Cofax Installation Instructions

Last Updated: 2004/Jun/21

For the purposes of this document we will assume you are using a Windows operating system (2000, NT, 98, 95), and MySQL. We will also assume you have downloaded a binary release of Cofax from SourceForge and have extracted it to a temporary directory.

If you are using other products the details of the installation will change, but the process essentially remains the same.

Note that if you plan to compile and develop Cofax source, please read Cofax Developer Environment first.

Definitions used in this document

  • CDS = Content Display System
  • CMS = Content Management System
  • CDW = Content Data Warehouse
  • $TOMCAT_HOME = directory where Tomcat is installed.


  • Tomcat or other servlet container must be installed for the Cofax CDS and CMS. You should be able to run its example applications at http://localhost:8080/. The following instructions are Tomcat specific so your mileage may very.
  • Cofax requires the JRE or SDK of version 1.3 or higher.
  • You will need MySQL installed to store and manage the Cofax CDW. Note that you can utilize different databases by implementing an org.cofax.DataStore. Doing so is beyond the scope of this document. TODO: Add documents describing how.

    Installing Cofax

  • Stop the Tomcat Server in case it is running: Issue a $TOMCAT_HOME/bin/shutdown.bat command.
  • From the extracted zip file copy content.war and docs.war to $TOMCAT_HOME/webapps.
  • Follow the instructions in cdw_mysql/install.txt to install the Cofax MySQL database.
  • Start Tomcat: Run the $TOMCAT_HOME/bin/startup.bat command.
  • Browse to http://localhost:8080/content/main.htm to see the CDS welcome page.
  • If there are any problems at this stage, more then likely you need to change Cofax's database credentials in $TOMCAT_HOME/webapps/content/WEB-INF/web.xml.

    Using Cofax

  • Browse to http://localhost:8080/content/tools/, or click the link from the welcome page, to access the CMS toolset.
  • Signon as admin. Password admin. Sample data exists for publication "Heartland Crier" for 03/01/2002.
  • Sample templates for "Heartland Crier" are at the template root $TOMCAT_HOME/webapps/content/templates/.
  • Sample static data (images, etc) for "Heartland Crier" are at $TOMCAT_HOME/webapps/content/static/heartland_crier.

    TODO: Add quick start instructions for posting articles, creating sections, creating publications, adding users, and adding groups.

    Securing Your Cofax Installation

  • This sounds like common sense but it needs to be said - Never use sa or blank passwords to access database. Change port of database. Edit $TOMCAT_HOME/webapps/content/WEB-INF/web.xml to change database connectivity parameters.
  • Never leave CDS Admin cache administration at default URL. Edit $TOMCAT_HOME/webapps/content/WEB-INF/web.xml and change servlet-mapping for cofaxAdmin, removePageCache, and removeTemplateCache init-params to appropriate values. Obfuscate these URLs.
  • While Editor's Tools do provide basic security - KRD does not run Editor's Tools on outside firewall machines.
  • Move serving static resources (images, etc) from Cofax in Tomcat to Apache. Doing so reduces the need for access to the CDS file system. Edit $TOMCAT_HOME/webapps/content/WEB-INF/web.xml init-param configGlossary:staticPath and point to the new relative URL and there is no need to change any templates.