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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:
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:
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.