IntelliJ and Tomcat : Step by Step

You need the commercial (ultimate) version of IntelliJ for this step by step instruction, the community edition does not support this type of project.. I am using IntelliJ ultimate version 2019.2 for this instruction.
First, preparations: Installing tomcat

  • Extract the package to where you want to run the server, i will be using c:\work\tomcat
  • You now should have a directory c:\work\tomcat\bin
  • If you have your JAVA_HOME defined correctly and a jdk installed, simply run startup.bat
  • Verify tomcat is working by visiting http://localhost:8080

Next, stop the server by closing the window. IntelliJ will start it for us when needed later on.

  • Start IntelliJ, and choose File-New project.
  • Start a web application
  • Name your project
  • Move on to the IDE
  • Configure your tomcat location with menu option “Run/Edit configuration”.
  • Hit the + icon to add a new item.
  • If tomcat is not listed by default scroll to the botom of the list and choose the show more option.
  • Next, select “Tomcat server”, choose local.
  • The next screen allows you to name your installation, and select the location of the server.
  • Hit “Configure” and browse to the location you extracted tomcat.
  • When the directory is selected, the tomcat version will be listed in the dialog.
  • With tomcat selected, move on to the deployment tab,
  • hit the + button and select “Artifact”.
  • This will add the tomcat artifact to your build configuration.
  • Hit OK to complete basic configuration

We now have a clean project with a configured Tomcat server, let’s actually run something.

  • In the src folder add a new servlet file
  • Ignore the web.xml file that opens for now, and move to your servlet file. Upon opening, allow IntelliJ to add the missing packages.
  • Now we are ready to enter our epic hello world application code, into the Get method.
  • To tell Tomcat where to host our servlet, we need to modify the generated web.xml file as outlined below.
  • This will map the url /test to our DemoServlet file
  • Hit shift-F10 to run the application. When tomcat is started and the browser window appears, we can navigate to our configured url and run our servlet.