Eclipse Tip: Debugging Non WTP Projects

This is a very useful tip I shared a while ago at the office and turned out to be extremely useful.

If you work with java and use eclipse as an IDE you know that eclipse has something called WTP, which stands for Web Tools Platform. It’s a set of tools and API’s to aid in the development of web and JEE projects.

That means that if you have a WTP project in your workspace, you can deploy, run and debug it straight from the IDE. But what happens if your project is not of a WTP nature?

Back at the office we have a coupe of really old Java project. WTP didn’t exist back then but we do use Eclipse as our IDE of choice.

So, how do we debug a deployed project that we don’t actually deploy from the IDE? As long as you have the source, it is quite simple:

First you need to add a new server form the Server window, if you don’t have one already:

From this window you can add the sources of the project you want to debug. Once done, just drop a breakpoint in your source file and start your server in debug mode.

You’re good to go!