“Hello, World” Web Application using Spring MVC in NetBeans IDE 6.7

If you are looking to learn web application development with Spring Web MVC framework NetBeans is probably the best IDE to get started with. You don’t have to worry about which framework library files to download, where to copy them etc. and moreover some of the basic configuration is automatically created as part of project template creation wizard. Below is an example “Hello, World” web application created using Spring Web MVC framework in NetBeans IDE.

  1. Start NetBeans IDE and create a new project File -> New Project…
    Select “Java Web” in Categories section and “Web Application” in Projects section and click Next.

    Enter a name for the project in “Project Name:” field(say “HelloWorld”) and click Next.
    Change any of the server settings(like selecting a different web server instead of the default Glassfish) if you want to, otherwise just click Next. Finally, make sure that you check the “Spring Web MVC 2.5″ checkbox and any additional frameworks you plan to use for this web application(like Hibernate) and press Finish.

  2. NetBeans does a nice job of creating a template Spring Web MVC project for you by copying the required spring jar files in web application build directory, generating configuration files with sample content etc. You can see that web.xml has the required configuration lines already. Also have a look at dispatcher-servlet.xml file to see handler mapping bean and view resolver bean already declared. (Netbeans should have it opened automatically; if not, open it from HelloWorld -> Web Pages -> WEB-INF.) Run the application to see what the sample project currently does.

Now let us add our own code to the application.

  1. First step is to create the controller class. Right-click on Source Packages and select New -> Java Class. Enter HelloController in the “Class Name:” field and hello in “Package:” field. Click Finish.

    Enter the following code in the HelloController.java file.
    package hello;

    import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest;
    import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse;
    import org.springframework.web.servlet.ModelAndView;
    import org.springframework.web.servlet.mvc.AbstractController;

    public class HelloController extends AbstractController {

    protected ModelAndView handleRequestInternal(HttpServletRequest arg0, HttpServletResponse arg1) throws Exception {
    String message = “Hello, World!”;
    return new ModelAndView(“response”, “msg”, message);

  2. Open dispatcher-servlet.xml and add a mapping from hello.htm URI to HelloController controller class as shown below.
    <bean id="urlMapping" class="org.springframework.web.servlet.handler.SimpleUrlHandlerMapping"></p> <property name="mappings"> <props> <prop key="index.htm">indexController</prop> <prop key="hello.htm">helloController</prop> </props> </property> </bean></p> <p> <bean id="helloController" class="hello.HelloController" />
  3. Time to create the response page. Right-click on jsp directory(Web Pages->WEB-INF->jsp) and create a new JSP file. Since we are returning “response” as the view name from our controller class, enter “response” in the “JSP File Name:” field. Click Finish.
    Now open the response.jsp page we just created and enter the following code in it.
    <br /> <body></p> <h1>Hello World!</h1> <p> Message: ${msg}<br /> </body>
  4. Run the application and change the request uri in the browser address bar to http://localhost:8080/HelloWorld/hello.htm and press Enter. You should see the following response page.

NetBeans IDE saves a bit of time by generating a configured Spring Web MVC project for us to start with. With most other popular IDEs, we need to install the required library files and create the basic configuration files manually. I will describe the procedure using Eclipse IDE in my next post.

Installing Sun Java SE 6, Apache Maven 2 and Tomcat 5.5 on Ubuntu GNU/Linux

Installing Sun Java SE 6, Apache Maven 2 and Tomcat 5 on Ubuntu GNU/Linux

First go to System -> Administration -> Software Sources and make sure that the multiverse and universe Ubuntu repositories are enabled on your system.

Installing Java SE 6, Apache Maven 2 and Apache Tomcat 5.5 software is just one simple command on Ubuntu family of GNU/Linux operating systems:

# sudo aptitude install sun-java6-jdk tomcat5.5 jetty maven2

I recommend setting JAVA_HOME environment variable to point to the JDK installation directory in your profile file(e.g. .bash_profile or /etc/profile):

export JAVA_HOME /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-sun

The above command also installs the jetty web server which is especially good for development purposes.

“Hello, World” Java Web Application using Java SE 6 + Tomcat 5.5 + Maven 2

See my previous posts to install Sun Java SE 6, Apache Tomcat 5.5/6, Apache Maven 2 on Windows and Ubuntu GNU/Linux operating systems:

Once all the required software components are installed, simply run the following command in the command prompt/shell to generate a basic Java web application project in the current working directory.

# mvn archetype:create

You can also run ‘mvn archetype:generate’ if you want to generate the project in interactive mode. The command will then prompt you for relevant information when creating the project.

# mvn archetype:generate
[INFO] Scanning for projects…
[INFO] Searching repository for plugin with prefix: ‘archetype’.
[INFO] org.apache.maven.plugins: checking for updates from central
[more output]

After all the necessary files are downloaded, you will be shown a list of supported archetypes and will be prompted to select the one that you want to generate.

[INFO] Generating project in Interactive mode
[INFO] No archetype defined. Using maven-archetype-quickstart (org.apache.maven.archetypes:maven-archetype-quickstart:1.0)
Choose archetype:
1: internal -> appfuse-basic-jsf (AppFuse archetype for creating a web application with Hibernate, Spring and JSF)
2: internal -> appfuse-basic-spring (AppFuse archetype for creating a web application with Hibernate, Spring and Spring MVC)
3: internal -> appfuse-basic-struts (AppFuse archetype for creating a web application with Hibernate, Spring and Struts 2)
[more options]
42: internal -> cocoon-22-archetype-block-plain ([http://cocoon.apache.org/2.2/maven-plugins/])
43: internal -> cocoon-22-archetype-block ([http://cocoon.apache.org/2.2/maven-plugins/])
44: internal -> cocoon-22-archetype-webapp ([http://cocoon.apache.org/2.2/maven-plugins/])
Choose a number: (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15/16/17/18/19/20/21/22/23/24/25/26/27/28/29/30/31/32/33/34/35/36/37/38/39/40/41/42/43/44) 15: :

Enter the appropriate number to select the archetype that you want to generate; for example, enter 18 to create a basic Java Web Application project. Next you will be prompted to enter values for groupId(say ‘hello’), artifactId(say ‘HelloWorld’), version(you can accept the default and just press the ENTER key) and package(say ‘war’). You will then be asked for confirmation; type Y and press the ENTER key. For more information on what the above fields mean, read about Maven Co-ordinates.

To learn more about Maven’s archetype plugin, read Maven 2 Archetype plugin usage page.

You can run the basic Java web application project created above in Tomcat web server by running the following command.

# mvn tomcat:run
[lot of output]
[INFO] Starting tomcat server
[INFO] Starting Servlet Engine: Apache Tomcat/5.5.15
[INFO] XML validation disabled
[INFO] Initializing Coyote HTTP/1.1 on http-8080
[INFO] Starting Coyote HTTP/1.1 on http-8080

(If this is the first time you are running the above command, it downloads a lot of necessary files and stores them in the local Maven repository. This is a one-time operation.) You can now access the web application from a location like “http://localhost:8080/HelloWorld/”. ‘HelloWorld’ is the artifactId that we used when creating the sample application. You can read more about running and deploying applications from Maven to Tomcat web server on Maven Tomcat plugin page.

If Jetty web server is installed on your computer, you can also run your web application in Jetty by running the following command:

# mvn jetty:run

How easy it is to switch the container when you are developing Java web applications with the Maven build tool! You can read more about running and deploying applications from Maven to Jetty web server on Maven 2 Jetty Plugin page.

“Hello, World” Web Application in Ruby on Rails using console

Installation and setup instructions of Ruby on Rails web framework on different operating systems is covered in the following posts:

  1. Setting Up Rails Development Environment on Windows Vista/XP
  2. Setting Up Rails Development Environment on Ubuntu GNU/Linux
  3. Setting Up Rails Development Environment on Fedora GNU/Linux

If you would rather use an IDE to develop Ruby on Rails applications, Aptana IDE is covered in ““Hello, World” Web Application in Ruby on Rails using Aptana Studio.”

This post describes how to create a basic “Hello, World” web application in Rails using only console tools and a text editor. The instructions work pretty much the same for all operating systems with little to no modifications.

Make sure that you have the latest versions of all components installed:

# ruby -v && gem -v && rails -v
ruby 1.8.6 (2008-08-11 patchlevel 287) [i386-linux]
Rails 2.2.2

(Output text might be slightly different on Windows OS but the version numbers should be the same.)

To create a new rails project, run the following command which generates the required directory structure for a rails application:

# rails hello
# cd hello
# ls
app db lib public README test vendor
config doc log Rakefile script tmp

The purpose of each directory generated is more or less self-explanatory, like the test directory is for storing test files and the log directory contains various log files.

Rails application the scaffold generator way

Scaffolding allows us to generate template code necessary to directly run our application and play with it without having to write a single line of code. We can also open the generated files to take a peek at the generated code. We can then modify this code to our liking or just throw it away and write everything manually once we are satisfied with the prototype. The scaffolding code can be generated, say for a resource called ‘person’, by running the following command:

# ruby script/generate scaffold person name:string password:string email:string age:integer

This command generates(among other files) a Rails migration file in db/xxx_create_people.rb which is responsible to create the database schema for our application; a model in app/models/person.rb; a controller in app/controllers/people_controller.rb and related view files in app/views/people directory. (‘people’ is used wherever plural of ‘person’ is needed.) Have a look at the code generated in the migration file:
create_table :people do |t|
t.string :name
t.string :password
t.string :email
t.integer :age


Run the following commands to initialize the database:

# rake db:create:all
# rake db:migrate

Now we are ready to run the application and use it. Start the WEBrick web server:

# ruby script/server

Open your favourite web browser and go to http://localhost:3000/persons url. You should see a page similar to the following screenshot(after I added couple of entries using the “New Person” link):

Also make sure you look at the code generated in the controller file and the various view files!
Read the official Getting Started with Rails guide.
Read more Rails articles on this blog.

Setting Up Rails Development Environment on Fedora GNU/Linux

This is an adaptation to Fedora GNU/Linux platform of my previous posts meant for the Windows & Ubuntu platforms: Setting Up Rails Development Environment on Windows Vista/XP and Setting Up Rails Development Environment on Ubuntu GNU/Linux.

I can think of two different ways in which you might want to set up a development environment for Ruby on Rails on a GNU/Linux machine. One is to download everything outside of the package manager of your distribution i.e. build everything from the source. I am going to cover the second, easier way: how to setup Rails on a Fedora machine using its package manager for the most part. I show below how to setup Ruby, RubyGems, Rails, Mongrel, MySQL, and Git as part of the development stack.

  1. Installing Ruby:

    Install the Ruby and related packages as root user:

    # yum install ruby ruby-docs ruby-irb ruby-ri ruby-sqlite3
  2. Installing Rubygems

    Though it is possible to install Rubygems using the Fedora package manager, not only will you get an old version of rubygems if you do so, it also may not be compatible with the latest version of rails. I strongly recommend you download the source code package of the latest version of rubygems and install it using its setup script:

    # cd $HOME
    # wget http://rubyforge.org/frs/download.php/45906/rubygems-1.3.1.zip
    # tar xvzf rubygems-1.3.1.tgz && cd rubygems-1.3.1
    # ruby setup.rb

    Remember to download the latest version of rubygems available(currently 1.3.1). You can remove the downloaded tgz archive and the extracted directory after the installation is finished.

    #cd $HOME
    # rm -r rubygems-1.3.1.tgz rubygems-1.3.1
  3. Installing Rails

    Update all the gems(not really needed) and then install the rails gem.

    # gem update –&ndashsystem
    # gem install rails

    To update rails in future, run ‘gem update rails’ command.

    Check the versions to confirm installation:

    # ruby -v
    ruby 1.8.6 (2008-08-11 patchlevel 287) [i386-linux]
    # gem -v
    # rails -v
    Rails 2.2.2
  4. The basic Rails development environment is now installed on your system and you can skip the rest of the post if you are happy with WEBrick as the web server, SQLite as the database server and your favourite text editor/IDE that may be already installed on your system. The following instructions cover installing an alternate web server called Mongrel and MySQL database server and its GUI tools.

  5. Installing Mongrel

    Installing the Rails gem also installs the WEBrick web server which is ideally suited for development purposes. Another much recommended web server for Rails development as well as production environment is the Mongrel web server. To install the Mongrel web server, run the following gem command:

    # yum install mongrel

    After installing Mongrel, Rails automatically starts Mongrel instead of WEBrick web server when you run Rails applications in development mode. (Refer to Mongrel documentation to know more about running Rails applications under Mongrel in production mode.)

  6. Installing MySQL

    This step covers the installation of MySQL database server and its GUI tools. Skip this step if you want to use some other database server. Run the following command to install the required mysql packages:

    # yum install mysql-server mysql-administrator mysql-gui-tools

    One important step during the configuration process is to select a root password(you will need to enter it in the database.yml configuration file of your Rails application).

  7. Source Control

    To setup your rails application using git source code management tool, see my other post:
    Setting Up Ruby on Rails Projects with Git and Github

    You can also install cvs or subversion or other version control software using yum package manager.

    # yum install cvs subversion

Now you can create/checkout Rails applications, edit the files using your favourite text editor/IDE and run it under Mongrel. In future, I will try to write about developing Rails applications using integrated development environments like Eclipse and NetBeans.

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