Starter App

In this section, we will create a starter application using the AndroMDA plugin. We will later build on this application to incrementally add time tracking features. We recommend that you have the completed application (downloaded in the previous section) on hand in case you need to troubleshoot your version.

One caution before we start - please follow all instructions very carefully and precisely. DO NOT take any shortcuts because doing so will only waste your time. There is a good reason for every step in this tutorial. You will not find any fluff here!

Ok, we are now ready to start. Follow the steps below to create the starter application:

  1. Open a Command Prompt and change its directory to a location where you would like to create the application folder. In this example, we have chosen the C:\ directory for this purpose. The application will be created in the directory C:\timetracker. Note: If you decide to create the application at a different location, make sure there are no spaces in your pathname - otherwise Maven will run into build problems.
  2. Now execute the following command to generate the starter application. Answer the questions exactly as shown in the output that follows. You are allowed to enter your own name in response to the first question :-).
                C:\>mvn org.andromda.maven.plugins:andromdapp-maven-plugin:3.5-SNAPSHOT:generate
                [INFO] Scanning for projects...
                [INFO] Searching repository for plugin with prefix: 'andromdapp'.
                [INFO] ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                [INFO] Building Maven Default Project
                [INFO]    task-segment: [org.andromda.maven.plugins:andromdapp-maven-plugin:3.5-SNAPSHOT:generate] (aggregator-style)
                [INFO] ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                [INFO] [andromdapp:generate] {execution: default-cli}]
                INFO [AndroMDA] discovered andromdapp type --> 'j2ee'
                INFO [AndroMDA] discovered andromdapp type --> 'richclient'

                Please choose the type of application to generate [richclient, j2ee]

                Please enter the parent directory of your new application directory (i.e. C:/Workspaces):

                Please enter your first and last name (i.e. Chad Brandon):
                Bob Fields

                Which kind of modeling tool will you use? (uml1.4/uml2 for files,
                emf-uml22 for .uml files, rsm7 for .emx files) [uml1.4, uml2, emf-uml22, rsm7]
                Use the list below to enter the correct choice:
                ArgoUML: uml1.4
                MagicDraw 9.x: uml1.4
                MagicDraw 11.5: uml2
                RSM 7, 7.5, 8: emf-uml22

                Please enter the name (maven project description) of your J2EE project (i.e. Animal Quiz):

                Please enter an id (maven artifactId) for your J2EE project (i.e. animalquiz):

                Please enter a version for your project (i.e. 1.0-SNAPSHOT):

                Please enter the root package name (maven groupId) for your J2EE project
                (i.e. org.andromda.samples.animalquiz):

                Would you like an EAR or standalone WAR? [ear, war]:

                Please enter the type of transactional/persistence cartridge to use (enter 'none' 
                if you don't want to use one) [hibernate, ejb, ejb3, spring, none]:

                Please enter the programming language to be used in service and dao implementations 
                [java, groovy]:
                Please enter the database backend for the persistence layer
                [h2, hypersonic, mysql, oracle, db2, informix, mssql, pointbase,
                postgres, sybase, sabdb, progress, derby]:

                Will your project need workflow engine capabilities?
                (it uses jBPM and Hibernate3)? [yes, no]:

                Will your project have a web user interface? [yes, no]:

                Would you like your web user interface to use JSF or Struts? [jsf, struts]: 

                Would you like a standalone or portlet JSF application (Note: Liferay is the only currently supported portlet container)? [standalone, portlet]: 

                Would you like to be able to expose your services as web services? [yes, no]:

                Would you like to use the embedded Jetty web server (Maven plugin)? [yes, no]: 
                G e n e r a t i n g A n d r o M D A P o w e r e d A p p l i c a t i o n
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/core/target/classes/META-INF/ejb-jar.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/core/pom.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/app/src/main/config/timetracker-ds.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/app/src/main/application/META-INF/jboss-app.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/app/pom.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/m2eclipse.bat'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/common/pom.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/web/src/main/properties/'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/web/pom.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/web/target/timetracker-1.0-SNAPSHOT/WEB-INF/web.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/web/target/timetracker-web-1.0-SNAPSHOT/WEB-INF/web.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/pom.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/mda/src/main/config/mappings/WebMergeMappings.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/mda/src/main/config/mappings/JavaMappings.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/mda/src/main/config/mappings/SpringMergeMappings.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/mda/src/main/config/andromda.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/mda/src/main/uml/timetracker.xmi'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/mda/pom.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/mda/log4j.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/mda/build.xml'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/mda/readme.txt'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/mda/'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/mda/.project'
                Output: 'file:/C:/timetracker/readme.txt'
                New application generated to --> 'file:/C:/timetracker/'
                Instructions for your new application --> 'file:/C:/timetracker/readme.txt'                -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                [INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                [INFO] BUILD SUCCESSFUL
                [INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                [INFO] Total time: 3 minutes 45 seconds
                [INFO] Finished at: Tue Dec 07 00:23:13 EST 2010
                [INFO] Final Memory: 39M/133M
                [INFO] ------------------------------------------------------------------------


Examine the various folders and files created by the andromdapp plugin. You will notice files called pom.xml in various folders under timetracker. These files make up several Maven projects. In fact, the timetracker directory contains a hierarchy of Maven projects as shown below.

                |-- mda
                |-- common
                |-- core
                |-- web
                +-- app
  • timetracker: This is the master project that controls the overall build process and common properties.
  • mda: The mda project is the most important sub-project of the application. It houses the TimeTracker UML model under the src/main/uml directory. The mda project is also where AndroMDA is configured to generate the files needed to assemble the application.
  • common: The common sub-project collects resources and classes that are shared among other sub-projects. These include value objects and embedded values.
  • core: The core sub-project collects resources and classes that use the Spring framework, optionally making use of Hibernate and/or EJBs under the hood. These include entity classes, data access objects, hibernate mapping files, and services.
  • web: The web sub-project collects those resources and classes that make up the presentation layer.
  • app: The app sub-project collects those resources and classes that are required to build the .ear bundle.

You can find more details about these files in readme.txt under the timetracker folder. This file also contains a description of useful Maven targets for the project. As a matter of fact, developers frequently refer to this file for commonly used Maven commands. Open this file now and get yourself familiar with it.

Configure TimeTracker Application

We will make minor configuration changes to the project generated by AndroMDA to fine tune how TimeTracker is built, telling you the reason for each change as we go along. The documentation for the andromda.xml configuration file is located at Cartridge specific configurations are under the namespace link for each cartridge, i.e. for JSF

Open the AndroMDA configuration file located at timetracker\mda\src\main\config\andromda.xml. Make the following changes:

  1. Search for the property called enableSpringTransactionsWhenEjbsEnabled and change its value from true to false. Since we will be using EJBs, we do not want Spring to be controlling database transactions.
  2. Uncomment the normalizeMessages property in the jsf namespace as shown below:
    <property name="normalizeMessages">true</property>
    This property allows generation of smaller resource bundles with duplicate element names specified by a single message. This optimization is turned off by default for backward compatibility.
  3. Save and close andromda.xml

Build from the starter model

Change to the generated project directory and run 'mvn install'. This will download all dependencies (including profiles referenced by models), update all snapshot versions, and create the initial (empty) artifacts from the empty model. Most issues at this point will be related to the maven setup or the maven configuration.

What's Next?

Now that we have created the base application, it is time to start modeling. Click here to model your first entity.