Modules define self-contained application pieces and correspond to menus within the system accordion menu pane. The repository/apps folder contains all application metadata and code, organised as application modules.

Each module folder contains a module.xml manifest file (declaring the existence of the module components including jobs, documents, queries, roles and menus) document packages (one package per document) and a domain folder (which contains the generated domain classes).

Code in the domain folder is never manipulated by the developer directly; all application changes are done via metadata and API-level code.

Skyve Project structure

The module.xml file is located in the top level directory of the module and defines the following:

Attribute/Section Definition
name The name used by the developer to define and distinguish the module.
title The title of the module as presented in the user interface.
The module title will be the label shown on the accordion pane containing the module menu.
homeRef Whether the homeDocument (see below) will open in list or edit view.
This attribute is optional – if not included Skyve assumes a homeRef of list (i.e. a list view rather than a detail view).
homeDocument The document which will open by default when the module is accessed by the user.
documents The list of documents.
Documents may be persistent or transient. Each persistent document maps to a database table. (Transient documents exist only in memory.)
queries The queries referenced within the application metadata.
Each list view is based on a metadata query specified in the module.xml and any queries referenced within document metadata (e.g. for collections or references) must be declared here. Skyve will generate default queries for each document unless a specific metadata query is declared.
roles The user roles specified for the application.
Each role specifies permission levels for each document and actions which that role is permitted to execute.
menu The menu specifies which menu items are applicable for each role specified in the roles section.

Module.xml sections

Defining the module.xml

Module header

An example module header is provided below. Note the key attributes of schemaLocation, name, title homeRef and homeDocument.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<module name="admin" title="Admin" xmlns="" xsi:schemaLocation=" ../../schemas/module.xsd"

Figure 18 - Module definition header

In this example, the home (or default) target for the module is the edit view of the Welcome document.


The module.xml includes declarations for each document.

If documents from another module are referenced, the source module must be nominated as moduleRef. Document privileges and scoping is always only defined in the home module, to avoid the potential of conflicting scoping or permissions.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<module name="todo" title="ToDo" xmlns="" xsi:schemaLocation=" ../../schemas/module.xsd"
    <document ref="Project" />
    <document ref="ToDo" />
    <document ref="Version" />
    <document ref="Contact" moduleRef="admin" />
    <document ref="User" moduleRef="admin" />

moduleRef indicates the documents are originally declared in another module.

Documents listed in the module.xml may reference documents from other modules (moduleRef) or are matched with document packages within the module folder.

Document packages


The module.xml file can include definitions of queries used in the application. Queries declared in the module.xml are called metadata queries to distinguish them from other queries which may exist as views on the database server or as insecure SQL strings within developer code.

Each document can specify a defaultQueryName – which is the name of the metadata query to use by default wherever lists of document instances may be required (e.g. lists and lookups for document references).

If a query name is not supplied Skyve will generate a default or generic query which will include all columns for all document attributes.

Queries defined in the module.xml are also available to developers in Bizlet code. Queries can also be declared as the source for document attribute associations and collections. When used in this way, the query determines eligible references for membership in the association or collection.

Generic queries

When Skyve generates a query (in the situation where a query is required but none has been specified), this generic query will contain all document attributes for the driving document and the bizKey value for all references. Columns will be in the order of document attributes (as specified in the document.xml) with ascending ordering applied to the first column. All columns will be non-editable inline in the list.

Declaring queries

Skyve metadata queries use object references, rather than SQL.

Metadata queries must specify the documentName; the name of the document which is the subject of the query.

If the query is the basis of a listGrid, then double-clicking in the listGrid will zoom to the driving document.

Query definition

Query based list

Query column definition

Query column attributes Description
binding The document value to be shown in the query column.
A compound binding can be used where the value to be shown is in a related document.
displayName An alias for the query column.
If no displayName is specified in the query, the list column title will be the displayName specified for the document attribute.
editable Whether the column is editable in the list view inline.
By default editable is set to false.
expression A valid OQL expression which defines the value to be shown in the list column.
filterable Whether a filter can be applied to this column in the list view.
filterExpression A literal value or one of a number of expressions.
Defined expressions include:
<ul><li>{CONTACTID} - the id of the contact who is the current user<li>{CUSTOMER} – the name of the customer context in which the current user operates<li>{DATAGROUPID} – the id of the data group of the current user<li>{DATE} - current date<li>{DATETIME} - current date and time<li>{USERID} - bizId of the current user<li>{USER} – the userName of current user<li>{USERNAME} - the name of the current user contact</ul>
filterOperator One of the following operators:<ul><li>equal, notEqual,<li>greater, less,<li>greaterEqual, lessEqual,<li>like, notLike,<li>notNull, isNull,<li>nullOrEqual, nullOrNotEqual,<li>nullOrGreater, nullOrLess,<li>nullOrGreaterEqual, nullOrLessEqual,<li>nullOrLike, nullOrNotLike;</ul>
hidden Whether the query column will be hidden by default in a list view.
Hidden columns are hidden by default, but can be un-hidden by the user unless the column has projected=false.
name You can include calculated or derived values in a query however you must create a non-persistent field in the driving document to hold the value. The name is the name of the non-persistent document field which holds the calculated value.
Note that the name must correspond to a transient (i.e. non persistent) field in the document which describes other aspects of the expression result (such as type, length, display format etc.).
projected Whether the column will exist in the result set.
By default all query columns are projected unless this attribute is false.
sortable Whether the query can be sorted by this column in the list view.
sortOrder The sorting order (ascending or descending) to use by default when this query is displayed.
If the column is sortable, the user will be able to re-sort the list results.

Query column definitions

Driving documents can be the subject of many queries.

Content query columns

Skyve also provides a content column type for content items (images and file attachments). The content column type has the following attributes:

Content column attributes Description
alignment either left, right or centre
display either thumbnail or link - displays either a thumbnail of the image, or file type icon, or a download link for the content item
displayName the column name for the column
emptyThumbnailRelativeFile the relative file to display if the content item produces an empty thumbnail
hidden whether the column is hidden by default
pixelHeight the height of the thumbnail in pixels
pixelWidth the width of the thumbnail in pixels
sortOrder The sorting order (ascending or descending) to use by default when this query is displayed.

Thumbnail image in list

Queries for reference attributes

If a query is specified for an association attribute, Skyve will use that query for association selections in the application user interface. This can also be overridden by specifying a query in the view.

For an association, the query will be used for record selection in the view.

For example, selecting a document association normally uses a lookupDescription widget. The lookupDescription combo will display a list of the bizKeys of the driving document instances in the same order as the default query (or ordered by the first column if no query is specified).

Queries as a source for record selection

However, lookupDescription combos can display multiple columns (as above) if a query is specified for the lookupDescription in the view.


The module.xml declares roles for the module.

Each role specifies the privilege levels for documents the role will access (and associated actions). The role name is the name displayed when assigning roles to user security groups in the admin module.

Roles specified within the module.xml are available for selection within the admin module at run-time.

Assigning roles

For each document, the privilege level is specified in terms of C (Create) R (Read) U (Update) D (Delete) and the document scope access level, either G, C, D or U. The underscore character (_) means no permission is granted.

Example role declaration

For example, a document privilege of CRUDC means the role has access to Create, Read, Update, Delete the document, and that the document is scoped C (i.e. Customer) so for that role, the document is available to all users within the customer context.

A document privilege of _R__U means that the role will only have access to Read the document. In this case, the document is scoped U (i.e. User), which means that for this role, each document instance will only be accessible to the user who created it.

Role privileges are applied to all select statements generated internally by Skyve. This means that privileges automatically apply to developer code (except for insecure SQL). The benefit of this is that developer code does not have to handle security issues and therefore the developer is not able to make inadvertent security holes.

Document scope

While document privileges define what type of activities a role may perform on a document, the document scope defines which document instances are accessible to that role. As such, document scoping is a method to provide pervasive row-level security, declaratively.

Document scope criteria are applied to all select statements generated internally by Skyve. This means that document scoping applies automatically to developer code (except for insecure SQL).

Documents may be scoped Global (G), Customer (C), DataGroup (D) or User (U).

Customer scope means all data created within the customer context is accessible for that role.

A Global scope entitles the role to access data across all customers - this is useful for reference documents like Post Code lists which can be shared across customers within the Skyve instance.

DataGroup scope means that the role only has access to data created within the same DataGroup context as the user.

A User scope means that for that role, only data created within a user’s context can be viewed by that user.

Worked Example


An application must allow each user to create and manage but not delete their personal preferences securely, while allowing administrators to maintain read, update and delete but not create preferences.


The module.xml declares two roles, User and Administrator:

Scope example

The user is assigned privileges (CRU_U) to create, read and update their own (i.e user-scoped) personal preference document.

The administrator role has privileges (_RUDC) to documents within the customer scope.


Skyve will guarantee the no user activity or developer code can bypass the declared permissions.

Users can only access document instances within their user scope, while administrators have access to all personal preference document instances within the customer context.

If a user is given both roles, the privileges are added and result in (CRUDC) which equates to all privileges within the customer context. Administrator users, if they also require personal preferences, are assigned both roles.

Role documentation

Role definition can include documentation within a <doc> tag which is available to the application and to the documentation generation module (Doctor).

Role definition

The application menu is declared in terms of groups and items. A menu group is an expandable menu (submenu).

Menu declaration

Roles included in the menu item stanza have access to that menu item. If the menu item specifies a role, then users with that role will see the menu item.

Skyve supports a number of multiple-result menu items - list, calendar, map, tree.

These item types provide the user with the ability to understand their information within the context it exists. For example, a map item shows document instances spatially, a calendar shows them temporally. In both situations the purpose of the menu item is to provide contextual and/or searching ability - so that the user is able to identify a specific instance and understand the context in which it exists.

For these multiple-result item types, Skyve supports three population approaches: document, query and model.

The document source type will populate results based on the document defaultQuery (if one is declared).

If no defaultQuery is declared, Skyve will populate all document instance results the user is allowed to Read (according to the document scope). For example, if the document privilege has been declared for the user role as ‘CRUDC’ then Skyve will return all results for the customer.

By contrast, if the document privilege has been declared for the user role as ‘CRUDU’, the all results owned by the user will be returned (normally the instances created by the user - where the bizUserId = the user Id)

The query source type will populate results based on the specified module query.

The model source type will populate results based on the specified model.


Partially implemented.

Represents each result instance as a time-period bar within a calendar layout.


  • document - if populating instances for all
  • model - if populating instances from a model, the name of the model
  • name - the display name of the menu item is it appears in the menu
  • query - a specific module query to use to populate results
  • startBinding - the date/dateTime attribute binding which represents the start of the time period to be displayed in the calendar for each result
  • endBinding - the date/dateTime attribute binding which represents the end of the time period to be displayed in the calendar for each result

Navigates the user to a new instance of the specified document.

The Skyve edit view allows a user to interact with a single bean instance and normally, a user will navigate to the edit view from a list view which sets the context. When the edit view is provided as a menu item, the user has no way of setting the context, as they do not navigate to the view from a list, and so Skyve implicitly creates a new bean instance for the view.

Alternatively, if the document is transient and not persisted, then the developer can rely on the implicit creation of a new bean, and override the newInstance() to set bean default values.

User dashboard example of an edit menu item


  • document - if populating instances for all
  • name - the display name of the menu item is it appears in the menu

A group is an expandable menu (submenu).

Group menu item


  • name - the display name of the menu item is it appears in the menu

This is the abstract type for menu items - not applicable for declaration in the module declaration.

Not yet implemented


Represents a list/grid of instances.


  • document - if populating instances for all
  • model - if populating instances from a model, the name of the model
  • name - the display name of the menu item is it appears in the menu
  • query - a specific module query to use to populate results

SmartClient list menu


Represents instances spatially on a map.


  • document - if populating instances for all
  • geometryBinding - the attribute geometry binding to use as the basis of locating pins on the map
  • model - if populating instances from a model, the name of the model
  • name - the display name of the menu item is it appears in the menu
  • query - a specific module query to use to populate results
  • refreshTimeInSeconds - the refresh rate of the map (not implemented)
  • showRefreshControls - whether to show or hide map refresh controls (not implemented)

SmartClient map menu


SmartClient render only. Represents hierarchical information in a lazy-loaded tree structure.


  • autoPopulate - whether to populate the tree or use a lazy-loading approach
  • document - if populating instances for all
  • model - if populating instances from a model, the name of the model
  • name - the display name of the menu item is it appears in the menu
  • query - a specific module query to use to populate results

SmartClient tree menu

Other menu options

For the PrimeFaces render, you can take advantage of PrimeFaces options for menu arrangement within the template.xhtml component. For example, the default menu behaviour is declared as: <div class="#{leftMenu ? 'layout-wrapper layout-menu-static layout-menu-light' : 'layout-wrapper layout-menu-light'}">

![Static menu](../assets/images/modules/prime-faces-static-menu.png “Static/vertical menu (PrimeFaces renderer)

While a horizontal behaviour is declared as follows: <div class="#{leftMenu ? 'layout-wrapper layout-menu-horizontal layout-menu-light' : 'layout-wrapper layout-menu-light'}">

![Horizontal menu](../assets/images/modules/prime-faces-horizontal-menu.png “Horizontal menu (PrimeFaces renderer)

For more information and other options refer to the PrimeFaces documentation.

Module documentation

Module definition can include detailed documentation about the module within the <doc> tag. This documentation is used by the documentation generation module (Doctor).

Module documentation

Overriding modules

Module definitions can be overridden to provide a bespoke experience of the application.

All aspects of the module can be overridden including:

  • inclusion or exclusion of documents,
  • jobs,
  • queries,
  • roles,
  • document scoping, and
  • menus (structure, names and targets).

To override a module.xml, place the overriding module.xml file into the customer package.

Module override

As the module.xml file is a single artefact, it must contain all elements of the module available for the bespoke experience and not simply the components that differ. This is because the module override can be subtractive, by not including elements contained within the generic module.

Java implementation

Java classes are contained within the domain folder situated within the module package.

Domain classes

The domain folder includes a Hibernate object-relational mapping definition file for the module, named <module>_orm.hbm.xml, as well as classes for all module documents.

Where the module.xml is overridden for a customer within a multi-tenant paradigm, a mapping file will be generated into the customer module override folder, within the customer package.

All domain classes are regenerated by the generateDomain ant task and should not be modified in any way by developers. However, inspection of the domain classes can be a useful process to analyse validation problems within the module.

The Skyve administration (admin) module

The Skyve admin (administration) module is a module provided as part of the Skyve platform, however it is able to be customised if required according to the methods described above (as for any other Skyve module).

In particular the admin module provides basic roles for common user profiles who interact with admin module features, such as managing contacts and users.

Admin module roles

Role Description Comments
Anonymous Anonymous (not logged in) access public features.  
AppUser Manage own contact details and password. The App User role is intended for retail and public users interacting through the “front office”. These users are assumed to operate within their own scope and have only visibility to their own data. App Users can create their own contacts, and change their own passwords.
AuditManager Manage the activity audit log.  
BasicUser General access to the administration module. The intention of Basic User role is to provide basic capability to back-office users. The role is for a typical office situation where users collaborate within the “Customer” scope on key application areas. For example, shared contact management, common document number serials and the ability to use Skyve’s basic personal efficiency and automation capabilities, Tags, Snapshots, Communication and view dashboards.
ContactManager Manage contact details and interactions. Allows control over management of, and interaction with all contacts for the user’s customer.
ContactViewer View-only access to contact details.  
DevOps Generate Skyve designs and metadata and administer technical aspects of the Skyve runtime.  
JobMaintainer Maintain Jobs. Permission to schedule jobs and review job progress.
SecurityAdministrator Allows administration of Users and Groups. This role has the ability to add new users, configure groups and modify existing users’s permissions. All Skyve applications should have at least 1 user with this role.
ViewUser View-only access to the administration module. The view user is intended as a read-only office user, with visibility as per Basic User role.

admin module role definitions

The following summaries provide a basic overview of the role combinations provided by the admin module however for specific details of privileges, view the admin module xml declaration file directly.

Admin privileges by role

Admin privileges by document

Prototype mode

To assist in rapid development and prototyping, Skyve provides a prototype option for modules which changes a number of default Skyve behaviours. Developers should note that the prototype option is designed to provide indicative results that may not necessarily provide optimal performance.

The two key differences prototype mode introduces are:

  • inclusion of association/reference columns in generic or default queries (i.e. where no query is specified, Skyve will include columns for associations, displaying the bizKey value for the associated bean)
  • inclusion of content items in generic or default queries as thumbnails

To declare prototype mode, add prototype="true" to the module declaration as follows:

<module name="admin" title="Admin" xmlns="" xsi:schemaLocation=" ../../schemas/module.xsd"

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