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JBoss Meets Eclipse: Introducing the JBoss-IDE

The wildly popular J2EE application server goes from full steam to mainstream with a GUI-based IDE that plugs into the Eclipse development framework.


Boss, the open source, J2EE-based application server, has been a favorite of the Java community for a long time. But recently JBoss got a handy new toolkit, thanks to Eclipse—one that may just help the product go from full steam to mainstream.

While JBoss has always been applauded for being robust and scalable, with support for security, load balancing, clustering, and transactional capability, what it hasn'thad is a GUI-based IDE. And that has left the mass marketplace solely in the hands of closed source competitors such as IBM, BEA, and Borland. Those who prefer can always continue to configure JBoss using command line tools, but thanks to the Eclipse project, JBoss has an IDE that plugs into the Eclipse development framework, making the product a legitimate option for the thousands of developers who prefer a GUI.

A few Eclipse plugins already have support for JBoss, but the JBoss-IDE plugin is by far the easiest to install, update, and use. The plugin supports starting and stopping servers, debugging server-side code, packaging archive files, and deploying archive files. It also has support for XDoclet code-generation. Best of all, the JBoss-IDE is developed and maintained by JBoss Inc., the makers of the JBoss Application Server itself

In this article, I'll show you how to install and configure the JBoss-IDE plugin and then walk you through the steps of creating a simple Hello World application, packaging it, and deploying it to a JBoss server.

Installing the Plugin
Many Eclipse plugins are packaged as a ZIP file that you download and unzip directly into Eclipse's plugin directory. But the JBoss-IDE uses Eclipse's built-in update management functionality which makes initial installation easy and subsequent updates even easier.

Author's Note: If you are behind a proxy, you'll have to define the proxy server before you can run the update manager. Go to Window—>Preferences—>Install/Update, select Enable HTTP Proxy Connection and define values for Host Address and Port. There is more documentation available on the install process on the JBoss IDE Web page.

Eclipse 2.x

  1. Click Help—>Software Updates—>Update Manager.
  2. In the Feature Updates view, right click and select New—>Site Bookmark.
  3. Select an unused name for the bookmark and then set the bookmark at http://jboss.sourceforge.net/jbosside/updates.
  4. Expand the bookmark that was added and select JBoss-IDE 1.0/Eclipse 2.1.
  5. You should now see the available versions of the plugin. Select the latest version.
  6. You will be prompted to restart Eclipse.

Eclipse 3.x

  1. Click Help—>Software Updates—>Find and Install.
  2. Select Search for new features to install.
  3. Click Add Update Site.
  4. Select an unused name for the update site and then set the boomark at http://jboss.sourceforge.net/jbosside/updates.
  5. Expand the update site that was added and select JBoss-IDE 1.0/Eclipse 3.0.
  6. You should now see the available versions of the plugin. Select the latest version.
  7. You will be prompted to restart Eclipse.

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