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From Christopher Schultz <>
Subject Re: Deploying and building a war file
Date Fri, 11 Dec 2009 15:59:01 GMT
Hash: SHA1


On 11/9/2009 7:04 AM, Ziggy wrote:
> I've got a query on the way web applications are deployed. I have an
> application that has several jsp files and serlvets that are in
> WEB-INF/classes.

JSP files in WEB-INF/classes? Yuk.

> When i deploy the application all i do is do a checkout on CVS, make the
> changes, rebuild the war using ANT and redeploy manually. This works fine
> but now i am having some doubts on this approach.
> Basically if i even change one file i have to rebuild the war file meaning i
> have to recompile everything. I think this is unecessary. i would like to be
> able to just recompile the one file and redeploy the one file without having
> to rebuild the whole war file.

Ant's <javac> task should only be compiling source files that have
changed. I'm not sure if the <war> task does a differential update, though.

> 1. How do you deploy your application? If you deploy as a war file, do you
> recompile everything even if the change is to a single file or a
> configuration file.

For real deployments, we even tag the CVS repo :)

In development, we have two different ant targets: 'install' (which does
the whole WAR thing, and then actually un-wars the WAR file into the
deployment directory) and 'quick-install' which just copies files. The
latter results in a much faster deployment. We also have an
'install-web' target which skips compilation altogether so you can
update static content and JSP files and avoid any potential context reloads.

> 2. Could you provide an example on the approach you use from the point a
> source file comes out from CVS to the point it get to the production
> environment. (An example with a single file change would be usefull)

If you're starting with a fresh CVS checkout, how can a single source
file change? Don't you have no .class files at all at that point? Or, do
you guys revision-track your binaries?

> 2. Do you use any tool to manage this?

We use only ant. Maven is starting to be the tool of choice for serious
projects, but I have yet to start using it.

> I am thinking that if i change one file i should be able to just compile
> that one file and move it to the WEB-INF/classes folder into the relevant
> folder. This might work but is there a better way of doing this instead of
> moving it manually?

Ant is your friend: you can always write more targets that do convenient
things for you.

- -chris
Version: GnuPG v1.4.10 (MingW32)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla -


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