Currently with the exec-war/-only goals, a jar or war is created that is executable but not deployable to an existing tomcat meaning two release artifacts would be required to take this approach.
Ideally, a new goal would be added for creating war files that can be deployed to an existing tomcat or excuted directly.
a. Allow tomcat7-war-runner to copy the running war to the webapps folder if some property is set
b. Add a goal to build some war with tomcat7-war-runner overlayed and add a manifest with main-class set.
If this sounds interesting, I can have a patch available soon and any feedback would be great.