Just an update on this:

1) some test code where a servlet tries to load the initial context works
2) some test code where a servlet calls an EJB which tries to load the initial context works
3) My application EAR still has the original problem
4) I cannot provide the EAR I'm afraid (too big to send, company rules etc).

Has anyone any suggestions for adding any logging code to see what is going on ? In particular I am mightily confused how a class in a particular package can be running (and therefore that class and package must surely be in the classpath) cannot load a resource at the same level in the package hierarchy as the class running.

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