Sun Java System Application Server Enterprise Edition 8.2 Administration Guide

Chapter 2 Deploying Applications

This chapter explains how to deploy (install) J2EE applications on the Application Server. This chapter contains following sections:

The Deployment Life Cycle

After installing the Application Server and starting a domain, you can deploy (install) J2EE applications and modules. During deployment and as the application is changed, an application or module can go through the following stages:

  1. Initial Deployment

    Before deploying an application or module, start the domain.

    Deploy (install) an application or module to a specific stand-alone server instance or cluster. Because applications and modules are packaged in archive files, specify the archive file name during deployment. The default is to deploy to the default server instance server.

    If you deploy to server instances or clusters, the application or module exists in the domain’s central repository and is referenced by any clusters or server instances you deployed to as targets.

    You can also deploy to the domain using the asadmin deploy command, not the Administration Console. If you deploy the application or module only to the domain, it exists in the domain’s central repository, but no server instances or clusters reference it until you add reference.

    Deployment is dynamic: you don’t need to restart the server instance after deploying application or module for applications to be available. If you do restart, all deployed applications and modules are still deployed and available.

  2. Enabling or Disabling

    By default, a deployed application or module is enabled, which means that it is runnable and can be accessed by clients if it has been deployed to an accessible server instance or cluster. To prevent access, disable the application or module. A disabled application or module is not uninstalled from the domain and can be easily enabled after deployment.

  3. Adding or Deleting Targets for a Deployed Application or Module

    Once deployed, the application or module exists in the central repository and can be referenced by a number of server instances and/or clusters. Initially, the server instances or clusters you deployed to as targets reference the application or module.

    To change which server instances and clusters reference an application or module after it is deployed, change an application or module’s targets using the Administration Console, or change the application references using the asadmin tool. Because the application itself is stored in the central repository, adding or deleting targets adds or deletes the same version of an application on different targets. However, an application deployed to more than one target can be enabled on one and disabled on another, so even if an application is referenced by a target, it is not available to users unless it is enabled on that target.

  4. Redeployment

    To replace a deployed application or module, redeploy it. Redeploying automatically undeploys the previously deployed application or module and replaces it with the new one.

    When redeploying through the Administration Console, the redeployed application or module is deployed to the domain, and all stand-alone or clustered server instances that reference it automatically receive the new version if dynamic reconfiguration is enabled. If using the asadmin deploy command to redeploy, specify domain as the target.

    For production environments, use rolling upgrade, which upgrades application without interruption in service.

  5. Undeployment

    To uninstall an application or module, undeploy it.


The auto deploy feature enables you to deploy a prepackaged application or module by copying it to the domain-dir/autodeploy directory.

For example, copy a file named hello.war to the domain-dir/autodeploy directory. To undeploy the application, remove the hello.war file from the autodeploy directory.

You can also use the Administration Console or asadmin tool to undeploy the application. In that case, the archive file remains.

Note –

Auto deploy is only available for the default server instance.

The auto deploy feature is intended for development environments. It is incompatible with session persistence, a production environment feature. Do not enable session persistence if auto deployment is enabled

Deploying An Unpackaged Application

This feature is for advanced developers.

Use directory deployment only to deploy to the default server instance (server). You cannot use it to deploy to clusters or stand-alone server instances.

A directory containing an unpackaged application or module is sometimes called an exploded directory. The contents of the directory must match the contents of a corresponding J2EE archive file. For example, if you deploy a Web application from a directory, the contents of the directory must be the same as a corresponding WAR file. For information about the required directory contents, see the appropriate specifications.

You can change the deployment descriptor files directly in the exploded directory.

If your environment is configured to use dynamic reloading, you can also dynamically reload applications deployed from the directory. For more information, see Configuring Advanced Settings.

Using a Deployment Plan

This feature is for advanced developers.

A deployment plan is an JAR file that contains only the deployment descriptors that are specific to the Application Server. These deployment descriptors, for example sun-application.xml, are described in the Application Server Developer’s Guide. The deployment plan is part of the implementation of JSR 88: J2EE Application Deployment. Use a deployment plan to deploy an application or module that does not contain the deployment descriptors that are specific to the Application Server.

To deploy using a deployment plan, specify the --deploymentplan option of the asadmin deploy command. The following command, for example, deploys the enterprise application in the myrosterapp.ear file according to the plan specified by the mydeployplan.jar file.

$ asadmin deploy --user admin ---deploymentplan mydeployplan.jar myrosterapp.ear

In the deployment plan file for an enterprise application (EAR), the sun-application.xml file is located at the root. The deployment descriptor for each module is stored according to this syntax: module-name.sun-dd-name, where the sun-dd-name depends on the module type. If a module contains a CMP mappings file, the file is named module-name.sun-cmp-mappings.xml. A .dbschema file is stored at the root level with each forward slash character (/) replaced by a pound sign (#). The following listing shows the structure of the deployment plan file for an enterprise application (EAR).

$ jar -tvf mydeployplan.jar
420 Thu Mar 13 15:37:48 PST 2003 sun-application.xml
370 Thu Mar 13 15:37:48 PST 2003 RosterClient.war.sun-web.xml
418 Thu Mar 13 15:37:48 PST 2003 roster-ac.jar.sun-application-client.xml
1281 Thu Mar 13 15:37:48 PST 2003 roster-ejb.jar.sun-ejb-jar.xml
2317 Thu Mar 13 15:37:48 PST 2003 team-ejb.jar.sun-ejb-jar.xml
3432 Thu Mar 13 15:37:48 PST 2003 team-ejb.jar.sun-cmp-mappings.xml
84805 Thu Mar 13 15:37:48 PST 2003 team-ejb.jar.RosterSchema.dbschema

In the deployment plan for a web application or a module file, the deployment descriptor that is specific to the Application Server is at the root level. If a stand-alone EJB module contains a CMP bean, the deployment plan includes the sun-cmp-mappings.xml and .dbschema files at the root level. In the following listing, the deployment plan describes a CMP bean.

$ jar r -tvf myotherplan.jar
3603 Thu Mar 13 15:24:20 PST 2003 sun-ejb-jar.xml
3432 Thu Mar 13 15:24:20 PST 2003 sun-cmp-mappings.xml
84805 Thu Mar 13 15:24:20 PST 2003 RosterSchema.dbschema

Using the deploytool Utility

Designed for software developers, the deploytool utility packages and deploys J2EE applications and modules. For instructions on how to use deploytool, see The J2EE 1.4 Tutorial.

Types of J2EE Archive Files

A software provider packages an application or module into a archive file. To deploy the application or module, specify the archive file name. The content and structure of the archive file is defined by the specifications of the J2EE platform. Types of J2EE archive files are as follows:

The software provider might assemble an application into a single EAR file or into separate WAR, EJB JAR, and application client JAR files. In the administration tools, the deployment pages and commands are similar for all types of files.

Naming Conventions

In a given domain, the names of deployed applications and modules must be unique.

Modules of different types can have the same name within an application. When the application is deployed, the directories holding the individual modules are named with _jar, _war and _rar suffixes. Modules of the same type within an application must have unique names. In addition, database schema file names must be unique within an application.

Using a Java package-like naming scheme is recommended for module filenames, EAR filenames, module names as found in the <module-name> portion of the ejb-jar.xml files, and EJB names as found in the <ejb-name> portion of the ejb-jar.xml files. The use of this package-like naming scheme ensures that name collisions do not occur. The benefits of this naming practice apply not only to the Application Server, but to other J2EE application servers as well.

JNDI lookup names for EJB components must also be unique. Establishing a consistent naming convention might help. For example, appending the application name and the module name to the EJB name is one way to guarantee unique names. In this case, mycompany.pkging.pkgingEJB.MyEJB would be the JNDI name for an EJB in the module pkgingEJB.jar, which is packaged in the application pkging.ear.

Make sure package and file names do not contain spaces or characters that are illegal for the operating system.