Obba Developer Documentation


  1. Contents
  2. Introduction
  3. Debugging the Java Code Executed in the Obba Server
    1. Integrating Obba Server in your Java Code
    2. Debugging your Java Code
    3. Sample Project
  4. Customizing Obba via Obba.properties file
  5. Installing a Serial Number
  6. Installing Obba Components together with Your Software
    1. Obba for Excel
    2. Obba for OpenOffice
  7. Signing Obba (Obba.jar) with your own Certificate
    1. Obba for Excel
    2. Obba for OpenOffice


An application of Obba is to create new spreadsheet which use existing Java libraries. For this type of "development process" the Obba Documentation of Spreadsheet Functions is the main reference. This page focusses on more advanced development issues, e.g.

Debugging the Java Code Executed in the Obba Server

If you are developing a spreadsheet and a Java library simultaneously, it is most convenient to embed the Obba server in your library and launch the Obba server directly from your IDE.

Integrating Obba Server in your Java Code

  1. From the Obba distribution (Obba.zip) copy the jar's from the contents of the folder "Obba Server" to your project, that is
    1. Obba.jar - from the folder Obba/Obba Server
    2. Ice.jar - from the folder Obba/Obba Server/lib
    3. jgraphx.jar - from the folder Obba/Obba Server/lib
  2. Add these jar's files to your project's classpath (Eclipse: Java build path).
  3. Create a class which starts the server within your project, that is
      public class ServerLauncher {
        public static void main(String[] args) {

Debugging your Java Code

Once you have performed the step of integrating the code of Obba server into your project, you may start the server directly from your project. To debug your code, the following steps have to be performed:

  1. Launch the Obba Server (e.g. by running the class ServerLauncher as Java Application) form your IDE in debug mode.
  2. Launch your Obba client spreadsheet.

That's all!


When launching the server from within the Java project, you do not need to load the Java classes of your project from the spreadsheet (they are already part of the server's classpath). If you distribute the sheet, you have to ensure that the library is loaded prior to all other calls to your library, e.g., by adding a call of obAddJar to your sheet.

Sample Project

The Obba Developers Resources contains a sample Eclipse project ObbaDebugTest. To debug this project:
  1. Debug info.obba.server.Server from the IDE.
  2. Set a breakpoint in info.obba.custom.test.Incrementor.getNext(double value).
  3. Start the spread sheet Test Sheet.

Customizing Obba via Obba.properties file

The file Obba.properties can be used to customize Obba. Obba maintains its settings in this file. This file also contains the registration information (name and serial number). The location of the file depends on your configuration, see Section Configuration Files in "Documentation: Installation and Configuration".

You can set the following properties:

The user id (part of the registration information).
The serial number (part of the registration information).
If set to disallow access to the control panel is blocked.
If set to hide the Obba menu for Excel is not shown.

Note that a registered version of Obba will not show a splash screen.

Installing a Serial Number

The registration information can be entered in the Obba control panel dialog "Registration...". In case you like to install a registered version you can do this by installing the appropriate Obba.properties file. The file is a standard Java properties files. The registration information is stored under the keys userid and serial.

If the file does not exist, Obba will create it. You may use this on your development system to create a template Obba.properties file.

Installing Obba Components together with Your Software

Obba for Excel

It is strongly recommended that you use the standard Obba installer (you can customize the installation as a second step). If you have a developer license you may redistribute the installer bundled with you own application to be installed on a clients system. You may integrate the installer in your own installation process.

Silent Installation

By default the standard installer shows a gui and upon completion the user has to close the installer manually. If you want to use the standard installer within a batch file (or you own installer) you can launch the Obba installer in silent mode using the command line option /S.

This following command will install Obba for Excel without showing up a gui and without user interaction:
"Install Obba for Excel.exe" /S

Installation Steps

The following describes the steps performed by the Obba installer for Excel. The description is only for reference. You do not need to perform these steps manually.

The installer performs the following steps:

Note: If you move the Obba folder %LOCALAPPDATA%\Obba then Obba cannot launch.

Obba for OpenOffice

Obba for OpenOffice is installed by opening Obba.oxt with OpenOffice. There is no specific installer.

Signing Obba (Obba.jar) with your own Certificate

Obba for Excel

Depending on the Windows setup user will have to accept a certificate prior first use of an Excel Sheet using Obba function. By default, Obba uses a self signed certificate (publisher is Christian Fries). If you want to sign Obba with your certificate perform the following steps:

Note: Using an unsigned Obba.jar in Obba Excel may break functionality due to access violations. For example, a call to obAddAllJars may generate an exception: java.security.AccessControlException: access denied (java.lang.RuntimePermission setContextClassLoader).

Obba for OpenOffice

The jar files contained in Obba.oxt are signed (note: Obba.oxt is just a zip where the extension has been renamed from .zip to .oxt). You need to sign all the JAR files contained in this archive.