IDEA 4.0 and WebLogic


I’m one of the many people downloading every EAP release of IDEA 4.0 to check out what new features, refactorings, etc. they put in the upcoming release. One of the ones that I’ve been playing with a lot is the new WebLogic integration. IDEA 4.0, when it ships will support complete integration with WebLogic.

Some of the features of the WebLogic integration include support for creation and management of Weblogic specific deployment descriptors, connect to running WebLogic server instances, start/stop the server and deploy war, ejbs and ear files directly from IDEA. Neat features, but I’ve been doing that with WebLogic and IDEA for years — Not sure what’s really new here. Yeah, the deployment descriptor editor is nice and the built-in support for start/stopping server is nice but I am still trying to figure out why someone should upgrade if this is the only new thing they want to try out. Don’t get me wrong – I am a total IDEA bigot and will continue to pay my maintanance fee to get the 4.0 upgrade. I guess I need to continue playing with the latest EAP builds to discover and document new features that make the upgrade worth the cost and hassle.

Before JPDA (Java Platform Debugger Architecture), I had a simple Java class that would load WebLogic from inside the IDE. It’s not really rocket science – Here’s the simple class:

public class WebLogicDebugger { 

public static void main(String[] args) {

System.getProperties().put("bea.home", "c:/bea");
System.getProperties().put(
"weblogic.Domain", "vinny");
System.getProperties().put(
"weblogic.Name", "myserver");
.
.
.

try {
weblogic.Server.main(args);
System.out.println(
"finished weblogic.Server.main");
}
catch (Throwable t) {
System.err.println(
new java.util.Date() + "####**** ERROR ***###");
t.printStackTrace();
}
}

}

Once WebLogic server is up and running inside IDEA or your IDE of choice, you can use the Ant integration to build and deploy the end result (war, ejb jar or ear) to the deploy directory of the running instance of WebLogic.

The integration offered by IDEA is pretty neat and I must give kudos to the developers. Here’s a simple walkthrough of setting up WebLogic Integration inside IDEA. The first setup allows you to start the WebLogic integration configuration:

Once the WebLogic Server Integration option is selected, IDEA will automatically sniff out the version of WebLogic installed and find the bea.home directory. You can then setup one of more WebLogic servers by setting the Admin user/password and the domain path. Any additional program parameters (-D parameters) or VM attributes can be specified here.

Once the server is configured, you provide the location of the web.xml and weblogic.xml files.

Once the web.xml is setup, specify the Web resource directory , which typically holds your jsps, tag libs, etc.

And voila!! You’re all set – IDEA is now ready to start WebLogic and you can start deploying applications.

Once the server is up and running, you can deploy/re-deploy applications. I am still having issue with build 1120 and can’t seem to get the deployment piece working correctly. I can use my Ant task to deploy, but cannot seem to use the built-in deployer. Need to follow up with the EAP forums.