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From "Caldarale, Charles R" <Chuck.Caldar...@unisys.com>
Subject RE: How to call an external class from a webapp (i.e. - implement a plugin)
Date Wed, 07 Jul 2010 19:48:22 GMT
> From: Christopher Schultz [mailto:chris@christopherschultz.net]
> Subject: Re: How to call an external class from a webapp (i.e. -
> implement a plugin)
> 
> Another option is to implement your own ClassLoader that 
> scans a directory (such as /my/great/plugins) for JAR files
> and will load them alongside your webapp's classes.

Tomcat already has a form of this capability:
  org.apache.catalina.loader.VirtualWebappLoader

If you declare this in the className attribute of a <Loader> element nested inside the
<Context> of interest, you can specify additional directories to search for class references.
 It exists in all supported Tomcat levels, but is only documented in Tomcat 7:

http://tomcat.apache.org/tomcat-7.0-doc/config/loader.html#VirtualWebappLoader_Implementation

 - Chuck


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