One of my favorite feature in JBoss Tools is the Project Archives which provides automatic and incremental archiving of arbitrary directories into a zipped archive (jar,zip,war,etc) or into an exploded directory. Usable for any development that wants hot and/or exploded deployment.

A screen cast is available at, but if you want the details read the following...

Project Archives View

To start using it you open the Project archives view, select a project and right click in the view to add the type of jar you want (each project can have multiple archives defined).

In the dialog that comes up you specify what the name of the archive should be, where it should be located and whether the folder should be archived/compressed or exploded.

The tools will dependent on the archive type and project files give a best-guess on which files you would like to include in the archive. You can of course customize this freely afterwards.

When you have pressed Ok, you will be able to see the resulting archive or folder in Eclipse or if you configured it to go the file system use your favorite file browser to see the result.

Automatic Incremental packaging

When first defined through the Project archives view JBoss Tools will automatically monitor changes and keep the archive or folder in sync. Since the changes and archiving is done incrementally there are no need to wait for Ant or Maven to collect the various artifacts and do a full archiving.

I suggest watching the screen cast to get a sense of how easy and fast this works.

Exploded jars

The exploded archive support allows you to use this with any server that supports what is called exploded deployment (commonly used with many Java and non-java servers) - thus this is in no way limited to JBoss servers or even Java technology; any technology that needs to copy a set of files to a directory or archive will be able to benefit from this feature.

What about JBossIDE packaging ?

JBossIDE 1.x had a similar feature which relied on generating an ant script and execute Ant to do the actual packaging.

The advantages of the new Project Archives is that it does not wait for a launch of Ant and instead of doing a full build/repackaging of a compressed archive every time, we can now do it incrementally and with the option of exploded form.

To migrate from JBossIDE packaging to JBoss Tools archiving you can use the conversion tool which we made available at

The conversion is as simple as:

java -jar packaging-converter.jar /path/to/.packaging

Ant and Maven

To avoid specifying how packaging works twice, once in JBoss Tools and once in your favorite build system we added an ant task to allow you to use it externally from Eclipse.

The following is an example of how that is used:

<property name="studio.home" location="${eclipse.home}/../studio/eclipse"/>

 <path id="generate-archives-classpath">
  <fileset dir="${eclipse.home}/plugins">
   <include name="org.eclipse.equinox.common_*.jar"/>                                    
  <fileset dir="${studio.home}">
   <include name="plugins/org.jboss.ide.eclipse.archives.core**/archivescore.jar"/>
   <include name="plugins/org.jboss.ide.eclipse.archives.core**/lib/*.jar"/>         
 <taskdef name="generate-archives" classpathref="generate-archives-classpath"       
<target name="run-packaging">
 <!-- each project needs to have their root dir defined when running outside eclipse -->
 <property name="pojp.dir" value="C:/Users/max/workspace/pojp"/>
 <generate-archives projectPath="C:/Users/max/workspace/pojp"/>

Final words

Thanks goes out to Rob for showing me how the Ant task works and for Marshall to get the conversion script ready. We hope to integrate that more directly into JBoss Tools in an upcoming release.

If you want to see this in live action look me up at JavaPolis next week (in the JBoss/Red Hat booth).

08. Dec 2007, 19:58 CET | Link

wow! This looks very cool! Max, you did it again! ;)

Although I must say I am quite happy to no longer have to configure things like this, yet use a framework that enforces a convention for the structure of the project. If only the rest of the tool support would have a quality like the Java tools.

09. Dec 2007, 00:19 CET | Link

Thanks Sakuraba, just to be clear this functionallity was a team effort back from the old JBossIDE team (Rob Stryker doing the final implementation and Marshall and me complaining with bugs)

Your last comment I'm not sure I understand fully ;)

Which framework are you referring to and what are the rest of the tool that does not have quality ?

09. Dec 2007, 23:26 CET | Link

I am referring to Grails. I am happy to not having to configure the build process according to my project structure, but instead have a convention enforced on it. But of course that comes with a price, too. Grails tool-support is not even close to the tool-support Seam has.

Nevertheless it is great to see that with Seam you can shorten the process of project configuration thanks to JBoss Tools.

10. Dec 2007, 18:14 CET | Link
Adrian Mitev | adrian.mitev(AT)

Very useful functionality as there are many posts in the forum about the missing build scripts.

11. Dec 2007, 02:18 CET | Link

cool feature indeed. Only on my setup I sometimes get unexpected results. Like I just updated components.xml, status switches to Republish and then to Synchronized, I check the contents of the components.xml file in the deploy dir well... nothing changed :S:S. This got me stuck for a few hours...

11. Dec 2007, 06:55 CET | Link

Report issues in jira and we can work with you on figuring out what is causing it.

06. Mar 2008, 18:27 CET | Link

I create an jar archive from a general java project, but it does not run incremental build! (war/ear project is OK)

I fixed it by copy the following to .project and it work great! Thanks

<buildCommand> <name>org.jboss.ide.eclipse.archives.core.archivesBuilder</name> <arguments> </arguments> </buildCommand> <nature>org.jboss.ide.eclipse.archives.core.archivesNature</nature>

03. Oct 2008, 05:55 CET | Link

Is there a converter between the JBoss AS Tools 1.1 to JBoss AS Core Tools 3.0? I'm having problems upgrading!


08. Oct 2008, 22:47 CET | Link

is there a special setting which needs enabled for the archiving to happen automatically? i currently have a project setup to deploy to an exploded folder, but when i edit a .java file, the archiving isn't updating as expected. (auto-build is enabled.) any thoughts? thanks!