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General Formatting Conventions

The Open For Business projects follows the Sun coding standards for Java source code.
For information regarding this standard please visit

HTML code should be XHTML compliant. Groovy files should follow the same convention as Java files.

In accordance with this standard we use 4 space indention rather than tabs, and set the tab size to 8 spaces to make code with tabs easier to pick out. Make sure no code contains tab characters.
For XML/HTML/FTL files we follow the standard XML/HTML/FTL format (TODO: add link to a reference here). XML/HTML/FTL files should use 2 spaces instead of 4, but there are still number of files using 4 space indention. So it's better to keep the indentation used in each file to avoid confusion when committing.

We don't want tab characters in text files in SVN, because different editors and tools interpret tabs differently. All indentation should be done purely with spaces.

To change tabs to spaces in Eclipse, change these preferences in Window -> Preferences ->

  1. Java -> Code Style -> Code Formatter -> Show... -> Java Conventions built-in -> Indentation, select Tab policy as "space only". Enter a new name for this profile and click "OK".
  2. Java -> Editor -> Typing, and check "Insert spaces for tab".
  3. Ant -> Editor -> Formatter, and uncheck "Use tab character instead of spaces".
  4. If you installed Colorer, Colorer Library Editor -> Uses spaces instead of tabs.
  5. If you installed XML Buddy, XMLBuddy -> Formatting -> Uses spaces instead of tabs.
  6. If you installed Oxygen, Oxygen -> Editor -> Format -> uncheck Indent with tabs, indent size 4.
  7. Unfortunaltely neither of the 2 main FreeMarker pluggin have similar functionnality yet. But there is a solution :
    • Install AnyEdit plugin ( and set its parameters in General -> Editors -> AnyEdit Tools. When using AnyEdit plugin, you should set it to
      • Convert tab to space (it's by default in last versions)

In Eclipse, for Java, you may use Ctrl+I to be sure of correct indentation.

Entity Definitions

Entity Names

Entities are named in accordance with the Java naming conventions for classes (e.g. ExampleEntity).
The physical database names are generated by the system by applying the Java naming convention of constants to the entity names (e.g. ExampleEntity => EXAMPLE_ENTITY).
Important: database table names should never be longer than 30 characters, so you have to keep this in mind when you define a new entity name.
For example: the entity name "AnExampleOfALongEntityName" (that is is 26 characters long) is transformed into the database table name AN_EXAMPLE_OF_A_LONG_ENTITY_NAME, that is 32 characters long and exceeds the maximum length of 30 characters and so it is not a good choice.

Entity Field Names

Entity fields are named in accordance with the Java naming conventions for fields (e.g. exampleField). They have the same length constraint than above : 30 characters max (including "_" separators)
TODO: pk/fk names (including maximum length)

Foreign Keys names have a length constraint of 18 characters (including "_" separators). It's better to set them by hand, to avoid indesirable effects. These constraints do not come from OFBiz but from some DB. To be able to use any DB those constraints should be respected to allow DB portability.

TODO: view-entity names and conventions 

Service Definitions

Best Practices

Apache OFBiz Best Practices Guide

License Headers

Each and every source file should contain the ASL2.0 header:

Adding author information to source files (.e.g. using the @author tag) is a discouraged practice: clearer information about the contributors of a file should be derived from the commit logs.

Naming Conventions for Artifacts and controller entries

TODO: controller's request and view naming conventions

TODO: conventions for screen names (top-level screens, included screens, decorators)

TODO: conventions for form names 

TODO: conventions for menu names

TODO: conventions for artifacts names such as ftl templates and bsh scripts

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