3.2.  Package Java enterprise applications, including enhanced ear files using the Rational Assembly and Deployment Tool.


WebSphere Enhanced EAR

A WebSphere enhanced EAR is a regular JEE EAR file, but with additional configuration information for resources required by JEE applications. While adding this extra configuration information at packaging time is not mandatory, it can simplify deployment of JEE applications to WebSphere if the environments where the application is to be deployed are similar.

When an Enhanced EAR is deployed to WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere can automatically configure the resources specified in the Enhanced EAR. This reduces the number of configuration steps required to set up the WebSphere environment to host the application.

When an Enhanced EAR is uninstalled, the resources that are defined at the application level scope are removed as well. However, resources defined at a scope other than application level are not removed because they might be in use by other applications. Resources created at the Application level scope are limited in visibility to only that application.

Table below shows the resources supported by the Enhanced EAR and the scope in which they are created.

Table 3.2.  Scope for resources in WebSphere Enhanced EAR file


JDBC providers


Data sources


Resource adapters


JMS resources


Substitution variables


Class loader policies


Shared libraries


JAAS authentication aliases


Virtual hosts


The supplemental information in an Enhanced EAR is modified by using the WebSphere Application Server Deployment editor. The information itself lives in XML files in a folder called ibmconfig in the EAR file's META-INF folder.

Examining the WebSphere Enhanced EAR file

The information about the resources configured is stored in the ibmconfig subdirectory of the EAR file's META-INF directory. Expanding this directory reveals the well-known directory structure for a cell configuration, as seen in figure below. You can also see the scope level where each resource is configured.

Figure 3.1. Enhanced EAR file contents

Enhanced EAR file contents

At deployment time, WebSphere Application Server uses this information to automatically create the resources.

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