Create your ADempiere customization environment

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This tutorial will show you how to customize the ADempiere core software without making changes to the ADempiere project directly. Customization changes are instead included in customization.jar and zkcustomization.jar which can be deployed in the ADempiere install.


Sometimes you realize that ADempiere does not perfectly suit your needs and you need to make some changes to parts of the source code. Some customizations are not possible to achieve through ADempiere’s brilliant Application Dictionary and you have to modify the source code for that. The recommended way of customizing the software is to do it in a separate project. There you can create your customized classes and generate the customization jar archives.

How to setup up your environment

You will need to have two projects in your development environment: one for the ADempiere project and one for your customized code that will depend on the ADempiere project.

Create the ADempiere Project

  1. If you haven't already done so, follow the ADempiere Version Control process to checkout a branch of the ADempiere project.
  2. Create your ADempiere development environment and, if you are modifying the zk interface, Creating WebUI Workspace using Eclipse Webtool
  3. Build (using utils_dev/build.xml), install, setup the software (to create the .properties file) and import the database seed.
  4. Modify the launch configurations as required and test that you can run the client and zk interfaces.

You now have the main ADempiere project created. Changes to this project should be made as part of the Software Development Procedure to fix bugs, add features and generate common code that will be shared by all ADempiere implementations.

Create the Customization Project

Fork the customization template project on github from here: (Note: This will be moved to the official repository eventually.)

Add the forked code as a new project to your workspace that contains the ADempiere project you created above.

In the template, modify the utils_dev/ file to point to the correct directories.

Customization of the ZK interface

Delete all the contents of the zkwebui folder in the template except for the build_custom.xml file.

Copy the zkwebui directory from the ADempire project to the template. Be careful not to overwrite the build_custom.xml file in the template. This will provide the same deployment structure as the main ADempiere project. (This step is necessary and could be automated but risks overwriting your customization so it has been left as a manual process.)

Delete the zkwebui/WEB-INF/src source tree, leaving only the files you wish to customize. The template has only one file which changes the login header to "My Customization Works!".

Replace the name of MyCustomizationProject with the actual name of your project in the launcher MyCustomizationProject InitializeZKCustomizations which you find in the directory tools/launchers. Run the launcher MyCustomizationProject InitializeZKCustomizations - this will copy all the classes needed from the adempiere project to the template. Depending on the version of ADempiere, you may need to modify the associated build.xml file. Note, if you do this by hand from the build file, don't forget to refresh the project files.

If you are customizing zk, add a server and add the template to the server. In the server launcher, the class path for the user entries needs to include the following:

  • C:/dev/apache/tomcat-6.0/bin/bootstrap.jar
  • adempiereTrunk/tools/lib/jnlp.jar
  • adempiereTrunk/tools/lib/javaee.jar
  • adempiereTrunk/tools/lib/jcommon-1.0.18.jar
  • adempiereTrunk/tools/lib/jfreechart-1.0.15.jar
  • adempiereTrunk/tools/lib/log4j.jar
  • adempiereTrunk/JasperReportsTools/lib/jasperreports-5.1.0.jar
  • adempiereTrunk/tools/lib/c3p0-
  • adempiereTrunk/tools/lib/iText-2.1.7.jar
  • adempiereTrunk/tools/lib/poi-3.9-20121203.jar
  • adempiereTrunk/lib/postgresql.jar
  • adempiereTrunk/tools/lib/commons-net-1.4.0.jar
  • adempiereTrunk/tools/lib/commons-collections-3.1.jar
  • adempiereTrunk/tools/lib/barbecue-1.5-beta1.jar

These are the defaults in the launcher included with the project. You will need to point the classes in the launcher at the correct project name for the ADempiere project.

Testing with the template

With that the template should be good to go. You may need to update the build files to adjust to ADempiere versions. If you customize other directories than build and client, also copy the build.xml files from the ADempiere project and modify them to add the customized classes to the jar files. Compare the build.xml from the base directory in both the template and the ADempiere project.

If you launch the server, you should see the changes in the zk files. If you make any changes, you will have to restart the server to see them.

The launcher for the client will run the client as per the main project. Here, most changes you make will be hot-swapped into the application which is really nice for development.

Exporting the Customization Jars

When your customization is ready, there is a launcher to build the customization jars. The two files customization.jar and zkcustomization.jar will be added to the lib directory. You can add these to the lib directory of the ADempiere installation and execute the setup (RUN_Setup or RUN_SilentSetup) to see the changes.


Enjoy !

See Also

See the discussion page for the original content from Carlos.