How to Deploy a WAR File to Apache Tomcat (Windows)

Deploying a web application to Apache Tomcat is very straightforward using a WAR (Web ARchive) file. By deploying we mean that we are placing a zipped web application in a location on the file system where Tomcat can make the web page(s) available to the world.

To learn how to deploy a WAR file to Apache Tomcat in a Windows environment, follow these 6 steps:

  1. You'll need to develop a basic web site first by creating a directory and a simple JSP (Java Server Page). The instructions for accomplishing these tasks were listed in the topic Click here to learn how set default context path in Apache Tomcat (Windows). **IMPORTANT** Complete steps 1 and 2 only in the aforementioned topic. Do not create the XML file that is shown in that topic as a context descriptor is not required when deploying a WAR file. You will simply create the c:/DemoWebsite folder and one JSP file that is stored in c:/DemoWebsite. If you completed that topic in the past, then stop the Tomcat server and delete DemoWebsite.xml from CATALINA_BASE/conf/Catalina/localhost, e.g., c:/Tomcat8/conf/Catalina/localhost.
  2. Open a command prompt and navigate to c:/DemoWebsite. You will execute the jar utility provided in the Java JDK in order to create the WAR file as shown here:

  3. Build WAR file
  4. Copy the WAR file you have just created to CATALINA_HOME/webapps, e.g., c:/Tomcat8/webapps.
  5. Start the Tomcat server.
  6. In the address area of the browser, type http://localhost:8080/DemoWebsite/DateJSP.jsp and submit that address to the browser.
  7. The output of your JSP page will be displayed:
    Date JSP
Author: Stephen Withrow

Stephen has over 30 years of experience in training, development, and consulting in a variety of technology areas including Python, Java, C, C++, XML, JavaScript, Tomcat, JBoss, Oracle, and DB2. His background includes design and implementation of business solutions on client/server, Web, and enterprise platforms. Stephen has a degree in Computer Science and Physics from Florida State University.

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