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Installing Eclipse

Eclipse is the chosen IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for this module. An IDE supports software development in a range of different ways - principally for us, the ability to easily compile, to prompt available methods within classes and to assist in deployment on our application server (Tomcat).  

While it is technically possible to develop web applications using the command line or an alternate IDE (such as Netbeans) this is not recommended for the module, unless you know what you're doing.  Either way, only Eclipse is supported in this module - but if you want to use something else.... you're on your own!

Eclipse itself is relatively simple to install.  You simply download it from the www.eclipse.org website (choosing the Java EE version) and this will effectively give you a zipped version.  This is unzipped in a location of your choice and (on Windows) you simply run 'eclipse.exe'.  Eclipse does use Java as it is itself a Java application and so this needs to be installed on your machine before you attempt to install Eclipse.

Java must be installed on your system, BEFORE you attempt to install Eclipse.  You should also have installed Tomcat in advance for the following instructions to work correctly.

There are three main parts in the installation video:
  1. Installing Eclipse base package  (relatively straightforwards)
  2. Integrating Eclipse with Tomcat   (more complex)
  3. Building a web application       (you can optionally ignore this for now if you want)
Please follow the video carefully, as issues can arise.  The third part, as mentioned, is optional and you may choose the omit it for now if you find it complex.  At this point, you may or may not have experienced JSPs and servlets, so these may prove confusing to you.  


WARNING: Windows Installation Warning: Students have encountered issues where they have installed Eclipse / Tomcat in "Program Files" on Windows. In this situation Windows is protective of the file system and is restrictive on letting files be created (without confirmation) in this folder and subfolders.  It can be circumvented by running Eclipse as Administrator, but in general it is recommended that you install these package in an entirely separate directory such as that in the video.

Installation Video

Video Notes

There are some differences between setup currently in the laboratory and setup as described here. The lab currently has Tomcat 5.5 installed whereas here Tomcat 7.0 is recommended.  There are no game-breaking issues here - the only difference will be seen when creating servlets, but this will be discussed in the lecture.  Under this setup, servlets will be given a "path" through the use of annotations, whereas in the lab setup a 'New Servlet' will result in a path mapping being made in the associated web.xml file.

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