Develop in NetBeans IDE 4.1, Deploy Anywhere

An unnamed developer, in an as-yet unpublished article, which I was lucky enough to read, really clarified a couple of things for me today. In a recent blog entry, it suddenly dawned on me that even though I had some cool little Ant scripts (hooked up to cool little NetBeans IDE menu items) for starting, debugging, stopping, testing, and deploying to a variety of servers (JBoss 4, Tomcat 4, and JRun 4), I couldn't really develop much in the IDE for these servers, because each has its own server-specific deployment descriptors (such as sun-web.xml, jboss-web.xml, jboss.xml, config.xml). At the end of that blog entry I had a brief Eureka moment, when I blogged the fact that I had just discovered the Migration Tool for the Sun Java System Application Server 8 Download.

However, thanks to this unnamed developer (unnamed because his article hasn't been officially released yet) my Eureka moment is even bigger. I hope I'm not stealing his thunder, but his article mentions the absolutely brilliant XDoclet, which can transform deployment descriptors from one server vendor into the deployment descriptors of another. I guess to many people that's not really news, because XDoclet's been around for a while. But, for me, the following is pretty revolutionary:

    <target name="Transform-JBoss-Web" depends="init,init-xdoclet" description="Generate web deployment descriptors">
       <webdoclet destdir="${build.dir.jboss}/WEB-INF" 
                addedtags="@xdoclet-generated at ${TODAY},@copyright The XDoclet Team,@author XDoclet" 
            <fileset dir="${src.root}">
                <include name="\*\*/\*"/>

            <jbosswebxml version="4.0" />

Anyway, that's all I'm going to say, because otherwise the unnamed developer's article is not going to be as cool and educational as I suspect it will be.

Update 04/20/05: Click here to read the cool article referred to above.


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Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.


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