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Usage with APEX
Getting started

Whether you are new to Java, an experienced developer or are not using Java at all but you need to have a FOP server in a few minutes up and running we have created the J4L FOP Server bundle.

The J4L FOP Server bundle is a windows executable program that will install all you need to run Apache FOP and convert XML files to PDF. The main features are:

  • The basic version is free.
  • One click install and uninstall
  • No Java or Apache FOP knowledge required
  • It can be used from any programming language
  • It can be used for testing your xsl-fo very easily (see step 4 below)

Getting Apache FOP to work in 4 steps

1. The installation

Download this file and execute it.

First you can select the installation directory:

After the files have been copied, click "Next".

In the next step you select the hostname and ports. 

  • Hostname: Only if you are using the multiple user license you need to enter a real network hostname instead of "localhost". In a single user environment use always "localhost".
  • Web server and database port. You can leave the default values unless these are already in use in your computer.


Installation as windows service (professional edition) 

If you are installing the professional edition you will have the chance to install the service as a windows service.

First you will have to select your processor type:

if you are not using a AMD 64-bit or a Intel Itanium 64-bit processor then select the Win32 compatible option.

In the second screen you can select if the windows service will be installed and if so, which user will be used by the service. The user and password can be left empty. In this case the service will run with the local system account.


If you want to change the windows service after the installing, you can use these programs:

  • <J4LFOPServer>\service\install.cmd : to install the service
  • <J4LFOPServer>\service\uninstall.cmd : to remove the service
  • <J4LFOPServer>\service\GUI\J4LFOPServerS.exe: use this program to change the settings of the installed service.

The service\GUI\J4LFOPServerS.exe program can be used to start and stop the service. Or if you want to start the service always automatically, can can change the "Startup type" to "automatic". 

In the "Log on" tab, you can also change the user used for the service execution.


2. Starting and stopping FOP

Use the Start server and Stop Server programs in the windows menu:

note, if you are using the windows service in automatic mode, there is no need to start it manually.

3. The initial test

After you have started the server open this URL in your computer and click the Convert to PDF button. This will generate a PDF file!


4. Convert your own files

If you have your own XML and XSL-FO files you want to test, open this URL 


and upload the 2 files, you will find some examples in the directory FODesigner\examples\employees. You can select the files departmentEmployees.fo and  departmentEmployees.xml

press convert and you will see the output.


How to use the servlet at runtime

If you want to call the FOP Server from your own programs, the URL to use is:



  • xslfo_filename is the name the XSL-FO file which must be located in the directory: <install dir >\webapps\J4LFOPServer\WEB-INF\classes
  • you must call this URL using the HTTP POST method
  • in the Body of the HTTP request you must send the XML data
  • the response to the HTTP request will be the PDF file.

Note for Oracle APEX users. If you use Oracle APEX the URL to use as print server is:


the three APEX parameters will be:

  • Printer server host address: computername (for example, "localhost" if APEX and FOP server are on the same computer)
  • Print server port: 8087
  • Print Server script:  /J4LFOPServer/Apex