Did you find how to deploy an external exploded aplication?
17:14:17,568 INFO [EARDeployer] Init J2EE application: file:/C:/EJB3Trail.
17:14:17,578 ERROR [MainDeployer] Could not initialise deployment: file:/C:/EJB3Trail.ear
org.jboss.deployment.DeploymentException: No META-INF/application.xml found
It looks like Jboss is looking for /C:/EJB3Trail.ear, not c:/EJB3Trail.ear. The leading '/' may be the issue. If Jboss is starting on the C: drive, then drop the C:, and if that works.... :)
If you want to deploy the application from a folder other than the deploy folder of JBoss, then you have to edit the jboss-service.xml in %JBOSS_HOME%\server\< serverName>\conf folder as follows:
<attribute name="URLs"> deploy/,file:///C:/test/ </attribute>
What this means is, an application (ex:.war or .ear) placed in the C:\test folder, will be picked up for deployment.