(1) Ant explode copies all the files across (and changed files if they are already there), ant unexplode deletes all files, ant restart restarts the deployed application. The deploy/undeploy targets create non exploded archives (which means you can't alter the view pages without restarting the applcaiton)
(2) Yes, auto-redeploy. Turn it off by right clicking on the project, choosing properties, going to Builders, and unticking the .explode builder.
Thanks for your reply. This means if i uncheck the .explode builder and made some changes, i first 'ant explode', the 'ant restart' and thats it?
Can you give me a hint when schema creation takes place? I'am very new to Seam, so theres still a lot of "mystery" in the whole process. My intuitive understanding would be, that the hibernate schema creation takes place, everytime i 'ant restart' my application. (until hibernate's hibernate.hbm2ddl.auto is set to 'drop'). Is it right?
Depends on the changes - if it's just JSF/facelets (.xhtml files) then you just need an explode. If you change Java code or configuration then you need a restart.
It takes place when hibernate starts (at application (re)start) - when hibernate is on create-drop, it will always drop tables, create new ones, and run import.sql. If its on update then it tries to update them. Check the hibernate manual for more.
Thanks a lot, this was really helpful :)