How to Convert a Provisioning Model to a Feature Model

About this How-To

What we'll explore:

  • We'll convert the Sling Starter project to a Feature Model using a Maven plugin
  • We'll visit our old friend, the Kickstarter, and start Sling using the generated Feature Model

What you should know:

  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Environment: Windows/Unix
  • Time: 20 minutes


In order to follow this how-to you'll need the following on your computer:

  • Java 8
  • Maven 3
  • Bash shell

Create a Feature Model

Note: At the time of this writing, the Feature Model is not officially used by Sling. Until Sling is fully converted to the Feature Model, we'll have to use the Provisioning to Feature Model Converter Plugin. The plugin will create a Feature Model from each Provisioning Model file. The plugin will then assemble all the Feature Models into a single Feature Model file using the Feature Aggregate.

Step 1: Get Sling Starter and the Kickstarter projects

Start by creating a directory called myfeaturemodel. We'll use this directory as our project workspace.

$ mkdir myfeaturemodel

We'll add two projects to this workspace:

  • The Sling Starter source code
  • The Sling Kickstarter source code
    $ cd myfeaturemodel
    $ git clone
    $ git clone

Your workspace should now look like this:

$ ls -l
drwxr-xr-x  15 user group 480 Jun  8 16:16 sling-org-apache-sling-kickstart
drwxr-xr-x  13 user group 416 Jun  8 16:10 sling-org-apache-sling-starter

Step 2: Run the Provisioning Model Conversion

The Kickstarter provides a Maven POM file called sling-fm-pom.xml that converts the Sling Starter Provisioning Models to Feature Models. It then aggregates them into a single Feature Model.

$ cd sling-org-apache-sling-kickstart
$ mvn -f sling-fm-pom.xml install -Dsling.starter.folder=../sling-org-apache-sling-starter 

Once the build is complete, you'll find a Feature Model file at sling-org-apache-sling-kickstart/target/slingfeature-tmp/feature-sling12.json.

Before continuing, run one more Maven build in this directory as we will need a copy of the Kickstarter JAR in the next section.

$ mvn clean install

Step 3: Run Sling using the Feature Model

Now that we have a Feature Model file for Sling and a Kickstarter JAR, we are ready to create a new directory to execute Sling using the Kickstarter and the Feature Model we just created.

Begin, by changing into the parent workspace (myfeaturemodel) and create a new directory to run the Kickstarter. Then, copy the Feature Model file and Kickstarter JAR.

$ cd ..
$ mkdir kickstart-run && cd kickstart-run
$ cp ../sling-org-apache-sling-kickstart/target/slingfeature-tmp/feature-sling12.json .
$ cp ../sling-org-apache-sling-kickstart/target/ .

Lastly, let's start Sling using the Feature Model.

$ java -jar -s feature-sling12.json

Mission Accomplished

What we learned:

  • Learned that the Provisioning to Feature Model Converter Plugin can be used to convert Provisioning Models to Feature Models
  • Converted the Provisioning Models in the Sling Starter project to a single Feature Model
  • Started Sling using the newly created Feature Model file with the Kickstarter
- ( How to Convert a Provisioning Model to a Feature Model )