Creating a setup package for a Tomcat web application

ImportantThe following article uses options that are available starting with the Professional edition and project type.

Let's say you have a web application (exported as a WAR file) that you want to deploy it alongside an Apache Tomcat 9 web server. This tutorial will present in detail how to achieve this goal.

1. Get the Tomcat 9 binary distribution resources

To deploy within your setup package the Tomcat 9 web server, you must first download locally the Tomcat binary distribution resources for Windows from Apache web site. For instance, you can download the 32-bit Windows zip package of Tomcat and extract it on your local disk. After extracting the Tomcat web server resources just add your web application WAR file under "webapps" folder of Tomcat.

2. Create project

After launching Advanced Installer, you will be presented with a dialog where you can choose the type of the project you want to create.

Start Page

Select Professional and press the Create Project button. The new project has been created and from now on you will edit it.

SaveSave the project and give it an appropriate name - let's say "Tutorial" for this example.

English is the default project language, but you can change it to any of the languages known by Advanced Installer.

3. Add Tomcat 9 files and folders to your project

Files and FoldersSelect “Files and Folders” page from the “Resources” menu on the left pane.

Add Folder Use the [ Add Folder ] toolbar button and add the Tomcat 9 distribution folder to your project.

Files and Folders

4. Add Tomcat 9 install folder to CATALINA_HOME environment variable

Environment Go to “Environment” page.

New Variable Use the [ New Variable ] toolbar button to add the "CATALINA_HOME" system variable. Right click on the "Value" field of the "New Environment Variable" dialog and choose the "Folder..." context menu option. Next choose the Tomcat 9 folder added in “Files and Folders” page and click the [ OK ] button.

Environment Variable

5. Add Java Runtime Environment prerequisite

Prerequisites Go to “Prerequisites” page and add our "Java SE Runtime Environment 8u111 x86" predefined prerequisite to your project.

JDK Prerequisite

6. Configure launch conditions

"Java SE Runtime Environment 8u111 x86" prerequisite can be deployed only on Windows Vista SP2 and newer operating systems, thus you should add these launch conditions to your setup project.

Launch Conditions Go to “Launch Conditions” page and uncheck the unsupported operating systems of your setup project.

Launch Conditions

7. Configure Tomcat 9 service

Tomcat 9 can be installed and configured as a service using its "tomcat9.exe" and "service.bat" installation files. For more details go through Configure Tomcat as a service article.

Custom Actions Go to “Custom Actions” page and use several "Launch file" custom actions configured to install and start the Tomcat service during installation, respectively to delete the Tomcat service on uninstall.

7.1 Add install service custom action on install

Add a "Launch file" custom action with sequence which will launch the "service.bat" installation file with the install command.

Install Tomcat service custom action

7.2 Add uninstall service custom action on rollback

Add a "Launch file" custom action with sequence which will launch the "tomcat9.exe" installation file with the //DS//Tomcat9 command. This custom action uninstalls the installed service at install time when something goes wrong and the installation is rolled back.

Uninstall Tomcat service custom action on rollback

7.3 Add start service custom action on install

Add a "Launch file" custom action with sequence which will launch the "tomcat9.exe" installation file with the start command.

Start Tomcat service custom action

7.4 Add uninstall service custom action on uninstall

Add a "Launch file" custom action with sequence which will launch the "tomcat9.exe" installation file with the //DS//Tomcat9 command.

Uninstall Tomcat service custom action

8. Launch the web application at the end of the installation

You may want to automatically launch the installed web application when the installation finishes. To do so you can use an "Open URL" custom action with sequence scheduled after the "Finish Execution" action group.

Launch web application action

The End

This concludes our tutorial.