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This unit introduces the basics of system deployment.

Why is this unit important?

The concept of author and public instances has serious implications for how you deploy your final Magniolia CMS project. Knowing the basics of deployment is essential to creating a deployment strategy that ensures the long-term health of your project. 

Need help?

If you need assistance with deploying a project, the Magnolia Services department can provide expert advice, best practices and complete pre-launch project audits. Learn more about the Magnolia services department here.

Deploying a project

How do I deploy my completed project?

Your final project should be deployed as a bundle. (We looked at the meaning of bundle in: U1.2 Start Magnolia & 6.3.2 Bundled webapps.) The file format is WAR.

If you have built your project using a CE or EE bundle downloaded from Magnolia International - your project does not follow best practice. Please see: Hello World - IDE. If you are an EE customer and need assistance, please contact our Services team.

Is it possible to deploy Magnolia as a single WAR file to different environments?


The WAR file can contain several configurations, each customizing the application to a particular target environment. The appropriate configuration is applied automatically when the WAR file is extracted on a servlet container. You can read about this in greater detail in WAR file with multiple configurations.

Can I have multiple Magnolia webapps in my wepapp folder?


A standard Magnolia project will always have two instances (author and public) as minimum. It is possible to have multiple webapps that can be run from a Tomcat manager.

Deployment tools

When you download Magnolia, you can see that we supply the system in a number of distribution formats. These options also provide a good indication of how you can distribute your Magnolia project when it is ready for deployment.

  • This is an installer for the bundle that includes Tomcat.
  • To start installation, simply double click the file after you have downloaded it.
  • Mac OSX users can also download the dmg file.
Bundle (Tomcat & Magnolia)

Tomcat bundle: 

  • tar.gz file (java version 5 or higher)
  • zip file (java version 5 or higher)
War fileYou need your own application server to deploy these. The war file does not contain the addons you find in the bundle.


This is a preconfigured war file for WebSphere.

This is a preconfigured war file for WebLogic.

Configuration implications

What are the implications of the author and public concept at deployment time?

With the Magnolia bundle (EE or CE) running, you are working with a minimal configuration  - author and public instances are on the same server. For production deployment the author and public instances should be in different environments.

Author and public configuration examples


The next pathway in Magnolia Academy is aimed at developers that have successfully passed the Associate Developer Certificate exam. Here we look at some of the tasks that a typical Magnolia developer would be expected to be able to perform after some time on the job. Proceed to Learning path 2 - Professional Developer

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  1. How is the Magnolia CMS corporate website deployed?

    For we use five instances:

    • One author instance that uses soft-locking so that an author knows when a page is being edited by another author.
    • Two public instances for failover purposes
    • Two test instances for testing module installation etc.
  2. How to make a project ready for delivery?

    How to map domain name without context name to project?
    How to make things that are very customer environment specific, like where the repository should be located, configurable by the customer?
    How to get rid of demo project?
    How to turn off or move to a different URL the admin interface on public?