Altova FlowForce Server 2024 Advanced Edition

When you install other Altova servers alongside FlowForce Server, for example, by selecting the relevant server products in the FlowForce Server installation wizard or installing these server products using their stand-alone installer later, a .tool file is installed for each application that runs under FlowForce Server management. The following Altova products can run under FlowForce Server management: MapForce Server, StyleVision Server and RaptorXML Server. Usually, you do not need to configure .tool files unless you need to change environment variables such as CLASSPATH for MapForce Server and StyleVision Server.


FlowForce Server uses .tool files to locate and configure the execution of the other server applications under its management. FlowForce Server searches for .tool files in the application data directory, referred to as DATADIR, and the installation directory, referred to as INSTALLDIR. FlowForce Server first scans DATADIR and then INSTALLDIR. The tables below show the paths of these directories for different operating systems.


FlowForce Server application data directory (DATADIR)








FlowForce Server installation directory (INSTALLDIR)






C:\Program Files\Altova\FlowForceServer2024\

C:\Program Files (x86)\Altova\FlowForceServer2024\


DATADIR is usually an empty directory, where you place any customized tool files. The INSTALLDIR directory is managed by the installation process, and the .tool files contained in it must not be edited.


Information messages

FlowForce Server groups running tool process instances and manages them as configured in the .tool files. When FlowForce enforces the rules regarding the lifetime of tool process instances, all these events may produce information messages in the log. For example:


Starting instance {id} of {tool} for {session}.

Starting {commandline}.

Instance {id} of {tool} for {session} is now idle.

Shutting down instance {id} of {tool} for {session}; sitting idle for too long.

Shutting down instance {id} of {tool} for {session}; maximum reuse count reached.

Instance {id} of {tool} for {session} unexpectedly ceased communication.

Instance {id} of {tool} for {session} attached to job instance {instanceid}.


The information messages listed above do not indicate licensing or queueing issues. Instead, they make it possible to track down potential problems, for example, by offering information about processes that were running at a particular time. If steps or jobs fail, this will generate a separate log message.


Tool file editing

Files with a .tool extension can be edited in a text editor (e.g., Notepad++). The following editing options are available:


1.The executable path under the [Tool] section. Changing this path might be necessary in certain cases, for example, when you need to make .tool files of older versions execute newer versions, or vice versa.

2.The [Environment] section. You can add or edit this section in order to define environment variables required by the tool. For more information, see the subsection below.




When you edit a .tool file in DATADIR, changes take effect at once. You do not have to restart FlowForce Server.

Do not change any .tool file settings other than the ones mentioned above, unless advised by Altova Support.

It is not possible to define custom tools.


Environment variables

When MapForce Server mappings or StyleVision Server stylesheets run under FlowForce Server management, they may require setting environment variables. For example, you need to set CLASSPATH to specify the location of the JDBC drivers when connecting to a database.To set environment variables required by MapForce Server mappings or StyleVision Server transformations, edit the .tool file of the respective Altova server product. To edit the .tool file, first check if it already exists in the DATADIR directory. If the .tool file does not exist in DATADIR, copy it from INSTALLDIR of FlowForce Server.  


You would find .tool files in the INSTALLDIR directory only if MapForce Server or StyleVision Server were installed after FlowForce Server. If the .tool file exists neither in DATADIR nor in INSTALLDIR, it is likely that FlowForce Server was installed after MapForce Server or StyleVision Server. In this case, you can find the .tool file in the etc directory relative to the MapForce Server or StyleVision Server installation directory.


You can add the required environment variables under the [Environment] section in the .tool file. The environment variables set in the .tool file override the environment variables defined by other means. The example of a .tool file (Linux) which sets the CLASSPATH variable is given below:





Note:If you run the migratedb command while upgrading to a new major version of FlowForce, any .tool files from the application data directory of the previous version will be copied over to the application directory of the new version. This may have unwanted consequences. Therefore, make sure that the application data directory contains the .tool files that you actually need.


For information about executing shell commands or scripts as FlowForce Server jobs, see the /system/shell/commandline function.


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