Mapfish Appserver

Platform for building web mapping applications

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Mapfish Appserver v1.1.0 or later uses Mapfish Print v3. Previous versions were using Mapfish Print v2. Print requests to the Mapfish Appserver are still using the v2 API.

See also the Mapfish Print v3 documentation

Mapfish Print v3 installation

Web application

Mapfish Print can be run as a web application e.g. on Tomcat.

Copy the Mapfish Print WAR to the webapps directory

cp print-servlet-3.2.0.war /usr/local/tomcat/webapps/mapfish_print.war

Add a symlink from your Mapfish Appserver application’s print configuration directory to the Mapfish Print print apps directory

ln -s $MAPFISH_APP_DIR/print/ /usr/local/tomcat/webapps/mapfish_print/print-apps/myapp

The Mapfish Print application will then run on http://localhost:8080/mapfish_print/index.html

Add the print URL to your Mapfish Appserver configuration (e.g. in config/environments/development.rb)

PRINT_URL = 'http://localhost:8080/mapfish_print/print/myapp'


For development, Mapfish Print can also be run standalone.

Add the popen4 gem to your Mapfish Appserver Gemfile

gem 'popen4'

Activate standalone printing and add the path to the Mapfish Print JARs to your Mapfish Appserver configuration

PRINT_STANDALONE_JARS = '$PATH_TO/mapfish-print/core/lib/*'


The print configuration, JasperReports templates and any images are located in the print/ directory.


  • create new JasperReports template and place the *.jrxml in print/
  • add new template to print/config.yaml
    • set reportTemplate to the new *.jrxml
    • add any external report parameters to the template attributes
    • add any Mapfish Print elements to the template attributes and processors

Custom reports

By default, all templates in print/config.yaml will get listed in the print capabilities. To remove a specific template from the default print layouts, the custom attribute gb_custom_template can be added, e.g.

  Custom report: !template
    reportTemplate: custom_report.jrxml
      # mark as custom template (hide in print/info.json)
      gb_custom_template: !boolean {default: true}
    - !reportBuilder
        directory: "."

Print requests for the custom report will then still be accepted but the report will no longer show up in the print capabilities.


The PrintController can be subclassed to add report specific permission checks, set print parameters or customize the returned filename

class MyAppPrintController < PrintController

  # check permission for printing, e.g. check params to limit reports to user roles
  def check_permissions

  # add custom print params according to report type, e.g. add map and zoom to feature in custom reports
  def set_custom_print_params(report, print_params)
    case report
    when "TopicName"
      # add map and layer
      layer_url = rewrite_wms_uri("#{wms_host}/TopicName", false)
      print_params['attributes']['map'] = {
        :dpi => print_params[:dpi],
        :bbox => [669242, 223923, 716907, 283315],
        :projection => 'EPSG:21781',
        :layers => [
            :type => 'WMS',
            :baseURL => layer_url,
            :layers => ['Layer1', 'Layer2'],
            :imageFormat => 'image/png; mode=8bit',
            :styles => [''],
            :customParams => {
              :TRANSPARENT => true,
              :map_resolution => print_params['dpi']

  # handler for sending custom report file, e.g. to customize filename depending on params
  def send_custom_report(report, print_params, path, type, filename)
    send_file path, :type => type, :disposition => 'attachment', :filename => filename


Add routes to custom print controller to config/routes.rb

match 'print/info.:format' => "my_app_print#info"
match 'print/create' => "my_app_print#create", :via => :post
match 'print/:id' => "my_app_print#show"