Monday, December 16, 2013

Migrating From MyEclipse To Eclipse With a Tomcat Based Product

I am experimenting to see if we can switch from the proprietary MyEclipse product to the open source Eclipse product.  They are very similar, but MyEclipse has significant annual licensing fees, while Eclipse is free.  There are a number of proprietary MyEclipse features that our development environment uses, but it is not clear that we can't fairly easily switch to open source equivalents.  At least, that is how it first appears.

Migrating is actually a bit harder than it first appears.  For example, in Eclipse Kepler, it is not at all clear how you add support for Tomcat 7.  The answer is here:
To do so, go to Help->Install New Software... and select the "Kepler" repository. Then expand "Web, XML, Java EE and OSGi Enterprise Development" and check the box for "JST Server Adapters Extensions". Click "Finish", accept, install and restart. Now you should be able to add the new server like you're used to.
Very helpful.

Finding the javax.servlet library is also unobvious.  This tells you how to do it, first from scratch, then if you have an existing MyEclipse project that needs converting.  In particular, look at this part:
Right click on project ---> Properties ---> Java Build Path ---> Add Library... ---> Server Runtime ---> Apache Tomcat ----> Finish.

This seems to be part of how to use maven to deploy a build to Tomcat 7.

Of course, that requires installing Maven.


  1. Alan Kay's comments on GUI's come to mind here.

  2. I'm not sure what is meant by "significant annual licensing fees". The standard edition is only a little over $30 per year and that provides supported web development. More tools are in the professional edition which is only about double that. There are more expensive editions for more specific areas, some of which don't have open source equivalents but do have far more expensive (by an order of magnitude) proprietary products.

    For totally open source web development, though, simply downloading the "Eclipse IDE for Java Developers" package, from would seem to be the straight forward option.

  3. The version we have isn't anywhere NEAR that cheap.

  4. Yes, but that edition will have specialist tools that would be difficult to find equivalents for in open source. For example, the Blue edition is for WebSphere developers and is "only" around $150 per year. That compares with IBM's tooling which would cost around $5000, last I heard.

    I'm not saying that cost isn't an issue for some developers, particularly if they are delving into their own pockets. For some, open source equivalents, if they can be found, may be good enough, but MyEclipse is pretty cheap for what you get.

  5. I can't remember what version we have, but even the State of Idaho feels it.