Web application archive

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Web Application Archive (sometimes also Web Archive ) is a file format that describes how a complete web application is packed into a file in JAR or ZIP format according to the Java Servlet specification . Such files always have the ending and are therefore colloquially called "WAR files". .war


For web applications according to the Servlet specification, a certain directory structure is prescribed, which can also be found in the WAR files.

In addition to the file prescribed for all JAR files META-INF/MANIFEST.MF, each WAR file contains a directory WEB-INFin which there is a so-called deployment descriptor (freely translated as “application description ”) web.xmlthat defines all servlets and other properties of the web application. Compiled Java classes are contained in a subdirectory called WEB-INF/classesand required auxiliary libraries in WEB-INF/lib. All files that are not in the WEB-INF directory are interpreted as static content of the web application, e.g. B. HTML pages, but also JavaServer Pages .

The following example shows a typical structure of a fictitious, very simple web archive .


The content can also be extracted.

Individual evidence

  1. Servlet Specification, Version 2.4 jcp.org - November 24, 2003