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Eclipse Web Tool Platform (WTP). This tutorial describes the development of servlets and Java web application with Eclipse WTP.

1. Eclipse Web Tool Platform

The Eclipse WTP project provides tools for developing standard Java web applications and Java EE applications. Typical web artifacts in a Java environment are HTML, CSS and XML files, webservices and servlets. Eclipse WTP simplifies the creation these web artifacts. It provides runtime environments in which these artifacts can be deployed, started and debugged.

In Eclipse WTP you create Dynamic Web Projects. These projects provide the necessary functionality to run, debug and deploy Java web applications.

Eclipse WTP supports all major web containers. This includes Jetty and Apache Tomcat as well as most Java EE application server. In this tutorial we use Apache Tomcat as the web container.

The tutorial describes the creation of Java servlets.

The usage of Java Server Pages (JSP) is outdated, other frameworks are used for the creation of web user interfaces.

2. Installation and configuration of Eclipse WTP

Your Eclipse IDE might already have the WTP tooling installed, in this case skip this step.

Use the Eclipse Update Manager to install the following features from the Web, XML, Java EE Developmentand OSGi Enterprise Development category.

  • Eclipse Java EE Developer Tools

  • Eclipse Java Web Developer Tools

  • Eclipse Web Developer Tools

  • JST Server Adapters

  • JST Server Adapters Extensions

Eclipse WTP installation

3. Web server configuration in Eclipse

3.1. Setting up runtime environments

Download the latest version of Tomcast from http://tomcat.apache.org/. Extract them to your file system.

If you have a local running Tomcat installation on your computer, stop Tomcat. Eclipse needs to start Tomcat itself for its deployments.

To configure Eclipse WTP, select from the menu Window ▸ Preferences ▸ Server ▸ Runtime Environments. Press the Add button.

WTPConfig10

Select your version of Tomcat and select the Create a new local server flag.

WTPConfig20

Point to your existing Tomcat download.

Eclipse allows downloading older versions of Tomcat from its preference page.

WTPConfig30

Press the Finish and afterwards OK.

You are now control the Tomcat server instance from your Eclipse IDE.

3.2. Starting a web server

Once you have configure a local Tomcat server the Servers view allows you to start start and stop this server. To open this view select Window ▸ Show View ▸ Other…​ ▸ Server ▸ Servers…​.

wtp tomcatserver10

You can stop and start the Tomcat server via the Servers view.

wtp tomcatserver20

4. Exercise: Create and run a servlet

4.1. Target

In this exercise you create a servlet which works as a webpage counter. This servlet keeps track of the number of visitors of a webpage. The servlet persists the number of visitors in a text file.

4.2. Create web project

Create a new Dynamic Web Project called com.vogella.web.filecounter by selecting File ▸ New ▸ Other…​ ▸ Web ▸ Dynamic Web Project.

wtp first project10
wtp first project20

Press twice the Next button and select the Generate web.xml deployment descriptor on the last page.

wtp first project30

Afterwards press the Finish button.

If Eclipse asks you, to switch to the Java EE Perspective answer yes.

A new project has been created with the standard structure of a Java web application. The WEB-INF/lib directory holds all the JAR files that the Java web application requires.

4.3. Creating Data Access Object

Create a new package called com.vogella.web.filecounter.dao.

Create the following new Java class to read and write the counter value to and from the file.

package com.vogella.web.filecounter.dao;

import java.io.BufferedReader;
import java.io.File;
import java.io.FileReader;
import java.io.FileWriter;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.PrintWriter;

public class FileDao {

    public int getCount() {
        int count = 0;
        // Load the file with the counter
        FileReader fileReader = null;
        BufferedReader bufferedReader = null;
        PrintWriter writer = null;
        try {
            File f = new File("FileCounter.initial");
            if (!f.exists()) {
                f.createNewFile();
                writer = new PrintWriter(new FileWriter(f));
                writer.println(0);
            }
            if (writer != null) {
                writer.close();
            }

            fileReader = new FileReader(f);
            bufferedReader = new BufferedReader(fileReader);
            String initial = bufferedReader.readLine();
            count = Integer.parseInt(initial);
        } catch (Exception ex) {
            if (writer != null) {
                writer.close();
            }
        }
        if (bufferedReader != null) {
            try {
                bufferedReader.close();
            } catch (IOException e) {
                e.printStackTrace();
            }
        }
        return count;
    }

    public void save(int count) throws Exception {
        FileWriter fileWriter = null;
        PrintWriter printWriter = null;
        fileWriter = new FileWriter("FileCounter.initial");
        printWriter = new PrintWriter(fileWriter);
        printWriter.println(count);

        // make sure to close the file
        if (printWriter != null) {
            printWriter.close();
        }
    }
}

4.4. Creating the Servlet

Create a servlet. Right-click on your project and select New ▸ Servlet.

Enter the following data.

wtp first project40
wtp first project50

Press finish.

You could also create a servlet without the wizard. The wizard creates a Java class which extends the javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet and adds the servlet settings to the web.xml file.

Enter the following code.

package com.vogella.web.filecounter.servlet;

import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.PrintWriter;

import javax.servlet.ServletException;
import javax.servlet.annotation.WebServlet;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;
import javax.servlet.http.HttpSession;

import com.vogella.web.filecounter.dao.FileDao;

/**
 * Servlet implementation class FileCounter
 */
@WebServlet("/FileCounter")
public class FileCounter extends HttpServlet {
    private static final long serialVersionUID = 1L;

    int count;
    private FileDao dao;

    @Override
    protected void doGet(HttpServletRequest request,
            HttpServletResponse response) throws ServletException, IOException {
        // Set a cookie for the user, so that the counter does not increate
        // every time the user press refresh
        HttpSession session = request.getSession(true);
        // Set the session valid for 5 secs
        session.setMaxInactiveInterval(5);
        response.setContentType("text/plain");
        PrintWriter out = response.getWriter();
        if (session.isNew()) {
            count++;
        }
        out.println("This site has been accessed " + count + " times.");
    }


    @Override
    public void init() throws ServletException {
        dao = new FileDao();
        try {
            count = dao.getCount();
        } catch (Exception e) {
            getServletContext().log("An exception occurred in FileCounter", e);
            throw new ServletException("An exception occurred in FileCounter"
                    + e.getMessage());
        }
    }

    public void destroy() {
        super.destroy();
        try {
            dao.save(count);
        } catch (Exception e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }

}

This code will read the counter from a file on the server and return plain text to the browser. The servlet will increase the counter if the user was inactive for 5 seconds.

4.5. Deployment of the servlet

You application must be deployed to the server and started there. Select your servlet or your project, right-click on it and select Run As ▸ Run on Server from the context menu and select your existing server.

wtp first project60

Ensure your servlet is selected to run on the server.

wtp first project70
In case you get the error "The Tomcat server configuration at \Servers\Tomcat v7.0 Server at localhost-config is missing. Check the server for errors.", simply delete the existing server configuration and create a new one.

Press the Finish button.

4.6. Validate the deployment

If the deployment was successfully you should be able to access your servlet via the following URL:

http://localhost:8080/com.vogella.web.filecounter/FileCounter

The servlet will return the number of times it was accessed. If you wait 5 seconds and refresh the browser, the number should increase.

wtp first project80

Congratulations. You created your first working servlet with Eclipse WTP!

5. Web Archive - How to create a war file from Eclipse

´The following describes how to create a Web Archive (WAR) from Eclipse.

Right-click on the project and select Export.

CreateWar10

Specify the target directory and press Finish.

CreateWar20

You can now import the WAR file to your production Tomcat system and test the web application.

6. About this website

7. Web development resources

7.1. vogella GmbH training and consulting support

TRAINING SERVICE & SUPPORT

The vogella company provides comprehensive training and education services from experts in the areas of Eclipse RCP, Android, Git, Java, Gradle and Spring. We offer both public and inhouse training. Whichever course you decide to take, you are guaranteed to experience what many before you refer to as “The best IT class I have ever attended”.

The vogella company offers expert consulting services, development support and coaching. Our customers range from Fortune 100 corporations to individual developers.

Copyright © 2012-2016 vogella GmbH. Free use of the software examples is granted under the terms of the EPL License. This tutorial is published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany license.

See Licence.