XDoclet is a tool - also known as a code engine or code generator - that reads Javasource code and can generate various other target files on the basis of the meta information contained therein. The format of the target file is defined by specific modules, which can be integrated as plug-ins. The meta information is specified directly by JavaDoc tags within the Java source code. The use of these tags is also often characterized as an attribute-oriented marking of the source code.
The specific modules are also referred to as generation templates for specific technologies such as Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), Web, Hibernate, Mockobjects, Java Data Objects (JDO), and Java Management Extension (JMX). This also includes the creation of custom plug-ins by the developer. Possible target formats include XML for deployment descriptors or implementations of the J2EE patterns. After the integration of the concept of annotations in Java starting with version Java 1.5, the range of use of XDoclet may not be as wide in the future; however, this presupposes that the manufacturers of frameworks, tools, etc. also integrate the concept of annotations into their products. XDoclet is available for download as an open source tool at the link below.
Especially in connection with the technologies of the J2EE platform, XDoclet offers support that makes the developer's work easier. In addition to the manual creation or adaptation of the deployment descriptors, time-consuming activities such as the creation of home and remote interfaces in the development of Enterprise JavaBeans in version 2.x are no longer necessary. It is sufficient to adapt the bean class with meta information in the form of tags. With the support of XDoclet, container-dependent descriptors for JBOSS, Tomcat or Bea Weblogic servers, for example, can be created in addition to the standard deployment descriptors.