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IntelliJ artifact confusion

 
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I am wondering if anyone on this forum can help clear up some confusion I have in transitioning from Eclipse and NetBeans to IntelliJ.

I've worked through the differences in terminology, created a project and module for Web applications and JSF, configured a server (JBoss) and added the server libraries as dependencies. However, I am getting stuck on what an artifact is, and how it relates to my modules...and the provided documentation isn't helping.

1. Is an artifact specific to a particular module, or is it something separate that configures a module for deployment, like a facet (but different)?

2. How do I configure an artifact for exploded and compressed (.war) formats, and switch from one to another?

3. What kinds of artifacts would I need, apart from the two I mentioned...compressed or exploded? I can't see how the concept or feature benefits me differently than a facet, and why the two types mentioned aren't simply provided by the tool.

Thanks in advance.
 
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