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  • JDK 1.6 or later download here. Note that you need the JDK and not just the JRE.
  • To support the latest versions of Maven, first download Maven here. (Note: Maven 3.0 or later is required.)
  • Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers 3.3.x or later download here. Install EGit and m2e plug-ins via "Help->Install New Software...".
    • EGit Plug-in for Eclipse - Instructions on installing EGit plug-in can be found here
    • M2E - Maven Integration for Eclipse - You can install the latest version from within Eclipse using the following update site
    • Note that other git and Maven plug-in combinations for Eclipse are possible.

Spring Tool Suite

STS is an eclipse distribution from the Spring foundation. If you just care about getting up and running, and don't care about bloat, download here:

On Windows and linux distros, all you should have to do after extracting the main STS folder, is to navigate into the folder, and double-clicking the file "STS" or "STS.exe"

It comes pre-packaged with a git plugin (so you can skip those instructions below) as well as its own versions of Ant and Maven. You should be able to follow the "EGit" section to clone/import ESAPI in STS as soon as you have it running. It still has a minimum dependency of java 1.6 jdk.

Detailed steps:

1. Right click on the "Package Explorer" pane, and select "import."

2. Filter on "git" and select "Projects from git."

3. Select "Clone URI"

4. Enter the URI: (or, if you wish to contribute to ESAPI via "pull requests", the URI where you "forked" legacy ESAPI to, e.g.

5. Click "Next."

6. Click "Next" again.

7. Select where you want to store the cloned repo, it defaults to %USERPROFILE%\git\esapi-java-legacy on windows.

8. click "Next."

9. On the import wizard, cancel.

10. Right-click again on the package explorer, and click import, filter on "Maven" and click on "Existing Maven Projects."

11. Navigate to the folder you created in step 7. Select "esapi-java-legacy" and click next.

12. Click finish.

Congratulations! You are ready to develop!


  • For Winodws, create an Eclipse shortcut
  • Right-Click your Eclipse shortcut and select Properties
  • At the end of the line that says Target, add -vm "x" where x is the location of a JDK (e.g., "C:\Program Files\Java\jdk7\bin") - This step is necessary for the Maven plugin to work. (If you installed Eclipse under Linux distro after you already had a JDK installed, this probably was already done for you.)
  • Restart Eclipse using the edited shortcut.

Importing the ESAPI Source

If you choose to use the ESAPI GitHub code,Import Existing Eclipse projects." follow the instructions at ESAPI-Building. Unless you have been added to the ESAPI project as a contributor, please use the submit fixes using Git "pull requests".

If you are using EGit, as recommended, open Eclipse and:

  • Click File -> New -> Other.....
  • From the Git Folder select '"Checkout Projects from Git (this option will only be available if you have a Git plug-in installed) and hit Next >.
  • Click the Create a new repository location radio button.
  • If you are not listed as a project contributor, insert as the URL. If you are listed as a project contributor, check the github page for the URL to use.
  • Once the directory structure appears in the window, click the URL at the top to download everything. Then hit Next >
  • Select your desired project options. For most people, the default options should be fine. When finished, click Next >.
  • Select your desired workspace options, then click Finish. The latest ESAPI source files will then be downloaded to your workspace. This may take a few minutes.
  • After the source code is finished downloading, ensure that the character type of all source code is UTF-8. In Eclipse, right click on the project directory root. At the bottom of the right-click list, choose PROPERTIES. From the PROPERTIES window, select the RESOURCES section (which is selected by default). Ensure that the "Text file encoding" section is set to OTHER->UTF 8. If if it is not, change it and click APPLY->OK.

Project Setup

Some configuration may be necessary for ESAPI to compile and build on your system.

ESAPI requires the Java JRE 6 or later.

  • Once Java 6.0+ is installed, open the Navigator view in Eclipse. If this is currently hidden, from the toolbar click Window -> Show View -> Navigator.
  • Right-click on your ESAPI project in the Navigator, mouse over Maven and click Enable Dependency Management
    • Note: If Maven is not an option when you right-click on the project, be sure the Maven plugin for eclipse is installed, as described above.
    • Note: If Enable Dependency Management is not an option, dependency management is probably already enabled, So this step can be skipped.
  • Right-click on the ESAPI project root folder in the Navigator view and select Properties.
  • From the left column, select Java Build Path. Under the Libraries tab, be sure a JRE or JDK is listed next to JRE System Library. If there is a red X on next to the JRE, remove the current JRE and click Add Library and select an alternate JRE. If you are having trouble figuring out what version the current JRE is, select Installed JREs and look at the location to which each version is mapped.
  • The Libraries tab should list JRE System Library and Maven Dependencies. If anything else is listed, it is not necessary and should be removed. Maven now handles all dependencies.
  • From the left column, select Java Compiler. Be sure Compiler compliance level, Generated .class files compatibility, and Source compatibility are all set to 1.6. (Note: Most of us use JDK 7 or JDK 8 to build ESAPI, but we use '-source 1.6 -target 1.6' when we compile to still support really old web applications still using JDK 1.6.)
  • Close the properties window.
  • Right-click the ESAPI project root folder and select Refresh.
  • From the toolbar, select Project -> Clean.. and select the ESAPI project. Click OK.
  • If errors remain, select Maven again, then Update Dependencies.
  • ESAPI should now be compiled.


Building ESAPI should be easy with the new Maven integration.

Once your environment is set up, as specified above:

  • Right-Click your ESAPI project root folder
  • Select Run As...
  • Select Run Configurations
  • Double Click "Maven Build" from the options on the left to create a new configuration.
  • Name your configuration at the top. This will be for building ESAPI without running JUnit tests.
  • The "Base directory" should point to the root of your project
  • The "Goals" field type "package"
  • Any options not mentioned should be left as their default
  • Click "Apply" to save your build configuration
  • Click "Run" to run your configuration

NOTE: Jars created through building are located in the directory called "target".

Running Demo App

The ESAPI Demo application has been named The ESAPI Swingset. More information about Swingset is available here.