Appendix A. Tomcat and IDEs

Java has a rich set of Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), both open source as well as commercial. These IDEs enable application developers to develop, compile, debug, test, and deploy Web applications — all from within the IDE itself.

This appendix outlines the support for Tomcat in the following IDEs:

  • Eclipse

  • NetBeans

At the end of this appendix, you will be able to use either of these IDEs to debug Web applications deployed to a Tomcat server — both a local server as well as a remote one.

This appendix covers the two widely used open source Java IDEs, but does not cover the commercial ones such as Intellij IDEA ( and JBuilder ( However, some of the steps are similar across IDEs, such as those for remote Web application debugging in Tomcat. The appendix also does not cover installation of either Eclipse or NetBeans, or how to set up a project in these IDEs.


Eclipse is a popular, open-source IDE developed by IBM. It was originally designed to be a Java IDE, but through extensions it now supports other languages such as C/C++ and Ruby, even COBOL. It also has extensions ("plugins") for a host of tools and applications, such as Apache Ant, JUnit, and many more.

Eclipse can be downloaded from the Web site. The version of Eclipse used for this appendix is 3.2.2. You also need to install a JDK, and have your JAVA_HOME set to the JDK install directory. Chapter 3 shows you how to do this.

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