How to Deploy a Web Application Using the Apache Tomcat Manager (Windows)

To deploy a web application to Apache Tomcat, you can copy a WAR file to the application base directory, e.g., c:/Tomcat8/webapps. This operation of course presupposes we know the application base directory. We could consult server.xml and look up the Host element to determine the directory name. A more straightforward approach, though, is to use the Tomcat manager web application.

To learn how to deploy a web application using the Apache Tomcat manager web application, follow these 12 steps:

  1. Stop the Tomcat server.
  2. You will need to edit CATALINA_BASE/conf/tomcat-users.xml, e.g., c:/Tomcat8/conf/tomcat-users.xml to add credentials to access the Tomcat manager web application.
  3. Add the following XML statements immediately before the root end tag, i.e., </tomcat-users>:
    <role rolename="manager-gui"/>
    <user username="your name" password="your password" roles="manager-gui"/>
    Replace "your name" and "your password" with a user name and password of your choosing (no embedded spaces).
  4. Save your changes.
  5. You'll need to create a WAR file so that you will have web application to deploy. The instructions for creating a WAR file were contained in steps 1 and 2 in How to deploy a WAR file in Apache Tomcat (Windows). Complete only steps 1 and 2. If you have already completed that project, delete the WAR file (DemoWebsite.war) and the unpacked folder (DemoWebsite) from CATALINA_HOME/webapps.
  6. Start the Tomcat server.
  7. In the address area of your browser, type http://localhost:8080/manager/html and submit that address to the browser.
  8. You will be challenged for credentials. Provide the user name and password you specified in tomcat-users.xml (make sure to provide the correct spelling and case):
    Manager credentials
    Click OK
  9. The manager web page is now displayed. Scroll down until you see the Deploy section:
    Manager deploy
    Note that I have already provided the Context Path (/DemoWebsite) and the WAR URL ((c:/DemoWebsite/DemoWebsite.war) in the text boxes. Fill in the text boxes as I've done. Then click Deploy.
  10. The manager will indicate that the web site has been deployed:
    Manager web app deployed
  11. In a separate tab in your browser, type http://localhost:8080/DemoWebsite/DateJSP.jsp and submit that address to the browser.
  12. The web page will be displayed verifying successful deployment:
    Demo Website
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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