IntelliJ IDEA 2020.1 Help

Enable Java EE application support

This topic discusses the features that become available when you turn on the JavaEE Application option.


For the JavaEE Application option and associated features to be available:

  • The Java EE: EJB, JPA, Servlets plugin must be enabled. (This plugin is bundled with the IDE and enabled by default.)

Overview of the features

When you turn on the JavaEE Application option, IntelliJ IDEA:

  • Creates META-INF/application.xml, an enterprise application archive deployment descriptor.

  • Creates a Java EE Application facet that lets you specify the locations of your application.xml and application server-specific deployment descriptors (for example, glassfish-application.xml, jboss-app.xml).

  • Creates an Exploded EAR artifact configuration.

  • Makes various quick fixes available in the Project Structure dialog, for example, for synchronizing application.xml with the structure of your EAR artifact.

  • Makes the JavaEE:App tool window available.

If you turn on the JavaEE Application option when creating a project or module and specify an application server, IntelliJ IDEA also creates a run/debug configuration for that server.

Turning on the JavaEE Application option

You can turn on the JavaEE Application option:

  • When creating a project or module (File | New | Project or File | New | Module). On the first page of the New Project or the New Module wizard, select Java Enterprise, and then select the JavaEE Application checkbox under Additional Libraries and Frameworks.

  • For an existing module. In the Project tool window (View | Tool Windows | Project), right-click the module folder and select Add Framework Support. Then select the JavaEE Application checkbox in the dialog that opens.

Managing deployment descriptors

You can manage your application.xml and server-specific deployment descriptor files in the Project Structure dialog:

  1. Open the Project Structure dialog (for example, Ctrl+Shift+Alt+S).

  2. In the leftmost pane, select Modules or Facets.

  3. In the pane to the right, select javaEEApplication.

  4. On the page that opens in the right-hand part of the dialog, form the list of deployment descriptors for your application.

Managing application artifacts

To deploy your application to a server, you need an application artifact. For Java EE applications, IntelliJ IDEA provides the following artifact formats:

  • JavaEE Application: Exploded. This is a decompressed enterprise application archive (EAR), a directory structure that is ready for deployment onto an application server.

  • JavaEE Application: Archive. This is, obviously, an EAR file.

To manage your artifact configurations, use the Project Structure dialog (File | Project Structure | Artifacts).

See also, Work with artifacts.

Last modified: 7 July 2020