Boston Area
User Groups:





































































































































































































Setting Up A Windows Apache/Tomcat/LCDS Server

By Douglas McCarroll

(Note:December 2007 - I wrote this in October 2006 for FDS, but have updated it somewhat for LCDS. I suggest that you use the current stable release for all packages mentioned here.)

If you're going to learn LiveCycle Data Services (LCDS) and write LCDS webApps, using the integrated JRun server on your personal computer to run these apps will quickly lose its luster. You want to publish to the internet, right?

To my knowledge no web hosting company currently supports LCDS. You'll either have to rent a virtual private server (VPS) or get access to a server connected to the internet. Then you'll need to install LCDS. I've just gone through the process of setting up a server and installing Apache, Tomcat and LCDS, and have decided to share my experience. Hopefully this will be useful to others.

Please note that this isn't intended to be a complete how-to, for several reasons:

My goal is to set up a server configured as a normal production server. This means:

First Lesson - Read The LCDS System Requirements

I assumed that I could skip this step :-) and proceded to install Apache and Tomcat on my Windows 2000 machine. Eventually I realized that I needed to reformat my hard drive, upgrade my machine to Windows 2000 Server, and start over.

Also, you really do need at least 512 Meg of memory.

LCDS system requirements are here.

Install Your Operating System

I'm not going to attempt to explain this in detail - that subject takes up multiple chapters in various books. I pretty much used the default settings, except that I made sure that I didn't install the included Internet Information Server (IIS) as I assumed that it would conflict with Apache. I also disabled various other services that can be included in this OS as all I really wanted was a machine that would run Apache, etc.

Install Java Development Kit, Standard Edition

You can find it here.

Install Apache & Tomcat, then Test

I downloaded the Apache Win32 Binary installer and Tomcat Core Windows executable installer, then installed them. Very simple. For Apache I specified "for all users, as sa service". Tomcat does this by default.

Be sure to record the admin password that you specify for Tomcat.

Restart your server.

You can test Apache by pointing your web browser at:

In both cases you should get a web page that says "It Works!". How exciting. :-)

Next, increase Tomcat's memory :

Now test Tomcat:

One of two things will happen:

Configure Apache to forward certain requests to Tomcat

You will note that we just tested Tomcat by attempting to access the server's 8080 port. Tomcat listens to port 8080 by default but we don't want our users to access our webApps this way. Instead, we'll tell Apache to forward certain request to Tomcat.

Specifically, we'd like requests for the LCDS samples from Adobe and requests for the apps we write to be forwarded to Tomcat. On the other hand we'd like Apache to continue to handle requests for static web pages, image files, etc. as that's what it excels at.

In the remainder of this section I'll outline a somewhat quick-and-dirty approach to configuring Apache so that it does this. A Tomcat expert would probably use a more sophisticated approach. You can try to parse out the details of a more expert approach here, here and here if you like, but be warned that these docs aren't very clear, and some details haven't been updated for Tomcat 5.5. The approach that I offer below works, and should be sufficient to get you started.

Before we start, let's run a test. Point your browser at one of these URLs:

You should get a message saying that Apache can't find the page. We'll fix this.


Download the Apache mod_jk 1.2 module's binary file. I had to make the following selections to get the correct file:

Rename the file as "" and put it into [Apache_Root]\modules\.

Next, we need to modify Apache's configuration file. Open [Apache_Root]\conf\httpd.conf in a text editor. Add these lines to the end of the file:

<IfModule !mod_jk.c>
  LoadModule jk_module "c:/Program Files/Apache Software Foundation/Apache2.2/modules/"
JkMount /manager/* ajp13
JkMount /samples* ajp13
JkMount /flex* ajp13
JkMount /flex-admin* ajp13

Now, create a text file in [Tomcat_Root]\conf\jk\ called "". Put this text into it and save:


Next, stop and restart both Apache and Tomcat. You can do this by double-clicking their icons in the system tray, then clicking the appropriate buttons.

Let's re-run the test we performed a short while ago:

Tomcat's Web Application Manager should reappear on your screen. So far, so good.

Note that the JkMount directives above include directives that will forward requests for the LCDS samples that will be installed in the next step. For example, "JkMount /samples* ajp13" tells Apache to forward all requests for all locations that start with "[website_root]/samples". Note the asterisk wildcard.

You'll want to add your add additional directives for your own apps. For example, I'll add a directive that says "JkMount /bw* ajp13". This will allow me to create folders for my apps whose names start with "bw".

Disable access to Tomcat through Port 8080

Now that you no longer need to access Tomcat through port 8080, let's disable it. While not essential, this enforces an "access Tomcat only through Apache" rule and will make your server a bit more secure.

Install LiveCycle Data Services

Download the file here. Install as a J2EE Web Application (not with integrated JRun) - instructions are here.

Step 10 of the instructions says "Deploy the flex, samples, and flex-admin web applications by using your application-server-specific deployment method." Here's a Tomcat-specific translation:

You should see something like this:

Click on /samples, then select "Collaboration Dashboard", then "Run The Dashboard". If everything is working properly you should be able to open multiple instances of this RIA, and changes made to any instance should be reflected - through the miracle of LCDS - to all other instances.

Now get some friends on multiple continents to open the RIA. Have fun!

If you can successfully run this app from multiple locations (or even multiple computers on your network) then things are going well. But we still have a few steps that we need to take before all the sample RIAs will work.

Tomcat-Specific Installation Details For LCDS

Adobe's instructions for these steps are pretty clear so I'm going to simply refer you to them and add a few comments:

You're Done!

I hope that this has been helpful. If you have any suggestions for improvements please contact me. (Please bear in mind the limited scope of what I'm trying to cover - e.g. a blank-slate Windows machine, etc.)

Next, you can Explore Your New LCDS Server...