[javaee-spec users] [jsr342-experts] Re: (Optional) external alt-dd

From: Bill Shannon <>
Date: Mon, 30 Sep 2013 16:13:09 -0700

Yes, sorry, to be clear, the new requirement is that you be able to supply an
alt-dd for the entire ear file, which obviously has to be external to that ear
file. (We thought this was always required, but it was not clear in the spec.)
If you could change the ear file, you would just change the internal deployment

Item #6 was added to make it clear you have this new choice to use an external
alt-dd for the ear file.

Kevin Sutter wrote on 09/30/13 15:21:
> Thanks, Bill, for the clarification. Looking at it from the app developer or
> assembler viewpoint does help. But, I guess I'm still confused on why this
> item #6 was added to this section. This item didn't exist in the Java EE 6
> spec. I know that the alt-dd is not a new concept, so I figured maybe there
> was something special with the "external to the packaged application" wording
> or meaning. Are you indicating that this item #6 was added to just help
> clarify the app assembly steps? If so, I guess I was just reading too much
> into the new line. Thanks for the help.
> -- Kevin Sutter
> From: Bill Shannon <>
> To:,
> Date: 09/30/2013 04:15 PM
> Subject: [jsr342-experts] Re: (Optional) external alt-dd
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Kevin Sutter wrote on 09/30/13 13:07:
> Hi,
> Why was item #6 in section EE.8.4.1 marked (Optional)?
> 6.(Optional) Create an alternate deployment descriptor ("alt-dd") for the
> application, external to the packaged application.
> This was put in place before I came onboard to the Java EE expert group. I've
> been looking through the archives (user and expert) and there isn't much
> information that I can find on this topic. I can understand the usefulness of
> separating the deployment descriptor from the application, but why was the
> support for this external alt-dd documented as an optional feature? This
> almost sounds like a pre-cursor to the Config JSR that is in the works for
> post Java EE 7. Was this external alt-dd a step in that direction? But,
> since we don't have a complete solution across the technologies, this specific
> piece was marked optional? Just looking for some history and justification.
> Thanks!
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Kevin Sutter
> It's not an optional feature. What's optional is *using* that feature when
> assembling an application. Section EE.8.4 is written from the perspective of
> what an application developer or assembler would do.
> I'm sure you understand that the purpose of an alternate deployment descriptor
> is to allow you to modify the configuration of a module or an application
> without changing the module or application package.