report harvesting system uses the SUSHI protocol, and expects to receive valid and conformant COUNTER-5 usage reports. The code repository and this documentation can be downloaded at:

Once the application is installed, the application administrator will need to configure the membership of the consortia, users who will be using the data and their roles, and the report providers. The schedule of data harvesting is also configurable and involves validation and storage in the database. The raw data can be saved as it is received as JSON (encrypted in the filesystem). Harvested data stored in the database can then be queried to build, display, and/or download faceted reports.

Table of Contents


  • Apache 2.4+
    • Make sure mod_rewrite is enabled
  • MySQL (5.7.9+) or MariaDB (10.3+) (Note that MySQL 8.x may have installation issues relating to GRANT commands)
  • PHP: 7.3+ including
    • php-gd
    • php-xml
    • php-zip
    • php-mysql
    • libapache2-mod-php
  • Node.js and npm
  • Composer
  • Git

Installation (Un*x)

Step 1: Apache

Make sure you have a working apache server configured, including mod_rewrite, for serving the publicly-accessible elements of the CC-Plus application. For the purposes of these instructions, we will refer to this place as: /var/www/ccplus/.

Define the public-facing web directory settings something along the lines of:

        DocumentRoot "/var/www/ccplus"
		. . . .
        <Directory "/var/www/ccplus">
            Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
            AllowOverride All
            Order allow,deny
            allow from all

Enable mod_rewrite for Apache:

# mkdir /var/www/ccplus
# a2enmod rewrite (Ubuntu, enabling for another O/S will differ)
# service apache2 restart

PHP memory settings need to be generous to support large the harvesting and decoding of large JSON reports. The initial recommendation is to set the memory limit to 1024Mb and increase from there, if necessary:

 #!  /etc/php.ini  ,   /etc/php/V.v/apache2/php.ini, or equivalent
    ; Maximum amount of memory a script may consume (128MB)
    ; memory_limit = 128M
    memory_limit = 1024M

Firewalls, SSL/HTTPS, or other organizational requirements are not addressed in this document.

Step 2: Download the application

The Laravel application itself, including encryption keys, output, logs, etc. will (should) exist outside the served Apache folder. We will download the repository for the application to /usr/local and allow git to create the folder: CC-Plus.

$ cd /usr/local
$ git clone
$ cd CC-Plus

Step 3: Setup the Environment

Next, the local .env needs to be modified to match the current host environment. Use your preferred editor to open and modify the .env file:

$ cp .env.example .env
$ vi .env
  • Assign APP_URL with the URL that your webserver uses to connect to your public documents folder (step-1, above)
  • Assign database credentials (a user with rights to create databases and grant privileges):
  • Update settings for connecting to email and SMTP services (will vary depending on server environment). These settings are necessary for the system to generate forgotten-password reset links.

Note that the entries in .env, including the CCP_* variables at the bottom, represent default values which, if left undefined, can be overridden by values in ./config/* files.

Only two of the CCP_* settings in .env currently impact the running program (the others are for future use):

  • CCP_REPORTS : top of the path for saving raw JSON data (config-variable: reports_path)
  • MAX_HARVEST_RETRIES : limits the number of times a failed harvest will be retried (config-variable: max_harvest_retries)

CC-Plus config variables are kept in ./config/ccplus.php. If you want to clear any CCP_* values in the .env file, be aware that the config file values would then be applied. To confirm their values or to modify them, edit the file:

$ vi ./config/ccplus.php

If CCP_REPORTS (in .env) or ‘reports_path’ (in config/ccplus.php) point to a folder, make sure it exists, and is writeable by the webserver. For example:

# cd /usr/local
# mkdir stats_reports
# chown root:www-data stats_reports
# chmod g+rw stats_reports

Step 4: Install the application

First we will setup the application Kernel file: For simplicity sake, we’ll configure our initial installation a single consortium. You can edit the Kernel.php file to match your operational needs, especially as they relate to automating report harvesting. You don’t need to define the schedule at this point, but doing so now won’t hurt anything.

$ cd /usr/local/CC-Plus/app/Console
$ cp Kernel.php.example-single ./Kernel.php
$ cd ../..

Now run the composer install:

$ composer install

And then install npm:

$ npm install

You also need to generate an encryption key for the application. This key will be used to encrypt the raw JSON report and application data, not passwords. This only needs to be done during installation. Resetting this key later will make any existing saved data unrecoverable unless you maintain a record of all previous key value(s). This command will update the .env with a unique value for APP_KEY.

$ php artisan key:generate
   Application key set successfully

Next run npm to build the application and the publicly-accessible files for the webserver

$ npm run prod

The webserver will need to be able to write to some folders within the application folder. Assuming the webserver executes with group-membership for www-data :

# cd /usr/local/CC-Plus/
# chown -R root:www-data storage
# chmod -R g+rw storage
# chown root:www-data bootstrap/cache
# chmod g+rw bootstrap/cache

Step 5: Update the Webserver Directory

Setup public/index.php to reflect the installation path for the application. If you are installing to a location other than /usr/local/CC-Plus, then you’ll need to change the value of the _CCPHOME_ variable to match your installation path:

$ cd /usr/local/CC-Plus/public/
$ mv index.php.example ./index.php
$ vi index.php
   . . . .
	define('_CCPHOME_','/usr/local/CC-Plus/');  // Modify this line as necessary, and include a trailing slash
   . . . .
$ cd ..

Then copy the publicly accessible files to the public webserver folder:

# cp -r /usr/local/CC-Plus/public/. /var/www/ccplus/
# chown -R root:www-data /var/www/ccplus

Step 6: Setup Initial Databases

Begin this step by creating the two initial CC-Plus databases (using the same user defined in step-3 above):

$ mysql
mysql> create database ccplus_global;
mysql> create database ccplus_con_template;
mysql> quit

Step 7: Migrate Initial Database Tables

The tables in the ccplus_global database will be shared by all consortia within the host system

$ cd /usr/local/CC-Plus
$ php artisan migrate:fresh --database=globaldb --path=database/migrations/global
Dropped all tables successfully
Migration table created successfully
Migrating: 2019_07_12_200315_create_datatypes_table
 . . .
Migrated: 2020_01_15_153540_create_jobs_table (108.75ms)

The tables in the ccplus_con_template database are used when creating consortia for CC-Plus

$ php artisan migrate:fresh --database=con_template --path=database/migrations/con_template
Dropped all tables successfully
Migration table created successfully
Migrating: 2019_07_16_111258_create_institutiontypes_table
 . . .
Migrated: 2020_05_29_133354_create_system_alerts_table (89.93ms)

Step 8: Seed Tables

Certain tables in both the global and the template need to be seeded with some initial data.

$ php artisan db:seed
Seeding: Database\Seeders\ReportsTableSeeder
 . . .
Seeded: Database\Seeders\CcplusErrorsTableSeeder (10.23ms)

Step 9: Add a Consortium

The ccplus:add_consortium command script prompts for inputs and creates the new consortium. Note: The “database key” is used to create a consortium-specific database named “ccplus_< database-key-value >”.

$ php artisan ccplus:addconsortium
  New consortium name?:
  > MyConsortium

  Primary email for the consortium?:

  Provide a unique database key for the consortium
   (default creates a random string) []:
  > MyCon1

  Make it active (Y/N) [Y]?:
  > Y

Dropped all tables successfully.
Migration table created successfully.
Migrating .....
  .  .  .  .
Migrated .....
New database migration completed with status: 0
Seeding .....
  .  .  .  .
Seeded: .....
Database seeding completed successfully
Initial database seeding completed with status: 0
Consortium added to global database.
The initial Administrator account for a new consortium is always created with
an email address set to "Administrator".

 Enter a password for this Administrator account?:
 > MyAdminPass

New consortium: MyConsortium Successfully Created.
NOTE: app/Console/Kernel.php needs updating in order to automate harvesting!

** Congratulations ** You should now be able to connect and login to the application using the Administrator credential for your initial consortium! You can now create users, institutions, and providers through the web interface.

Step 10: Define Harvesting Schedule (Optional)

Automated harvesting for CC-Plus is defined using the schedule defined in app/Console/Kernel.php (which we created in Step 4, above). The initial file is configured to automate harvesting for a single consortium using two queue handler processes (workers) which are scheduled to run every ten minutes. This means that at least one of the workers will wake and check for recently queued jobs every 10-minutes. An example file for a two-consortium configuration is also included, named: Kernel.php.example-multiple.

More details on scheduling tasks in Laravel applications can be found here:

Step 11: Add Scheduler to System Cron (Optional)

The default Kernel.php Scheduler configuration expects to be launched on a regular interval (for example, every 10 minutes). If nothing needs to be processed, the scheduler will exit until the next cycle. These lines (or a close approximation) need to be added to the system cron processing to enable unattended harvesting:

# Run CC+ Laravel scheduler every 10 minutes
*/10 * * * * root cd /usr/local/CC-Plus && /usr/bin/php /usr/local/CC-Plus/artisan schedule:run >> /dev/null 2>&1

CC-Plus Artisan Commands

The Laravel environment for CC-Plus includes a set of Console Commands for use at the system-level to manage or operate certain parts of the application. A list of the commands themselves can be displayed via:

$ cd /usr/local/CC-Plus
$ php artisan | grep ccplus

Help for the individual commands is also available, for example:

$ cd /usr/local/CC-Plus
$ php artisan help ccplus:addconsortium

A brief description for each command is below. See the help screen for each command for complete details on arguments and options.

  • ccplus:addconsortium
    Adds a database and administrator credential to a CC-Plus host system
  • ccplus:data-archive
    Exports stored CC-Plus report data, institution/provider configuration, and, optionally, global table data to an importable .SQL file.
  • ccplus:data-purge
    Removes stored CC-Plus report data from the database.
  • ccplus:sushibatch
    Command-line submission to batch-process the submission of report harvests
  • ccplus:sushiloader
    Intended to run nightly by the Kernel.php scheduler, this command scans the SUSHI settings for all institutions and providers within a consortium and loads requests into the gloabl jobs queue (globaldb:jobs table).
  • ccplus:sushiqw
    Intended to run by the Kernel.php scheduler (by default every 10 minutes), this command scans the jobs queue, issues SUSHI requests to report providers, and stores/logs the results.
  • ccplus:C5test
    This is a command for testing raw report data. Accepts COUNTER-5 JSON report data from a file and attempts to validate and store it in the running system


Apache 2.0 License. See License File for more information.