WARNING: This page is a guide for 1.x series. See here instead to learn about the latest

Skinny Framework


What’s Skinny?

Skinny is a full-stack web app framework built on Scalatra.

To put it simply, Skinny framework’s concept is Scala on Rails. Skinny is highly inspired by Ruby on Rails and it is optimized for sustainable productivity for Servlet-based web app development.

What’s more, Skinny’s components are basically independent from Skinny app environment. If you prefer using only Skinny ORM, Validator module or else, it’s also possible. We hope Skinny components help developers that use other frameworks too.

Why Skinny named as Skinny? What does the name Skinny actually mean? We have three reasons as follows.

Application should be skinny

All the parts of a web application - controllers, models, views, routings and other settings - should be skinny. If you use Skinny framework, you can do without a lot of non-essential boilerplate code. For instance, when you create a simple registration form, all you need to do is define the parameters and validation rules and create view templates in an efficient way (ssp, scaml, jade, FreeMarker or something else) in most cases.

Framework itself should be skinny

Even if you need to investigate Skinny’s internals, don’t worry. Skinny keeps itself skinny, too. We believe that if the framework is well-designed, the resulting implementation will be skinny.

'su-ki-ni' in Japanese means 'as you like it'

A sound-alike word “好きに (su-ki-ni)” in Japanese means “as you like it”. This is only half kidding but it also represents Skinny’s concept. Skinny framework should provide flexible APIs to empower developers as much as possible and shouldn’t get in the way.

Try It Right Now

Download skinny-blank-app(-with-deps).zip and unzip it, then just run ./skinny (or skinny.bat) command on your terminal. That’s all!

If you’re a Scala beginner, skinny-blank-app-with-deps.zip is highly recommended. This is a bootstrap package which includes all library dependencies.

Don’t waste your passion by waiting for the download to complete!

If you’re already familiar with Scala and your sbt.ivy.home directory has lots of assets, use skinny-blank-app.zip instead.

1) skinny-blank-app-with-deps.zip (90MB)

For beginners, this one is highly recommended because you don’t need to wait download dependencies.


2) skinny-blank-app.zip (1MB)

If you’re a heavy Scala user, this one will be suitable for you.


3) Homebrew

If you’re a MacOS X user, take a look at our Homebrew formula.


If you’re a MacOS X user, try our Homebrew formula out.


brew update
brew install skinny

# If failed, try `npm install -g yo`
skinny new skinny-blank-app
cd skinny-blank-app
skinny run

If you suffered the following error, try brew uninstall node && brew install node --with-npm (in some cases, also need to rm -rf /usr/local/lib/node_modules).

npm is required. If you have installed node with `--without-npm` option, reinstall with `--with-npm`.

After unzipping blank-app.zip, Let’s create our first Skinny app by using the scaffold generator.

# If you're a zsh user, try "noglob ./skinny g scaffold ..."
./skinny g scaffold members member name:String activated:Boolean luckyNumber:Option[Long] birthday:Option[LocalDate]
./skinny db:migrate

# When you use IDE's debugger, use "./skinny debug" instead. (default JDWP port is 5005)
./skinny run

If you prefer Scalate templates precompilation, specify -precompile option too.

./skinny run -precompile

And then, access http://localhost:8080/members.

You can also run the generated tests.

./skinny db:migrate test
./skinny test

Now let’s create a war file for deployment to a Servlet container.

./skinny package

It’s also possible to build a standalone runnable jar file (with embedded Jetty server).

./skinny package:standalone

Try by using Yeoman generator


If you’re familiar with Yeoman, a generator for Skinny framework is available.


# brew install node
npm install -g yo
npm install -g generator-skinny
mkdir skinny-app
cd skinny-app
yo skinny
./skinny run

Integrating with existing Scalatra apps

Actually, an application built with Skinny is also a normal Scalatra application. After preparing a Scalatra app, just add the following dependency to your project/Build.scala.

These components depends on Scalatra.

libraryDependencies ++= Seq(
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-assets"             % "1.3.20",
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-framework"          % "1.3.20",
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-oauth2-controller"  % "1.3.20",
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-twitter-controller" % "1.3.20",
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-scaldi"             % "1.3.20",
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-test"               % "1.3.20" % "test"

If you need only Skinny-ORM, Skinny-Validator and so on, you can use only what you need. Even if you’re using Play2 (or any other framework), these components are available for you as well.

libraryDependencies ++= Seq(
  "org.skinny-framework" %  "skinny-logback"      % "1.0.6",
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-orm"          % "1.3.20",
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-oauth"        % "1.3.20",
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-task"         % "1.3.20",
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-mailer"       % "1.3.20",
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-standalone"   % "1.3.20",
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-validator"    % "1.3.20",
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-http-client"  % "1.3.20",
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-factory-girl" % "1.3.20" % "test"

Skinny’s Components Overview

Routing & Controller & Validator

Skinny’s routing mechanism and controller layer on MVC architecture can be thought of as a rich Scalatra. Skinny’s extension provides you much simpler/rich syntax. Of course, if you need to use Scalatra’s API directly, Skinny never bothers you.


SkinnyController is a trait which extends ScalatraFilter and includes various useful components out-of-the-box.

// src/main/scala/controller/MembersController.scala
class MembersController extends SkinnyController {
  def index = {
    set("members" -> Member.findAll()) // can call this in views
// src/main/scala/controller/Controllers.scala
object Controllers {
  object members extends MembersController with Routes {
    val indexUrl = get("/members/?")(index).as('index)
// src/main/scala/ScalatraBootstrap.scala
class ScalatraBootstrap extends SkinnyLifeCycle {
  override def initSkinnyApp(ctx: ServletContext) {

SkinnyResource, which is similar to Rails ActiveResource, is also available. It’s a pretty DRY way to define RESTful resources.

object CompaniesController extends SkinnyResource {

  override def model = Company
  override def resourcesName = "companies"
  override def resourceName = "company"


Company object should implement skinny.SkinnyModel APIs and you should prepare some view templates under src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/views/members/.

See in detail: Controller & Routes

Skinny ORM

Skinny provides you Skinny-ORM as the default O/R mapper, which is built with ScalikeJDBC.


Skinny-ORM does a lot of work under the hood, so you don’t need to write much code. Your first model class and companion are here.

case class Member(id: Long, name: String, createdAt: DateTime)

object Member extends SkinnyCRUDMapper[Member] {
  override def defaultAlias = createAlias("m")
  override def extract(rs: WrappedResultSet, n: ResultName[Member]) = new Member(
    id = rs.long(n.id),
    name = rs.string(n.name),
    createdAt = rs.dateTime(n.createdAt)

That’s all! Now you can use the following APIs.

// find by primary key
val member: Option[Member] = Member.findById(123)
val member: Option[Member] = Member.where('id -> 123).apply().headOption
val members: List[Member] = Member.where('id -> Seq(123, 234, 345)).apply()

// find many
val members: List[Member] = Member.findAll()
val groupMembers = Member.where('groupName -> "Scala Users", 'deleted -> false).apply()

// create with unsafe parameters
  'id -> 123,
  'name -> "Chris",
  'createdAt -> DateTime.now
// update with unsafe parameters
Member.updateById(123).withAttributes('name -> "Alice")
// delete

Skinny ORM is an independent library from Skinny environment. You can use it with Play.


Check our example app: https://github.com/skinny-framework/skinny-orm-in-play

See others in detail: O/R Mapper

DB Migration with Flyway

DB migration is provided by Flyway. Usage is pretty simple.

Flyway Logo

./skinny db:migrate [env]

This command expects src/main/resources/db/migration/V***__***.sql files.

See in detail: DB Migration

View Templates

Skinny framework basically follows Scalatra’s Scalate Support, but Skinny has an additional convention.

Scalate Logo

Template paths should be of the form {path}.{format}.{extension}. Expected {format} are html, json, js and xml.

For instance, assuming your controller code looks like this:

class MembersController extends SkinnyController {
  def index = {
    set("members", Member.findAll())

The render method expects that src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/views/members/index.html.ssp exists.

<%=@val members: Seq[model.Member] %>
#for (member <- members)

Scalate supports many template engines. For example, if you want to write your template using Jade, save it as src/main/webapp/WEB-INF/views/members/index.html.jade instead.

See in detail: View Templates

Skinny Mailer

SkinnyMailer makes sending emails pretty easy.

val config = SkinnyMailerConfigdefault.copy(
  debug = true
val mailer = SkinnyMailer(config)

  .cc("support@skinny-framework.org", "xxx@example.com")
  .subject("Skinny Framework 1.0.0 is out!")
  .body {
    """Hi all,
    |We're very proud to announce that Skinny Framework version 1.0.0 is released.
    |Skinny Framework Team

See in detail: Mail

Assets Support (CoffeeScript, LESS, Sass, ReactJS, Scala.js)

CoffeeScript Logo LESS Logo Sass Logo React Logo Scala.js

First, add skinny-assets to libraryDependencies.

libraryDependencies ++= Seq(
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-framework" % "1.3.20",
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-assets"    % "1.3.20",
  "org.skinny-framework" %% "skinny-test"      % "1.3.20" % "test"

And then, add AssetsController to routes. Now you can easily use CoffeeScript, LESS and Sass.

// src/main/scala/ScalatraBootstrap.scala
class ScalatraBootstrap extends SkinnyLifeCycle {
  override def initSkinnyApp(ctx: ServletContext) {

AssetsController supports Last-Modified header and returns status 304 correctly if the requested file isn’t changed.

However, precompiling the assets is highly recommended in production (./skinny package does that).

See in detail: Assets Support

Angular.js Friendly Server Side

Angular Logo

By using AngularXHRServerFeature trait, your controllers will be Angular.js friendly JSON API provider.

class ArticlesController extends SkinnyApiResource with AngularXHRServerFeature {
  // Enable Angular's XSRF protection

  // JSON request body will be merged into Scalatra params automatically
  // ...


And your ngResource is like this:

app.factory('Article', ['$resource', function($resource) {
  return $resource('/api/articles/:id.json', {}, {});

See in detail: Angular Support

Testing Support

You can use Scalatra’s great test support. Some extra optional features are provided by the skinny-test library.

class ControllerSpec extends ScalatraFlatSpec with SkinnyTestSupport {
  addFilter(MembersController, "/*")

  it should "show index page" in {
    withSession("userId" -> "Alice") {
      get("/members") { status should equal(200) }

See in detail: Testing


Though Skinny’s FactoryGirl is not a complete port of thoughtbot/factory_girl, this module will be quite useful when testing your apps.

case class Company(id: Long, name: String)
object Company extends SkinnyCRUDMapper[Company] {
  def extract ...

val company1 = FactoryGirl(Company).create()

Configuration is not in yaml files but a typesafe-config conf file. In this example, src/test/resources/factories.conf looks like this:

company {

See in detail: FactoryGirl


Basic Example

How to write controllers, models and routes. Test suites (87% coverage). Coveralls settings.


Scaldi Example

How to integrate Scaldi with Skinny Framework. Stubbing AWS SDK.


Skinny ORM in Play apps

How to use Skinny ORM in Play applications. Typesafe Activator Template. Reverse model generator.


Skinny Task Runner Example

How to use only skinny-task without Web application project settings.


Skinny Framework Team and You

Skinny Framework team is passionately working on this project.


If you’re interested in Skinny development, pull requests are always welcome.

How to contribute

Build Status

Build Status

Under The MIT License

(The MIT License)

Copyright © skinny-framework.org

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