In Which Directory of Web Application Are the Server Side Class Files Kept?


Heather Bennett

In a web application, the server side class files are typically kept in a specific directory. This directory is commonly known as the “WEB-INF” directory. Let’s explore more about this directory and its significance in the web application development process.

The WEB-INF Directory

The “WEB-INF” directory is a standard directory that exists in a Java web application. It is located at the root level of the web application’s deployment structure. This directory plays a crucial role in maintaining security and controlling access to server-side resources.

Inside the “WEB-INF” directory, you will find two important subdirectories:

  • Classes: This subdirectory contains all the compiled Java class files that define the server-side logic of your web application.
  • Lib: The “lib” subdirectory contains all the third-party libraries and JAR files required by your web application.

The Classes Subdirectory

The “classes” subdirectory within the “WEB-INF” directory is where you place all your server-side class files. These classes contain the business logic, data access code, and other server-side operations required by your web application.

The Java servlet classes, which handle incoming requests and generate responses, are also stored in this directory. These servlets play a crucial role in processing user requests and producing dynamic content.

The Lib Subdirectory

The “lib” subdirectory within the “WEB-INF” directory is used for storing external libraries or JAR files that your web application depends on. These libraries provide additional functionality and resources that are not included in standard Java libraries.

By placing these libraries within the “lib” subdirectory, they become accessible to your web application at runtime. This ensures that all the required dependencies are available for your server-side classes to function properly.

It’s important to note that the “WEB-INF” directory and its contents are not directly accessible from a web browser. This ensures that sensitive server-side code and resources are not exposed to the public.


In summary, the server-side class files in a web application are kept within the “WEB-INF” directory. The “classes” subdirectory contains compiled Java class files, including servlets, responsible for handling user requests and generating dynamic content. The “lib” subdirectory houses external libraries and JAR files that provide additional functionality to your web application.

Understanding the organization of these directories is essential for effective web application development and maintenance. By keeping your server-side class files in the appropriate directory structure, you can ensure a secure and organized web application.

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