The primary new feature with this release is a feature called Web Folder Mapping that allows you to assemble your source files in a folder organization that matches the needs of your development team, not in a structure required by the server or the IDE.
With the Web Folder Mapping feature, you can arrange your source code files as you wish. The only change to your process is that when you build a project in the IDE, you must specify the folders that map into the project. All IDE features then work transparently with the mapped files, including code completion and error checking, building, deploying, testing and debugging.
In WebLogic Server, this feature is known as split development directory, documented at: http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E13222_01/wls/docs92/programming/splitcreate.html.
This affects the various stages of application development in the following way:
Project Creation: Map the source code folders. After building a standard project, you must specify your source code folders and assign them to project folder references. For example, you might map several folders to the WEB-INF folder and at build/deploy, the contents of all of these folders will be treated as if they are contained in the WEB-INF folder.
Development: Use relative path specifications to access files in folders that are not located in the standard project files. On build/deploy, Workshop Studio resolves file locations correctly. This allows you to build your applications flexibly without regard to actual file location. For example, references to a virtual folder will be resolved by Workshop Studio, even though there may be several separate actual folders mapped to the virtual folder, some within the project folders and others in other locations.
Build/Test: AppXRay extended to allow artifacts to be recognized in other locations. When applications are built and debugged, AppXRay will provide code completion and error checking, regardless of the actual location of your source files, as long as the folders are mapped to the appropriate application folder in the IDE.
Deploy/Test on Server: Correct deployment of all files. When you deploy an application on a WebLogic Server, files in alternate locations are assembled into the correct file structure for standard application server deployment. This works for both exploded (local test environments) and WAR deployment. For other server types, you may need to assemble the files with Ant scripts.
In addition, we have included the following minor feature upgrades:
Since this is only a minor upgrade, you can upgrade with Eclipse Update Manager, accessible from Help > Software Updates. Upgrading with Update Manager will not update your underlying Eclipse and WTP versions. In this case, we recommend that you upgrade to Eclipse 3.2.1 and WTP 1.5.1 since these versions fix many bugs, especially issues regarding EAR deployment. To upgrade both your Workshop Studio product and the Eclipse platform components, download the full product and reinstall.
There are no additional major issues with the 3.3 release of the Workshop Studio family of products.
For previous versions of the BEA Workshop Studio group of products, click here for release notes.