SOA 11g provides a configuration plan file for composite deployment. A common use is to search and replace hosts and ports depends on the platform (dev, test, qa, prod) you are deploying to. The question is when do those search / replacement take place?
If you wonder why do I ask this seemingly obscured question, let's take another look at it.
Suppose you do development on server "soaDEV.mybusiness.com", and SOA runs on port 8001. Then you need to migrate your work to "soaPRD.mybusiness.com", and SOA runs on port 80 over there.
So your plan file may contain something like:
When you click on "Deploy" and pick your configuration plan file, a common misconception is that "soaDEV.mybusiness.com:8001" will be magically replaced, and "soaDEV.mybusiness.com" is almost irrelevant. However, if you shut down "soaDEV" server, you will notice that JDEV will fail the compilation.
When you click "Deploy" in JDev, it's actually a two-step process. First Jdev generates the jar (sar) file. Then it uploads (deploys) the jar to the SOA server (you can actually do these two steps manually. First compile / generate the jar file. Then go to EM console to deploy the composite.)
The search / replacement only takes place during the 2nd stage. When SOA server receives the composite jar file, it does a second compilation using BPEL Compiler. So when JDEV compiles the BPEL source code, it still requires your original "soaDEV.mybusiness.com" to be up and running. It still needs to reference the WSDL from port 8001on "soaDEV".
Now we know the facts, I still have this question that bugs me all the time. Why can't (won't) JDEV do search and replacement before the compilation? I don't truly know the answer. I'm sure there is a fundamental answer to this question.
I always have this eerie feeling that 9 months after you have finished your production deployment, you still need to keep your soaDEV server running in order to support your soaPRD environment. Because Jdev needs to reference soaDEV in order to compile. What about the potential inconsistency between soaDEV and soaPRD 9 months after or even longer?