Use installed optional packages

We can associate one or more shared libraries with an application using an installed optional package that declares the shared libraries in the application's manifest file. Classes represented by the shared libraries are then loaded in the application's class loader, making the classes available to the application.

Read about installed optional packages in Installed optional packages and in section 8.2 of the J2EE specification, Version 1.4 at http://docs.oracle.com/javaee/1.4/api/index.html.

WAS does not support the Java 2 Platform Standard Edition (J2SE) Installed Optional Package semantics used in the J2SE specification (http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19455-01/806-7503/6jgceuig7/index.html), which primarily serve the applet environment. WebSphere Application Server ignores applet-specific tags within manifest files.

  • Installed optional packages expand the existing shared library capabilities of an application server. Installed optional packages enable an administrator to declare a dependency in an application's manifest file to a shared library, with installed optional package elements listed in the manifest file, and automatically associate the application to the shared library. During application installation, the shared library .jar file is added to the class path of the application class loader.

    If we use an installed optional package to associate a shared library with an application, do not associate the same shared library with an application class loader or a server class loader using the console.

    1. Assemble the library file, including the manifest information that identifies it as an extension.

      Two sample manifest files follow. The first sample manifest file has application app1.ear refer to a single shared library file util.jar:

      app1.ear:
          META-INF/application.xml
          ejb1.jar:
               META-INF/MANIFEST.MF:
                   Extension-List: util
                   util-Extension-Name: com/example/util
                   util-Specification-Version: 1.4
               META-INF/ejb-jar.xml
       util.jar:
          META-INF/MANIFEST.MF:
              Extension-Name: com/example/util
              Specification-Title: example.com's util package         Specification-Version: 1.4
              Specification-Vendor: example.com
              Implementation-Version: build96

      The second sample manifest file has application app1.ear refer to multiple shared library .jar files:

      app1.ear:
          META-INF/application.xml
          ejb1.jar:
               META-INF/MANIFEST.MF:
                   Extension-List: util1 util2 util3
                   Util1-Extension-Name: com/example/util1
                   Util1-Specification-Version: 1.4
                   Util2-Extension-Name: com/example/util2
                   Util2-Specification-Version: 1.4
                   Util3-Extension-Name: com/example/util3
                   Util3-Specification-Version: 1.4
               META-INF/ejb-jar.xml
       util1.jar:
          META-INF/MANIFEST.MF:
              Extension-Name: com/example/util1
              Specification-Title: example.com's util package         Specification-Version: 1.4
              Specification-Vendor: example.com
              Implementation-Version: build96
       util2.jar:
          META-INF/MANIFEST.MF:
              Extension-Name: com/example/util2
              Specification-Title: example.com's util package         Specification-Version: 1.4
              Specification-Vendor: example.com
              Implementation-Version: build96
       util3.jar:
          META-INF/MANIFEST.MF:
              Extension-Name: com/example/util3
              Specification-Title: example.com's util package         Specification-Version: 1.4
              Specification-Vendor: example.com
              Implementation-Version: build96

    2. Create a shared library that represents the library file assembled in step 1. This installs the library file as a shared library.

    3. Copy the shared library .jar file to the cluster members.

    4. Assemble the application, declaring in the application manifest file dependencies to the library files named the manifest created for step 1.

    5. Install the application on the server or cluster.


    Results

    During application installation, the shared library .jar files are added to the class path of the application class loader.


    Related concepts

  • Class loaders


    Related tasks

  • Associate shared libraries with applications or modules
  • Associate shared libraries with servers
  • Create shared libraries
  • Assembling applications
  • Install enterprise application files
  • Manage shared libraries


    Related information:

  • J2EE 1.4 specification
  • J2EE 1.4 Tutorial
  • J2SE 1.3 Optional Packages