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From "Steve McWilliams" <>
Subject Loading classes from a WAR file outside of Tomcat
Date Thu, 26 Aug 2004 18:19:01 GMT

I am wondering if anyone can suggest an easy way to reuse WAR files
outside of Tomcat.  We use Tomcat 5.0.27 and deliver out application
bundled up in a WAR file, which we do not explode at runtime.

Ideally I would like to be able to reuse some of the classes in our WAR
file from a stand alone java application outside of Tomcat (that does some
administrative tasks and gets called by InstallShield at installation
time).  I would rather not have to explode the WAR file to do this.

I would like to be able to do something like this in my stand alone java
code, in order to find the class in the WAR file:

WARClassLoader loader = new WARClassLoader();
Class clazz = Class.forName(desiredClass, true, loader);

I could write my own WARClassLoader, but it seems like such a thing must
already exist.  I poked around through the Tomcat source but everything
seems to be snarled up in the Container and DirContext overhead somehow. 
I also looked at the Tomcat WebappLoader, StandardClassLoader, and
WebappClassLoader but none of those look like they can read into a WAR

Thanks in advance.

Steve McWilliams
Software Engineer
Emprisa Networks

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