Apache OFBiz News January 2017

Welcome to our regular monthly round-up of OFBiz news.
This month we have news about our OFBiz Community Days planned for 2017, specialpurpose gets a new name, an initiative is started to create are range of user acceptance test cases for our releases and the community discusses re-defining what Apache OFBiz actually is.

What is Apache OFBiz?

One of the community discussions that happened during January was about what Apache OFBiz is. It seems like a strange discussion to be having after 10 years at the ASF but with the major re-factoring and changes happening within the project in areas such as the framework and plugin management, we have an opportunity to redefine what OFBiz is.

Could we perhaps create sub-projects that would focus on specific OFBiz areas and what other potential products could be included.

Details of the discussions can be found at the following link:

Discussion: What is Apache OFBiz?

Please feel free to add your comments and feedback.

Renaming Specialpurpose to Plugins

OFBiz has a range of core applications (e.g. Accounting, Manufacturing, Order and Party) but also has some specialist (or specialpurpose) applications. This includes applications such as E-commerce, Asset Management, MyPortal, Project Manager and WebPos. As these specialpurpose applications use and build on the core applications, they fit very nicely into the concept of an OFBiz plugin. The term plugin is a lot easier and clearer description of these applications so we have decided to rename the specialpurpose directory to plugins.

In a future update we will talk about the working being done around creating a repository for official project plugins.

User Acceptance Test Cases and Stories

An effort has been launched by the community to document a range of OFBiz User Stories around various functionality and then look at preparing User Acceptance Test Cases for them. This would be something that could be applied as a simple quality control check to each release version to highlight where and when standard processing fails a test.

With the ongoing project changes this initiative will be very useful for ensuring that the work in process does not break any of the existing OFBIz functionality. If you'd like to be involved with this initiative or would like more information then the discussion thread can be found at the following link.

Discussion: User Acceptance Testing Discussion

OFBiz Community Days 2017

Over the last two years we have been holding OFBiz Community Days each quarter. Feedback from the community is that they would like these Community Days to continue for 2017 but in a slightly changed format. Instead of each Community Day being one fixed Saturday per quarter, it will be extended to include more days around it. This will give a lot more flexibility and allow more people to contribute.

The following are the dates for our Community Days in 2017

  • Q1 - February 2017 : Friday 17th, Saturday 18th, Sunday 19th, Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st
  • Q2 - May 2017 : Friday 19th, Saturday 20th, Sunday 21st, Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd
  • Q3 - August 2017 : Friday 18th, Saturday 19th, Sunday 20th, Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd
  • Q4 - November 2017 : Friday 17th, Saturday 18th, Sunday 19th, Monday 20th and Tuesday 22nd

For more information, please take a look at our Community Days page on our wiki.

New features and improvements

Functional enhancements and improvements as well as updates of third party libraries and source code refactoring:

  • Update Apache Solr/Lucene to release 6.2.1 from 5.3.1 (OFBIZ-8316)
  • Create and use an OWASP PolicyFactory for content sanitization in ContentWorker for Birt Report Builder (work in progress) (OFBIZ-9166)
  • New and enhanced implementation of Birt. Easier way of report creation for users (OFBIZ-6919)
    It allows the creation of "report masters" by the developer, which will in turn let the user create its own reports. Data connection of the report is fully generated by OFBiz based on report master. Design is user made. Filtering is made via content forms stored in the database ("FORM_COMBINED") data_resource.
  • Make xssi prefix configurable and multi-tenant aware (OFBIZ-9169)
  • Renamed the directory specialpurpose to plugins (OFBIZ-7972)
    In another step towards completing the plugin system for OFBiz, we renamed the /specialpurpose directory to /plugins and changed all occurences of the word "specialpurpose" to "plugins" in all files found in the system. Reference discussion: http://markmail.org/message/hpyuxkmftiyn44w2
  • Add Geo id support for New Zealand (OFBIZ-9172)
  • Remove the cleanGradle and cleanAnt Gradles Task because of issues with Windows (OFBIZ-9183)
  • Fully refactored the component loading logic in Gradle (OFBIZ-9182)
    Changing the directory structure should have no impact on the build scripts. Gradle will now ignore a component if it exists but is disabled in ofbiz-component.xml (i.e. enabled="false").

    • This makes loading very flexible
    • Removes /plugins/component-load.xml.
    • Disables the ebaystore component in ofbiz-component.xml.
    • The above is needed as a first step toward preparing the project for the svn restructure.
  • Removed the plugin activate/deactivate feature (OFBIZ-9182)


Functional and technical bugfixes:

  • Refactor ContentWorkerInterface methods signatures (OFBIZ-9164)
    Fixes an issue in the ShowCartItems.ftl file by changing a parameter in the signature of the protected ShoppingCartItem() method from ShoppingCart.ShoppingCartItemGroup to ShoppingCartItemGroup
  • Exception caused by adding an item to an order (OFBIZ-9167)
    While at it I also found issues with cartLine.getName() in ftl files. It was also missing the dispatcher. This was broken by OFBIZ-9164
  • JobPoller does not run and hence scheduled/async jobs are never run (OFBIZ-9155)
  • Adds entity-alias use="required" in entitymodel.xsd (OFBIZ-9184)
  • "View Order" throws exception in getReturnableQuantity (OFBIZ-9157)
    • Solution: adjust the service-definition to allow for "null" value of the returnablePrice OUT parameter.
  • Changes log level so it always shows info in minilang (OFBIZ-6206)
  • Converts delegator.find to EntityQuery (OFBIZ-9189)


  • Updates documentation in README.MD for wiki
    • Adds a note for JDBC drivers Move the Security section below the Quick start section
    • Adds a note for % progress indicator
  • The README.md.html is to be used at https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/OFBIZ/ The+official+demos+and+how+to+maintain+them