Custom theme for a Vaadin – Spring-boot application

Recently I wrote an application based on Vaadin Spring-boot, and when I needed to modify the theme of the application I needed to do some research as how to achieve that. I think that at the time the combination of Vaadin and Spring-boot is still pretty new so that information still must be sought. So in this post I describe the necessary steps.

I use the following versions of different tools:

  • Oracle JDK 1.8.0_45
  • vaadin 7.4.5
  • vaadin-spring-start 1.0.0.beta3
  • spring-boot 1.2.3.RELEASE
  • spring 4.1.6.RELEASE

My IDE is IntelliJ IDEA 14.1.3

Creating the basic application

I create the application project (named vsbt for vaadin spring boot theme) by using the Spring Initializr from within IDEA, but it can be done via the Website https://start.spring.io as well:

vsbt01

For this demo I set up a project with the following properties that has only Vaadin as a dependency:

vsbt02

vsbt03

After finishing the setup I have an IDEA maven project with the basic application class, but still with no UI:

vsbt04

So to have something visible, I add a MainUI class which uses the valo theme and which just inserts a button in the UI. The button is nonfunctional, as this demo is only concerning with theming the UI and not with functionality:

/**
 * Copyright (c) 2015 sothawo
 *
 * http://www.sothawo.com
 */
package org.sothawo.vsbt;

import com.vaadin.annotations.Theme;
import com.vaadin.server.VaadinRequest;
import com.vaadin.spring.annotation.SpringUI;
import com.vaadin.ui.Button;
import com.vaadin.ui.UI;
import com.vaadin.ui.VerticalLayout;

/**
 * @author P.J. Meisch (pj.meisch@sothawo.com).
 */
@Theme("valo")
@SpringUI
public class MainUI extends UI {
    @Override
    protected void init(VaadinRequest vaadinRequest) {
        VerticalLayout layout = new VerticalLayout();
        layout.setSizeFull();
        layout.setMargin(true);
        layout.setSpacing(true);

        layout.addComponent(new Button("This is a button"));

        setContent(layout);
    }
}

Compiling and running the application gives the following result in the browser:

vsbt05

Changing the theme

Now for changing the theme. I want to create a theme named colored where I change some colors. The first step ist to put the theme files (sass files) in the src/main/webapp/VAADIN/themes/colored folder:

vsbt06

 

The styles.scss file:

@import "addons.scss";
@import "colored.scss";

The colored.scss file:

@import "../valo/valo.scss";

@mixin colored {
  @include valo;

  .v-app {
    background-color: red;
  }

  .v-button {
    background-image: none;
    background-color: yellow;
  }
}

@include colored;

I don’t get into the details of sass files here. In the MainUI class the annotation for the theme must be changed to @Theme("colored").

When I now start the program after building the program with the following command:

mvn clean package
cd target
java -jar vsbt-0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.jar

then the browser shows no theme:

vsbt07

The reason for this is that the files that are located under the src/main/webapp directory are not considered when the jar is packaged, this is only done when building a war file. So the first step that needs to be done is to specify this directory as a resource directory in the maven pom.xml:

<build>
  <resources>
    <resource>
      <directory>src/main/resources</directory>
    </resource>
    <resource>
      <directory>src/main/webapp</directory>
    </resource>
  </resources>
  ...
</build>

One might be tempted to move the VAADIN/themes/colored folder to src/main/resources, but there is still a problem to be solved. When building and running the application, the logging output shows an error message like:

un 02, 2015 9:21:14 PM com.vaadin.server.VaadinServlet persistCacheEntry
WARNUNG: Error persisting scss cache /private/var/folders/xw/1zt9sly53_76h29g7067_y700000gp/T/tomcat-docbase.6378846904000133878.8080/VAADIN/themes/colored/styles.scss.cache
java.io.FileNotFoundException: /private/var/folders/xw/1zt9sly53_76h29g7067_y700000gp/T/tomcat-docbase.6378846904000133878.8080/VAADIN/themes/colored/styles.scss.cache (No such file or directory)
        at java.io.FileOutputStream.open0(Native Method)

This happens because the sass compiler – at least on my Mac – has problems with persisting the compiled css file. To remove that error it is necessary to add the sass compiler to the compile step in the maven pom.xml (and this is the reason to leave the files in the src/main/webapp directory, it’s there that the compiler searches for them):

<dependencies>
        <dependency>
            <groupId>com.vaadin</groupId>
            <artifactId>vaadin-themes</artifactId>
        </dependency>
</dependencies>
...
<plugins>
    <plugin>
        <groupId>com.vaadin</groupId>
        <artifactId>vaadin-maven-plugin</artifactId>
        <executions>
            <execution>
                <goals>
                    <goal>update-theme</goal>
                    <goal>compile-theme</goal>
                    <!--
                    <goal>clean</goal>
                    <goal>resources</goal>
                    <goal>update-widgetset</goal>
                    <goal>compile</goal>
                    -->
                </goals>
            </execution>
        </executions>
    </plugin>
</plugins>

When now compiling the project, the addons.scss and the colored.css files are created in the theme directory and packaged in the application, and after packaging and running, the browser shows the following application with no more logged errors:

vsbt08

I hope this post can help if somebody needs to theme a vaadin spring-boot application and has the same problems finding out where to put the files and how to compile them.

9 thoughts on “Custom theme for a Vaadin – Spring-boot application

    • I don’t know, I haven’t used it at the time I wrote this post, and at the moment I’m busy with different projects. So I am afraid I can’t answer your question.

      • Well, actually it is possilble to use on-the-fly SASS compiler. Every time you start application, it will create from styles.scss file the styles.css file, when you delete the styles.css file (which it will be under that scss file in my case it was in intellij), every time you reload webbrowser every modifications made in your scss file will be visible (for sure in IE, other webbrowsers may hold cache of your website so you will need to clean it). There is info in Vaadin docs, if there is css file the on-the-fly SASS compiler will not start.
        (https://vaadin.com/docs/-/part/framework/themes/themes-compiling.html)

        • and another thing: for sure in my case 🙂 if you have war packaging you will need remove resource section from the pom.xml to make on-the-fly work. (vaadin 8, intellij 2017)

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