Fabric3 applications are packaged in one or more contributions. The following contribution formats are supported:
- JAR archives
- ZIP archives
- WAR archives
- OSGi bundles
- XML documents
Most SCA applications will be packaged as one or more JARs, which contain application classes and artifacts. A JAR contribution requires an contribution manifest file (sca-contribution.xml ) in the
Fabric3 supports two ways of packaging and deploying libraries used by a contribution: embedding them in the JAR; and importing them from another contribution. Similar to WARs, Fabric3 allows contribution JARs to bundle libraries by placing their JARs in the
META-INF/lib directory, which in turn will be made available on the contribution classpath. Imports are discussed in The Contribution Manifest.
Fabric3 supports packaging contributions as WAR files. WAR contributions behave like JAR contributions except the SCA manifest in is placed in
WEB-INF. In addition, libraries and classes in
WEB-INF/classes respectively are placed on the contribution classpath. WAR contributions are used for deploying web applications to a domain.
ZIP contributions are identical to JAR contributions.
Fabric3 also supports packaging contributions as OSGi bundles. In this case, OSGi bundle manifests may be used to export and import packages from other contributions. An SCA manifest file is not required.
Note Export-Package and Import-Package OSGi manifest headers are supported in a limited fashion. Specifically, attribute directives are not supported.
Fabric3 supports XML documents such as configuration files.
Gradle and Maven Plugins
Contributions will often use third-party libraries. These libraries may be packaged and deployed as separate contributions, which are then imported into the using contribution via OSGi directives (see Contribution Modularity). The downside of this approach is that deployment is more complex since an application is spread across multiple archives. For applications that do not need this degree of modularity, Fabric3 provides Gradle and Maven plugins for packaging third-party libraries within the contribution that uses them.
The contribution plugin follows the same model as web application archives (WARs): it includes third-party library jars in
META-INF/lib. At deployment, these libraries will be placed on the contribution classpath, thereby making them available to code bundled in the contribution.