IDEA + Tomcat application integration questions

Hi all,
Background: I'm a completely new IDEA user (new to IDEA, as well as new to just about all development work at this level), and I'm wondering if the following is possible: I'm working with a webapp that runs in a Tomcat servlet. The application (XTF [1]) is a document search/display that dynamically converts XML to HTML via XSLT. I'd like to be able to debug the XSL stylesheets & their output in the running Tomcat instance - something I haven't been able to do with other IDEs.

I can start a local Tomcat instance in IDEA, but I'm not sure how to point IDEA towards the actual application (or to get it to load & run the application, etc etc etc). I understand that there are a number of additional steps towards a solution here and I don't mind noodling over some of them myself, but I'm not even sure where to start.

As I mentioned, I'm faced with a number of new tools. Is what I'd like to do possible?
Thanks in advance for your time & trouble - your help is greatly appreciated.



I'm not familiar with XTF, so asking additional question. Do you mean you have access to a java code performing XSLT conversion, and this code is a part of web application, and you'd like to debug the java code?

I'm asking because IDEA has XSLT debugger plugin (and it does not work for web applications). You don't talk about that plugin, right?

Thank you,


Hi Alexander,

Thank you for the response. My understanding is that there isn't any Java code directly associated with the XSLT conversions -- the XSLT conversions all occur using *.xsl stylesheets. I start up a Tomcat instance & modify a number of the XSLT stylesheets without having to stop & restart the servlet, so I wondered if debugging would be possible while the servlet was running in IDEA.

Thanks again,


Basic steps for debugging web application is:

1. Make sure the module you have has Web facet. See:
(Referred page probably explains some points from below, but anyway...)
2. Make sure the web application artifact is configured in Project Structure dialog / Artifacts section. See link above plus artifact conception:
3. Create a Tomcat run configuration in Run/Debug configuration dialog. See:
Then start debugging the created configuration.

Have I got the question right?



Thanks very much for the links! There are a number of new terms I need to learn - these links will be very helpful.



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