This task is for appservers that appservers that support the JSR-188 mechanism for deployment, configuration (in conjunction with JSR-77) and control (start/stop) of webapps (meaning WARs, EARs, JARs and CARs).
Neither Tomcat nor, for that matter IBM's WebSphere (as of WebSphere 6) serve up JSR-188, so the answer is no.
I do have several tricks of my own for deployment, however. For testing, I have a build directory and in it, I build the exploded WAR which will be used as input to the WAR task. Since Tomcat can work with exploded WARs, I place an XML config file in the Tomcat webapps directory that resolves the app's context to the absolute pathname of the exploded WAR directory.
For production, I run the WAR step. Mostly, I deploy in Solaris packages, since I often have non-J2EE tasks to perform as part of the install process as well, so I use the "exec" task to run the Solaris package tools.
Deploying into Tomcat generally consists of simply copying the WAR to the appropriate directory (Tomcat 4: TOMCAT_HOME/webapps, Tomcat 5: TOMCAT_HOME/conf/Catalina/localhost...) Alternatively, you can copy the webapp to an external directory and do like I do on test systems, using a webapp config xml (Context) file to locate the WAR (I place mine in /opt/webapps).
In tomcat 4, you can't place BOTH the webapp config file and the WAR in the TOMCAT_HOME/webapps directory, because the WAR will hide the xml file, and in my case, the XML file holds the security realm definitions (I prefer discrete Context files over dumping them all into TOMCAT_HOME/conf/server.xml - it's easier to (de)install/update them that way.
In Tomcat 5, the webapps directory holds shared deployments and the server-specific config info goes into TOMCAT_HOME/Catalina/xxxx...etc. So it's not an issue.
Since these are all just files and directories, the Ant copy task is all you need to deploy on a local machine.
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