Providing a high productivity work environment

Typesafe Activator is a single download to get you started building Reactive applications. To get started, you’ll need a JDK, your favorite editor or IDE, and Activator. Activator includes the sbt build tool, a quick-start GUI, and a catalog of template applications.

Jump start development with tutorials and code samples in Activator

Activator’s quick-start UI walks you through Typesafe Reactive Platform tutorials and is a hub for developers wanting to build Reactive applications. Activator updates in real-time with new content from Typesafe and select third parties. Through tutorials and sample code, it helps you learn more about and adopt the range of offerings, both commercial and open source, found in the Typesafe ecosystem.

Common development patterns are presented through reusable templates that are linked to in-context tutorials explaining step-by-step exactly how things work. For tutorial purposes, the Activator UI has a simple editor and the ability to compile, test, and run template applications. As you move into real-world applications, Activator can export to leading IDEs where you might continue working.

Activator’s template catalog grows and evolves dynamically. New templates are published regularly on the Typesafe website, and anyone can contribute new templates!

Activator is powered by the sbt build engine

sbt is an interactive build tool with customizable build tasks and an "execute-task-on-file-change" feature, allowing you to focus on writing your code. Typesafe Activator includes sbt’s default command line mode, then adds a quick-start UI (the activator ui command) and a template catalog (accessible in the UI or via the activator new command). Type activator shell to access sbt’s traditional command line prompt, or you can run Activator with a specific task name (for example, activator compile) just as you would with plain sbt.

Use sbt (via Activator) to compile Java and Scala code, run tests, package JARs and Docker images, and even execute code directly in the Scala interpreter. Builds are written in a Scala-based syntax, with a mix of declarative and imperative features. sbt is inherently parallel, and automatically executes your build tasks across multiple cores. sbt also manages dependencies found in existing Maven or Ivy package repositories.


To get started with Activator & sbt, we recommend checking out the following resources:



Typesafe Activator gets you started with Play and the Typesafe Reactive Platform. It is a hub for developers that want to build Reactive applications, providing both a command line and a GUI for creating new applications. Getting started is a snap. Just refer to the instructions on the Get Started page.

Get Started With Activator


sbt is the engine powering Typesafe Activator. If you have Activator, you already have sbt - but you can download plain sbt (with no UI or template catalog) from scala-sbt.org. A common approach to command line development would be to type activator ~test or sbt ~test in your project directory, then start coding! Test failures will show up in sbt's console automatically as your code is saved.

Get Started with sbt

Videos & Webinars

Deep Dive into the Typesafe Reactive Platform - Activator and Play

In this deep dive presentation, we'll walk through the rich developer content in Typesafe Activator, and learn how to get started building reactive apps with Play.

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Introducing sbt

In this video, Kip Sigman walks you through an introduction to sbt. How to install sbt, create a basic project, use common commands and run common tasks, add a managed library dependency, install an sbt plugin, and a few other tricks.

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Introducing sbt 0.13.2

sbt is a build tool that provides developers with a high productivity work environment. In this videocast, Josh Suereth talks about sbt 0.13.2, walks us through how to construct an existing in project in Activator and discusses new features.

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Play and Scala meetup: sbt in Action

This talk provides a walk through of sbt for newcomers and dives into the core concepts.

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Here are some additional ideas on how to get started:

Visit the Typesafe Resource Center or Go Typesafe
Read the full documentation (sbt)
Visit the community website (sbt)
Follow sbt on Twitter (sbt)
Participate on Stack Overflow (sbt)
Join the Mailing List (sbt)
Contribute to sbt on GitHub | Contribute to Activator on GitHub
Browse Activator Templates


Ensure the Success of Your Reactive Application

If you plan to develop a commercial application, your business could benefit from a relationship with Typesafe. The Typesafe Together annual subscription program is designed to mitigate risk and ensure the successful launch and operation of your application by delivering certified builds and amazing service throughout the entire project lifecycle—from prototyping to production.

Get In Contact with Typesafe