This article covers a Bloomreach Experience Manager version 13. There's an updated version available that covers our most recent release.

Develop with Intellij

This documentation describes the use of a third-party development tool and is maintained by Bloomreach on a best-effort basis. Bloomreach cannot guarantee this documentation is up to date with the latest release of the third-party development tool. Please refer to the documentation of the third-party development tool for the latest installation, configuration, and usage instructions.



Use the IntelliJ IDE to work on Bloomreach Experience Manager implementation projects.


Once you have set up and built your project, you probably want to use your IDE to edit the source files and debug your site. This document explains the steps involved in setting up Intellij for this purpose.

IntelliJ Plugins

Shared Lib Plugin for IntelliJ

This plugin is useful for deploying Bloomreach Experience Manager projects to an external Tomcat instance from within IntelliJ. It deploys Bloomreach Experience Manager's shared dependencies to Tomcat's shared library.

Import an Existing Project

From the "File" menu, choose "Open..."

Select the folder that contains your project and click OK.

From the "File" menu, choose "Project Structure..."

Make sure the Project SDK is 1.8 (i.e. Java 8) and click OK.

Enabling Code Completion for FreeMarker Templates

IntelliJ supports code completion for FreeMarker templates. The default module for FreeMarker templates is repository-data/webfiles. If you add the "Web Application" framework to this module, Intellij will give code completion for typed variables and HST tags.

To enable auto completion for the HST tag library and HST content beans, perform the following steps:

  1. Add Web Application framework support to the repository-data/webfiles sub project. Do this by right-clicking in the project structure on the folder repository-data/webfiles, then select "Add Framework Support", then select "Web Application" and de-select "Create web.xml". IntelliJ then also creates a folder "web" with a sample jsp file, both can be deleted.
  2. Create a new FreeMarker template, for instance repository-data/webfiles/src/main/resources/site/helloworld.ftl and fill it with:
    <#assign hst=JspTaglibs[""] >
    <@hst.defineObjects />
    <#-- @ftlvariable name="document" type="org.example.beans.BaseDocument" -->
    <a href="< hippobean=document />">${document.path}</a>
    IntelliJ will now generate code completion suggestions for the HST tags, and also for the document variable based on the content bean class.

Debug Your Project

By default, debugging is enabled when running your project using

mvn -P

All you need to do, is to attach a debugger to the running application and you can start setting break points.

To attach a debugger to a running Bloomreach Experience Manager project follow these steps:

From the "Run" menu, choose "Debug..." or alternatively hit Alt+Shift+F9
Choose "Edit configurations..."
Press the + button on the far left top corner of the dialog that appears and choose "Remote"
Fill in a name for the configuration and make sure the port number is 8000

Click "Apply" and then "Debug" to attach the debugger to the running project.

Note that when the debugger cannot connect and gives an error after some timeout, you can try as host instead.

This page was written using Intellij version 2018.3.

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