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Activiti is a light-weight workflow and Business Process Management (BPM) Platform targeted at business people, developers and system admins. Its core is a super-fast and rock-solid BPMN 2 process engine for Java. It's open-source and distributed under the Apache license. Activiti runs in any Java application, on a server, on a cluster or in the cloud. It integrates perfectly with Spring, it is extremely lightweight and based on simple concepts.

NOTE: We moved to the master branch all the content of the development branch that we were using to design and code the next major version of the project. If you want to contribute with version 6.x please look at the 6.x branch.

Activiti JIRA:

If you want to read more about our Repositories structure you can read our GitBook.

Configuring IntelliJ

  • Force language level 8, to fail-fast when (accidentally) using features available only in newer Java versions.

    • Open menu File, menu item Project Structure
    • Click list item Modules, for each module, tab Sources, combobox Language level should be automatically set to 8.0 ...
  • Avoid that changes in some resources are ignored in the next run/debug (and you are forced to use mvn)

    • Open menu File, menu item Settings
    • Click tree item Compiler, textfield Resource patterns: change to !?*.java (remove other content)
  • Avoid a StackOverflowError when building

    • Open menu File, menu item Settings
    • Click tree item Compiler, tree item Java Compiler, textfield Additional command line parameters
    • Add -J-Xss1024k so it becomes something like -target 1.8 -J-Xss1024k
  • Recommended code style: use the Google Java Style Guide with editorconfig

    • Download the IntelliJ code style xml from: []
    • Open menu File, menu item Settings, click tree item Code Style, click cogwheel and select Import scheme, then IntelliJ code style xml
    • Browse where you downloaded the xml and open it. Check that GoogleStyle is the active scheme.
      • Note: IntelliJ IDEA doesn't format your code automatically. You have to press Ctrl+Alt+L keyboard combination to trigger auto formatting when coding is done.
    • There's an .editorconfig what has definition for indents, file encoding, line endings.
    • If you disable it, you need to set the file encoding and number of spaces correctly manually.
    • Eclipse code style xml: []
    • Eclipse needs editorconfig-eclipse plugin in order to support EditorConfig files.
  • Set manually the correct file encoding (UTF-8 except for properties files) and end-of-line characters (unix):

    • Open menu File, menu item Settings
    • Click tree item Code Style, tree item General
      • Combobox Line separator (for new files): Unix
    • Click tree item File Encodings
      • Combobox IDE Encoding: UTF-8
      • Combobox Default encoding for properties files: ISO-8859-1
        • Note: normal i18n properties files must be in ISO-8859-1 as specified by the java ResourceBundle contract.
  • Set manually the correct number of spaces when pressing tab:

    • Open menu File, menu item Settings
    • Click tree item Code Style, tree item General
    • Click tab Java
      • Checkbox Use tab character: off
      • Textfield Tab size: 4
      • Textfield Indent: 4
      • Textfield Continuation indent: 8
    • Open tab XML
      • Checkbox Use tab character: off
      • Textfield Tab size: 2
      • Textfield Indent: 2
      • Textfield Continuation indent: 4
  • Set the correct file headers (do not include @author or a meaningless javadoc):

    • Open menu File, menu item Settings
    • Click tree item File templates, tab Includes, list item File Header
    • Remove the line @author Your Name.
      • We do not accept @author lines in source files, see FAQ below.
    • Remove the entire javadoc as automatically templated data is meaningless.
  • Set the correct license header

    • Open menu File, menu item Settings
    • Click tree item Copyright, tree item Copyright profiles
      • Click button + to add a Copyright profile
      • Textfield name: Alfresco, Inc. and/or its affiliates
      • Textarea with content:
        Copyright $today.year Alfresco, Inc. and/or its affiliates.
        Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
        you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
        You may obtain a copy of the License at
        Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
        distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
        WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
        See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
        limitations under the License.
      • Note: Do not start or end with a newline character
      • Note: Do not start with /**: it is not a valid javadoc.
    • Click tree item Copyright
      • Combobox Default project copyright: Alfresco, Inc. and/or its affiliates


  • Why do you not accept @author lines in your source code?
    • Because the author tags in the java files are a maintenance nightmare

      • A large percentage is wrong, incomplete or inaccurate.
      • Most of the time, it only contains the original author. Many files are completely refactored/expanded by other authors.
      • Git is accurate, that is the canonical source to find the correct author.
    • Because the author tags promote code ownership, which is bad in the long run.

      • If people work on a piece they perceive as being owned by someone else, they tend to:
        • only fix what they are assigned to fix, instead of everything that's broken
        • discard responsibility if that code doesn't work properly
        • be scared of stepping on the feet of the owner.
    • Credit to the authors is given:

Development commands


To check if your code style respect all the rules:

mvn checkstyle:check -DskipCheckstyle=false


To generate the maven site:

mvn clean site site:stage

the site will be generated at: target/staging/index.html

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