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What is WEB-INF?

What is WEB-INF on JSP or EJB applications? In general, what is WEB-INF?

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The WEB-INF directory is part of the directory structure that defines a particular "Web application". The WEB_INF directory contains resources pertaining to the Web application including a web.xml file. Also contained in the WEB-INF directory are the following:

  • A deployment descriptor file, called web.xml
  • A "lib" directory, designated for JAR files that are automatically added to the Web application's classpath at runtime.
  • A "classes" directory designated for any classes needed by the application that are not in a JAR file.
  • Any client classes for EJBs packaged in .jar files.


This was first published in February 2003

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