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Quickly generate large blocks of scaffolding for your applications. Generate templates from your own projects and apply them to new ones.
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Simple Scaffolding

Utility class to generate code from templates using configuration specified in scaffolding.json. Use this to rapidly create all the supporting code specific to your project for a particular purpose.

Examples of use are:

  • Entities and their supporting structures (DAOs, repositories, services, REST resources, unit tests, fixtures, models and so on)
  • Rapid generation of common design patterns spanning multiple classes

Isn't this already done with Maven archetypes?

Yes, but I find them cumbersome at best.

This simple scaffolding system lets me snapshot an existing set of code in seconds and then quickly filter out stuff that I don't want and tidy up stuff that I do. Once I've got my new templates I can spin off partial copies tailored to individual needs much faster than I ever could with Maven archetypes.

Your templates won't work for me

There is no mandated scaffold template - you can use anything you like. It just has to have placeholders defined using the Handlebars notation with no spaces (e.g. {{package}}) listed below:

  • package: Base package, e.g. org.example
  • entity-class: Entity class, e.g. AdminUser
  • entity-variable: Entity variable, e.g. adminUser
  • entity-title: Entity in title case, e.g. Admin User
  • entity-snake: Entity in snake case, e.g. admin_user
  • entity-snake-upper: Entity variable as uppercase snake case, e.g. ADMIN_USER
  • entity-comment: Entity variable as a comment, e.g. admin user
  • entity-hyphen: Entity variable in hyphenated form, e.g. admin-user

How to install

There is no installation. You just just copy the Scaffolding source code into your project under src/test/java and run it from your IDE. You'll want to copy in scaffolding.json as well then edit to your needs.

Quickly generate templates from existing code

Scaffolding is specific to your application so you can read existing examples and turn them into templates. After a little bit of editing they will be suitable for use in your application (and others based on it).

To get Scaffolding to read your existing code you need to provide a scaffolding.js configuration like this:

  "template_location": "src/test/resources/scaffolding",
  "read": true,
  "only_with_entity_directives": true,
  "entities": ["AdminUser"],
  "user_token_map": {"PORT": "1000"}

All code from base_package and below will be recursively examined and templates built. These will be stored under src/test/resources/scaffolding/default. If a class including the name of one of the entities (AdminUser) is discovered like for example, then it will be treated as an entity template.

Any class that does not include the name of one of the entities will be just a standard file that gets included everywhere (like DateUtils if you can't have a common support JAR for some reason). You can filter these files using the only_with_entity_directives=true configuration. If set then only files associated with AdminUser will be made into templates.

You then delete any that are not useful and edit those that remain to meet your requirements. The idea is to edit them to be as general purpose as possible (no entity-specific fields beyond the common ID for example).

The user_token_map entry will cause all instances of 1000 to be replaced with {{PORT}}. This allows, for example, the expression of multiple ports serving different protocols but grouped together:


TIP: Use entities with "multi-word" names to get snake case

The template reader can infer snake case locations so providing a "multi-word" entity name, like AdminUser instead of User will enable the correct placement of the directive in the template (e.g. admin_user). This is handy for JSON test fixtures and package names.

Try it now...

This project contains an example of a DTO (AdminUser). Run Scaffolding.main() with scaffolding.json set as above. In the blink of an eye you'll have a few templates under src/test/resources/scaffolding/default. Take a look at what has been extracted - in particular examine the comments where the user_token_map has been at work.

Generate code from templates

Once you have your templates in place, you can use them to generate new code. This is again driven by the scaffolding.json files. You switch away from read and provide a list of new entities that you would like created:

  "template_location": "src/test/resources/scaffolding",
  "read": false,
  "entities": ["Role","Customer"],
  "user_token_map": {"PORT": "1000"}

Using the above, the generic templates built from the AdminUser will be used to produce the equivalent for Role and Customer. The profile identifies which directory path under src/test/scaffolding will be used as the basis so that collections of templates with simple variations can be managed.

Execute Scaffolding.main() with scaffolding.js set as above. Then take a look under src/main/java/uk/co/froot/example/dto. You'll notice that in addition to the original admin_user.AdminUser there are now some new packages and classes in both the src/main and src/test branches. Following the example above you'll find role.Role and customer.Customer.

They even have unit tests. Since AdminUserTest was available, Scaffolding was able to generate the unit tests, their test fixtures and some friendly entity-specific documentation.

Note that the template_location supports the classpath: prefix so that the Scaffolding class can be used within an application using its classpath as the source of the templates. This is handy if you need to create a "code generator" service.

TIP: Use your IDE's version control view to strip out unwanted templates

Some IDEs, such as Intellij, provide a Changes view which clearly highlights any new code that is not yet under version control. You can use this view to quickly strip out any unwanted code before committing the templates without having to dig around in sub-directories.

The long view

Over time you'll build up a useful library of templates that fit with different types of projects which should add up to a considerable time saving. Later, when you come back to legacy projects based on different technologies than you've become used to, the templates for that project will still be there and will allow you to make the necessary additions much quicker.

By using the profile you can create versioned variants so that, for example, you could have a "Dropwizard Scaffolding" project that provides variants based on version 0.6.1 for Java 6 environments and 0.8.1 for Java 8 environments. These could be further partitioned to support, say, different Resource templates targeting different data access strategies (external database, upstream HTTP with resilient failover etc).

I love this! How can I make a donation?

Thank you for considering this. I maintain a Bitcoin donation address on [my personal blog] (



Added support for user_token_map when reading templates Bug fixes when reading JSON


Added support for user_token_map Allow scaffolding templates to include user defined tokens, e.g. {{PORT}}


Added support for template_location Allow scaffolding templates to be read from either file system or classpath


Added support for profile Allow scaffolding templates to be stored in an arbitrary hierarchy to cover multiple targets


Added support for entity-title Allow files in the project root to be included (with standard VCS exclusions like *.iml) Added support for output directory (e.g. "target/generated-sources")


Added support for entity-snake-upper, entity-comment, entity-hyphen Tidied up documentation


Added support for resources and filtering based on entity names only Updated documentation


Added support for snake case


Initial release - classes only

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