common JARs in EAR for web applications

You don’t have to store the jars used by web applications in the web-inf/lib directory. Instead you can club all the common jars being used by a web application in a lib directory under the EAR file and have the MANIFEST.MF point to those jars instead of copying them to each web application’s lib directory, thus reducing the jar file size. It also improves performance as the JVM class loader doesn’t have to load different class file for each web application.

Refer to this for more info: http://java.sun.com/j2ee/verified/packaging.html

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