The fundamental phoebus architecture consists of core modules, user-interface related core-ui modules, and app modules. The core modules provide the infrastructure, while app modules implement specific application functionality. Everything is based on Java version 9 or higher, using Java FX as a graphics library.

A Phoebus product may contain just one application, for example only one of Probe, PV Tree, PV Table, Display Builder Runtime, so you end up with several Phoebus products that each perform one function. Alternatively, you can assemble a Phoebus product that contains all these applications. This allows integration between the applications, for example via context menus that start other PV-related applications based on the current selection.

Core Modules


Fundamentals that many applications use, for example preferences, persistence, jobs, macros, localization, autocompletion.

Defines the AppDescriptor and AppResourceDescriptor Java Service Provider Interfaces (SPI) which are used to locate applications. Each application feature identifies itself by implementing an application description that describes to the Phoebus framework what the name of the application is, which types of resources (e.g. data files) it might accept, and most importantly how to start one or more instances of the application.

To create an AppInstance, i.e. an application instance, the framework invokes the create() method of the application descriptor. This will typically result in a new application instance, i.e. a new tab in the UI. Certain applications like the job viewer will create a singleton application instance.

On shutdown, the state of all windows and tabs is persisted in a memento file, and each AppDescriptor can also persist its own state. On startup, each window and tab is restored, the applications are restarted, and each application can restore its specific state from the memento.

The JobManager API allows submitting jobs based on a JobRunnable that supports progress reporting and cancellation.


API for access to life data from Process Variables.


API for accessing a logbook, with SPI for site-specific implementations.


API for creating emails.


API for authorization and secure storage.


The docking package supports a window environment similar to a web browser. Each window can have multiple tabs. Users can move tabs between existing windows, or detach them into newly created windows.

The top-level Java FX Node for each application’s UI scene graph is basically a Tab, wrapped in a Phoebus DockItem that tracks the AppInstance to allow it to be saved and restored.

The toolbar, main menu and context menus accept SPI-based contributions.

The selection package allows publishing and monitoring a selection of for example PVs.

The undo package simplifies the implementation of undo/redo functionality.

App Modules

Each app module implements a certain application feature, for example Probe, PV Tree, Display Builder. While application modules depend on one or more core modules, there should be few if no inter-application dependencies, allowing a product to contain only the desired applications.


Each core and application module is built into a jar file. A product contains a lib/ directory with the desired modules. When invoking the Launcher, it locates the available applications, menu and toolbar entries via SPI. Adding or removing Probe, PV Tree, .. from a product is done by simply adding or removing the respective jar file.


Similar to a product, a service is a runnable tool, but typically for a non-UI functionality like a scan server, archive engine, alarm handler or logger.