Newbie Guide to QBiC software

This is the newbie guide to developing software for QBiC. This is not solely the documentation for QUBE. If you are looking solely for QUBE’s documentation, please proceed with the next sections.

Required tools for Java/Groovy development

1. Java

Our production and test instances use OpenJDK 1.8 and this is mirrored in our build system.

Installation of OpenJDK varies across operating systems. So it is strongly advised to read more about how to install OpenJDK in your operating system. Most Linux-based operating systems offer OpenJDK through package managers (e.g., pacman, apt, yum).

Make sure you install a Java development kit (JDK) and not just a Java runtime environment (JRE).

2. Maven

Apache Maven is one of those rare tools whose true purpose might be hard to grasp in the beginning, yet it is extremely easy to install. If this is your first time using maven, make sure to read Maven in 5 minutes and Maven getting started guide.

It is up to you to decide whether to install maven using your favorite package manager or install it manually. In any case, make sure you install the most recent version available.

3. Other tools

We use the Travis CI client to generate encrypted credentials. You can follow this guide to get the Travis CI client installed on your machine.

What to do once you’ve generated your project using QUBE?

QUBE creates just a sample project. Sadly, you will still have to write your own code, tests and documentation.

Write tests, check code coverage

The generated folder already contains simple jUnit 4 unit tests (i.e., in src/test/java/life/qbic/portal/portlet/ Writing code that tests your code is an important part of the development lifecycle (see:

As a general guideline, try to code the logic of your portlet independent of the user interface so you can easily write code that tests your portlet.

Maven has been configured to execute unit tests under the src/test folder that match the *Test name (e.g., DonutPortletTest). To run all unit tests, you use the following command:

mvn test

We use Cobertura to generate coverage reports. To run the unit tests and generate a code coverage report, simply run:

mvn cobertura:cobertura

Similarly, we have configured the Maven plug-ins to run integration tests. These tests are also under the src/test folder, but their names must end with *IntegrationTest, such as DonutPortletIntegrationTest. Running integration tests can be a time-consuming task, so these are, usually, not executed alongside the unit tests. To execute the integration tests, invoke the following command:

mvn verify

Test your code locally

You can easily run the unit and integration tests for libraries you have written by using the mvn test command. This is, more or less, what our build system does. Take a look at the .travis.yml file located in the common-files if you want to know all implementation details related to how we do continuous integration.

Testing a portlet locally using Jetty

Go to the generated folder (i.e., generated/donut-portlet in our case) and run:

mvn jetty:run

You should see an output similar to:

[INFO] Started ServerConnector@67c06a9e{HTTP/1.1,[http/1.1]}{}
[INFO] Started @30116ms
[INFO] Started Jetty Server

Direct your browser to localhost:8080. If everything went fine, you will see a portlet with several controls. So far so good, congratulations!

Interact with the UI and, if this is your first portlet, we strongly suggest you to try to change a few things in the code and see what happens after you test again.

Testing other tools locally

We configured a Maven plug-in to generate stand-alone JAR files for projects of type cli, service and gui. Maven will package all of the needed dependencies inside one single JAR file.

To test your CLI tool locally, you first need to package your artifact using Maven in the generated project folder:

mvn package

You then need to use the following command:

java -jar target/<project_slug>-<version>-jar-with-dependencies.jar

That is:

java -jar target/donut-cli-1.0.0-SNAPSHOT-jar-with-dependencies.jar

Create a new GitHub repository for your new project

You now have a new QBiC project with all the required dependencies and configuration files. You still need to create a remote repository for it, though, so it’s available for everyone. QUBE should have prompted you for your Github username and personal access token to conduct this process automatically. If you declined the automatic creation of the repository, then please follow Create Github Repository to create a repository on GitHub. For this example, we will still use donut-portlet as the name of our repository. You need to create your GitHub repository under the QBiC GitHub organization, so you need writing access. Ask your favorite QBiC admin if you do not yet have writing rights.

Secure your configuration files before pushing to Git

It might happen that you accidentally pushed a file containing sensitive data. Well - happens.

The good part is that this is reversible. The bad part is that, due to compliance with EU law, whenever one of these incidents occurs, the only way to do this right is to not only to delete all compromised files from the repository, but also to change all compromised passwords, which is a great way to ruin someone’s day.

So don’t do it, but if you do, or if you discover such an incident, just know that this should be reported.

Check that everything worked in

The generated project folder contains a .travis.yml file that will help you integrate your GitHub repository with Travis CI, our continuous integration service. Broadly speaking, everytime you push a change into your GitHub repository, Travis CI will use the .travis.yml file to know what to do.

Your repository should have been automatically added to our continuous integration system, but there has been a lot of changes in the platform that your experience might differ. Follow these steps to check that everything worked as advertised:

  1. Navigate to ( Use your GitHub account to authenticate.

  2. Click on your name (upper-right corner). You should see your profile in Travis CI.

  3. Click the Sync account button

  4. Look for your repository. You might want to filter repositories by entering the full name of your repository (i.e., donut-portlet) or parts of it.

  5. Once you’ve found your repository, click on the Settings button displayed next to it.

If you see the settings page, then it means that everything went fine. Make sure that the general settings of your repository match the ones shown below:

Report generation using Maven

We generate reports using the Maven site plugin. The goal site will output several reports which you can then find in the target/site directory. So, in other words, running mvn site will populate the target/site folder with all configured reports, as defined in parent-poms.

Reports are generated in HTML format, so you can access them in your browser by entering file://<full-path-to-your-local-repo>/target/site/index.html (e.g., file:///home/homer/donut-portlet/target/site/index.html; shh… no that’s not a typo, that’s three forward slashes, remember that full paths start with /) in your browser’s address bar.

Provide encrypted information to Travis CI

Any person on the internet can download Maven artifacts from our public Maven repository. But in order to upload artifacts to our repository, you will need proper authentication.

Since all of our code is open source, it would not be a good idea to use cleartext passwords and distribute them in our repositories. This is also true for other private information such as license codes. However, Travis CI requires this same information to be present at build time. Luckily, Travis CI offers a simple way to add encrypted environment variables. You do not need to fully understand the implementation details to follow this guide, but no one will be angry at you if you do.

You only need to execute a single command using the Travis CI client to add an encrypted variable to your .travis.yml. Let’s say, for instance, that you need to add an environment variable, NUCLEAR_REACTOR_RELEASE_CODE whose value is d0nut5_Ar3_t4sty. You would have to use the following command:

travis encrypt "NUCLEAR_REACTOR_RELEASE_CODE=d0nut5_Ar3_t4sty" --add --pro

This command will automatically edit .travis.yml (if you want edit the file yourself, do not use the --add parameter).

Maven credentials

To enable Maven deployments in Travis CI, add both MAVEN_REPO_USERNAME and MAVEN_REPO_PASSWORD as encrypted variables in your .travis.yml file like so:

travis encrypt "MAVEN_REPO_USERNAME=<username>" --add --pro
travis encrypt "MAVEN_REPO_PASSWORD=<password>" --add --pro

Ask the people who wrote this guide about the proper values of <username> and <password>. Encrypted values in Travis CI are bound to their GitHub repository, so you cannot simply copy them from other repositories.

Using Vaadin Charts add-on in your portlet

This add-on requires you to have a proper license code. If your portlet requires this add-on, add the VADIN_CHARTS_LICENSE_CODE as an encrypted variable in .travis.yml:

travis encrypt "VAADIN_CHARTS_LICENSE_CODE=<license-code>" --add --pro

Ask around for the license code.

Publish your first version

In your local GitHub repository directory (i.e., donut-portlet) run the following commands:

git init
git add .
git commit -m "Initial commit before pressing the 'flush radioactive material' button"
git remote add origin
git push origin master
git checkout -b development
git push origin development

Of course, you must replace donut-portlet with the real name of your repository. You can now start using your repository containing your brand new portlet.

Change default branch

We strongly recommend you to set the development branch as your default branch by following setting the default branch.


Almost all of QUBE’s template use Dependabot to automatically submit pull requests to the project’s repository whenever an update for a dependency was released. If you pushed your project to Github using QUBE’s Github support everything is already setup for you. If not, you may need to create a development branch and a dependabot issue label.

Read the docs

All of QUBE’s templates come with Read the Docs preconfigured.
The only thing left for you to do is to enable your repository for Read the Docs. Please follow the importing your documentation guide. You should not need to manually import your project if you are a member of QBiC software (which you should be!).

Github Actions

All of QUBE’s templates feature Github Actions support. Github Actions is part of our continuous integration setup and various template specific workflows are active (on push). Examples are the automatial runs of test suites, package building, linting and more. You usually should not need to touch them, but feel free to add additional workflows. They are located in .github/workflows/.