Register a Java EE 5 server

While NetBeans 5 doesn't support Java EE 5, it does allow you to register a Java EE 5 implementation as a deployment target.

I found some instructions for registering a GlassFish instance into the NetBeans 5 Beta environment. Fortunately, they are mostly incorrect now. [Folks had a lot of trouble using the UI that was there in NetBeans 5 Beta, so we fixed it.] One important point from those instructions is still valid though; you must start NetBeans with J2SE 5.0 (aka jdk 1.5). I will walk you through the new screens and choices that are available in NetBeans 5.

Servers are registered in the NetBeans environment on the Runtime explorer (or tab).

Right click on the Servers node to expose the 'Add Server...' item and select it.

Choose 'Sun Java System Application Server' as the Server and provide Name for it.

The next page gives you a number of different options. Most users that install GlassFish will be using a private copy with its default domain. This is the option that is selected by default. Once the user enters the value of the 'Platform Location', the Domain combobox is automatically populated.

If you enter the path to a GlassFish installation, you may see an error message, if you have started the IDE in J2SE 1.4. GlassFish (and all of Java EE 5, really) depends on J2SE 5.0 features. NetBeans needs to load classes from the libraries that ship with GlassFish. The NetBeans FAQ has an entry about sepecifiying the JDK to use.

There are other options that are supported by additional pages of the wizard. The user can register a domain that they have created using 'asadmin create-domain', by choosing 'Register Local Domain'. If the user needs to deploy modules and applications to a remote server, they can register it using 'Register Remote Domain'.

In previous version of the IDE and plugin, there has been the ability to create a personal domain in situations where the user cannot use one of the other local domains. This had been a hidden feature, unlocked by analyzing the application server's installation and default domains. in this release, we expose the feature explicitly. There is a fair bit of data verification that the you need to do, so be prepared.

Once your server is registered, you can right click on it to expose actions to control it, view the log file and open the web-based administration interface, known as the Admin Console. Most of these actions only apply to LOCAL domains, since the plugin depends on various scripts in the insatllation directory to implement the actions.


Expanded Servers Node: GlassFish instance visible.

When you start the server, the server log is exposed. This allows you to diagnose start-up issue. The log is also exposed when you Run/Debug/Deploy projects to a Sun Java System Application Server.

The glyphs on the left side of the log window let you Start, Debug, Restart, Stop and Refresh the server status in a single click.

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Vince Kraemer writes the entries in this blog.

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