At work we are beginning the transition from ColdFusion 7 to ColdFusion 9. As part of the transition, we want to set up a ColdFusion 9 server cluster (using CF 9 Enterprise) to host those ColdFusion applications that need to have a high level of redundancy. In order to reach this goal, the server admins want any apps hosted in this cluster to be deployed as EAR files.
From what I've read on the subject of EAR deployment, this is a sensible approach for a clustered environment, but it's unfamiliar territory for us. We're used to having direct access to the application files so we can make minor adjustments rather quickly and I'm worried that adding a packaging and deployment step (even with the use of automation tools like Ant) is really going to slow down our ability to push out changes. I'm also concerned about the fact that some of the apps in question are not self-contained: they are integrated into websites that our clients have the ability to edit. Based on what I've read, it's sounds like that wouldn't be an issue as long as the files and folders within the EAR were deployed in the right place for the client files to access them, but in practice…
So basically, I'm looking for some advice and input from anyone who deploys their apps as EAR files (especially from folks who've made the transition from deploying via file upload to deploying via EAR), anything from how we should plan for this, best practices, things to look out for, etc.
Responses on Brian's Blog: