7 Configuring Resources in a Web Application

Learn how to configure Web application resources in WebLogic Server.

This chapter includes the following sections:

Configuring Resources in a Web Application

The resources that you use in a Web application are generally deployed externally to the Web application. JDBC data sources can optionally be deployed within the scope of the Web application as part of an EAR file.

To use external resources in the Web application, you resolve the JNDI resource name that the application uses with the global JNDI resource name using the web.xml and weblogic.xml deployment descriptors. (The web.xml file is located in the WEB-INF directory of your Web application.) See Configuring Resources for more information.

You can also deploy JDBC data sources as part of the Web application EAR file by configuring those resources in the weblogic-application.xml deployment descriptor. Resources deployed as part of the EAR file with their scope defined as application are referred to as application-scoped resources. These resources remain private to the application, and application components can access the resource names by adding <resource-ref> elements as explained in Configuring Resources.

Configuring Resources

When accessing resources such as a data source from a Web application through Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI), you can map the JNDI name you look up in your code to the actual JNDI name as bound in the global JNDI tree. This mapping is made using both the web.xml and weblogic.xml deployment descriptors and allows you to change these resources without changing your application code. You provide a name that is used in your Java code, the name of the resource as bound in the JNDI tree, and the Java type of the resource, and you indicate whether security for the resource is handled programmatically by the servlet or from the credentials associated with the HTTP request. You can also access JMS module resources, such as queues, topics, and connection factories.

For more information see, Configuring JMS Application Modules for Deployment in Administering JMS Resources for Oracle WebLogic Server.

To configure resources:

  1. Enter the resource name in the deployment descriptor as you use it in your code, the Java type, and the security authorization type.
  2. Map the resource name to the JNDI name.

    The following example illustrates how to use an external data source. It assumes that you have defined a data source called accountDataSource. See Create JDBC generic data sources in Oracle WebLogic Server Administration Console Online Help.

Example 7-1 Using an External DataSource

servlet code:

javax.sql.DataSource ds = (javax.sql.DataSource) ctx.lookup
web.xml entries:

. . .
. . .
weblogic.xml entries:

Referencing External EJBs

Web applications can access EJBs that are deployed as part of a different application (a different EAR file) by using an external reference. The EJB being referenced exports a name to the global JNDI tree in its weblogic-ejb-jar.xml deployment descriptor. An EJB reference in the Web application module can be linked to this global JNDI name by adding an ejb-reference-description element to its weblogic.xml deployment descriptor.

This procedure provides a level of indirection between the Web application and an EJB and is useful if you are using third-party EJBs or Web applications and cannot modify the code to directly call an EJB. In most situations, you can call the EJB directly without using this indirection. See Developing Enterprise JavaBeans, Version 2.1, for Oracle WebLogic Server.

To reference an external EJB for use in a Web application:

  1. Enter the EJB reference name you use to look up the EJB in your code, the Java class name and the class name of the home and remote interfaces of the EJB in the ejb-ref element of the Java EE standard deployment descriptor, web.xml. (The web.xml file is located in the WEB-INF directory of your Web application.)
  2. Map the reference name in the ejb-reference-description element of the WebLogic-specific deployment descriptor, weblogic.xml, to the JNDI name defined in the weblogic-ejb-jar.xml file.

    If the Web application is part of an Enterprise Application Archive (EAR file), you can reference an EJB by the name used in the EAR with the ejb-link element of the Java EE standard deployment descriptor, web.xml.

More about the ejb-ref* Elements

The ejb-ref element in the web.xml deployment descriptor declares that either a servlet or JSP is going to be using a particular EJB. The ejb-reference-description element in the weblogic.xml deployment descriptor binds that reference to an EJB, which is advertised in the global JNDI tree.

The ejb-reference-descriptor element indicates which ejb-ref element it is resolving with the ejb-ref-name element. That is, the ejb-reference-descriptor and ejb-ref elements with the same ejb-ref-name element go together.

With the addition of the ejb-link syntax, the ejb-reference-descriptor element is no longer required if the EJB being used is in the same application as the servlet or JSP that is using the EJB.

The ejb-ref-name element serves two purposes in the web.xml deployment descriptor:

  • It is the name that the user code (servlet or JSP) uses to look up the EJB. Therefore, if your ejb-ref-name element is ejb1, you would perform a JNDI name lookup for ejb1 relative to java:comp/env. The ejb-ref-name element is bound into the component environment (java:comp/env) of the Web application containing the servlet or JSP.

    Assuming the ejb-ref-name element is ejb1, the code in your servlet or JSP should look like:

    Context ctx = new InitialContext(); 
    ctx = (Context)ctx.lookup("java:comp/env"); 
    Object o = ctx.lookup("ejb1"); 
    Ejb1Home home = (Ejb1Home) PortableRemoteObject.narrow(o, Ejb1Home.class);
  • It links the ejb-ref and ejb-reference-descriptor elements together.

Referencing Application-Scoped EJBs

Within an application, WebLogic Server binds any EJBs referenced by other application components to the environments associated with those referencing components. These resources are accessed at run time through a JNDI name lookup relative to java:comp/env.

The following is an example of an application deployment descriptor (application.xml) for an application containing an EJB and a Web application, also called an Enterprise Application. (For the sake of brevity, the XML header is not included in this example.)

Example 7-2 Example Deployment Descriptor


To allow the code in the Web application to use an EJB in ejb1.jar, the Java EE standard Web application deployment descriptor, web.xml, must include an ejb-ref stanza that contains an ejb-link referencing the JAR file and the name of the EJB that is being called.

The format of the ejb-link entry must be as follows:


where filename is the name of the JAR file, relative to the Web application, and ejbname is the EJB within that JAR file. The ejb-link element should look like the following:


Note that since the JAR path is relative to the WAR file, it begins with "../". Also, if the ejbname is unique across the application, the JAR path may be dropped. As a result, your entry may look like the following:


The ejb-link element is a sub-element of an ejb-ref element contained in the Web application's web.xml descriptor. The ejb-ref element should look like the following:

Example 7-3 <ejb-ref> Element


Referring to the syntax for the ejb-link element in the above example,


the portion of the syntax to the left of the # is a relative path to the EJB module being referenced. The syntax to the right of # is the particular EJB being referenced in that module. In the above example, the EJB JAR and WAR files are at the same level.

The name referenced in the ejb-link (in this example, myejb) corresponds to the ejb-name element of the referenced EJB's descriptor. As a result, the deployment descriptor (ejb-jar.xml) of the EJB module that this ejb-ref element is referencing should have an entry similar to the following:

Example 7-4 <ejb-jar> Element


Notice the ejb-name element is set to myejb.

At run time, the Web application code looks up the EJB's JNDI name relative to java:/comp/env. The following is an example of the servlet code:

MyHome home = (MyHome)ctx.lookup("java:/comp/env/ejb1");

The name used in this example (ejb1) is the ejb-ref-name defined in the ejb-ref element of the web.xml segment above.

Serving Resources from the CLASSPATH with the ClasspathServlet

If you need to serve classes or other resources from the system CLASSPATH, or from the WEB-INF/classes directory of a Web application, you can use a special servlet called the ClasspathServlet. The ClasspathServlet is useful for applications that use applets or RMI clients and require access to server-side classes. The ClasspathServlet is implicitly registered and available from any application.

The ClasspathServlet is always enabled by default. To disable it, set the ServerMBean parameter ClassPathServletDisabled to true (default = false).

The ClasspathServlet returns the classes or resources from the system CLASSPATH in the following order:

  1. WEB-INF/classes

  2. JAR files under WEB-INF/lib/*

  3. system CLASSPATH

To serve a resource from the WEB-INF/classes directory of a Web application, call the resource with a URL such as:


In this case, the resource is located in the following directory, relative to the root of the Web application:



Because the ClasspathServlet serves any resource located in the system CLASSPATH, do not place resources that should not be publicly available in the system CLASSPATH.

Using CGI with WebLogic Server

WebLogic Server supports all CGI scripts through an internal WebLogic servlet called the CGIServlet. To use CGI, register the CGIServlet in the Web application deployment descriptor.

See Configuring How a Client Accesses a Web Application.


WebLogic Server provides functionality to support your legacy Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts. For new projects, Oracle recommends that you use HTTP servlets or JavaServer Pages.

Configuring WebLogic Server to Use CGI

To configure CGI in WebLogic Server:

  1. Declare the CGIServlet in your Web application by using the servlet and servlet-mapping elements in the Java EE standard Web application deployment descriptor, web.xml. (The web.xml file is located in the WEB-INF directory of your Web application.) The class name for the CGIServlet is weblogic.servlet.CGIServlet. You do not need to package this class in your Web application.
  2. Register the following initialization attributes for the CGIServlet by defining the following init-param elements:
    • cgiDir—The path to the directory containing your CGI scripts. You can specify multiple directories, separated by a ";" (Windows) or a ":" (UNIX). If you do not specify cgiDir, the directory defaults to a directory named cgi-bin under the Web application root.

    • useByteStream—By default, character streams are used to read the output of CGI scripts. When scripts produce binary data, the stream may become corrupted due to character encoding. Use the useByteStream parameter to keep the stream from becoming corrupted. Using this parameter for ascii output also improves performance.

    • extension mapping—Maps a file extension to the interpreter or executable that runs the script. If the script does not require an executable, this initialization attribute may be omitted.

    • The param-name for extension mappings must begin with an asterisk followed by a dot, followed by the file extension, for example, *.pl.

    • The param-value contains the path to the interpreter or executable that runs the script. You can create multiple mappings by creating a separate init-param element for each mapping.

Example 7-5 Example Web Application Deployment Descriptor Entries for Registering the CGIServlet


Requesting a CGI Script

The URL used to request a Perl script must follow the pattern:



host:port—Host name and port number of WebLogic Server.

myWebApp—Name of your Web application.

cgi-binurl-pattern name mapped to the CGIServlet.

myscript.pl—Name of the Perl script that is located in the directory specified by the cgiDir initialization attribute.

CGI Best Practices

For a list of CGI Best Practices, see CGI Best Practices.