I have not deployed any apps that use EJB on JBoss, so I can't speak to whether those JBoss-only EJB xml files are required or not. But I have deployed regular J2EE apps on JBoss and I just ignored the JBoss-only xml files without a problem.
Now, if you are asking for a tool to write your web.xml DD, I haven't seen anything. How would you specify to the container what you wanted to do? I guess there could be some kind of wizard that would ask you what URL you wanted your servlets to use, and on and on, but would that really be easier than just creating the web.xml yourself? It might be nice, though, if there were a syntax checker, though. Maybe even a function that would try to find stuff in your project that you have specified (fully qualified class names, etc).
Wondering what is the quickest way to write the deployment descriptors for deployment of apps on JBoss? Is there an IDE that makes the process easy?
Yes there is an IDE: Eclipse 3.1 + lomboz plugin (lomboz-I20050526.zip, lomboz-eclipse-emf-gef-jem-I20050526.zip, lomboz-emf-gef-jem-I20050526.zip) It features:
+Building Web applications with HTML pages, servlets, JavaServer Page (JSP) files. ... +Generation of Web and EJB containers using wizards. +Generation of EJB test clients using wizards. +++J2EE Web application archives (EAR), web modules (WAR) files and Ejb archive (Jar) file deployment support. +++Integrated EJB 1.1 and 2.0 (Session, Entity and Message Driven Beans) development with XDoclet. +Enabling end-to-end local and remote testing of application servers. +Ability to support almost any Java application server by extendable server definitions. +Ability to debug live server-side code (JSP & EJBs) using the integrated Java debugger. +Increasing productivity by using wizards and code generators +Generate Web Services clients form WSDL files (using Apache Axis)
----------------------------------------- Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore --Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz
NetBeans 4.1 has just released a server module for JBoss 4. You can use that for generating the majority (if not all) of your deployment descriptors. IntelliJ IDEA also has a JBoss 4 plugin that does similar functionality.