2. Getting Started

2.1. Introduction

This chapter covers the installation of Zope and getting started with the development of a simple application. This guide uses a build system called Buildout to build the application.

2.2. Prerequisites

Make sure you have Python version 3.8 or higher installed.

Creating and activating a VirtualEnv is recommended.

In order to use buildout, you have to install the zc.buildout package.

$ pip install zc.buildout

2.3. Directory structure

To begin application development, create a directory structure for the Python packages and build related files.

$ mkdir poll
$ mkdir poll/poll_build
$ mkdir poll/poll.main

All build related files will be added inside the poll_build directory, whereas the main Python package goes into the poll.main directory.

2.4. Installing Zope using zc.buildout

Zope is distributed in egg format. To install Zope and create an instance, create a buildout configuration file (poll/poll_build/buildout.cfg) with following content.

extends = https://zopefoundation.github.io/Zope/releases/master/versions-prod.cfg
parts =

recipe = zc.recipe.egg
eggs =

The [zope4] part uses zc.recipe.egg which will download Zope and all its dependencies. It will create few console scripts inside the bin directory.

After updating the buildout configuration, you can run the buildout command to build the system.

$ cd poll/poll_build
$ buildout

The initial build will take some time to complete.

2.5. Creating the instance

Once the build is complete, you can create an instance as follows.

$ bin/mkwsgiinstance -d .

2.6. Running the instance

Once you got a Zope instance, you can run it like this.

$ bin/runwsgi etc/zope.ini

Now, Zope is running. You can convince yourself by visiting the following URL.


You can also visit the administration area.

Use the user name and password you set earlier.


When you have a look at the drop-down box in the top right corner, you see a list of objects you may create.

In the next section we will create the poll application. Later, we will make it installable, too.

2.7. Developing the main package

Now, we can move to the poll.main directory to create the main package to develop the application. We will develop the entire application inside the poll.main package. For bigger projects, it is recommended to split packages logically and maintain the dependencies between the packages properly.

$ cd ../poll.main

In order to create an egg distribution, we need to create a setup.py and a basic directory structure. We are going to place the Python package inside the src directory.

$ touch setup.py
$ mkdir src
$ mkdir src/poll
$ mkdir src/poll/main
$ touch src/poll/__init__.py
$ touch src/poll/main/__init__.py
$ touch src/poll/main/configure.zcml

The last file is a configuration file. The .zcml file extension stands for Zope Configuration Markup Language.

To declare poll as a namespace package, we need to add following code to src/poll/__init__.py.


Next, we need to add the minimum metadata required for the package in setup.py.

from setuptools import setup, find_packages

    package_dir={"": "src"},

We need to edit two more files to be recognized by Zope. First, define the initialize callback function in src/poll/main/__init__.py.

def initialize(registrar):

And, in the ZCML file (src/poll/main/configure.zcml), add these few lines.

<configure xmlns="http://namespaces.zope.org/five">

  <registerPackage package="." initialize=".initialize" />


2.8. Creating an installable application

We need three things to make an installable application.

  • A form object created as Zope Page Template (manage_addPollMain)

  • A function to define the form action (addPollMain)

  • A class to define the toplevel application object (PollMain).

Finally, we need to register the class along with the form and add the function using the registrar object passed to the initialize function.

We can define all these things in app.py and the form template as manage_addPollMain_form.zpt.

$ touch src/poll/main/app.py
$ touch src/poll/main/manage_addPollMain_form.zpt

Here is the code for app.py

from OFS.Folder import Folder
from Products.PageTemplates.PageTemplateFile import PageTemplateFile

class PollMain(Folder):
    meta_type = "POLL"

manage_addPollMain = PageTemplateFile("manage_addPollMain_form", globals())

def addPollMain(context, id):
    """ """
    context._setObject(id, PollMain(id))
    return "POLL Installed: %s" % id

… and for manage_addPollMain_form.zpt:

<h1 tal:replace="structure context/manage_page_header">Header</h1>

<main class="container-fluid">

  <h2 tal:define="form_title string:Add POLL"
      tal:replace="structure here/manage_form_title">Form Title</h2>

  <form action="addPollMain" method="post">

    <div class="form-group row">
      <label for="id" class="form-label col-sm-3 col-md-2">Id</label>
      <div class="col-sm-9 col-md-10">
        <input id="id" name="id" class="form-control" type="text" />

    <div class="form-group row form-optional">
      <label for="title" class="form-label col-sm-3 col-md-2">Title</label>
      <div class="col-sm-9 col-md-10">
        <input id="title" name="title" class="form-control" type="text" />

    <div class="zmi-controls">
      <input class="btn btn-primary" type="submit" name="submit" value="Add" />



<h1 tal:replace="structure context/manage_page_footer">Footer</h1>

Finally, we can register it within src/poll/main/__init__.py:

from poll.main.app import PollMain, manage_addPollMain, addPollMain

def initialize(registrar):
        constructors=(manage_addPollMain, addPollMain)

The application is now ready to install. But we need to make some changes in poll_build, so it gets installed along Zope.

2.9. Updating the build config

First, in the [buildout] section of buildout.cfg we need to mention that poll.main is locally developed. Otherwise, buildout will try to get the package from package index server, by default that is https://pypi.org/ .

develop = ../poll.main

Also, we need to add poll.main to the eggs option in the [zope4] section.

eggs =

The final buildout.cfg will look like this.

develop = ../poll.main
extends = https://zopefoundation.github.io/Zope/releases/master/versions-prod.cfg
parts =

recipe = zc.recipe.egg
eggs =

To make these change effective, run the buildout again.

$ buildout

Finally, we have to include our package within poll_build/etc/site.zcml. Add the following towards the bottom of that file:

<include package="poll.main" />

Now, we can run application instance again.

$ bin/runwsgi etc/zope.ini

2.10. Adding an application instance

Visit the ZMI ( http://localhost:8080/manage ) and select POLL from the drop-down box. It will display the add-form created earlier. Enter poll in the ID field and submit the form. After submitting, it should display a message: “POLL Installed: poll”.

2.11. Adding and index page for the POLL application

In this section we will add a main page to the POLL application, so that we can access the POLL application like this: http://localhost:8080/poll .

First, create a file named index_html.zpt inside poll.main/src/poll/main with content like this:

  <title>Welcome to POLL!</title>

<h2>Welcome to POLL!</h2>


Now add an attribute named index_html inside PollMain class like this:

class PollMain(Folder):
    meta_type = "POLL"

    index_html = PageTemplateFile("index_html", globals())

After restarting Zope, you can see that it displays the main page when you access: http://localhost:8080/poll .

2.12. Summary

This chapter covered the installation of Zope and the beginning of the development of a simple project in Zope.