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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Using XML and Jar Utility API to Build a Rule-Based Java EE Auto-Deployer

Today's Java EE application deployment is a common task, but not an easy
job. If you have ever been involved in deploying a Java EE application
to a large enterprise environment, no doubt you have faced a number of
challenges before you click the deploy button. For instance, you have
to figure out how to configure JMS, data sources, database schemas, data
migrations, third-party products like Documentum for web publishing,
dependencies between components and their deployment order, and so on.
Although most of today's application servers support application deployment
through their administrative interfaces, the deployment task is still far
from being a one-button action. In the first few sections of this article,
the author discusses some of the challenges of Java EE deployment. Then
he introduces an intelligent rule-based auto-deployer application, and
explain how it can significantly reduce the complexity of Java EE system
deployment. He also gives a comprehensive example showing how to build
XML rules using XStream utility library, how to extend and analyze the
standard Java EE packaging (EAR), and then perform a complex deployment
task just by pushing one button. Adding a rule-based auto-deployer in
your Java EE application deployment task has several benefits. It provides
centralized and transacted deployment management: In a very large
enterprise environment, applications are usually deployed on to hundreds
of different systems. This deployer application provides a good mean of
a centralized management. In addition, it can manage deployment as a
transacted action by implementing un-deploy/re-deploy methods. Therefore,
the deployer can rollback the deployment or switch to different version
very easily.

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