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From André Warnier ...@ice-sa.com>
Subject Re: WEB-INF/classes vs WEB-INF/lib/classes.jar file
Date Fri, 06 Feb 2009 09:41:19 GMT
Bill Barker wrote:
> "André Warnier" <aw@ice-sa.com> wrote in message 
> news:498AD66A.4080601@ice-sa.com...
>> Mikolaj Rydzewski wrote:
>>> André Warnier wrote:
>>>> if I have a webapp consistig of just a couple of classes and a 
>>>> WEB-INF/web.xml config file, but this web.xml file contains some 
>>>> parameters that are "each-client-dependent", and some customers are 
>>>> insisting to receive the updates as a war file, how can I achieve that ?
>>>>
>>>> Someone earlier here mentioned that you could put the settings in a file

>>>> outside the application, but that is not possible in this case, or is it

>>>> ?
>>> You can have web.xml parameter, e.g.
>>>
>>> <context-param>
>>>    <param-name>config-file-location</param-name>
>>>    <param-value>/filesystem/path or URL or 
>>> some-other-location</param-value>
>>> </context-param>
>>>
>>> And then you can retrieve parameter value, thus, read config file.
>>> Idea is, that param-value is the same for every client/build. E.g. points 
>>> to configuration file in $CATALINA_HOME/conf. So you can have one war 
>>> file and client dependant configurations.
>>>
>>>
>> Ok, that would work if you wrote the webapp yourself, and all the filters 
>> that go with it.  It would however not work if there are some 
>> customer-specific parameters in web.xml, that are outside of your control. 
>> (I'm thinking for example of a UrlRewrite or jCIFS filter)
>>
>> Would there be a way to create a war file that does not contain a 
>> WEB-INF/web.xml file, but maybe contains a "soft link" to a whole web.xml 
>> file located somewhere else ?
>>
>> The basic idea is : I could still give my customer a war-file that he can 
>> deploy containing my updated classes of jars or whatever, but it would not 
>> overwrite his customer-specific web.xml when he deploys it.
>>
>> I think this issue is so general/generic that there must exist some way, 
>> no ?
> 
> This is totally Tomcat specific, so won't necessarily port if you decide to 
> change containers (but without looking probably still works for GlassFish 
> and JBoss).  Tomcat does Ant style variable replacement when parsing web.xml 
> (both the one in conf and the one in WEB-INF).  So something like
> 
>  <context-param>
>     <param-name>config-file-location</param-name>
>     <param-value>${my.config.file.location}</param-value>
>  </context-param>
> 
> will work if the System property my.config.file.location is set by the 
> startup script/Windows service manager.
> 
That sounds like a good idea !
Usually, there are only a few parameters that change per customer, like 
the IP address of some external server, or some login id/pw for a remote 
service.  That would really do the trick in most cases.
In addition, it would avoid having to put some potentially sensible 
values in a web-xml file which has to be readable by the Tomcat user.

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