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Intellij IDEA is "The Most Intelligent Java IDE". If you're willing to spend a couple hundred to boost your productivity, it's a very enjoyable IDE to work with. Not only does it handle Maven 2 modular projects splendidly, it's great for developing web applications because of its superb JavaScript and CSS support.

Table of Contents

  1. Download and Install
  2. Spring Support
  3. Tips and Tricks

Download and Install

To make your project IDEA-aware, perform the following steps:

  1. Download IDEA 6.0 and install it in $TOOLS_HOME/idea-6.0.
  2. In your project's directory, run mvn idea:idea. This will generate project files using the Maven IDEA Plugin.
  3. Open your project in IDEA by running "explorer projectname.ipr" on Windows or "open projectname.ipr" on OS X.

You should be able to compile your project and run tests from within your IDE. For tests that rely on pre-existing data, you may have to periodically run mvn dbunit:operation to re-populate your database. You shouldn't need to worry about deploying from Eclipse because you can use the Jetty Plugin (mvn jetty:run-war) or Cargo (mvn cargo:start -Dcargo.wait=true). You can probably use IDEA's app server support to auto-deploy your project. However, no tutorials currently existing for doing this. We'd love the contribution if you happen to create one.

If you'd like to run Maven from IDEA, use IDEA's plugins feature to install Maven 2 support.

  • Maven Reloaded: Inspects the project space, updates dependencies, source and test paths, allows execution of goals.
  • Maven-2 Integration: Requires a preinstalled Maven-2 and allows execution of standard phases and goals like the Ant plugin.

You can use both plugins together as they don't overlap that much. Thanks to the Maven user mailing list for this information.

Spring Support

IDEA supports code-completion when editing Spring context files. This is a very nice feature and you shouldn't need any additional Spring support. If you want more features, check out IdeaSpring ($30).

Tips and Tricks

  • Ctrl+Shift+N will allow you to find any file within your project. It's a handy way to open files quickly without having to navigate through your source tree.
  • Ctrl+Shift+E opens a dialog with the files you most recently open listed.
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