Monday, June 27, 2011

MinuteProject 4 Openxava: Lazuly showcase

The goal of this article is to have a working Openxava on top of a data model by writting 0 (yes ZERO) lines of code. This application has to run as a standalone webapp or as portlets in a portal.
The model used is the Lazuly-db which is a opensource database hosted on googlecode that represents the structure of a database holding conference related informations.
Lazuly-db will be used as a showcase of various MinuteProject technology tracks.
In version 0.1 it has 13 tables, 2 views.

This article explains the different steps to quickly have a create an Openxava application.
It is furthermore a tutorial on how to enrich the database model to get customized Openxava artifacts providing specific behaviour.
The purpose is to give to user enough material to customize it and go on extending your model.

If you want to see the result quickly, I encourage you to see the videos (downwards on this page).

Is an opensource product that makes CRUD RIA modal application in a very quick way.
It enforces the DRY principle with a comprehensive set of annotations.
Openxava is a generic framework that dynamically generates the presentation layer based on custom annotation.

MinuteProject 4 Openxava offers a reverse-engineering solution targeting OX architecture.
Here are the set of artifacts MinuteProject will generate:
  • JPA2 and OpenXava annotated entities;
  • associated metamodel;
  • drop down list artifacts for enumeration;
  • Navigation menu;
  • build script (windows and unix);
  • tomcat datasouce configuration snippet and context.xml;
  • internationalisation.

Operating principle
MinuteProject works with a configuration file.
This file holds the information regarding the model and how to enrich it. It also specifies the target bundle of templates for a technology track (here Openxava).

Lazuly DB main entities: The schema below resumes the lazuly DB main entities (tables/views) and theirs relationships.

This part summarizes the different configurations used:

<!DOCTYPE root>
<model name="conference" version="1.0" package-root="">
<driver name="mysql" version="5.1.16" groupId="mysql" artifactId="mysql-connector-java"></driver>
for Oracle and DB2 please set the schema <schema> </schema>
<primaryKeyPolicy oneGlobal="true">
<primaryKeyPolicyPattern name="autoincrementPattern"></primaryKeyPolicyPattern>
<generation-condition> <condition type="exclude"
startsWith="DUAL"></condition> </generation-condition>
<business-package default="conference">
<condition type="package" startsWith="STAT" result="statistics"></condition>
<condition type="package" startsWith="COUNTRY" result="admin"></condition>
<condition type="package" startsWith="ROLE" result="admin"></condition>
<column-naming-convention type="apply-strip-column-name-suffix"
pattern-to-strip="_ID" />
type="apply-referenced-alias-when-no-ambiguity" is-to-plurialize="true" />

<entity name="COUNTRY" content-type="reference-data">
<sql-path path="NAME" />
<entity name="CONFERENCE_MEMBER">
<sql-path path="FIRST_NAME" />
<sql-path path="LAST_NAME" />
<field name="STATUS">
<property tag="checkconstraint" alias="conference_member_status">
<property name="PENDING" value="PENDING" />
<property name="ACTIVE" value="ACTIVE" />
<field name="EMAIL">
<stereotype stereotype="EMAIL" />
<entity name="SPEAKER">
<field name="BIO">
<stereotype stereotype="HTML_TEXT" />
<field name="PHOTO">
<stereotype stereotype="PHOTO" />
<field name="WEB_SITE_URL">
<stereotype stereotype="WEBURL" />
<entity name="PRESENTATION">
<field name="STATUS">
<property tag="checkconstraint" alias="presentation_status">
<property name="PROPOSAL" value="PROPOSAL" />
<property name="ACTIVE" value="ACTIVE" />
<entity name="SPONSOR">
<field name="STATUS">
<property tag="checkconstraint" alias="sponsor_status">
<property name="PENDING" value="PENDING" />
<property name="ACTIVE" value="ACTIVE" />
<field name="PRIVILEGE_TYPE">
<property tag="checkconstraint" alias="sponsor_privilege">
<property name="GOLDEN" value="Golden" />
<property name="SILVER" value="Silver" />
<property name="BRONZE" value="Bronze" />
<!-- views -->
<entity name="stat_mb_per_ctry_conf" alias="MEMBER_PER_COUNTRY_AND_CONFERENCE">
<virtual-primary-key isRealPrimaryKey="true">
<property name="virtualPrimaryKey" value="ID" />
<entity name="stat_mb_by_role" alias="MEMBER_PER_ROLE_COUNTRY_AND_CONFERENCE">
<virtual-primary-key isRealPrimaryKey="true">
<property name="virtualPrimaryKey" value="id" />
<field name="stat_mb_per_ctry_conf_ID" linkToTargetEntity="stat_mb_per_ctry_conf"
<!-- openxava -->
<target refname="OpenXava" name="OpenXava"

<target refname="JPA2-LIB" fileName="mp-template-config-JPA2-LIB.xml"

<target refname="BSLA-LIB" fileName="mp-template-config-bsla-LIB-features.xml"



Minuteproject and OpenXava are in constant evolution and at some stage there might be some temporary fix to apply in the configuration

This version works for MP version 0.5.x
For version above 0.6 add
   <target refname="CACHE-LIB" 
On MP 0.8.2 the semantic reference node on 'CONFERENCE_MEMBER' entity is to comment.

Configuration explained
If you have read the minuteproject 4 JPA2 lazuly showcase article on this blog, you would notice that the configuration is similar to the one for JPA2 track. It is the case for everything regarding the model location (same model) and the enrichment, meanwhile it defers regarding the target, since it uses OpenXava.

The configuration provides:
  • A model name: conference, version and package root;
  • the driver as maven reference;
  • connection parameters;
  • primarykey policy (autoincrement)
  • business packages: entities starting with stat go to 'statistics'...;role, countries goes in administration package. Those will be converted into distinct menu tabs.
  • convention: strip-column-name-suffix _ID (by convention in the database, I have column naming ending with '_ID' for foreign key. Here the Java naming convention can defer from the DB naming
  • convention: apply-referenced-alias-when-no-ambiguity indicating that when a table has a one2many relationship with other (i.e. has child), if it has not 2 children with the same other side table (no ambiguity) than the name of the variable is based on the other side table, and plurialized (english) collections
  • Entity enrichment: name alias (can have a distinct Java class name than the one derived from the DB);
  • Field enrichment: provide a check constraint that becomes an Openxava drop down list
  • Entity (views) enrichment by providing them a primary key (create a unique key) by adding foreignkey. In this way we can have an alternative navigation model on top of some BI views.
  • Tag field content-type="reference-data" apply to ROLE and COUNTRY entry will trigger the following navigation behavior: you cannot navigation from a role entry to children CONFERENCE_MEMBER in the application, but form CONFERENCE_MEMBER you can associate roles.
  • stereotype="EMAIL" will be converted in its associated email stereotype on Openxava triggering email format validation, same for WEB_SITE_URL
  • stereotype="HTML_TEXT" applied to SPEAKER.BIO field will be converted in its associated html_text stereotype on Openxava offering a Rich text format facility
  • stereotype="PHOTO" applied to SPEAKER.PHOTO field will be converted in file upload facility by Openxava
Additional information on how to enrich the model can be found at
Sources and installation
Lazuly project
Svn the source as describe on

Install mysql
run conference-db.0.1.sql on schema conference

Download and install minuteproject 0.5.5. Minuteproject is installed in MP_HOME.

Download and install openxava 4.1.2. Openxava is installed in OX_HOME.
This demo is based on OX 4.1.2, if you are using a more recent version there may not be foreward compatibility. Release (MP 0.5.6 will be compliant with OX 4.2.1). In fact there is one artifact generated home.jsp that is based on OX module.jsp. If this artifact changes between OX release, there is potentially an error.

The resulting generated code goes to %MP_HOME%/DEV/output/openxava/conference

Structure of the Openxava project
Here the structure open with as an eclipse project in the openxava workspace

  • check mysql.jar is in tomcat/lib
  • check that the system variables: ox_home, mp_home are set to Openxava and MinuteProject installation directories.
Open a prompt on /DEV/output/openxava/conference, and execute build-conference.cmd.
It will
  • Create an Openxava project
  • Build openxava web app
  • Build openxava portlets (to be deployed on a portal such as Liferay)
  • Copy context.xml (take care that it overwrite the existing one)
  • Start tomcat
  • Deploy the application
  • Start you default browser to the Conference Home menu.
The enjoy the navigation.


Video starting from scratch to deployed application

Video of the resulting application

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