UIMA Quick Start – SDK install & Plugins

Previously I wrote on my first impressions of UIMA and how great it is, for a quick look at that go to this post.

To help people get things running quickly I thought I’d throw down a quick tutorial to get the UIMA SDK up and running and working with Eclipse on your machine.

First things first, this tutorial was written based on using the following software so it may or may not work for you. I am also assuming you have eclipse installed, know a little bit about Java, working in eclipse, can read English (or the poor translation of this page into whatever language you are using), and have rudimentary use of your hands as this tutorial will require you to type and use a mouse.

  • Eclipse IDE for Java developers
    Version: Helios Service Release 2Build id: 20110218-0911
  • Apache UIMA SDK
    Version 2.3.1 – Release Date: UIMA Java SDK: 10-Dec-2010 UIMA AS: 22-Mar-2011
  • Eclipse EMF plugin
    Version 2.05

Downloading the UIMA SDK

  1. Go to http://uima.apache.org/downloads.cgi#Latest Official Releases
  2. Grab the following zipped binary files. I’d also suggest getting the source code so that you can pair it with the libraries you are using. Looking at how a class works internally can help you better understand how that class worksUIMA Java framework & SDK
    UIMA AS Asynchronous Scaleout
    UIMA C++ Framework
    UIMA Annotator Addons & Simple Server & Pear packaging tools
Installing the UIMA SDK
some parts courtesy of the README file

After you have unpacked the Apache UIMA distribution from the package of your choice (e.g. .zip or .gz), perform the steps below to set up UIMA so that it will function properly.

  1. Set JAVA_HOME to the directory of your JRE installation you would like to use for UIMA.
  2. Set UIMA_HOME to the apache-uima directory of your unpacked Apache UIMA distribution
  3. Append UIMA_HOME/bin to your PATH
  4. Run the script UIMA_HOME/bin/adjustExamplePaths.bat (or .sh), to update paths in the examples based on the actual UIMA_HOME directory path. This script runs a Java program; you must either have java in your PATH or set the environment variable JAVA_HOME to a suitable JRE.

Note: The Mac OS X operating system procedures for setting up global environment variables are described here: see http://developer.apple.com/qa/qa2001/qa1067.html.

Getting Eclipse Ready to go

Install EMF

  1. You need to install the EMF eclipse packages first
  2. With eclipse open go to the Help -> Install new software section
    *remember to start eclipse with administrator privelages if you are using Windows 7.
  3. Add a new site entitled “EMF Plugin” with the address http://download.eclipse.org/modeling/emf/updates/releases/
  4. Install EMF SDK 2.06 (EMF + SDO + XSD) -> Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF) runtime + end user tools
    *You may find that you already have EMF or parts of it installed depending on what install / version of Eclipse you are running
  5. Restart Eclipse, seriously restart it
  6. Do a little dance, almost there
    *if you ran into install problems look at this wiki http://wiki.eclipse.org/EMF/Installation

Install UIMA Eclipse Plugin – Update site

  1. With eclipse open go to the Help -> Install new software section
    *remember to start eclipse with administrator privelages if you are using Windows 7.
  2. Add a new site titled UIMA with the address http://www.apache.org/dist/uima/eclipse-update-site/
  3. Install both the Apache UIMA Eclipse tooling and runtime support package and the Apache UIMA-AS Eclipse tooling package.
  4. Restart Eclipse
    * You may run into errors trying to install this plugin as Eclipse’s plugin installation process seems to be causing people problems (like if you have your anti-virus on it won’t let you install plugins) I was unable to get things to install quickly using this method with my eclipse installation, I will update if I am successful in the future.
    * I managed to install using the plugins at a later date. I’d updated eclipse before I tried again and the plugin install went well. The error I’d run into had to do with some security issue with the packages.
Now that you’ve installed UIMA I encourage you to either try one of the below.
Setting up Eclipse to view Example Code
Getting Started: Writing your First UIMA annontator.
I will also be writing more about creating annotators once I have more experience.
Good luck,


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