UI Presentation Tips

Adding a simple page

To add a new presentation page in the application, you can use the Dynamo code generator. The web page is an XHTML file created under the web directory. The page name can contain a directory that will be created if necessary. The new web page can be configured to use a given layout. The layout file must exist to be used. The default layout is layout. You can create a new layout with add-layout command. You can also write your layout by adding an XHTML file in the directory:


To create the new web page web/todo/list.xhtml, you will use:

dynamo add-page todo/list

Depending on your application configuration and the URL used by the new page, you may have to add or modify a url-policy. By default, if the new URL does not match an existing url-policy, the access will be denied for security reasons. To allow anonymous users to access the page, use the following url-policy:


and if you want only logged users, use the following:


Note: make sure to replace the .xhtml extension by .html.

Add Open Graph

Use a combination of fn:trim, fn:substring and util:escapeJavaScript to create the Open Graph description. The first two functions will remove spaces at begining and end of the description and will truncate the string. The util:escapeJavaScript is then necessary to make a value HTML attribute when the description contains special characters.

<meta property="og:description"

Formatting dates

A date can easily be formatted by following the Java Server Faces patterns by using the f:convertDateTime converter. The pattern attribute controls how the date is formated and it takes into account the locale used to render the request. For example:

<h:outputText value="#{event.member.payment_date}">
   <f:convertDateTime pattern="%A %d %B %Y"/>

Sometimes, the date must be formatted within an attribute of some HTML element. In that case, the h:outputText cannot be used but instead we can use the util:formatDate EL function. For example:


Configuration Tips

Adding a permission on user creation

Sometimes it is useful to add some permission when a user is created. This can be done programatically but also through some simple configuration. By using the on-event XML definition, it is possible to create a set of permissions when the user-create event is posted, hence during user creation.

The following XML extract from Atlas demonstrator will add several Wiki permissions to the new user.

<on-event name="user-create">
  <property name="entity_type">awa_wiki_space</property>
  <property name="entity_id">1</property>
  <property name="workspace_id">1</property>
  <property name="permission">wiki-page-create,wiki-page-update,wiki-page-delete,wiki-page-view,wiki-space-delete,wiki-space-update</property>

Secure configuration

Setting up the secure configuration is made by using a secure keystore with the akt tool. The secure configuration is stored in the keystore file that akt will protect by encrypting each configuration property with their own encryption key. In order to setup and use the secure configuration the following steps are necessary:

  • Create the keystore file and protect it with a password or a GPG key,
  • Populate the keystore file with the configuration values,
  • Launch the server with specific options in order to use and access the keystore file.

The two initial steps are done by using the akt tool.

To create the keystore file, one way is to run the akt command and give it the keystore password:

mkdir secure
akt create --wallet-key-file=secure/wallet.key -c 100000:300000 \

This will generate the secure/wallet.key file and setup the keystore file in secure/config.akt. The password must be given to the server when it is started. To avoid that, it is possible to store it in a file and make sure the file is protected against read and write access. If the password is stored in such file, the keystore is created by using:

akt create --wallet-key-file=secure/wallet.key \
  --passfile=secure/master.key -c 100000:300000 \

Once the keystore is created, the configuration are inserted. Because the server command can use only one keystore and have several applications, the configuration parameter must be prefixed by the application name. For example, to setup the database configuration for the atlas application, you will use the command:

akt set --wallet-key-file=secure/wallet.key \
  --passfile=secure/master.key \
  secure/config.akt \
  atlas.database 'mysql://localhost:3306/atlas?user=atlas&password=PiX2ShaimohW6eno

To avoid having to specify several configuration parameters when launching the server, it is good practice to create a server global configuration file and indicate several parameters that the server will use. Create a file secure/ that contains:


Then, to start the server we just need to give it the server global configuration path:

bin/atlas-server -c secure/ start

Note that in order to use this configuration setup, the directory must have the rwx------ rights and files must have the rw------- rights.

Overriding some AWA navigation rules

AWA and its modules are using Ada Server Faces for the presentation pages and navigation. The navigation rule describes what is the next page to render when a form is submitted. In some cases, the default navigation rules provided by AWA or some of its module may not fit your application needs. You can override them by creating an application override XML file that you configure to load after the awa.xml configuration file. For example, to override the default redirection used after a login, you can use the following XML file:

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?>
<module version="1.0">



and then configure the app.config property to define the list of XML configuration file to load. Each name must be separated by ;. For example:


Trouble shotting Tips

No AWA service context

When the AWA framework emits the following error:

ERROR - AWA.Services.Contexts - : No AWA service context: may be a 'filter-mapping' is missing to activate the 'service' filter in the request path

it is often followed by a Constraint Error such as:

CONSTRAINT_ERROR: awa-services-contexts.adb:53 access check failed

and it is caused by an application that uses the AWA.Services.Contexts.Current operation on an incoming request but there is no AWA service context. In most cases, the root cause is that a servlet filter is missing in the configuration for the current URL request. You may add such servlet filter by using the configuration:


and replace the /*.html pattern by the URL that caused the error.