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WO developers have been able to deploy their applications as a WAR bundle in a J2EE container since WO 5.1, and as an independent SSDD (Servlet Single Directory Deployment) bundle since WO 5.2. There is some documentation out there already for preparing your apps for this if you use XCode, but more and more developers are ditching that in favor of the vastly superior (in my opinion) Eclipse/WOLips IDE. For more information on XCode, [start here]. This article is all about how to do things in Eclipse, and then as a bonus, how to create a deploy a project wonder application so that it runs in tomcat. I had a fairly miserable time figuring all of this out, but there's really not that much too it once you have all of the information in one place. Read on...


You really ought to know how to create a regular standalone webobjects application before you dive into this article. It helps if you understand the basic servlet container file structure, and you should also have the container of your choice installed. I'm using Tomcat 5.5.9.

Getting Started

For an example of how this works, we're going to do the most boring little hello world app imaginable from scratch. Don't fret though, you can apply the same set of changes to any existing app and it should work. After getting Hello World working, I applied the changes described here to a fairly complex existing project full of Ajax and project wonder fanciness, and it worked just as expected.

Creating Hello World

First create your hello world just like you would In this tutorial. I called my project JSPHelloWorld, and all I did after the WOLips wizard finished guiding me through the project was to edit the Main.html component to say HELLO, WORLD! About as boring as it gets, but go ahead and run your application as a WOLips WOApplication run configuration (the beauty of all this, as you'll see, is that you can develop your applications as you normally would, and in the end, you only have to think about the tomcat stuff when you're actually ready to deploy):

Now for the fun part...

There are really just a few steps you need to go through to make a plain WebObjects application deploy on Tomcat from here:

1) Open up the build.xml file for editing. It should be at the project level. If you don't see it, it's probably just hidden. To show it, click the down triangle at the top of the Package Explorer, and select the "Filters" menu:

Uncheck the item labeled build.xml (WOLips). Now you should see it in package explorer.

Note: If you are converting an existing project to deploy in a servlet container, you may have an older version of the WOLips build.xml file (this happened to me when I started playing with things, and it was all kinds of confusing). Lots of work has been done by the community in the last year to bring this up to speed. To get the recent good stuff, you can right click on the build.xml file and choose WOLips Ant Tools->Replace with latest build.xml. Take care to back up your original version somewhere first though, if you've made any modifications, because you will lose those changes.

If you are using the ant editor to edit the file, you will see a nice summary of your targets in the Outline window:

Click on the 'ssdd' target (If you are not in the and editor, you can just scroll down in the file until you see '<target name="ssdd" depends="build.woapp">').

The directions in the comments above the target are fairly self-explanatory, but here is the more verbose rundown:

By default, the target tag for ssdd has an attribute that looks like 'if="$

Unknown macro: {never}

"'. Just delete that, so that the target will execute next time you do an ant install.

A couple of targets up in the file, you will find the build.woapp target (<target name="build.woapp">). Within that tag, you will find several 'frameworks' tags. By default, these will have an embed="false" attribute. For each of them, change the "false" to "true". This is important because you are bundling a self contained thing to go in your servlet container, so everything you reference needs to be included. embed="true" makes the ant task copy all of the referenced frameworks out of /Library/Frameworks/ and /System/Library/Frameworks and into the folder that will ultimately move to your tomcat 'webapps' directory (by default, this folder will be created within your project, within a folder named 'dist'. More on this later)

At the root level of your project, you need to create a text file and name it LICENSE. Within this file, you are going to paste the contents of your WebObjects license key. For WebObjects 5.3, this can be found in the file at /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaWebObjects.framework/Resources/License.key. More on the whole license key thing [here]. Here's what my project directory looks like after I created the LICENSE file:

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