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The Portlet support is experimental. Feedback is appreciated!
This tutorial focuses on how to create an Eclipse development environment to create and debug portlets. It does not cover portal deployment (which is different for each portal) and cheats a bit by using the struts2-archetype-portlet Maven 2 archetype. We can get away with not talking about portlet development, because Struts 2 portlet support allows a carefully-written portlet to be ran as a regular servlet application, drastically simplifying our development setup. Of course, to fully test your portlet, you will need to deploy the war into a portal server, but by running it in pure Tomcat, we can get 90% of the way there. Therefore, this tutorial requires Eclipse, Maven 2, and Tomcat to be installed.
In the tutorial, we will be using Eclipse 3.3 which can be downloaded from http://www.eclipse.org. I recommend the JEE package, which contains the popular (and required for this tutorial) Web Tools Project.
Apache Maven 2 can be found at http://maven.apache.org.
Apache Tomcat can be found at http://tomcat.apache.org. To install, simply unzip the distribution to a known location on your hard drive.
To start, we will use the Struts 2 portlet Maven archetype, struts2-archetype-portlet, which will create a new portlet project will all the necessary files for a simple "hello world"-style portlet. Open a terminal and type:
Aternatively, you can use Archy, a tool that provides an interactive command-line front-end to Maven Archetypes.
This will result in the following layout:
As you can see, this portlet comes with a simple "hello world" view, but also default edit and help screens.
A nice benefit of the Maven 2 build that new project comes equipped with is Maven 2 has a plugin that will generate all our Eclipse configuration. Move into the 'myportlet' directory and type:
First Eclipse and Maven project?
If this is your first time using Eclipse and Maven, Eclipse needs to know the path to the local maven repository. Therefore the classpath variable M2_REPO has to be set. Execute the following command:
You can also define a new classpath variable inside eclipse: From the menu bar, select Window > Preferences. Select the Java > Build Path > Classpath Variables page.
For more information on the Maven Eclipse plugin, see its homepage
Now, your generated 'myportlet' Eclipse module is ready to be imported into your workspace. In Eclipse, go to "File -> Import... -> General -> Existing Projects into Workspace", select the your 'myportlet' directory, and follow the prompts.
Since the Eclipse project was generated with the 'wtpversion' flag, it will be immediately recognized as a web application by Eclipse. If this is your first time deploying web applications in Eclipse, you will need set up your Tomcat server. To do this in Eclipse:
Before we can run our portlet in Eclipse, I've found that you need to add the portlet jar to Tomcat. To do this:
Now, you should be able to run and debug your project in Tomcat. The way I prefer to do this is to:
Eclipse will now run your portlet application as if it was a servlet.