Vaadin Flow Project Setup
This chapter covers downloading a Vaadin application starter, and importing a Vaadin Maven project in IntelliJ. Plus, it explains how to configure IntelliJ for productive development.
Download Vaadin Application Starter
This tutorial uses a preconfigured starter from Vaadin Start. The starter application includes a few essential items:
JPA data model consisting of
Spring Data repositories for persisting and retrieving the entities from an embedded H2 database;
data.sqlfile containing some test data;
Single, empty view; and a
To begin, download the starter application, a zip file. You can find it here:
Import a Maven Project into IntelliJ
Having downloaded the zip archive file, you’ll first have to unzip it somewhere. Any directory is fine: just don’t unzip it to the download folder since you might unintentionally delete your project later when clearing out old downloads.
In IntelliJ, select Open in the Welcome screen or File menu, as you can see in the screenshot here:
Next, from the directory tree that is displayed, find the folder where you extracted the files. Select the
pom.xml file and click the Open button.
Select Open as Project from the dialog, as seen in the following screenshot:
This imports the project based on the
pom.xml file. IntelliJ then imports the project and downloads all necessary dependencies. This can take several minutes, depending on your internet connection speed.
When the import is complete, your project structure should look as seen in the screenshot here:
Notice that the Java source files are in the
Run a Spring Boot Project in IntelliJ
Spring Boot makes it easier to run a Java web application because it handles starting and configuring the server.
To run your application, run the Application class that contains the
main() method that starts Spring Boot. IntelliJ automatically detects that you have a class with a
main() method and displays it in the run configurations drop-down.
To start your application open
Application.java and click the play button next to the code line containing the
After you’ve run the application once from the
main() method, it will appear in the run configurations drop-down in the main toolbar (see screenshot). On subsequent runs, you can run the application from there.
You’ll know that your application has started when you see output in the console similar to what you see here:
Tomcat started on port(s): 8080 (http) with context path ''
The development mode in Vaadin also opens a browser window for you automatically. You’ll see a content placeholder and image similar to the screenshot here:
Enable Auto Import in IntelliJ
You can configure IntelliJ to resolve automatically imports for Java classes. This makes it easier to copy code from this tutorial into your IDE.
To enable auto import in IntelliJ, open the Preferences/Settings window and navigate to Editor → General → Auto Import.
From there, you can enable the following two options: Add unambiguous imports on the fly; and Optimize imports on the fly. You can see the checkboxes for these choices in the screenshot here:
Vaadin shares many class names (e.g., Button) with Swing, Java Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT), and JavaFX.
If you don’t use Swing, AWT, or JavaFX in other projects, add the following packages to the Exclude from import and completion list to help IntelliJ select the correct classes automatically:
Now that you have a working development environment, you’re ready to start building a web application.