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From Malcolm Warren <>
Subject Maven and Tomcat and Eclipse
Date Sun, 17 Oct 2010 14:46:17 GMT
  Dear All,

I've spent three days reading two books about Maven, all of the Maven 
site, and finally searching the web for hours.
But unfortunately I seem unable to work out and understand one simple 
concept and I've reached the end of my tether. Hope somebody can help!

I've successfully moved a small application from using Ant to Maven, 
using the default Maven folder structure.
And Maven does a lovely job of compiling it.

But what I just can't work out is where do I (the developer) and Tomcat 
fit into all of this now?


I have a nice myapp/appSrc/src/main/java folder containing all if my 
source for the app
and another myapp/appWeb/src/main/webapp folder containing the web files.
And with a parent .pom and two child .poms exactly as recommended on the 
maven site, maven compiles my source, places it in a .jar file in the 
repository and into the target WEB-INF/lib folder along with all the 

But what next? Where do I work?


In the original Ant setup Ant would compile my source files and place 
them in the -original- webapp/WEB-INF/lib folder, so that is where 
Tomcat comes in - picking up the app from the original webapp folder.

But with Maven I can no longer work in the original webapp folder, 
because now everything gets copied into the target, and that is where I 
find the .jar file and all its dependencies - in the target folders.
So I could set up Tomcat to work in the target folder I suppose and 
there I start developing. But wait a minute, if I want to change a 
sentence in a .jsp file, let's say, and see the result, how do I go 
about that?
I can't work in the target folder because everything gets copied from 
the original folder and it would get written over, but I can't work in 
Tomcat from the original folder either because the .jar file and its 
dependencies aren't there.


Ok so now I've found all over the web references to the tomcat Maven 
plug-in which, using the Manager app, deploys and can later redeploy 
your app to Tomcat.
But that doesn't make much sense to me either. Is that the route I have 
to go down?
Because if so, we're saying that for every tiddly little change to a 
.jsp file while developing I have to run a maven install followed by a 
redeploy, which doesn't seem to make much sense.

I must be missing something here.

I'd be very grateful for any help to get me moving the right direction 
Thanks for listening.

At the moment my Tomcat server is independent of Eclipse, I don't use 
the internal tomcat possibilities, I see that Maven can run a Tomcat as 
I'd prefer to remain with my independent version if possible as I have 
four other apps that will eventually have to be moved to Maven as well.


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