The Tomcat docs have a lengthy writeup on how to develop and deploy web apps; check it out here.
Joined: Feb 26, 2008
Copy unpacked directory hierarchy into a subdirectory in directory $CATALINA_HOME/webapps/. Tomcat will assign a context path to your application based on the subdirectory name you choose. We will use this technique in the build.xml file that we construct, because it is the quickest and easiest approach during development. Be sure to restart Tomcat after installing or updating your application.