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NetBeans 4.1 has built in support for Sun App Server and Tomcat 5.5. There is also a Server Plugins project for NB that adds support for JBoss 4, WebLogic 9 and WebSphere 6. The server plugins project is currently classified as experimental.

Currently the only way to try these plugins is to build NB and the required plugins – you can only download the source for them at the moment. Downloading and building is a easy process, albeit rather lengthy. Full details are given on the server plugins home page, but basically to download from CVS and build on Windows you need to do the following.

rem Create a directory to store and build NB in.
mkdir netbeans
cd netbeans

rem Setup CVS
set CVSROOT=:pserver:anoncvs@cvs.netbeans.org:/cvs

rem login to CVS - no password required.
cvs login

rem download NB relase 4.1 source
cvs -z 6 co -r release41 -P stable

rem download server plugins source
cvs -z 6 co -P serverplugins

rem build NB
cd nbbuild
ant

rem build JBoss plugin
rem change into the weblogic9 or websphere6 directories
rem and run ant to build these plugins.
cd ../serverplugins/jboss4
ant

Once this is all done, there should be a netbeans/bin directory from which you can run the freshly build NB with the new server modules.

Starting up NB and selecting Tools – Server Manager allows you to now add a server instance for JBoss, WebLogic or WebSphere.

I tried building the JBoss 4 plugin and it integrated correctly with my JBoss 4.0.2 installation. I was able to create an enterprise app from within NB and deploy and run it successfully to JBoss 4 – all from within NB.

I was reading the Project Conventions for Enterprise Applications today which is published on the Java blueprints web site and wondered how many people follow these guidelines? Do you follow these guidelines, or do you let your IDE take control over your project structure?