2. Building AWS

2.1. Requirements

AWS has been mainly developed with GNAT on Windows. It is built and tested regularly on GNU/Linux and Solaris, it should be fairly portable across platforms. To build AWS you need:

  • GNU/Ada (GNAT compiler) ;

    Obviously an Ada compiler is mandatory. Only GNAT is tested, the code should be fairly portable but has never been tested on another compiler. See INSTALL file distributed with AWS for specific versions supported.

  • OpenSSL (optional) ;

    OpenSSL is an Open Source toolkit implementing the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL v2 and v3 and TLS 1.1, 1.2) and much more. It is possible to download the OpenSSL source distribution from http://www.openssl.org <http://www.openssl.org> and build it. A Windows binary distribution may also be downloaded there.

  • LibreSSL (optional) ;

    LibreSSL is an Open Source toolkit implementing the Secure Sockets Layer which is fully compatible with OpenSSL. It is possible to download the LibreSSL source distribution from https://www.libressl.org/> and build it.

  • GNUTLS (optional) ;

    GNUTLS is an Open Source toolkit implementing the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL v3 and TLS 1.1, 1.2) and much more. It is necessary to install the developers libraries to use it in AWS.

  • OpenLDAP (optional) ;

    OpenLDAP is an Open Source toolkit implementing the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. If you want to use the AWS/LDAP API on UNIX based systems, you need to install properly the OpenLDAP package. On Windows you don’t need to install it as the libldap.a library will be built by AWS and will use the standard Windows LDAP DLL wldap32.dll.

    You can download OpenLDAP from http://www.openldap.org <http://www.openldap.org>.

2.2. AWS.Net.Std

This package is the standard (non-SSL) socket implementation. It exists different implementations of this package:


Version based on GNAT.Sockets from GNAT version 20 and later with IPv6 support. This is the default implementation used.


Compartible with GNAT before version 20 socket implementation with IPv6 support:

$ make setup NETLIB=ipv6

Compartible with GNAT before version 20 socket implementation based on GNAT.Sockets package without IPv6 support:

$ make setup NETLIB=ipv4

2.3. Building

Before building be sure to edit makefile.conf, this file contains many settings important for the build. Note that it is important to run make setup each time you edit this file.

When you have built and configured all external libraries you must set the ADA_PROJECT_PATH variable to point to the GNAT Project files for the different packages. For XML/Ada support, you also need to set XMLADA to true in makefile.conf.

At this point you can build AWS with:

$ make setup build

Note that some demos require that AWS be built with SSL support. If you want to activate SSL you must have installed the necessary developers libraries. It is possible to specify the SSL implementation to use with the SOCKET variable.

To build with GNUTLS:

$ make SOCKET=gnutls setup
$ make build

To build with OpenSSL or LibreSSL:

$ make SOCKET=openssl setup
$ make build

It is is possible to build AWS in debug mode by setting DEBUG make’s variable:

$ make DEBUG=true setup build

Note that by default AWS is configured to use the GNAT compiler. So, if you use GNAT you can build AWS just with:

$ make setup build

2.4. Building on cross-platforms

To build for a cross platform the TARGET makefile variable must be set with the cross toolchain to be used. The value must be the triplet of the toolchain to use.

For example, to build on VxWorks:

$ make TARGET=powerpc-wrs-vxworks setup build

Note that on cross-environment one need to build the demos manually. See demos/README.

2.5. Demos

AWS comes with some ready to use demos. The demos are a good way to learn how to use AWS.

Here are a short description of them:


A program using the AWS client interface. This simple tool can be used to retrieve Web page content. It supports passing through a proxy with authentication and basic authentication on the Web site.


A simple program to test the Web Basic and Digest authentication feature.


A demo to validate the WebSocket implementation against the autobahn test suite.


A secure server using a Certificate Authority and validating clients with certificate. This is the highest security level possible.


Two simples program that uses the AWS communication service.


A simple demo using the dispatcher facility. see URI dispatcher.


The famous Hello World program. This is a server that will always return a Web page saying ‘Hello World!’.


An hello world kind of application using a WSDL document for describing the messages format.


A simple test for the hotplug feature.


A simple secure server enforcing TLS 1.2 protocol to be used by the Web Browser. This demo also uses a signed server’s key and proper setup hand over the password to the secure layer.


A WSDL based demo that test most of the SOAP features.


A simple Jabber command line client to check the presence of a JID (Jabber ID). This uses the Jabber API, see AWS.Jabber.


A demo of two embedded servers using different sessions.


A demo using the resource feature. This Web Server embedded a PNG image and an HTML page. The executable is self contained.


An example that test many AWS features.


A simple client/server program to test the SOAP protocol.


Like above but use a SOAP dispatcher.


A client and server that implement seven SOAP procedures for testing purpose.


A demo for the transient pages and page splitter AWS’s feature. Here a very big table is split on multiple pages. A set of links can be used to navigate to the next or previous page or to access directly to a given page.


A simple LDAP demo which access a public LDAP server and display some information.


A simple application that send a set of SMTP messages with different kind of attachments.


A simple demo which handle textarea and display the content.


Two servers on the same machine… virtual hosting demo. see Virtual host dispatcher.


A simple Web Bock based counter.


As above but using also Ajax.


As above but using also the templates2ada tool which create a tight coupling between the web templates and the Ada code.


A driver to browse the Web Elements library and see some examples.


A simple Web Mail implementation that works on a POP mailbox.


A simple WebSocket demo.


A very simple static Web page server based on AWS.Services.Page_Server. see Static Page server.


A static Web page server and push enabled server.


A WebSocket demo using many of the WebSocket’s features.


A simple demo of the Gzip content encoding feature.

For build instructions see demos/README.

2.6. Installing

When the build is done you must install AWS at a specific location. The target directory is defined with the prefix makefile.conf variable. The default value is set to the compiler root directory. Note that the previously installed version is automatically removed before installing the new one. To install:

$ make install

To install AWS into another directory you can either edit makefile.conf and set prefix to the directory you like to install AWS or just force the make prefix variable:

$ make prefix=/opt install

Alternatively, with GNAT 5.03 and above it is possible to install AWS into the GNAT Standard Library location. In this case AWS is ready-to-use as there is no need to set ADA_PROJECT_PATH, just set prefix to point to GNAT root directory:

$ make prefix=/opt/gnatpro/6.1.1 install

Now you are ready to use AWS !