I've got a huge application (10k+ classes) that uses classpath ordering to determine which version of a class gets loaded. There may be as many as four versions of a class (ranging from very generic stubs to specific application instance classes). This is auto-translated code from COBOL source and there is no hope of changing it to something a bit more oo.
Classpath ordering works fine in plain Java but for reasons I don't understand, webserver folks decided to ignore compatibility issues, avoid standardization and generally muck things up. Now I need help coming up with a workable solution, preferably one that works with multiple webservers and archive formats.
1) Is it possible to specify an application specific classpath? It looks like it might be possible with an ear but not a war and wars have to be supported. Is there something JBoss specific that would allow this?
2) How can I tell JBoss to use an application provided class loader to load the application? I could use this to specify a classpath even though the archive format doesn't provide one.
3) If possible, I'd like to start multiple instances of the application from the same archive varying only a parameter such as classpath to choose the class versions.
Thanks for any help.