Web Application Deployment Descriptor

April 10, 2012    blog jsp school

When working with servlets and java server pages, you need a web application deployment descriptor.

It is basically an XML file (usually called web.xml or application.xml) that tells the container about the web application.

It contains:

ServletContext initialization parameters

Servlet/JSP definitions

Servlet/JSP mappings

Welcome file list

Error pages


JSP/Servlet page outputs a descriptor error.


Your webpage will not run without a deployment descriptor


Add the deployment descriptor to the project. Usually it is automatically generated, if it is not then manually input the descriptor yourself.

<?xml version=“1.0” encoding=“ISO-8859-1” ?>
“-//Sun Microsystems, Inc.//DTD Web Application 2.3//EN”