2. Installing & Connecting

2.1. System Requirements

RapidContext comes bundled with most of its dependencies. A special server launcher is also available for Mac OS X.

2.2. Server Installation

RapidContext can be installed either as a stand-alone server (recommended) or inside a Java Servlet container, such as Jetty or Tomcat. To install and start the stand-alone server, follow the steps below:

Linux, Mac OS & Unix Windows
1. #> cd /opt 1. Go to Program Files folder
2. #> unzip rapidcontext-XYZ.zip 2. Unpack rapidcontext-XYZ.zip
3. #> cd rapidcontext-XYZ 3. Open directory rapidcontext-XYZ\bin
4. #> bin/rapidcontext 4. Double-click rapidcontext.bat

To install RapidContext in a Java servlet container, use the file rapidcontext.war inside the ZIP distribution and follow the deployment instructions for your server.

The RapidContext server is also available as a convenient RapidContext.app launcher application for Mac OS X. Once started, it shows a simple server control panel as below:

Screenshot

Notice

A new RapidContext installation can be accessed with the following login:

Login: admin
Password: blank (anything is accepted)

It is important to change the password for the default admin user before allowing other users onto the system.

2.3. Plug-in Installation

Plug-ins are installed or updated by using the built-in Admin app. The steps below explain how to install or update a plug-in:

  1. Launch or go to the Admin app
  2. Choose the Plug-Ins tab
  3. Locate the Software Install & Update panel at the top (see screenshot)

    Screenshot

  4. Click the Browse... button and choose the plug-in file
  5. Wait for the upload to complete
  6. Click the Install / Update Plug-In button
  7. The plug-in is now installed and activated

Notice

After installing or unloading some plug-ins, the client or server must be restarted for the plug-in loading to have effect:

  • Client Restarts: If the plug-in adds or modifies an app, the web browser should be reloaded. Use F5 or Ctrl-R to force a page reload in your browser.
  • Server Restarts: When loading or unloading plug-ins containing Java code or JAR libraries, a full server restart is sometimes needed due to issues with the Java virtual machine. The Admin app provides a warning in those situations. Make sure that the java process is fully terminated before restarting the service.

2.4. Plug-in Activation & Deactivation

Plug-ins can both be loaded and unloaded in the built-in Admin app. The steps below explain how to do it.

  1. Launch or go to the Admin app
  2. Choose the Plug-Ins tab
  3. Locate the Plug-In List panel (see screenshot)

    Screenshot

  4. Select the plug-in to activate or deactivate
  5. Press the corresponding Load or Unload button
  6. The plug-in is now activated or deactivated

2.5. Plug-in Removal

Normally, it is not necessary to completely remove a plug-in from the server. Leaving it in unloaded status ensures that it has no effect on the system. Nevertheless, a plug-in can be completely removed by the following steps:

  1. Launch or go to the Admin app
  2. Choose the Plug-Ins tab
  3. Ensure that the plug-in is currently not loaded
  4. On the server — Go to the plugin/ directory
  5. On the server — Remove the [plugin].zip file
  6. Press the Restart button in the Admin app
  7. Verify that the plug-in is no longer in the list of plug-ins

2.6. Connections

Connections to external systems can be created and modified in the built-in Admin app. The steps below explain how to do it:

  1. Launch or go to the Admin app
  2. Choose the Connections tab
  3. Select the connection to modify (if appropriate, see screenshot)

    Screenshot

  4. Press the edit OR the "+" icon in the Connection Details view (to the right)
  5. The connection editing dialog is shown (see screenshot)

    Screenshot

  6. Select the appropriate type and edit the details
  7. Press Save to save and validate the connection

The connection will automatically be validated (tested) when modified or created in the Admin app. Any previously open communication channels will be closed and a single new one will be established. The results are visible in the Connection Details view.

A number of things should be noted regarding connections and connection editing:

2.7. Environments

An environment is used to signal the RapidContext server location to the user. The environment name is displayed at the top right corner of the standard user interface, along with the user name. Environments are primarily useful when several RapidContext servers are in use.

There is currently no user interface for editing or creating environments, so they must be manually added to the plugin/local/environment/ directory (or the environment/ directory in your plug-in). The file name should follow normal storage rules, i.e. [identifier].properties. See below for an example environment file.

# General properties
id = EXAMPLE
type = environment
description = The example environment
connections = EXAMPLE/
  

The connections property is used as a prefix when locating connections. I.e. all connection identifiers in the environment should be named [prefix]/[identifier], but only the identifier part should be specified on usage (in procedures and similar).

This will make it possible to add support for multiple environments with similar connections in a future version.

Notice

A RapidContext server may currently only have a single environment loaded (although multiple connections are supported). This environment is used for all users, apps and procedures on the server. If several environments are required, separate RapidContext server instances should be installed.