CS C395
Twister Workflow Setup

The Twister workflow engine is one possible engine to use for the class project. It has the following advantages:

Twister is Struts-based so it also serves as yet another example of Struts code.

The following notes are based on my experiences installing Twister and getting it to run. These are not a standalone set of installation instructions. They are annotations to the Twister Installation Guide. The Guide is pretty clear. These notes correct a few mistakes and emphasize steps that I found critical to getting a working workflow engine.

These notes are specific to Windows -- someone with Unix should send me the corresponding Unix points.

Install Ant

If you haven't downloaded Ant before, do so now.

After installing Ant, be sure to

Download Twister

Download the source from the Twister home page.

Extract the files anywhere you want. I put mine in my Java directory. Do not put them in your Tomcat directory.

Set up the HSQL Database

Follow the Installation Guide here. You can skip the section on Hibernate unless you want to substitute some other database for the built-in HSQL.

Note: You have to be online for the ant db-create step to work. If you are not online, the XML parser will fail because it can't find the DTD it needs. [This is a common problem with XML-based systems. It can be fixed by including local copies of the DTD in the installed setup.]

Install the Xindice Webapp

Xindice is an XML database system. The Installation Guide says to look in the Twister lib directory for Xindice.war. This is a typo. You'll find Xindice.war in the war directory.

Install the Twister Webapps

This has several steps, mostly just copying things.

Start Twister

Run theTwister Demo

The Installation Guide gives an incorrect demo. The correct demo is in the User Guide. It steps you through:

Go through this demo -- read each step carefully -- and make sure it works all the way to the end.


Send comments to c-riesbeck@northwestern.edu