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From Fran Varin <>
Subject Re: Multiple Applications within one Ear - Co-dependent classes
Date Wed, 18 Oct 2006 14:52:33 GMT

I work with Mark and maybe I can shed a little more light on the problem
that he is describing. We have classes that are typically instantiated from
a factory class. This factory uses reflection to perform the instantiation.
We register the fully qualified name of the class along with a String that
is used as a key to cause the later instantiation. 

We have been using WebSphere for years and have configured WAS to be able to
share resources (like classes) across the various Web Applications. This
allows us to maintain the Factory in one context and be able to see the
other class at runtime when an application requests an object instance of a
given class. To the best of my knowledge, the ability for an app. server to
see across the web appications is not unique to WAS. In fact, it makes
configuring complex Java EE applications much easier. 

So, our question really boils down to, how can we achieve a similar behavior
in Geronimo. We would like to use Geronimo for a production deployment but,
feel that the behavior above is a huge advantage where configuration,
maintenance, and system resource utilization is concerned. Without the
ability we would be required to introduce unnecessary redundancy across the
entire application. Keep in mind that the Web applications we are describing
are an integral part of a larger applications, they are not separate
applications running withing the context of one Java EE EAR. Each WAR is a
logical division of business function that directly contributes to the
application's functionality. As such, they are not atomic applications by
any definition. So, this strengthens the case above for using resource

Since IBM is very involved with Geronimo (WAS-CE) and is moving to bring
Geronimo and WAS closer together, it is would make sense that the
functionality of each would be complementary. Even if we use Geronimo (or
WAS-CE) for testing purposes it is not a desirable situation to be testing
using two servers that have radically different behavior. So, with that in
mind, it does not seem to make sense for Geronimo to dis-allow such a
valuable capability. 

Fran Varin 
Sr. Architect 
Amica Insurance

Mark L. wrote:
> Thanks for the response.  I am not sure i gave enough information the
> first time as to what our problem truly is.  We are using a factory to
> instanciate a list of classes.  This factory lives at the EAR level; the
> list of classes are spread thru-out the multiple web modules.  This means
> that the factory needs to instantiate some classes in WebA and some
> classes in WebB.  It appears the way we have configured out application,
> the factory itself is loaded in WebA's classloader (WebA is the first to
> load).  Because of this, when the factory tries to instantiate classes in
> the list that reside in WebB, they are not visible and we get the
> classNotFound exception.  I think putting the classes into jars and adding
> them as dependencies might be overkill since there is no real
> co-dependency upon the classes as i inferred in my original post.  It is
> simply to be able to instantiate them.
> Or is there a way to load our factory in the EAR at startup, which i
> assume would have visibility to all classes in all web modules?  This
> would allow all classes to be instantiated.  
> We have another application running on Websphere where we have a similar
> setup.  We use the same factory living at the EAR level, with multiple web
> modules.  When the first module loads, it loads the factory, which is then
> able to instantiate all classes listed, regardless of the modules they
> reside in.
> David Jencks wrote:
>> On Oct 11, 2006, at 10:18 AM, Mark L. wrote:
>>> Hello,
>>> I am using Geronimo 1.1.1.  I have created an EAR,  
>>> ApplicationIntgrations,
>>> that contains two web modules, WebA and WebB.  Both web modules  
>>> require
>>> access to each others classes to be able to run.  WebA depends on  
>>> classes in
>>> WebB, and vice versa.  When i deploy the EAR and start the server,  
>>> i get
>>> classNotFound errors.  See below.  Class 'test' is a class in WebB,  
>>> but
>>> WebA's classloader cannot find him.
>>> 1:08:49,334 ERROR [[/WebA]] Servlet /WebA threw load() exception
>>> java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: test in classloader
>>> Applications/ApplicationIntegrations_WebA.war/EAR/car
>>> 	at
>>> org.apache.geronimo.kernel.config.MultiParentClassLoader.loadClass 
>>> (
>>> 	at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(
>>> How can i make both web modules' classes visible to each other?  I  
>>> have
>>> tried using dependencies and imports, but i am new to Gernoimo and  
>>> have not
>>> been able to get either to work.
>> Since all the classes need to be in the same classloader, you won't  
>> be able to use dependencies to make this work, as that would lead to  
>> circular classloader dependencies.  You have to get the classes into  
>> the ear's classloader: each web app classloader is a child of the ear  
>> classloader.
>> I can think of 3 solutions:
>> 1. Put your classes in jars in appropriate places in the geronimo  
>> repository and add dependencies to them to the geronimo application  
>> plan.
>> 2. Put the jars in the shared/lib directory and add a dependency to  
>> the shared lib configuration either in the  geronimo application plan  
>> or in each web app geronimo plan
>> 3. Include a fake ejb jar (i.e. a jar with an ejb deployment  
>> descriptor but no ejbs declared) that either contains all the classes  
>> or uses the manifest classpath to include the jars with the classes.
>> If you only need a one-way dependency then it would be much easier,  
>> you could just have one web app depend on the other.
>> thanks
>> david jencks

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