At our shop, we are maintaining roughly 20 Java EE web applications. Most of these applications are fairly CRUD-like in their architecture, with a few of them being pretty processor intensive calculation applications.
For the deployment of these applications we have been using Hudson set up to monitor our CVS repository. When we have a check-in, the projects are set to be compiled and deployed to our Tomcat 6.0 server (*Solaris 10, sparc Dual-core 1.6 GHz processor, 2 GB RAM...not the beefiest machine by any stretch of the imagination...*) and, if any unit-tests exist for the project, those are executed and the project is only deployed if the unit-tests pass. This works great.
Now, over time, I've noticed myself that a lot of the projects I create utilize the same .jar files over and over again (Hibernate, POI (Excel output), SQL Server JDBC driver, JSF, ICEFaces, business logic .jar files, etc.). Our practice has been to just keep a folder on our network drive stocked with all the default .jar files we have been using, and when a new project is started we copy this set of .jar files into the new project and go from there...and I feel so *dirty* every time this happens it has started to keep me up at night. I have been told by my co-workers that it is "extremely difficult" to set up a .jar repository on the tomcat server, which I don't buy for a second...I attribute it to pure laziness and, probably, no desire to learn the best practice. I could be wrong, however, I am just stating my feelings on the matter. This seems to bloat the size of our .war files that get deployed to the server as well.
From my understanding, Tomcat itself has a set of .jar files that are accessible to all applications deployed to it, so I would think we would be able to consolidate all of these duplicate .jar files in all our projects and move them onto the tomcat server. This would involve only updating one .jar file on the server if, for example, we need to update the ICEFaces .jar files to a new version.
Another part of me says that by including only one copy of the .jar files on the server, I might need to keep a copy of the server's lib directory in my development environment as well (i.e. include those .jar files in eclipse dependency).
My gut instinct tells me that I want to move those duplicated .jar files onto the server...will this work?
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