Installing and setting up Cassiopeia

Cassiopeia is a scientific wordprocessing and database-based document management system for MacOSX. It features
  • scientific word processing with focus on content
  • a keystroke based equation editor (MathML content markup)
  • a symbolic algebra system with automatic equation simplification
  • a 2D graph module
  • a simulation module
  • management of documents in a relational database
  • multi user system for co-editing in a workgroup
  • LaTeX export for printing
  • HTML export for WWW publishing
This guide leads you through the installation and setup process. Since Cassiopeia stores all data in a relational database management system a few setup steps are required after the installation of the software package(s). Cassiopeia hides the RDBMS related complexity almost completely and sets everything up automatically. The underlying relational database management system (FrontBase from has a very small footprint and is fairly easy to use should you ever want to manage it directly.

Download and installation

A Cassiopeia installation consists of three parts: Cassiopeia, FrontBase and LaTeX. All required components can be downloaded from the Advanced Science website:
  • Cassiopeia-Essentials.dmg
  • Cassiopeia.X.Y.Z.pkg
The Cassiopeia-Essentials.dmg contains FrontBase 5.2.11 and a LaTeX distribution and is provided for your convenience. The installation of the components on this diskimage is required only if you have not yet installed FrontBase and/or LaTeX from other sources (e.g. directly from After unarchiving the downloaded *.dmg.gz file doubleclick on the *.dmg to mount the diskimage. A corresponding icon should appear next to Macintonsh HD in Click on it and install the contained components:
  • FrontBase.mpkg (if you get "FrontBase.mpkg is damaged and can't be opened" see ATTENTION paragraph below)
  • BasicTeX-2009.pkg
  • MacTeX-Additions-2009.mpkg
This needs to be done only once (no need to repeat this when you upgrade Cassiopeia to a newer version) and only if you not have FrontBase or a LaTeX distribution installed on your Mac yet.

ATTENTION: If you are on MacOSX 10.8.X you might encounter the very nonsensical "FrontBase.mpkg is damaged and can't be opened!" message while trying to install FrontBase. To workaround this problem go to Apple -> System Preferences... -> Security & Privacy -> "Allow applications downloaded from" and select "Anywhere" in this dialog. After making this setting the package installs seamlessly. Alternatively go to and download the FrontBase 5.x (recommended) or FrontBase 7.x package for your MacOSX version.

Cassiopeia.X.Y.Z.pkg contains the actual scientific wordprocessing software. Whenever you want to upgrade Cassiopeia download and install the lastest release of this package.

If you for some reason use FrontBase 7.x (directly downloaded from instead of FrontBase 5.x (supplied on the essentials diskimage) install Cassiopeia.X.Y.ZFB7.pkg instead (note the FB7 suffix). Install only one of these two packages (either Cassiopeia.X.Y.Z.pkg or Cassiopeia.X.Y.ZFB7.pkg) depedening on which FrontBase version you have installed.

Getting a Cassiopeia license

Cassiopeia can be used free of charge perpetually. As of Cassiopeia 1.3.0 a license is no longer needed for getting started with the application. We still recommend to request and set a license key though. Please click on License and either enter your customer number and email address if you are returning customer or fill out the New Customer form. The license key will be emailed to you immediately and is then to be entered on the License pane of the preferences panel (see below).

Setting up the database

Start Cassiopeia (/Applications/ and in the Cassiopeia menu select Cassiopeia - Preferences.

These are the default database connection settings. Do not modify any of these values unless you know what you do. Detailed instructions about setting up a multi-user environment and connecting to a central database on a remote host can be found in Central Database. For now stick to the default database Cassiopeia on localhost (your Mac). The entry in the Application textfield tells Cassiopeia which bundle (custom logic) to load and must not be changed. Click on the popup at the top of the panel (initially titled Connection) and use it to switch to the License pane.

Copy-paste the license key we sent you into the License field. If you do not have a Cassiopeia license yet go to and click on Get a free license key now. This will get you one in seconds. Once you have entered your key your name and organization should appear in the corresponding fields. This info is used for generating a default title page during LaTeX export.

Make sure the Force Schema Update checkbox is set. This flag is automatically set whenever you install a new version to make sure the schema is upgraded when you log in the next (for the first) time. The flag is automatically reset to zero at the end of a successful database upgrade in order to accelerate forthcoming logins (schema check suppressed).

Close the preferences panel and choose "Database - Log On" in the Cassiopeia menu. The following login panel appears.

Since we are in the process of creating a new database no other than the default user account is available. Therefore keep ROOT in the username field, leave the password field blank and simply click on OK. Cassiopeia tries to connect to a database Cassiopeia on localhost now. It realizes that this database does not exist yet, creates it, creates the schema ROOT and sets up the schema. After a couple of seconds the following panel appears.

We want the tables to be created. Click on YES. A second later the following panel appears asking for permission to create constraints in the database.

We want this to happen as well. So click on YES again.

Cassiopeia wants to create even more tables and constraints. Let it do so by clicking on YES a third and a fourth time. We are done! The schema has been setup successfully and the following browser window appears.

You can now choose Database - New Document from the menu or simply press Command-n to create the first document and start typing.

It is a good idea to create a backup of the database from time to time. This is explained in Scheduling Backups. If you encounter any problems while setting up Cassiopeia please contact us at Our support team will be happy to assist and get you started quickly.

Press Command-N now to create a new document and start typing. Once you have entered a few words try Command-p to open the LaTeX generation panel and generate a PDF for your document. You might want to go through the following tutorials now.

A few introductory youtube clips can be found under Cassiopeia - Videos on our website. If you encounter any problems feel free to contact our support team at Your questions are welcome and feedback is greatly appreciated!
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