One of the nice features, when you were using Netbeans 7.x and e.g. Glassfish 3.x, is the hot-deploy feature.
This means, when you change something related to your project, after saving, the file is compiled (if required) and directly deployed to the deploy-location of your project. This can save a lot of time, because you had not to rebuild the whole project and deploy it manually.
The deploy location can be specified by the project properties. There you can choose a Server from the Server-node in the Services view.
Commonly the hot-deployment feature is enabled, if you choose the “deploy-on-save” option within in the project properties.
Building with ant
When you are developing a project with ant, the project can be directly deployed by choosing “Deploy” from the context menu of your project.
Building with maven
When you are developing a project with maven, the direct deployment is “hidden” behind the “Run”option in the context menu.
From now, netbeans deploys the changes directly