Back to Java

At last. Today I got to ignore Domino Designer, and fire up Eclipse again. Hurrah! It’s so nice to get out of Designer and do something more interesting than tweak my “CommonFields” sub-form (those who do a lot of web development in Domino will know what I mean ;-)).

Anyway, back to that there Java stuff. Today I started on a new mini-project — nothing fancy, just something ideal for getting back into the language — and it was good fun. My current laptop at work, Son of Stinky, had Eclipse on it, but precious little else. I needed to do some servlet work, so first up I grabbed Tomcat and then, of course, that most indispensable of plug-ins: Sysdeo’s Tomcat plug-in. This free piece of kit does a few things, and does them well. Briefly then:

  • It starts Tomcat from within Eclipse
  • It stops it again (or simply performs a re-start)
  • It adds a new “Tomcat Project” option when using the new project wizard
  • Simple linking to Tomcat for remote debugging
  • It edits the server.xml and Tomcat user files on the fly
  • It exports projects as WAR files

So, a WSAD killer it is not, but extremely handy nonetheless: relieving some of the tedium of coding servlets, JSPs and the like, without taking over.

With regards Tomcat itself, I loaded up a slightly older version: 4.1.31 rather than the newer 5.x code-stream. This is simply because I want to code at least roughly along the same lines as the production environment used, which is WebSphere 5.1 (and therefore uses the Servlet 2.3 implementation, rather than v.2.4 as in Tomcat 5.x).

Anyway, all this is to simply convey that firing up such an environment, after months of hard slog in Domino Designer, was a breath of fresh air. I’m sure the novelty will fade…

Related reading
» Complete newbie to the Sysdeo plug-in? Check out this starter for ten
» Eclipse plug-ins page on vowe’s wiki
» Eclipse plug-ins page on my wiki


  1. If you are bored of tweaking "Common Fields" - have you ever thought of renaming them? Just think of all the extra development work you would create. A year done the line when you have tracked down the last use of the fields you needed to update - oh the joy!

    Steve Castledine#
  2. LOL Actually, even that's not much fun nowadays, not with that gosh-darned Teamstudio suite taking all the fun (and time) out of tracking down dependencies etc… ;-) Ben Poole#
  3. u dont need to add sysdeo plugin if u use webtools. U can download a prepackaged eclipse + webtools at

    Eclipse webtools download linkScott Gregorio#
  4. Good call Scott: the web tools project had completely passed me by, and looks pretty comprehensive. Thanks!Ben Poole#
  5. Yep, with Tomcat you can choose your own Servlet and Java versions. We're a small company, and although I'm sure there are other benefits to WebSphere, it's just too expensive to consider… at least for us.Brian Green#
  6. This is how we integrate Tomcat and Domino.

    We have 3 stand-alone Tomcat servers, and 2 Domino servers. SSO between all 5 servers.
    Long article, but basically… you add a Filter to your Tomcat application (web.xml), and a few JAR files. Simple enough.Brian Green#

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I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.