Project Setup

Currently, sbt is the only supported build tool. Maven support is planned and will land in a future release.


To setup your project, include and enable the sbt-reactive-app plugin.


  • sbt 1.2.3 (or later)
  • Docker for building and publishing images.

Supported Versions:

At this time, the following technologies are supported:

  • Akka 2.5 or later
  • Lagom 1.4 or later
  • Play 2.6 or later

Example Project

Before explaining the configuration in detail, let’s take a look at steps needed to use Lightbend Orchestration in an existing project. We’ve provided an example Lagom application: lagom-java-chirper-tooling-example. It’s a small Twitter clone utilising a microservices architecture and event sourcing.


To use it with Lightbend Orchestration, follow these steps:

1) Add the plugin to your project’s project/plugins.sbt file:

addSbtPlugin("com.lightbend.rp" % "sbt-reactive-app" % "1.6.1")

2) Enable it for each subproject which will get packaged into a Docker image. When using Lagom those are service impl projects, as well as any frontends that you have. Don’t enable it for the api projects, those only define service interfaces and do not produce any executables. In our case this can be done by adding SbtReactiveAppPlugin to the enablePlugins() call in build.sbt file. It should look like this:

lazy val friendImpl = project("friend-impl")
  .enablePlugins(LagomJava, SbtReactiveAppPlugin)

Refer to Manual Configuration for other available settings.

In addition to friend-impl shown above, enable the plugin for chirp-impl, activity-stream-impl, load-test-impl and front-end projects.

3) Enable the service locator module by adding a line to friend-impl/src/main/resources/application.conf:

play.modules.enabled += "com.lightbend.rp.servicediscovery.lagom.javadsl.ServiceLocatorModule"

Again, we need to repeat it for all service subprojects, so make sure to also add this line to application.conf files in chirp-impl, activity-stream-impl, load-test-impl and front-end. Now you’re ready to check if plugin is set up correctly! Try running this in your terminal:

sbt update


Now that your project is setup, you can use sbt to build Docker images and publish them to your local registry:

sbt docker:publishLocal
docker images

Later in the documentation we’ll cover how you can then generate Kubernetes and DC/OS configuration from these Docker images.

Kubernetes Developer Deployment

The following feature is currently only available for Kubernetes.

Lightbend Orchestration provides an sbt task, deploy minikube, that makes it easy for developers to deploy their application to their own local Kubernetes cluster.

The following command will build and deploy all of your services into your local Kubernetes cluster. You’ll need to ensure that the following software is installed:

After installing the requisite software, run the following commands:

minikube start --memory 6000
sbt "deploy minikube"
echo "http://$(minikube ip)"

Now you should be able to open the printed URL in your browser and try out the Chirper application. Later in the documentation we’ll cover how you can use these same tools in a production setting, covering deployment to both Kubernetes and DC/OS.