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Building the Activiti Modeler for the first time

Check out the excellent documentation by Signavio:

Set the following properties and follow the instructions of the next section ('Preparing for a release') to get a working Activiti Modeler:

All other properties are optional.

Preparing for a release

  • Update your local version (svn up).
  • Update the version property in the file.
  • Here is my for reference (Joram):
# This is the Signavio Core Components configuration file. Most users only have to configure this file.

# The path to your Apache Tomcat webapps folder
dir-tomcat-webapps = /apache-tomcat-6.0.16/webapps

# The path to your jBoss deployment folder
dir-jboss-webapps = /jboss-5.1.0/server/default/deploy

# The folder the war file(s) is/are stored
target = target

# The version of the application. If you want to integrate the Signavio Core Components into
#  your own software product, you can align the version number.

# The name of the war file, if you use the all-in-one-war build target
war = activiti-modeler

# The configuration you want to use. This is the name of the folder in the 'configuration' project
#  that contains the configuration and skin files. The following configurations are available:
#  default, Activiti, jBPM
#  You can also add your own configuration in the 'configuration' project.
configuration = Activiti

# The URL of your server. Format: http(s)://<domain>(:<port>)
#  Do not add a trailing slash here!
host = http://localhost:8080

# The path on your system the directories and diagram files are created.
# Do not use \ ! Always use / !
fileSystemRootDirectory = ../../../workspace/activiti-modeler-examples
  • Build the war using (on the root of signavio-core-components):
    The war file will be stored in the target folder.
  • Set or verify in user.home/.activiti/ the property to point to the target folder, into which the Activiti Modeler has been built.
  • Call the Ant target patch.activiti.modeler in distro/build.xml in the Activiti codebase. The easiest is to create a small script that does that for you on the root of the Modeler source:
    This will patch the modeler war to include the Cycle plugin and the Activiti stencil set.
    The patched war will be created in /target/patched

Testing the war

  1. Checkout the to-be-released (tag) version
  2. Edit distro/src/setup/build.xml : change the property '' to the war on your local system. Example:
  3. Comment the 'skip.deploy.activiti.modeler=true' property in the $user.home/.activiti/
  4. Build a new activiti distro (in qa dir: ant build.clean.distro or in distro dir: ant clean distro) and run the demo setup (in qa dir: ant test.demo.setup or in distro/target/activiti-${activiti.version}/setup/ dir: ant demo.setup).
  5. Verify if the modeler is correctly working.

Changing the location of the process model repository

After running the demo setup, process XML files are stored in the workspace/activiti-modeler-examples/ folder. The location of the file-based repository can be switched by changing the fileSystemRootDirectory property in the (exploded)activiti-modeler.war/WEB-INF/classes/ file.

Changing the host of the Modeler

After running the demo setup, the Activiti Modeler will accessible only on the localhost address. When you want to change the host of the Modeler, e.g. to run it centrally on a server, change the host property in the (exploded)activiti-modeler.war/WEB-INF/classes/ file.> cat
host =
fileSystemRootDirectory = /Users/jbarrez/Development/model-repo 

Configuring Apache Tomcat for Activiti Modeler

In the context of the activiti demo setup Apache Tomcat is configured correctly. If Apache Tomcat is configured manually we need to make sure that UTF-8 encoding is enabled for accessing the filesystem and for URI-encoding. To this end,

  • ensure that -Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 is added to the java-call in ${catalina.home}/bin/catalina.bat or${catalina.home}/bin/, respectively.
  • ensure that URIEncoding="UTF-8" is set on the HTTP-connector in ${catalina.home}/conf/server.xml, i.e. like this:<Connector port="8080" protocol="HTTP/1.1" connectionTimeout="20000" redirectPort="8443" URIEncoding="UTF-8" />
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