Chapter 27. The Ear Plugin

The Ear plugin adds support for assembling web application EAR files. It adds a default EAR archive task. It doesn't require the Java plugin, but for projects that also use the Java plugin it disables the default JAR archive generation.

27.1. Usage

To use the Ear plugin, include in your build script:

Example 27.1. Using the Ear plugin


apply plugin: 'ear'

27.2. Tasks

The Ear plugin adds the following tasks to the project.

Table 27.1. Ear plugin - tasks

Task name Depends on Type Description
ear compile (only if the Java plugin is also applied) Ear Assembles the application EAR file.

The Ear plugin adds the following dependencies to tasks added by the base plugin.

Table 27.2. Ear plugin - additional task dependencies

Task nameDepends on
assemble ear

27.3. Project layout

Table 27.3. Ear plugin - project layout

Directory Meaning
src/main/application Ear resources, such as a META-INF directory

27.4. Dependency management

The Ear plugin adds two dependency configurations: deploy and earlib. All dependencies in the deploy configuration are placed in the root of the EAR archive, and are not transitive. All dependencies in the earlib configuration are placed in the 'lib' directory in the EAR archive and are transitive.

27.5. Convention properties

Table 27.4. Ear plugin - directory properties

Property name Type Default value Description
appDirName String src/main/application The name of the application source directory, relative to the project directory.
libDirName String lib The name of the lib directory inside the generated EAR.
deploymentDescriptor org.gradle.plugins.ear.descriptor.DeploymentDescriptor A deployment descriptor with sensible defaults named application.xml Metadata to generate a deployment descriptor file, e.g. application.xml. If this file already exists in the appDirName/META-INF then the existing file contents will be used and the explicit configuration in the ear.deploymentDescriptor will be ignored.

These properties are provided by a EarPluginConvention convention object.

27.6. Ear

The default behavior of the Ear task is to copy the content of src/main/application to the root of the archive. If your application directory doesn't contain a META-INF/application.xml deployment descriptor then one will be generated for you.

Also have a look at Ear.

27.7. Customizing

Here is an example with the most important customization options:

Example 27.2. Customization of ear plugin


apply plugin: 'ear'
apply plugin: 'java'

repositories { mavenCentral() }

dependencies {
    //following dependencies will become the ear modules and placed in the ear root
    deploy project(':war')

    //following dependencies will become ear libs and placed in a dir configured via libDirName property
    earlib group: 'log4j', name: 'log4j', version: '1.2.15', ext: 'jar'

ear {
    appDirName 'src/main/app'  // use application metadata found in this folder
    libDirName 'APP-INF/lib'  // put dependency libraries into APP-INF/lib inside the generated EAR;
                                // also modify the generated deployment descriptor accordingly
    deploymentDescriptor {  // custom entries for application.xml:
//      fileName = "application.xml"  // same as the default value
//      version = "6"  // same as the default value
        applicationName = "customear"
        initializeInOrder = true
        displayName = "Custom Ear"  // defaults to
        description = "My customized EAR for the Gradle documentation"  // defaults to project.description
//      libraryDirectory = "APP-INF/lib"  // not needed, because setting libDirName above did this for us
//      module("my.jar", "java")  // wouldn't deploy since my.jar isn't a deploy dependency
//      webModule("my.war", "/")  // wouldn't deploy since my.war isn't a deploy dependency
        securityRole "admin"
        securityRole "superadmin"
        withXml { provider -> // add a custom node to the XML
            provider.asNode().appendNode("data-source", "my/data/source")

You can also use customization options that the Ear task provides, such as from and metaInf.

27.8. Using custom descriptor file

Let's say you already have the application.xml and want to use it instead of configuring the ear.deploymentDescriptor section. To accommodate that place the META-INF/application.xml in the right place inside your source folders (see the appDirName property). The existing file contents will be used and the explicit configuration in the ear.deploymentDescriptor will be ignored.