An enterprise application project ties
together the resources that are required to deploy a J2EE enterprise application.
An enterprise application project contains a set of references to other
J2EE modules and Java™ projects that are combined to compose an EAR file.
These projects can be Web modules, EJB modules, application client modules,
connector modules, general utility Java JAR files, and EJB client JAR files.
Enterprise application projects created in the workbench include a deployment
descriptor, as well as files that are common to all J2EE modules that are
defined in the deployment descriptor.
When a J2EE module project is created, it can be associated with an enterprise
application project. The project wizards aid this by allowing you to specify
a new or existing enterprise application project. Enterprise application projects
are exported as EAR (enterprise archive) files that include all files defined
in the Enterprise Application project as well as the appropriate archive file
for each J2EE module or utility JAR project defined in the deployment descriptor,
such as Web archive (WAR) files and EJB JAR files.
An enterprise application can contain utility JAR files that are to be
used by the contained modules. This allows sharing of code at the application
level by multiple Web, EJB, or application client modules. These JAR files
are commonly referred to as utility JAR files. The utility JAR files defined
for an enterprise application project can be actual JAR files in the project,
or you can include utility Java projects that are designated to become
the utility JAR files during assembly and deployment.
To start developing J2EE applications, you typically first create an enterprise
application project to tie together your Web, EJB, and application client
modules. The enterprise application project is used to compose an entire application
from the various modules. Since no source code is built directly into an enterprise
application, these projects are not Java projects, and they are not compiled
by the Java builder.
When you create an enterprise application project using the workbench,
the following key files are automatically created:
- This file is the deployment descriptor for the enterprise application,
as defined in the J2EE specification, that is responsible for associating
J2EE modules to a specific EAR file. This file is created in the META-INF folder.
- This file matches the location of each module's source code to the location
of the module at deployment. For each module included for deployment with
the EAR file, the .component file lists its source path and deployment path.
This file is created in the .settings folder.
- This file lists the facets of the enterprise application project. See
Project facets. This file is created in the .settings folder.
- This is a workbench artifact, the standard project description file.