The ejb-jar file must contain the deployment descriptor in the format defined in Chapter 22. The deployment descriptor must be stored with the name META-INF/ejb-jar.xml in the ejb-jar file.
Since there cannot be two directories or files with the same name, there MUST only be one ejb-jar.xml file in any EAR deployment unit However, you may freely merge two ejb-jar.xml files into one single file if you ever feel the need to... [ January 27, 2005: Message edited by: Valentin Crettaz ]
since each and ejb-jar is a collection of beans which contains an ejb-jar.xml to describe the beans, and an ear is potentially a collection of 0-n ejb-jar's and 0-n war's, then yes, an ear may contain mulitple ejb-jar.xml files.
you can put all your message beans in one ejb-jar, with it's own ejb-jar.xml, all your entity beans/session facade beans into another ejb-jar with it's own ejb-jar.xml, then you'll have multiple ejb-jar.xml files into one ear.
a single ejb-jar file though (a jar file that contains enterprise java beans) can only contain one ejb-jar.xml. though it does not need to contain a META-INF/MANIFEST.MF file.
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