What is deployment descriptor?

A deployment descriptor is an Extensible Markup Language (XML) text-based file with an .xml extension that describes a component’s deployment settings. A J2EE application and each of its modules has its own deployment descriptor. For example, an enterprise bean module deployment descriptor declares transaction attributes and security authorizations for an enterprise bean. Because deployment descriptor information is declarative, it can be changed without modifying the bean source code. At run time, the J2EE server reads the deployment descriptor and acts upon the component accordingly.
 

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