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Quick Turnaround with CDK in Eclipse IDE


  • Git
  • Maven (3.0.4)
  • JBoss Tools (3.3.0.M5)
    • Eclipse (3.7)
    • M2E - Maven for Eclipse
  • JRebel (4.6.1) - requires license
  • JBoss AS 7 (7.0.2.Final)

Note: The reference versions in brackets.

Check out CDK and Sandbox projects

Clone sources

    git clone git://
    git clone git://

Build CDK

cd ~/cdk/
mvn clean install -DskipTests=true

Built binaries for CDK command-line generator now resides in ~/cdk/cmdline-generator/target/

ls cmdln-generator/target/cdk-cmdline-generator.jar

Setup the component project (hot-ui)

Import hot-ui project to the IDE

File > Import > Existing Maven Projects

Browse > Select sandbox/hot-deployment/ui

Activate maven profile jrebel

Note: Project = Context Menu on the given project in Project Explorer view

Project -> Maven > Select Maven Profiles

Check `jrebel` and confirm

Build the project with Maven in IDE

This step will generate sources to target/generated-sources directory.

Project > Run As > Maven install

It will also create JRebel configuration specific for your project location:


You need to refresh the project to allow IDE detect newly generated resources.

Project > Refresh

Setup classpath

We need to attach the generated sources and templates to the imported project:

Project > Properties > Java Build Path > Source

Add Folder...

Setup Builder

At the last step, we are going to attach CDK command-line generator as custom external builder to allow build on the source change:

Project > Properties > Builders > New...

Select type "Program" and confirm

Configure as follows:

Name: CDK Generator

Main tab
    Location: ~/cdk/cmdln-generator/
    Arguments: -p ${build_project}

Refresh tab

    Check "Refresh resources upon completion"
    Select "Specific resources"
    Specify Resources...

Build Options tab

    Uncheck "After a Clean"
    Check "During auto builds"
    Check "Specify working set of relevant resources"
    Specify Resources...

Note: if something won't work well later, once we will generate application, you can add -d argument to enable debugging output

Setup the sample project (hot-demo)

Import hot-demo project to the IDE

File > Import > Existing Maven Projects
Browser > Select "sandbox/hot-deployment/demo"

Activate jrebel Maven profile

Project -> Maven > Select profiles
Check "jrebel" and confirm

Build the project for the first time

Project > Run As > Maven install

Refresh the newly generated resources:

Project > Refresh

Setup the JBoss AS 7

Extract the JBoss AS 7 distribution
Open the Servers view
Hit "new server wizard" link
Select server type "JBoss AS 7.0"
Hit "Next" button

Hit "Browse..." button
Select the root of the extracted JBoss AS 7 distribution
Hit "Finish" button

Start the project in JBoss AS

Turn on JRebel integration

Go to the Servers view
Open overview - click twice on "JBoss AS 7.0 Runtime Server"
Look for "JRebel integration" section
Check "Enable JRebel agent"

Run the hot-demo on the server

Project > Run As > Run on Server
Select "JBoss 7.0 Runtime Server"

Now the project is starting, you should see following output in the Console view, which indicates that:

  • the JRebel integration is active
  • hot-demo is being deployed
  • JRebel monitors changes in the project
  • hot-demo is successfully deployed

What you should see:


 JRebel 4.6.1 (201203151508)
 (c) Copyright ZeroTurnaround OU, Estonia, Tartu.


14:39:05,278 INFO  [] (MSC service thread 1-2) JBAS015876: Starting deployment of "hot-demo.war"


14:39:07,123 INFO  [stdout] (MSC service thread 1-2) JRebel: Directory '~/sandbox/hot-deployment/demo/target/classes' will be monitored for changes.
14:39:07,125 INFO  [stdout] (MSC service thread 1-2) JRebel: Directory '~/sandbox/hot-deployment/demo/src/main/webapp' will be monitored for changes.
14:39:07,126 INFO  [stdout] (MSC service thread 1-2) JRebel: Directory '~/sandbox/hot-deployment/ui/target/classes' will be monitored for changes.


14:39:13,562 INFO  [] (DeploymentScanner-threads - 2) JBAS018559: Deployed "hot-demo.war"

Application is running

Check that the application is running fine:


You should see following output on the page:

Hot Component
Content: some complex renderer logic content
Title: some title

That's the output from our sample component!

Everything is now prepared for using quick turnaround. Let's try do modifications to the project in order to employ CDK!

Trying Quick Turnaround

Let's modify some CDK resources from hot-ui to start the CDK generator and then use JRebel to hot-reload resources.

Trying hot generation & deployment

Modifying renderer base

  1. Open HotComponentRendererBase class in the hot-ui project
  2. Change return value of generateContent() method
  3. Save the file

The CDK Generator is now fired and you should see following output in the Console view in Eclipse:

[generate: ~/sandbox/hot-deployment/ui]
[total: 2987 ms]

Refresh the page to see the modified content immediately:


In the server console, you should see following output:

20:00:33,540 INFO  [stdout] (http-- JRebel: Reloading class 'org.richfaces.renderkit.HotComponentRendererBase'.
20:00:35,115 INFO  [stdout] (http-- JRebel: Reloading class 'org.richfaces.component.UIHotComponent'.
20:00:35,125 INFO  [stdout] (http-- JRebel: Reloading class 'org.richfaces.component.UIHotComponent$Properties'.
20:00:35,148 INFO  [stdout] (http-- JRebel: Reinitialized class 'org.richfaces.component.UIHotComponent$Properties'.
20:00:35,182 INFO  [stdout] (http-- JRebel: Reloading class 'org.richfaces.renderkit.html.HotComponentRenderer'.

Note: if something dind't go well, you can add -d argument to enable debugging output, see section "Setup Builder" above.

Modifying template file

Let's try another modification:

  1. Open hotComponent.template.xml in hot-ui project
  2. Change line 19 to read "My Hot Component"
  3. Save the file

The generator is triggered again.

Let's refresh the browser:



application server does not monitor changes in project

If there is no evidence of JRebel monitoring changes

JRebel: Directory '...' will be monitored for changes.

then check that

  • you have rebel.xml inside the WAR ($WAR/WEB-INF/classes/rebel.xml)
  • you have rebel.xml inside the JAR ($WAR/WEB-INF/lib/hot-ui.jar/rebel.xml)

It's probable that you are running into next issue.

rebel.xml deleted from time to time

If you experiencing problems with rebel.xml deleted during development cycle, the IDE could delete it during clean up of the project.

In that case, copy the rebel.xml to src/main/resources, where it will reside and will be copied into final JAR.

Remember to do not commit it to version control, since it is specific for your environment.