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Welcome to Toolbox

Toolbox is an application designed to showcase Hoist, Extremely Heavy's full-stack UI toolkit.

Toolbox consists of both a desktop and mobile app with examples of all Hoist Components, their usage, and links to related Hoist and Toolbox source code. Toolbox also provides several application examples which may be especially useful as a starting point for application developers new to the framework.

Please refer to the Hoist Core and Hoist React repos for detailed information and documentation on Hoist, including more information on configuring a local development environment.

Toolbox is itself a Hoist Application, and we keep it updated with the latest versions of the Hoist Framework. A toolbox-dev instance is auto-deployed via Teamcity on each commit to either the Toolbox or Hoist develop branches. We update a distinct "production" instance manually with each new versioned Hoist release.


Toolbox uses MySQL for its configuration database. Note this is not a common choice for Hoist applications, which typically use whatever enterprise database is already in place within a client's infrastructure, but it provides a common and easy-to-run DB for local development and our AWS-based deployments.

  • Toolbox currently uses MySQL 5.x. If you don't already have it installed and are on a Mac, we recommend installing via Homebrew with brew install mysql@5.7.
  • Create a new empty database named toolbox, being sure to use a UTF8 charset. Alternatively, use an export of the deployed toolbox DB with CREATE DATABASE included (Anselm can provide).
  • For local development, use of the root account is fine, or you can create a local user and password dedicated to Toolbox. If using a non-root account, ensure that the user has DBO rights on the new database.
  • If the server is started against an empty database, Grails will auto-create the required schemas on first run as long as a suitable value is provided for the dbCreate data source parameter. See grails-app/conf/runtime.groovy for where this is set - we leave toolbox on update to allow for automatic schema changes as needed.
  • That said, Toolbox has a number of data-driven app configs and preferences which are not currently setup to be auto-created on first run. The fastest and recommended way to get up and running is to restore a DB from an existing instance.

Instance Configuration

Hoist applications can read low-level, instance-specific information from a YML configuration file on the local machine where they run. This is used primarily to set database credentials, which we don't wish to check in to source control but which are required to connect to the DB and read all other data-driven app configurations.

  • Create a new instance config file - the default location is /etc/hoist/conf/toolbox.yml.
    • If you don't wish to create that directory structure under /etc/, you can place the same file elsewhere and point the server there with a JavaOpt - see the hoist-core provided InstanceConfigUtils.groovy for details.
  • The contents of this file (for Toolbox) will typically be as follows:
dbHost: localhost 
dbSchema: toolbox

# Provide either root or a dedicated local account, if using.
# Note, quoting strings is option in YAML, but a good idea if you have special chars in your password.
dbUser: root
dbPassword: "your database user password" 

# The following two entries will enable a local account for logging in, without use of Auth0.
# You can choose any username/password you would like.
adminPassword: "a password of your choice"
  • When running the Toolbox server, look for a message along the lines of "Loaded 6 instanceConfigs from /etc/hoist/conf/toolbox.yml" to be logged to the console early on in the startup process. This will indicate that Hoist has successfully read your config.


Note that Toolbox uses 'Auth0' as its authentication provider, and includes various client-side and server side adaptors for that. Typical Hoist applications will use an enterprise-specific Single Sign-On (SSO) such as JESPA/NTLM, kerberos, or another OAuth based solution.

When adding a new top-level entry-point for Toolbox (such as a new example application), the desired URL must be registered with Auth0 as a valid OAuth callback URL. Either Lee or Anselm can update our Auth0 config accordingly.

Wrapper project for Toolbox + Hoist development

A special project / directory structure can be useful for developing Toolbox alongside the Hoist Core and React libraries, so that changes to the libraries themselves can be developed and tested locally using Toolbox as a reference app. This is the recommended configuration for XH developers to use when setting up Toolbox.

  • Create a new directory within your homedir or another suitable location - name it something like toolbox-wrapper.
  • Within this new parent directory, check out the toolbox, hoist-react, and hoist-core repositories as siblings.
  • Create a new settings.gradle file within the top-level directory. The contents of this file will be a single line: include "toolbox", "hoist-core". This tells Gradle to reference and combine the build.gradle targets of those two sub-projects into a single umbrella project.
  • From the checked-out toolbox sub-directory, copy the gradle directory and the gradlew (or gradlew.bat if on Windows) wrapper script and paste the copies into the top-level wrapper directory.
    • Your top-level directory should now contain four sub-directories, settings.gradle, and the gradlew script.
  • From the top-level directory, run ./gradlew to ensure that Gradle can properly configure the unified build.
  • If using IntelliJ, create a newJ project by running through the "New project from existing sources..." workflow and pointing the IDE at the top-level settings.gradle file.
    • IntelliJ should detect that this is a Gradle/Grails project, download and index the server-side dependencies, and set up an appropriate "Run Configuration" to start the Toolbox server.

Having all three repos checked out in a single IntelliJ project can be useful to have the code on-hand, but to actually run Toolbox using the local Hoist libraries some additional steps are required.

  • To run the server using the local hoist-core, edit the toolbox/ file and set runHoistInline=true. Note this is not required if you're not changing any hoist-core code - you can still have the project structure setup as described, and only flip this switch if/when testing a local change to the plugin.
  • To run the client using the local hoist-react, start your local webpack-dev-server from the toolbox/client-app directory by running yarn startWithHoist.

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