When developing web applications it’s always been a hassle to keep the WEB-INF/lib folder up to date especially when starting to experiment with different versions of libraries or frameworks . In the past (since being a Maven2 user) I helped myself with issuing the mvn war:inplace command to pull in all required libraries into WEB-INF/lib. So, occasionally I only would update my POM and rerun the command to have the latest versions of jars in my project!
This is extremely handy when using profiles for example to switch dependencies between a set of JSF 1.1 or JSF 1.2 libraries. Only with a twinkle I could change the classpath definition for any project. Ok so far this is nice.
For server development I’m working with the WTP plugin which makes handling a server a bit easier. So, regarding my library dependencies I’d feel more comfortable if they were updated every time I started my server (and thus publish the latest project files to the server).
So, I updated my m2eclipse plugin to 0.0.11 and tried to mark the Maven Dependencies Library Container as a J2EE Dependency, restarted my Web Container and was really excited that finally this is supported now. This means all of my dependencies from pom.xml are actually deployed to the server.