Lightbend Activator

Play with RethinkDB, WebJars and Bootstrap

Activator will be EOL-ed on May 24, 2017.

We’re making it easier and simpler for developers to get started with Lightbend technologies. This unfortunately means that future releases of Play, Akka and Scala will no longer include Activator support, and Lightbend’s Activator server will be decommissioned by the end of 2017. Instead of supporting Activator to create and set up development projects, we'll be supporting standard Giter8 templates for sbt users and Maven archetypes for Maven users. So going forward,

To create new Lightbend projects

Instead of using the Activator command, make sure you have sbt 0.13.13 (or higher), and use the “sbt new” command, providing the name of the template. For example, “$ sbt new akka/hello-akka.g8”. You can find a list of templates here.

Also, as a convenience, the Lightbend Project Starter allows you to quickly create a variety of example projects that you just unzip and run.

To create new templates

If you want to create new templates, you can now do that in Giter8.

To migrate templates from Activator to Giter8

If you created Activator templates in the past, please consider migrating them to Giter8 with this simple process.

Play with RethinkDB, WebJars and Bootstrap

Rklick Solutions
January 20, 2016
rethinkdb scala play webjars bootstrap bootswatch

This activator project describes a classic CRUD application with Play 2.4.x, Scala and RethinkDB

How to get "Play with RethinkDB, WebJars and Bootstrap" on your computer

There are several ways to get this template.

Option 1: Choose play-rethinkdb in the Lightbend Activator UI.

Already have Lightbend Activator (get it here)? Launch the UI then search for play-rethinkdb in the list of templates.

Option 2: Download the play-rethinkdb project as a zip archive

If you haven't installed Activator, you can get the code by downloading the template bundle for play-rethinkdb.

  1. Download the Template Bundle for "Play with RethinkDB, WebJars and Bootstrap"
  2. Extract the downloaded zip file to your system
  3. The bundle includes a small bootstrap script that can start Activator. To start Lightbend Activator's UI:

    In your File Explorer, navigate into the directory that the template was extracted to, right-click on the file named "activator.bat", then select "Open", and if prompted with a warning, click to continue:

    Or from a command line:

     C:\Users\typesafe\play-rethinkdb> activator ui 
    This will start Lightbend Activator and open this template in your browser.

Option 3: Create a play-rethinkdb project from the command line

If you have Lightbend Activator, use its command line mode to create a new project from this template. Type activator new PROJECTNAME play-rethinkdb on the command line.

Option 4: View the template source

The creator of this template maintains it at

Option 5: Preview the tutorial below

We've included the text of this template's tutorial below, but it may work better if you view it inside Activator on your computer. Activator tutorials are often designed to be interactive.

Preview the tutorial

Building Reactive Play application with RethinkDB

This is a CRUD application, backed by a RethinkDB database. It demonstrates:

  • Handling asynchronous results, Handling time-outs
  • Achieving, Futures to use more idiomatic error handling.
  • Accessing RethinkDB, using Java ReQL command reference.
  • Achieving, table pagination and sorting functionality using interactive FooTable plugin.
  • Replaced the embedded JS & CSS libraries with WebJars.
  • Play and Scala-based template engine implementation
  • Integrating with a CSS framework (Twitter Bootstrap). Twitter Bootstrap requires a different form layout to the default one that the Play form helper generates, so this application also provides an example of integrating a custom form input constructor.
  • Used Bootswatch with Twitter Bootstrap to improve the look and feel of the application


The rethinkdb-driver is distributed using Maven Central so it can be easily added as a library dependency in your Play Application's SBT build scripts, as follows:

    libraryDependencies += "com.rethinkdb" % "rethinkdb-driver" % "2.2-beta-1"
  • Installing RethinkDB : install
  • Installing the Java driver : rethinkdb-driver
  • Ten-minute guide with RethinkDB and Java : RethinkDB Java
  • Start RethinkDB using rethinkdb command and hit http://localhost:8080/
  • Create play_rethinkdb database and table r_employees with default configuration
Usage of RethinkDB Java driver

You can use the drivers from Java like this:

    import com.rethinkdb.RethinkDB;
    import com.rethinkdb.gen.exc.ReqlError;
    import com.rethinkdb.gen.exc.ReqlQueryLogicError;
    import com.rethinkdb.model.MapObject;

    public static final RethinkDB r = RethinkDB.r;

    Connection conn = r.connection().hostname("localhost").port(28015).connect();

    r.table("tv_shows").insert(r.hashMap("name", "Star Trek TNG")).run(conn);

Please check RConnection.scala and RDatabase.scala

Now Play

  • The Github code for the project is at : play-rethinkdb
  • Clone the project into local system
  • To run the Play framework 2.4.x, you need JDK 8 or later
  • Install Typesafe Activator if you do not have it already. You can get it from here:
  • Execute activator clean compile to build the product
  • Execute activator run to execute the product
  • play-rethinkdb should now be accessible at localhost:9000