Ant WAR task - A sample Ant build script that builds a WAR file

You'll probably have to know a little bit about Java, Ant, and build files for this sample build.xml file to be any use to you, but if you're looking for a sample Ant build script that can be used to create a war file, or one that simple uses a war task, this example might work for you.

I'm not going to provide any explanation of any of this right now, but if I have time in the future I'll come back here and add a few comments about how this build script works.

An Ant WAR task example

In the meantime, here is a sample Ant build.xml file that demonstrates the use of the Ant WAR task, and can be used to create a war file.

<project name="MyWebApplication" basedir=".." default="install">

    <!-- project-specific variables -->
    <property name="" value="myapp" />
    <property name="" value="${}.war" />
    <property name="webapp.dir" value="/Users/al/tomcat-6.0.16/webapps" />

    <property environment="env" />
    <property name="build.dir" value="build" />
    <property file="${build.dir}/build.${env.HOSTNAME}" />

    <property name="lib.dir" value="lib" />
    <property name="pages.dir" value="pages" />
    <property name="src.dir" value="src" />
    <property name="src.tests.dir" value="src-tests" />
    <property name="resources.dir" value="resources" />
    <property name="dest.dir" value="target" />

    <!-- put everything in a temp folder with the right structure during the build -->
    <property name="temp.dir" value="temp" />
    <property name="temp.dir.web-inf" value="${temp.dir}/WEB-INF" />
    <property name="temp.dir.lib" value="${temp.dir.web-inf}/lib" />
    <property name="temp.dir.classes" value="${temp.dir.web-inf}/classes" />
    <property name="temp.dir.meta-inf" value="${temp.dir}/META-INF" />

    <property name="package.file" value="${dest.dir}/${}" />

    <path id="build.class.path">
        <fileset dir="lib">
            <include name="**/*.jar" />

    <target name="clean">
            <fileset dir="${dest.dir}" includes="**/*"/>
        <delete dir="${temp.dir}" />
        <delete dir="${temp.dir.classes}" />
        <delete dir="${temp.dir.meta-inf}" />
        <delete dir="${temp.dir.web-inf}" />

    <target name="prepare" depends="clean">
        <mkdir dir="${dest.dir}" />
        <mkdir dir="${temp.dir}" />
        <mkdir dir="${temp.dir.lib}" />
        <mkdir dir="${temp.dir.meta-inf}" />
        <mkdir dir="${temp.dir.web-inf}" />
        <mkdir dir="${temp.dir.classes}" />

    <!-- COMPILE -->
    <target name="compile" depends="prepare">
        <echo>=== COMPILE ===</echo>
        <echo>Compiling ${src.dir} files ...</echo>
        <javac debug="on" srcdir="${src.dir}" destdir="${temp.dir.classes}" includes="**/*">
            <classpath refid="build.class.path" />

        <!-- compile files on the src-tests path -->
        <echo>Compiling ${src.tests.dir} files ...</echo>
        <javac debug="on" srcdir="${src.tests.dir}" destdir="${temp.dir.classes}" includes="com/**">
            <classpath refid="build.class.path" />

    <!-- PACKAGE -->
    <target name="package" depends="compile">
      <echo>=== PACKAGE ===</echo>
      <!-- copy the config files -->
      <copy file="${resources.dir}/MANIFEST.MF" tofile="${temp.dir.meta-inf}/MANIFEST.MF" overwrite="true" />
      <copy file="${resources.dir}/web.xml" tofile="${temp.dir.web-inf}/web.xml" overwrite="true" />
      <copy file="${resources.dir}/managed-beans.xml" tofile="${temp.dir.web-inf}/managed-beans.xml" overwrite="true" />
      <copy file="${resources.dir}/navigation-rules.xml" tofile="${temp.dir.web-inf}/navigation-rules.xml" overwrite="true" />

      <copy todir="${temp.dir.classes}">
        <fileset dir="${src.dir}">
          <include name="**/*.xml"/>
          <include name="**/*.xsl"/>
      <!-- the ant war task. with all resources in place, create the war file -->
      <war destfile="${package.file}" webxml="${temp.dir.web-inf}/web.xml" basedir="${temp.dir}">
        <fileset dir="${pages.dir}"/>
        <lib dir="${lib.dir}" />
        <classes dir="${temp.dir.classes}" />

    <!-- JUST DEPLOY THE JSP's (without rebuilding the entire project) -->
    <target name="jsps">
      <echo>=== DEPLOY JSP'S ===</echo>
      <!-- i'm trying to be explicit about what i put out there -->
      <copy todir="${webapp.dir}/${}">
        <fileset dir="${pages.dir}">
          <include name="**/*.jsp"/>
          <include name="**/*.html"/>
          <include name="**/*.css"/>
          <include name="**/*.gif"/>
          <include name="**/*.jpg"/>
          <include name="**/*.png"/>
          <include name="**/*.js"/>
    <!-- INSTALL -->
	<target name="install" depends="package">
      <echo>=== INSTALL ===</echo>
      <copy file="${package.file}" tofile="${webapp.dir}/${}" overwrite="true" />


Okay, one note ... you'll see that I also created a task just to deploy my JSP files. When working just on my JSP files, I always find it much faster to just copy my JSP files to the webapps folder, as compared to building the entire project, so that's where this task comes from.

I hope this Ant WAR task example is helpful.

Very helpful

thank you for your support....

thanks to the build script

thanks man

Where is the dependancy for

Where is the dependancy for target "jsps"?. Rest all are fine.

My Ant War "jsps" task

I need to document that task better, but I just use this task whenever I want to deploy the JSPs without rebuilding the entire project. When I'm working on things that are strictly user interface changes (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, new images), I just type:

ant jsps

and then click refresh in my browser. This is a much faster process than rebuilding the entire project.

Excellent !!!

Excellent !!!

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