Tomcat Ant Tasks

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I finally figured out how to use Tomcat's Ant Tasks (install, remove, reload, start, stop, list) in AppFuse to ease deployment of the app. Below is a list of of the steps I used to integrate them into my build.xml file.

1. Rather than defining each task with a <taskdef>, I created a tomcatTasks.properties file with the following contents:

deploy=org.apache.catalina.ant.DeployTask
install=org.apache.catalina.ant.InstallTask
list=org.apache.catalina.ant.ListTask
reload=org.apache.catalina.ant.ReloadTask
remove=org.apache.catalina.ant.RemoveTask
resources=org.apache.catalina.ant.ResourcesTask
roles=org.apache.catalina.ant.RolesTask
start=org.apache.catalina.ant.StartTask
stop=org.apache.catalina.ant.StopTask
undeploy=org.apache.catalina.ant.UndeployTask

2. Then I created a tomcat.properties file with the following contents. Make sure the $CATALINA_HOME/conf/tomcat-users.xml file has an entry with username/password admin/admin and that they have the manager role.

# Properties for Tomcat Server
tomcat.server=localhost
tomcat.manager.url=http://${tomcat.server}:8080/manager
tomcat.username=admin
tomcat.password=admin     

3. I included a reference to tomcat.properties in my build.xml file:

<property file="tomcat.properties"/>

4. Then I added all a single taskdef and all the targets/tasks I wanted to use to my build.xml file:

    <taskdef file="${ant-contrib.dir}/tomcatTasks.properties">
        <classpath>
            <pathelement path="${tomcat.home}/server/lib/catalina-ant.jar"/>
        </classpath>
    </taskdef>
    <target name="install" description="Install application in Tomcat"
        depends="package-web">
        <deploy url="${tomcat.manager.url}"
            username="${tomcat.username}"
            password="${tomcat.password}"
            path="/${webapp.name}"
            war="file:${webapp.dist}/${webapp.war}"/>
    </target>

    <target name="remove" description="Remove application in Tomcat">
        <undeploy url="${tomcat.manager.url}"
            username="${tomcat.username}"
            password="${tomcat.password}"
            path="/${webapp.name}"/>
    </target>

    <target name="reload" description="Reload application in Tomcat">
        <reload url="${tomcat.manager.url}"
            username="${tomcat.username}"
            password="${tomcat.password}"
            path="/${webapp.name}"/>
    </target>

    <target name="start" description="Start Tomcat application">
        <start url="${tomcat.manager.url}"
            username="${tomcat.username}"
            password="${tomcat.password}"
            path="/${webapp.name}"/>
    </target>

    <target name="stop" description="Stop Tomcat application">
        <stop url="${tomcat.manager.url}"
            username="${tomcat.username}"
            password="${tomcat.password}"
            path="/${webapp.name}"/>
    </target>

    <target name="list" description="List Tomcat applications">
        <list url="${tomcat.manager.url}"
            username="${tomcat.username}"
            password="${tomcat.password}"/>
    </target>

NOTE: There are a few things I discovered in this process:


If you put a context.xml file in your WAR's META-INF directory, the deploy task will recognize it and use it. This is the same as defining your context in server.xml or putting an appname.xml file in $CATALINA_HOME/webapps. In Tomcat 4, this only works with the deploy task. In Tomcat 5, this will work with any war - even if you just drop it into $CATALINA_HOME/webapps.


That's a very slick feature IMO. Now if there was only a way to deploy the JDBC Driver with the WAR and have it auto-deployed to $CATALINA_HOME/common/lib.


All these tasks will overwrite your server.xml file in Tomcat 4.1.x. They do create a backup, but if you're having configuration issues after using these, revert back to your original server.xml. I've included a minimal server.xml for Tomcat 4.1.29. Also, the war is deployed under the $CATALINA_HOME/work/Standalone/localhost/manager directory.
In Tomcat 4.1.x, the reload target doesn't work with WARs. You have to use "ant stop start" to simulate a reload.

The good news is that all of the issues that occur in Tomcat 4.1.x are gone in Tomcat 5.


In Tomcat 5, the server.xml is not overwritten. The context.xml is extracted where you would expect it ($CATALINA_HOME/conf/Catalina/localhost), and the WAR is deployed (and expanded) to the webapps directory.
The reload target works in Tomcat 5 - providing you don't have any non-serializeable attributes in your session.


Attachments:
server-minimal-4.1.29.xml  2693 bytes
server-minimal-5.0.16.xml  1680 bytes

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